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Young Green Coconut Kefir: Recipe for Body Ecology Diet (using fresh/store-bought 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 simply mix them together, culture them in a warm spot, and sit back to enjoy a delicious drink that is rich in probiotics, enzymes, and vitamins. You can find more benefits here.

Young coconut kefir is a digestive aid and natural detoxifier. It is a 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 in good shape and I promise that your liver will say “thank you”. Donna Gates, founder of B.E.D. talks about the many reasons why to drink yck in this article.

For many of us, yck is a new food and like anything new there will be a learning curve as you learn how to make it. The hardest part is sourcing the coconuts (or coconut water), but once you have all the ingredients on hand and make it a couple times it’s becomes easy, a piece of cake, even my 3 year old can do it 🙂

I hope that the recipe below makes things even easier…if you are a visual person, here is my favorite step-by-step visual for making coconut kefir and even the ‘pudding’.

Young Green Coconut Kefir

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 carefully in a pot on stove at low heat to 92 degrees F because overheating will destroy enzymes, vitamins, and flora (START HERE IF USING STORE-BOUGHT 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 for 30 to 36 hours at 70°F to 75° F (see below for my thoughts on temperature) until foamy, cloudy, and light in color. If your home is colder than this, you can place the jars in an insulated cooler or even a cardboard box with an oven incubator kit or hot water bottle/heating pad loosely covering the top to gently radiate warmth.

  • As the 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 degrees (F); most recipes say 70°F to 75° F, but I find that a higher temperature helps the kefir get a good ‘catch’. See what works for you 🙂 
  • Maintaining a stable temperature during the kefiring phase helps ensure a successful fermentation and fizzy batch. The beneficial yeast grow best when the temperature is consistently warm. If the temperature is warm during the day but drops at night, you may not have a successful batch. In this circumstance, you may want to invest in an oven incubator kit to maintain a steady temperature.

Store kefir in fridge (tastes best to drink within 4-5 days, but it 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 same instructions above to kefir your new batch. I find that subsequent batches take only about 12 hours to catch instead of 30-36 hours. But again, I incubate at 80-85 degrees (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 a lot of kefir? Use 2/3 cup of this initial batch to start 1/2 gallon sized jar of fresh, warm coconut water.

Tips & Tricks

  • Raw coconut water and ‘meat’ is available through Body Ecology’s partner, Exotic Superfoods.
  • Sometimes the YCK is flat but usually gets 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 contains 1-2 cups of liquid), but I recommend having an extra coconut on hand in case you open one and find old water inside. Old water is very pink, syrupy, cloudy, and sour. If your coconuts are all good, you can store the extra coconut(s) in fridge to use for a transfer.
  • If you can’t source fresh coconuts, look for young coconut water in the freezer section of health food store with the words “organic”, “raw”, “unpasteurized”, “no added sweeteners” on label (i.e. Exotic SuperfoodsFeeding Change). A step down would be coconut water that is “high pressure processed” (technique that uses 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. You can often find this kind of coconut water in the refrigerator section of a 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 store bought coconut water and it is pink; that’s usually fine. Certain brands (i.e. Harmless Harvest, Exotic Superfoods) are pink due to phenolic-antioxidant compounds that naturally occur in plants and react with the enzymes in the coconut water. Donna Gates, founder of B.E.D. recommends Exotic Superfoods which has a pink color. What you don’t want is water that is very pink, syrupy, sour, or cloudy. 
  • Save the coconut meat found inside each coconut…scoop it out gently and blend it with some of the coconut water and then place in fridge until your first batch of coconut kefir is ready. Then add 3 Tablespoons per pint of creamy coconut meat to make a delicious probiotic-rich pudding (see recipe for more info).

*B.E.D. Kefir Starter contains powerful strains of probiotics to balance pathogenic overgrowth and strengthen your digestive ecosystem. Unlike most probiotics, the ones in this starter aren’t easily destroyed by antibiotics, fluoride, stomach acid, or chlorine. This means that they’re able to reach your intestines to work their magic.

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

Recipe for Milk Kefir

Recipe for Unsalted, Cultured Vegetables

B.E.D Support with Tara (via phone or Skype)


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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