Coconut Milk Kefir Base
A plant-based, cultured dairy-free milk kefir.

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Coconut Milk Kefir Base

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
1- 13.5 oz can Chaokoh coconut milk Chaokoh brand is preferred over other brands as it doesn't contain any thickeners or gums. Also, the preservatives in this brand assist in the ferment process producing a thicker, creamier consistency.
2 tbsp Milk kefir grains
Tools Needed
1-quart wide mouth glass mason jar Glass is always preferred when fermenting foods as plastic may leech from the acid in ferments.
Plastic lid You may also use a coffee filter or hand towel with a rubber band, however this ferment does not require air and a plastic lid can help protect your ferment from other yeast in the air. Do not tighten all the way which will allow CO2 to escape during the fermenting process.
Fine mesh strainer Plastic or nylon mesh strainer is best, however stainless steel is OK but other metals should be avoided as they can react to the acids in the ferment.
Glass bowl For harvesting kefir.
Pint glass mason jar with plastic For storage after harvesting the kefir.
Rubber Spatula

Ingredients

  • Tools Needed

Directions

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A few years ago,  before I was truly aware of the healing properties of fermented foods, probiotics and the nutritional benefits of a completely plant-based diet, my mother-in-law introduced me to a simple little recipe. Little did I know it at the time but this unexpected dairy-free gem was to become a primary medicine in me and my family’s health transformation as well as a delicious catalyst in the plant-based metamorphosis of my culinary signature.

Coconut milk kefir is where I began the journey of healing my gut and being introduced to the ages-old magic behind fermented probiotic goodness. Looking back I am very pleased that I was serendipitously introduced to coconut milk kefir as I now know the magnitude of change that this one product has produced in my life, healing my gut from candida and IBS, building up my immune system, helping to improve my overall physical and mental health. I will not go into all of the marvelous benefits of kefir and coconut milk here (visit links for more info), what I will say is that the fusion of these two superfoods is a fermented marriage made in heaven.  I would never have imagined that culturing something as simple as coconut milk could make such a profound difference in the health of my whole family!

But the benefits are not limited solely to the realm of health. Did I happen to mention that this fermented ambrosia is an extremely delicious, wonderfully versatile food? It has become a nutritional as well as culinary staple in our diets each and every day gracing practically every meal with its delectable healing magic.

Whether in smoothies, salad dressings, sauces, cheese spreads, desserts, or just plain on the end of a spoon, coconut milk kefir is my number one favorite ingredient and I am very excited to share the many recipes we have developed here at The Fermented Chef in order to enjoy this wonderful, beneficial live probiotic delight!

I consider this kefir to be the driving force in our evolution to becoming happy healthy herbivores! So without further ado, let’s get culturing!

Love Liza

*Please use caution when incorporating ferments and probiotics into your diet. For more information on some of the potential risks please read this.

Steps

1
Done
5 minutes

Prepare coconut milk

Add your milk kefir grains to a clean, quart-sized wide-mouth glass mason jar. Gently shake the can of coconut milk to ensure milk is well combined, as coconut milk naturally separates. In colder temperatures, I will place the unopened can by the stove or in warm water to warm the coconut milk up just a bit, so it is not super cold and thick. Pour milk over grains, cover tightly with a plastic lid and gently shake to disperse the grains in the milk. Place jar in a bowl or other suitable container to catch any overflow. Loosen lid just a bit to allow for any escaping gases.

2
Done
24 hours

Culture coconut milk

Store in a warm location, ideal temperature being between 70 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit, for 12 to 48 hours depending on taste preference. A shorter period yields a sweeter result while a longer one yields a more sour, tangy one. Be prepared for mixture to bubble and expand and for gases to escape! It is advised to place a tray beneath the ferment jar to catch any overflowing liquid.
If you are new to fermented foods and probiotic cuisine then you may at first be startled by the aroma of the gases released thru the process. But don't be alarmed, the sulfur-like smell is completely normal and necessary as the probiotics grow, and does not affect the taste of the culture.

These pictures show how much activity to expect. When your coconut milk looks similar to this you are ready to harvest!

3
Done
15 minutes

Harvesting Kefir

First, ensure the lid is on tight, then shake in order to blend and dissolve any chunks. Place a strainer over a bowl and slowly pour jar contents through, thereby separating grains from newly created kefir. If product is too thick to pass through strainer, carefully stir using a rubber spatula to restore flow, or gently tap strainer on bowl edge.

4
Done
5 minutes

Start a new batch

Once all kefir is separated from grains, return grains to jar, covering them with a new can of coconut milk to restart the process. Do not rinse your grains...EVER! There is no need and it can damage the grains rendering them ineffective. Also, it is not necessary to wash the jar before starting a new batch, the remnants left in the jar will assist in the fermentation of a new batch. However, I always wipe the top outer rim and entire surface of the jar to remove overflow bits and the inner lid grooves where overflow bits may hide out. Everything inside the jar I leave for the next batch.

5
Done

Serve or store

Now you are ready to start enjoying your very own probiotic coconut milk kefir! Pour over fresh fruit, add to smoothies and even substitute in lieu of dairy in sauces. A word on storage: Refrigerated kefir will last for weeks...however for a less sour, more palatable kefir with optimum probiotic count, it is suggested to use kefir within one week of straining. Happy creating!

LizaPtfc

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