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Young Green Coconut Kefir: Recipe (using fresh or bottled coconut water) 🐒

Kefir means ‘feel good’ which is exactly how most feel after drinking young coconut kefir (yck). This probiotic food is made with raw Thai young green coconuts and high-quality kefir starter*. You mix them together, culture in a warm spot, and then sit back to enjoy a delicious drink rich in probiotics, enzymes, and vitamins. More benefits here.

YCK is a digestive aid, natural detoxifier, and perfect treat for anyone healing a yeast, bacterial, or viral-related health issue with The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D). This powerful cleanser keeps the gut balanced and I promise your liver will thank you. Donna Gates, founder of B.E.D. talks about why to drink yck in this article.

YCK is a new food for most of us and like anything new there’s a learning curve to making it. The hardest part is sourcing coconuts (or coconut water), but once you have ingredients on hand and make it a couple times this will become easy peasy. Hey, if my 3 yr. old can do it, you can 🙂

I hope the recipe below makes things even easier. If you are a visual person, here’s a step-by-step visual for making coconut kefir plus ‘pudding’.

Young Coconut Kefir (YCK)

Yields: 1 quart-sized jar


1 packet of kefir starter*

2-4 Thai Young Green Coconuts (or 4 cups raw coconut water)

1 tsp ecobloom (optional)


Sharp Pointed Knife

Plastic Cutting Board

Small Stainless Steel Pot

Rubber Mallet or Coco Jack


Fine Mesh Strainer

Pint-Sized Mason Jar

Quart-Sized Mason Jar

Wide Mouth Funnel


Choose young green coconuts that have no mold or discoloration.

Scald utensils, jars and equipment in boiling water before using.

Cut thin slices from bottom of coconut until a white/brown ring appears.

Hammer 3 holes around top “cone” of coconut with mallet and screwdriver (or Coco Jack)

Place coconut cone-side down into pint-sized jar with the wide mouth funnel

Poke through that white/brown ring soft spot on base of coconut with knife tip.

Filter each coconut separately through a fine mesh strainer into a pint-sized Mason jar with a funnel on top. This way you can make sure the water is not old (pink, sour, thick, cloudy). Once you know it is good, you can add pour it into a small pot. If you skip this step you risk contaminating perfectly good coconut water with a bad coconut.

Heat gently in a pot over low heat until 92°F. Overheating will destroy enzymes, vitamins, and flora (START HERE IF USING BOTTLED COCONUT WATER).

Pour warm coconut water into a quart-sized Mason jar, leaving 1” for expansion

Add packet of kefir starter and a tsp of ecobloom.

Screw lid on tightly and shake to dissolve the starter.

Kefir 30-36 hours at 70-75° F (see below for my thoughts on temperature) until foamy, cloudy, and light in color. If your home is colder than this, place the jars in an insulated cooler or cardboard box with an oven incubator kit or hot water bottle or heating pad loosely covering the top and radiating warmth.

  • As mixture cultures, the probiotics in the starter wake up and feed on the coconut’s natural sugars.
  • Once done, the kefir should be slightly sour and fizzy.
  • I have success kefiring at 80-85°F; most recipes say 70-75° F, but I find a higher temperature helps kefir ‘catch’. 
  • Maintaining a stable temperature during the kefiring phase helps ensure a successful fermentation and fizzy batch. Beneficial yeast grow best when temp. is consistently warm. If temperature is warm during the day but drops at night, you might get a bad batch. In this circumstance, you may want to invest in an oven incubator kit to maintain a steady temperature. I had this problem and had my husband help devise the kit for us to use, now we sell it!

Store kefir in fridge (tastes best within 4-5 days, but can last longer, even up to 2 weeks, just will be flat. If it goes too long, it will turn alcoholic so watch that.

Feed kefir every couple of days with ½ tsp of EcoBloom (optional).

Enjoy 2 ounces a day, gradually working your way up to a therapeutic dose of one full cup.

