Kefir is a cultured and microbrial rich food which helps restore gut bacteria and gut health. It contains strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast. It is a natural antibiotic traditionally made from milk, although other substances can be used too such as coconut water.
The finished product is slightly thinner that yoghurt. It does not feed candida or gut dysbiosis (it helps reduce it) and often doesn’t bother people who may be lactose intolerant because the sugars are fermented by the bacteria i.e. kefir contains lactase which efficiently consumes the lactose.
Kefir is made from gelatinous white or yellow particles called “grains.” The grains contain the bacteria/yeast mixture clumped together with casein (milk proteins) and polysaccharides (complex sugars). They look like pieces of coral or small clumps of cauliflower and range from the size of a grain of wheat to that of a hazelnut.
There are two types of grains, Milk Kefir Grains and Water Kefir Grains. Milk Kefir Grains can be used with cow milk, goat milk, or coconut milk. Water Kefir Grains can be used with sugar water, juice, or coconut water.
Some grains have been known to grow in large flat sheets that can be big enough to cover your hand. Once the grains ferment the milk by incorporating their friendly organisms into the final product, you remove these grains with a strainer before drinking the kefir.
The grains are then added to a new batch of milk or coconut water, and the process continues, indefinitely. Overall this is a cheap method of consuming probiotics daily without spending money on supplements, as one sachet of Kefir can last a very long time.
As many people are dairy-intolerant, I recommend using Water Kefir Grains and culture them with coconut water.
Making Kefir from Coconut Water
Place the Water Kefir Grains in the coconut water. Cover the jar loosely and allow the Kefir Grains to culture the coconut water for 24-48 hours. Once the culturing process is complete, remove the Kefir Grains.
To add fruit flavoring, puree together the Coconut Water Kefir and the fruit.
Note: Ideally Water Kefir Grains should be cultured in sugar water (1/4 c. Sugar and 1 pint water) for 24-48 hours in between batches of making Coconut Water Kefir. The sugar water will feed and refresh the Kefir Grains keeping them healthy long term.
A comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions about making Coconut Water Kefir can be found HERE