I’ve gone a bit mad recently for coconut water kefir.
My local organic greengrocer started stocking this AMAZING coconut water kefir made locally in Australia by a company called Peace, Love and Vegetables.
They’re based in Byron Bay in NSW, and make a range of fermented products including sauerkraut, kimchi and of course, kefir.
Their kefir is handmade, raw and utterly divine. It’s fizzy and slightly sweet with just the right amount of tang, and we’ve been drinking it by the case full.
So they’ve inspired me to have a go at making my own. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I just didn’t feel ready before. Well now I’ve taken the plunge (possibly helped along by the fact that they ran out of stock this week).
I’m also slowly mastering the art of opening a coconut neatly and safely, so that’s helping things along nicely too.
So what is coconut kefir?
Basically, kefir is a fermented drink, usually made with milk or sugar water.
You add a special strain of probiotics to the liquid and leave it for around 24 hours, which produces a wonderfully fizzy drink with a slightly sour taste – an awesome alternative to soft drinks.
You can make your own kefir or you can buy it at health food shops.
We’ve been drinking coconut water kefir, which has a lovely coconut flavour that complements the fizzy tang beautifully.
What’s so great about coconut kefir?
Kefir is full of naturally occurring bacteria and yeast, which can actually colonize the intestinal tract, resulting in a healthier, stronger digestive system.
Kefir is loaded with vitamins, minerals and easily digested protein, and studies have shown that it can help to strengthen the immune system.
It promotes healthy bowel movements, improves relaxation and sleep, and can help to reduce food cravings.
And it tastes fantastic!
How do you make it yourself?
There are three ways (that I know of) to make your own coconut water kefir:
- Use existing kefir as a starter
- Use a kefir starter culture
- Use kefir grains
I’ve used some of our purchased kefir to start a batch and I also recently bought some maintenance-free kefir starter culture from Green Living Australia. (I love maintenance-free. Perfect for a busy mum.)
I haven’t tried kefir grains yet, because I understand they can be a little fussy, but I’m sure it’s easier than it sounds, so I’ll work myself up to that one eventually as well.
In all cases, you just mix the starter culture or grains with your coconut water, and let it ferment in a warm spot until it’s the right amount of tangy and fizzy.
I’m still perfecting my homemade coconut water kefir technique.
I’ve made some batches that were overdone and underdone, and none of them have passed the approval of the kids yet (although they love the bought stuff).
But I’m going to keep practicing, keep opening coconuts, and fermenting stuff until I create something that everyone drinks happily (or at least me, anyway).
If you want to learn more about kefir, how to make it for yourself and all the wonderful things it can do you for, here’s some great places to start:
- Why We Need Probiotics and The Benefits of Kefir @ Natural News
- Everything you ever wanted to know about kefir @ Dom’s About Kefir site
- Learn more about kefir @ Wikipedia
- Buy kefir grains and starter cultures @ Amazon.com
And have an awesomely fizzy day!