How To Make Coconut Water Kefir

coconut water kefir with fruit


Coconut water kefir is a delicious probiotic drink that ferments coconut water with kefir grains. It tastes tangy and is packed with gut-healthy probiotics. 

Making coconut water kefir at home is simple. You only need coconut water, kefir grains, and a few basic supplies. The active cultures in kefir grains ferment the natural sugars in coconut water, creating a cocktail of beneficial bacteria and yeasts.

Below, we walk you through a simple step-by-step method for brewing this probiotic-packed beverage and tips for customizing the flavour. 

What Is Coconut Water Kefir?

Kefir is a fermented milk drink from the mountainous Caucasus region between Europe and Asia. Its high probiotic content has consumed it for thousands of years as a health elixir. The word “kefir” comes from the Turkish word “keyif,” which means “feeling good,” which is an apt description.

Coconut water kefir is made by adding kefir grains to coconut water rather than dairy milk. It has a lighter consistency than regular milk kefir, with a pleasant natural sweetness.

During fermentation, the probiotic bacteria and yeast in kefir grains break down and digest the natural sugars in coconut water. This process yields lactic acid, small amounts of alcohol (up to 1%), and carbon dioxide.

It also creates a cocktail of beneficial microorganisms that are fantastic for digestion and overall health. Because coconut water kefir is dairy-free, it’s easier to digest than regular kefir made from milk.

Coconut water kefir, emerging as a popular superfood, stands out for its impressive health benefits. This dairy-free alternative to traditional kefir harnesses the natural hydration and nutrient-rich profile of coconut water, enhancing it with a probiotic twist. The fermentation process enriches the beverage with a spectrum of beneficial bacteria, vital for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, supporting immune function, and improving nutrient absorption. Unlike its dairy counterpart, coconut water kefir is a boon for those with lactose intolerance, offering a probiotic-rich option without the digestive discomfort. Additionally, its production involves a simple, natural process that respects dietary restrictions and caters to a holistic lifestyle.

Embraced for its ability to promote a “feel-good” sensation, courtesy of its origin word “keyif,” coconut water kefir is more than just a drink; it’s a testament to the harmonious blend of tradition and health, providing a refreshing, effervescent, and healthful alternative to sweetened beverages, making it an ideal choice for those pursuing wellness and vitality.

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The Health Benefits of Coconut Water Kefir

Research shows that consuming fermented foods like kefir can benefit digestion, immunity, and heart 

health. Here are some of the key evidence-based health benefits associated with kefir and other probiotic foods:

Supports digestive health

Kefir is best known as a probiotic powerhouse. It floods the gut with beneficial microbes, including strains of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. These friendly bacteria help digest food, synthesize vitamins, regulate immunity, and keep disease-causing microbes at bay. Several studies prove kefir can help treat antibiotic-related diarrhea, lactose intolerance, IBS symptoms, and more digestive issues.

Boosts immunity

Up to 80% of the immune system resides in the gastrointestinal tract. Nourishing our gut microflora with probiotic bacteria enhances disease resistance and may reduce the risk of certain immune issues like allergies and eczema. Kefir provides a concentrated dose of probiotics, which form a protective biofilm along the intestinal wall.

Aids mineral absorption

The lactic acid bacteria in kefir increase the bioavailability of minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc by breaking down oxalates, which impede mineral absorption. Enhanced mineral uptake supports bone health, energy metabolism, immune function, and more.

Rich in antioxidants

Coconut water is a hangover cure and a natural source of vitamin C, beta carotene, copper, manganese, selenium, and cytokinins. These nutrients neutralize unstable free radicals and may slow aging. When coconut water is fermented to create coconut kefir, it becomes even richer in certain antioxidants.

Supports heart health

Researchers discovered kefiran, a unique polysaccharide in kefir grains, can lower blood pressure and blood lipid levels in adults with hypertension. Other animal studies show kefir protects against atherosclerosis by reducing inflammation, improving blood lipids, and preventing plaque build-up in arteries.

Lowers blood sugar

Several studies demonstrate kefir can lower blood glucose in diabetics and prediabetics. It may boost insulin sensitivity and slow the digestion of sugars to support balanced blood sugar levels. Certain probiotic strains even produce insulin mimetics that replicate the effects of natural insulin.

On top of all those evidence-backed wellness benefits, many people swear by kefir to:

  • Boost energy and beat brain fog
  • Improve mood, anxiety, and depression
  • Speedy recovery after workouts
  • Support healthy aging and longevity
  • Improves skin health

The beneficial yeasts in kefir also create a small amount of B vitamins during fermentation. Plus, coconut water kefir delivers a healthy dose of electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.

