Kefir means ‘feel good’ which is how most people feel after drinking young coconut kefir (yck). This probiotic-rich food contains raw Thai young green coconuts and high-quality kefir starter*. All you have to do is mix together, culture in a warm spot, and sit back to enjoy a delicious drinkthat’s rich in probiotics, enzymes, and vitamins.
See here for the benefits of young coconut kefir.
YCK is a digestive aid, natural detoxifier, and perfect for anyone healing a yeast, bacterial, or viral-related health issue with The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D). This powerful cleanser balances the gut and I promise your liver will thank you. Donna Gates, the founder of B.E.D. talks about why to drink yck here.
YCK is new to most of us. Like anything new, there’s usually a learning curve. I am here to tell you that the hardest part of making this recipe is sourcing the coconuts or coconut water. Once you’ve got that main ingredient and make it a couple times this will become easy peasy. Hey, if my 3 yr. old can do it, so can you (see photo above of Thomas, age 3, scooping soft meat out of a coconut) 🙂
If you are a visual person, here’s a step-by-step visual for making coconut kefir + ‘pudding’.
Young Coconut Kefir (YCK)
Yields: 1 quart-sized jar
1 packet of kefir starter*
2-4 Thai Young Green Coconuts (or 4 cups store-bought 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” isn’t old (pink, sour, thick, cloudy). Once you know it’s good, pour into a small pot. If this step is skipped, 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
Screw lid on tightly and shake to dissolve the starter.
Kefir 30-36 hours at 70-75° F (see below) until foamy, cloudy, light in color. If your house is colder, place jars in an insulated cooler or cardboard box with an oven kit, hot water bottle, or heating pad loosely covering top.
- As mixture cultures, the probiotics in the starter will wake up and feed on coconut’s natural sugars.
- Once done, kefir should be slightly cloudy with a foamy top, tart ‘n spritzy taste and gentle hint of coconut.
- I kefir my yck at 80-85°F. Though most recipes say 70-75° F, I find higher temp helps kefir ‘catch’.
- Maintaining a stable temperature during kefiring ensures a successful batch. Beneficial flora grow best with a consistent temperature. If your home temp is warm by day and cool by night, you risk spoiling a batch. In this circumstance, look into purchasing an oven kit to maintain steady temperatures. less reliable, you can also use a hard plastic cooler lined with a seed/heating pad. Make sure to place a thermometer inside to keep a consistent temperature – VERY IMPORTANT. Also, can use oven with light on/door propped open. Keep in mind that if you kefir at a lower temperature than 80-85 degrees it will take 24-48 hours. The temperature needs to be well above 75 degrees to get a good kefir.
Store kefir in fridge 4-5 days. Will last up to 2 weeks, though will be flat by then. If goes too long, will turn alcoholic.
Feed kefir every couple of days with ½ tsp of EcoBloom (optional).
Enjoy 2 ounces a day, gradually working up to a therapeutic dose of 1 cup.
Transfer some of this initial batch to start a second batch:
- Do within 3 days of making first batch of YCK.
- Add 6 Tbs from first batch to “transfer” probiotics to next batch (1 quart) of fresh, warm coconut water.
- Follow instructions above to kefir new batch. Subsequent batches take 12 hrs. to catch instead of 30-36 hrs (but again, I incubate at 80-85°F). If you kefir at a lower temp, then will likely take 24-48 hours.
- On you go, using previous batch of YCK to get next jar going (do up to 7 x’s).
- If batch spoils for some reason, start fresh again with a new packet of starter.
- If you drink a lot of kefir, use 2/3 cup of 1st batch to start 1/2 gallon fresh coconut water.
See tips & tricks for making young coconut kefir (coming soon).
*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.
**EcoBloom is a prebiotic fiber made of 100% chicory extract powder (a.k.a. Frutafit Inulin/FOS). This stuff is food for the friendly, beneficial microflora that live in your gut and does not feed excess yeast/pathogenic flora. When friendly flora are nourished with food they can easily eat, then they can better do their job which includes: suppressing pathogenic growth; reducing toxins in liver/colon; stimulating immune system; reducing colon pH; and enhancing the absorption of minerals. EcoBloom can be added to baked goods, dressings, etc. When added to coconut kefir/pudding, it can help these already powerful foods become even better for you.
Gates, D. (2010). The Body Ecology Diet. Bogart, GA: B.E.D. Publications
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May all bellies be happy!