What is coconut milk kefir?
If you are looking for a dairy-free kefir option for milk kefir grains, then coconut milk kefir may be the best option. Almond and rice milk yield inconsistent results and can damage the grains. Soy milk can work well and some have even reported growth within soy milk, but we are not advocates of soy and recommend coconut milk as the best alternative dairy-free milk.
All you need is milk kefir grains and coconut milk. It combines the nutrients and easy digestibility of coconut milk with the probiotic boost from the grains.
Instructions on how to make Coconut Milk Kefir:
• 1 cup of Coconut Milk
The best option is either canned coconut milk or made from scratch with shredded coconut & water. Add guar gum to help thicken it. You can use coconut milk brands with sweeterners if desired, but keep in mind that the additivies and sweeteners can damage the grains if used long term. So use only if you have extra grains to spare.
There's no real standard with coconut milk. Some brands or recipes are thicker than others. The milk kefir grains usually thickens it up a little. So if the coconut milk is already quite thick, the end result will be really thick. However, if the coconut milk is thin to begin with, many times it will stay thin. Try blending in coconut spread / meat to coconut milk to thicken it up.
• 1 tablespoon of Milk Kefir Grains
If you just received your grains, we recommend that you do a couple batches in regular milk (cows, goats, etc) so they are are as balanced as possible before putting them in the coconut milk.
1. Combine milk kefir grains and coconut milk in a glass jar. Cover with a loose lid to keep the fruit flies out.
2. Let sit for 12-24 hours.
Start tasting at around 12 hours to see if its ready. If you prefer a more mild coconut milk kefir, then you will want to stop closer to 12 hours. If you prefer a more sour probiotic rich coconut milk kefir, then 24 hours is better. If you like mild and prefer 24 hour schedules, try doubling the amount of coconut milk or cutting the grain amount in half.
3. Use a strainer to strain the milk kefir grains from the coconut milk kefir. Put the grains back into fresh coconut milk and repeat. Or store the grains in a jar of milk in the fridge until the next use.
Store the finished in coconut milk kefir in a closed jar in the fridge. You can drink fresh or let it cool and meld flavors. It will store in the fridge for a long time (technically it won't go bad), but keep in mind that it will continue to ferment even without the grains and will slowly get more sour until its no longer palatable.
Sometimes coconut milk kefir needs an extra batch or two to better adapt to the coconut milk. So the flavor may improve on the 2nd or 3rd batch.
Coconut milk does not have enough sugar and minerals by itself to sustain milk kefir grains long term. They will usually eventually stop producing good coconut milk kefir. So we do recommend that you alternate every few batches with regular milk to help keep them strong and healthy. Or another option is to grow milk kefir grains with regular milk and simply use the extra grains until they no longer produce an acceptable coconut milk kefir.