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How to Make Your Own Coconut Water Kefir

Ready to reap all those amazing benefits and get your gut-healthy probiotic fix? Follow this simple method to make your own coconut water kefir.

Ingredients and Supplies Required

Before getting started, assemble the following supplies:

  • Kefir grains
  • Organic coconut water or coconut water blend
  • Quart-sized mason jar with lid
  • Small, fine mesh strainer
  • Rubber band or jar lid ring
  • Spoon
  • Storage container with lid

Step 1. Activate the Kefir Grains

Kefir grains are a combination of bacteria and yeasts bound in a biofilm of proteins, lipids, and sugars. They look like small gelatinous pieces or grains. To activate them:

  • Place 1 teaspoon of grains into a clean jar.
  • Pour in 2 cups of room-temperature, unsweetened coconut water. Use organic, if possible.
  • Cover the jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or jar ring. This allows airflow while keeping out pests.
  • Let it sit at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 24 to 48 hours.

The kefir grains will become plump and active as they feed on the natural sugars in the coconut water. You’ll start to see tiny bubbles of carbonation forming, and it will take on a tangy taste.

Step 2. Strain and Start Your First Batch

Once the grains have activated, it’s time to strain and start your first official batch of coconut water kefir.

  • Place a small, fine mesh strainer over a bowl, then pour in the cultured coconut water and grains.
  • Gently swirl the strainer to help the liquid drain through while keeping back the grains.
  • Transfer the strained kefir liquid into bottles or an airtight container and place it in the fridge to chill.
  • Put the fermented coconut water into bottles or an airtight container and place it in the fridge to chill.
  • Rinse out your main jar and add your “activated” grains back in.
  • Top up with 2 more cups of fresh, room-temperature coconut water.
  • Cover the jar again with your breathable lid – a cloth rubber band or a jar ring. This signals the start of your next batch.

Step 3. Ferment and Strain in Cycles

  • Allow your kefir grains to ferment the second batch of coconut water for another 24 to 48 hours.
  • The kefir will become more carbonated with a pleasant sourness as it ferments.
  • Once the desired taste is reached, repeat the straining process.
  • Reserve the fermented liquid to drink.
  • Rinse and return the grains back into a clean jar with fresh coconut water to start the next batch.

Repeat this simple brewing cycle every 1-2 days for an ongoing probiotic-packed coconut water kefir supply.

How to Add Flavours to Coconut Water Kefir

Plain coconut water kefir is delicious on its own. It’s sweet, tangy, naturally bubbly, and ultra-hydrating. But you can also take your kefir to the next level with unique flavors.

Some tasty mix-ins to try blending into your strained kefir:

Fruits: Mango, pineapple, berries, lemon/lime juice

Herbs & Spices: Mint, basil, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, ginger

Sweeteners: Maple syrup, raw honey

Extras: Chia seeds, coconut flakes, moringa powder

Get creative and come up with your own delicious flavor combos! The probiotic power of kefir makes it a far healthier choice than sugary sodas or juices.

You can also use coconut water kefir as the base for smoothies, popsicles, salad dressings, soups, and more. It adds beneficial probiotics and a tangy flavor to just about anything.

How to Store Coconut Water Kefir

Proper storage is important to preserve the nutrients in your homemade coconut water kefir. Follow these simple guidelines:

  • Short-term: Store strained kefir in a sealed container in the fridge for 5-7 days maximum. The vitamins and probiotics will slowly decline over time.
  • Long-term: Place strained kefir in freezer-safe containers and leave at least 1??2 inch of headspace. Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge before drinking. Freezing stops fermentation, so the flavor and nutrition will be preserved.
  • Second ferment: You can do a second ferment by allowing the strained kefir to sit at room temp for 12-24 hours. This amps up the bubbly, fizzy tanginess! Then refrigerate.
  • Kefir grains: Rinse off grains and store them immersed in fresh, refrigerated coconut water. Change the water every 1-2 weeks. They will stay alive for many months in the fridge between brewing cycles.

The Bottom Line 

Homemade coconut water kefir is a fizzy probiotic drink that’s simple to make and loaded with healthy bacteria. It offers a laundry list of benefits related to immunity, digestion, blood sugar regulation, heart health, nutrient absorption, and more.

All you need to start brewing this gut-healing beverage are kefir grains, coconut water, a jar, a strainer, and a cloth cover. Maintain a consistent 1-2-day ferment and strain cycle. Then flavor and enjoy your fresh batch of coconut water kefir.

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