Coconut Water Kefir
So we all know fermented beverages naturally reduce the sugar content because the probiotic fermenting goodness feeds on it… but as a no-added-sugar fiend, it still just pains my soul to see sugar of any kind added on a label. Whether is be kombucha or kefirs, I see sugar and just cringe. The amount of sugar sometimes just blows my head off, and I have my suspicions in tasting some of these store bough kombuchas that there is no way the sugar is all gone.
I’m always looking to get a hit of a food or beverage based probiotics, and kefir is one of the top runners in my eyes. Unfortunately, I am heavily lactose intolerant, and actually can’t do dairy whatsoever.
The answer to both this problems *drum roll* Cue: coconut water kefir!
Some people still add sugar to their coco water kefirs, but it’s absolutely unnecessary. The natural sweetness of the water feeds your kefir grains everything they need and more.
Coconut Water Kefir
1 litre of organic, ideally raw, young coconut water
3 tablespoons of kefir grains (that have been well hydrated)
a wooden or plastic spoon
a 1 litre glass jar + lid
a cheesecloth/ strainer (not metal)
a clean kitchen cloth/ rag
In a clean glass jar, pour in 1 L of coconut water, and add your 3 tbsp of kefir grains
Close the lid loosely on the jar, leaving a tiny gap
Place the kitchen cloth loosely over the entire thing
Place jar in a cupboard, away from the sun, at room temp for 24-48 hours. You don’t want it to be cold in there either. If nothing comes to mind, you can use the oven (make sure it stays off!) and if it’s generally cold in your house, you can turn the oven light on, and leave the oven door slightly ajar (the light will warm a little, but open door will prevent it getting too hot).
In 24 hours you can strain the kefir grains using the cheese cloth. I personally keep it fermenting for about a day and a half. You’ll notice a nice layer of fizzy ferment at the top!
Rinse the grains and return them into your kefir grain jar in the fridge for re-use.
Keep the liquid in a glass jar (sealed) in the fridge overnight, and it is ready to consume the following day! The natural sweetness of the coconut water will be completely gone, leaving you with a highly fermented, almost mildly alcoholic tasting drink.
Depending on the temp of your household, the kefir may do better fermenting 48 hours, find what works for you!
You can also add a dried organic fig into the mix, to up the fermentation game (more sugar = more food for the bacteria), discard of the fig after the ferment.
Raw coconut water that has not been pasteurized or artificially preserved turns pink due to the high levels of compounds known as organic “phenolic antioxidants” that are found in coconuts. When the phenolic antioxidant compounds interact with oxygen and certain enzymes present in coconut water, the water turns pink. Pink coconut water is generally a good sign that your coco h20 has not been pasteurized.
You can order kefir grains online, just make sure you rehydrate them (and feed them sugar) before you use them in a ferment. You can also find them through the grapevine pretty easily; since they multiply so quickly- people tend to be very generous. All you need is a little 1/4 cup, and it will expand into a jar full in no time! Share the love!