Transfer some of this initial batch to start your 2nd batch

  • Do this within 3 days of making this first batch of YCK.
  • Simply add 6 Tbs of this first batch to another quart of fresh, warm coconut water.
  • Follow the instructions above to kefir new batch. I find subsequent batches take only 12 hrs. to catch instead of 30-36 hrs. But again, I incubate at 80-85°F
  • On and on you go using previous batch of YCK to get a next jar going (do up to 7 x’s).
  • If a batch spoils for some reason you start fresh again with a new packet of starter.
  • Drink lots of kefir? Use 2/3 cup of initial batch to start 1/2 gallon fresh, warm coconut water.

Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t have time or the desire to make this recipe? Keep things easy and buy ready-made Cocobiotic.
  • Raw coconut water/meat is available through Body Ecology’s partner, Exotic Superfood.
  • The first batch might taste flat, but should get fizzier with subsequent transfers; go more on taste and smell to make sure you have a good batch. 
  • You only need 2-3 coconuts to fill up quart-sized jar (1 coconut = 1-2 cups liquid), but you will want to have an extra coconut on hand in case you open one and find old water (very pink, syrupy, cloudy, tastes sour). If your coconuts are all good, you can store the extra coconut(s) in fridge to use for a transfer.
  • Can’t source fresh coconuts? Look for young coconut water in freezer section of health food store with the words “organic”, “raw”, “unpasteurized”, “no added sweeteners” (i.e. Exotic SuperfoodsFeeding Change). Next best would be “high pressure processed coconut water” (a technique using cold water under high pressure to inactivate microflora and aerobic pathogens). This process is gentler than “high heat pasteurization” and allows raw products to gain shelf life and retain flavor. This coconut water is in refrigerator section of health food store (i.e. Harmless Harvest, Invo).
  • Good video on how to make coconut kefir using store-bought young coconut water.
  • If you use bottled coconut water and it’s pink; that’s usually fine. Certain brands, like Harmless Harvest and Exotic Superfoods are pink due to phenolic-antioxidant compounds that naturally occur in plants and react with enzymes in the coconut water when exposed to air. Donna Gates (B.E.D. founder) likes Exotic Superfood which you will see has a pink color. What you don’t want is very pink, syrupy, sour, or cloudy water. 
  • Save the coconut meat found inside each coconut. Scoop out gently and blend with some of the coconut water and place in fridge until your first batch of coconut kefir is ready. Then add 3 tbsp. of yck per pint of creamy coconut meat for a probiotic-rich pudding (see recipe for more info).

*B.E.D. kefir starter contains potent strains of probiotics that can help balance pathogenic overgrowth and your inner ecosystem. Unlike most probiotics, the ones in this starter aren’t easily destroyed by antibiotics, fluoride, stomach acid, or chlorine. This means that they survive the trip to your intestines to work their magic.

Coconut water & ‘pudding’ ready to use or freeze.

Traditional Milk Kefir

Beginner Recipe: Unsalted, Cultured Vegetables

Nutritional Support with Tara


Gates, D. (2010). The Body Ecology Diet.  Bogart, GA: B.E.D. Publications

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May all bellies be happy!

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3 comments to Young Green Coconut Kefir: Recipe (using fresh or bottled coconut water) 🐒

  • Delia

    Hi Tara thank you for replying I got the kit to work I think. I setup the temperature to 70-75 but it sometimes goes over up to 80 then I don’t know what to do when that happens

    I am currently using the coconut kefir starter with the EcoBloom. Is it ok if the temperature goes up that high? Or it has to be super consistent?

    Thank you for your time hope to hear from you.

  • Tara

    Glad you got the oven kit all set up and running! Excellent. A bit of cloudiness is normal. Is it fizzy and carbonated when you open it? One more question …. did you use kefir starter or the contents of a probiotic powder capsule to start your coconut kefir?

  • Delia

    Hi Tara how do I know if I have a spoiled coconut kefir? Mine looks cloudy at the bottom almost as it didn’t dissolve I kept my temperature 70-75 degrees for 36 hours. Hope to here from you thank you.

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