I have been in a kefir craze since I started making it a year ago. I have since modified my production and experimented with some amazing innovative uses.
How to Make Homemade Coconut Kefir:
Super Easy Coconut Kefir: I just put one can of organic, no bpa and no guar gum coconut milk (Native Forest has one) in a one quart canning jar with a tsp of pasteurize honey and squirt of trace minerals and of course the water based kefir grains. Place in a warm stop, cover with a cotton napkin and a rubber band to secure it. Mix once or twice a day. It takes about 2-3 days depending on how warm your warm spot is in your house.
Super Cheap and Really Fast: How to Make Homemade Coconut Milk: 1 1/2 cups coconut milk blended with 4 cups water until warm to the touch. Pour in a nut bag or these really neat hemp produce bags I found at New Seasons and Whole Foods. I pour an additional 4 cups of filtered water (a really good filter or distilled water) into the bag and then squeeze. It is a good idea to use two squeezes, one before the additional water and one after, but I am usually in a hurry. It hasn’t made enough of a difference for me to slow down. But go ahead if you have the time. I twist and squeeze until all of the milk is out and only the powder is left behind. I dehydrate the powder and enjoy drinking the milk. When you put the milk in the refrigerator the cream will harden at the top. Scoop it off and freeze it for other purposes (like ice cream). I like to do this before I use the coconut milk for kefir.
Homemade Coconut Milk Kefir: Add 3 cups of homemade coconut milk to a quart jar. Add grains and about a 1/4 cup kefir from the last batch to the jar. Add 1 Tbsp pasteurized honey and a good squirt of trace minerals. Place in a warm stop, cover with a cotton napkin and a rubber band to secure it. This will take at most 24 hours. It is very short. Don’t let it go any longer.
Uses for Coconut Kefir:
You can drink coconut kefir. I like to add 4-6 drops of Now french vanilla stevia to it. The kefir is sour like butter milk, yogert or sour cream. I put it in soups to add a sour cream flavor. It is very good with chili and beans. I also use about 1-2 Tbsp to soak my beans before sprouting and my seeds to sprout them for spreadable butter. Another grand and wonderful use is nut and seed cheeses. They are the most real cheese tasting dairy free cheese that I have sampled. Finally, coconut kefir makes an excellent smoothie base.
Nut and Seed Kefir Cheese:
I soak my nuts or seeds in kefir for 24 hours before I blend. It gives them a wonderful “cheese” taste without nutritional yeast. Here is the recipe for my Mac and Cheese. (click to link to recipe)
Sour Dough Bread:
I not only use kefir to start my sourdough but I also use it to mix my bread. That second boost helps it rise faster.
Farmhouse Sourdough GF Bread:
- 3 c. tapioca starch
- 3 c. rice, sprouted flour
- 3 c. garbanzo bean flour
- 3 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 3 Tbsp guar gum
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 c. teff starter
- 2 c. coconut kefir
- 2 c. coconut milk
- 1/2 c. flaxseed meal + 2 c. mark boiling water
Grease and flour 3 bread pans or just grease cast iron pans. Mix flaxseed meal and water. Add coconut oil to mix. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add everything else and mix with your hands.
Teff Starter: Place 1 c. water, 1 c. teff and 2 Tbsp coconut kefir in a jar. Secure a tea towel over the mouth of the jar with a rubber band. Let it sit at room temp. for around 5 hours. Add 1 c. teff flour and slightly less then 1 c. of water (between 3/4 and 1 cup). I adjust the water according to the thickness of the starter. It should be about the consistency of canned pumpkin. It should be stir-able but not soupy.
Fermented Vegetables: I like this video to learn how to ferment vegetalble with kefir. Be sure to use lots of fresh herbs like dill and basal because they can get quite sour. The herbs and salt really make them taste great.
Kefir Wine: My latest and Greatest discovery is kefir wine. You shouldn’t let it ferment over 48 hours or you will get alcohol, especially if you add sugar. I don’t let mine ferment more then 24 hours and I add no sugar. I place 3 cups (it will bubble) of not from concentrate, organic grape juice in a quart jar with a 1/4 cup of the last batch and grains. Cover with a cotton napkin and secure a rubber band around the top. That’s it! The stuff is my new favorite.
Freshen up grains: When using honey, fruit juice and coconut milk the grains can get worn out. When they seem to be slowing down give them a little sugar spa and they will bounce back to life. 1/4 cup of sugar in 3 cups of distilled water for three days. They will thank you!
Pausing the Kefir Production without Killing the Grains: I put mine in a fresh batch of coconut milk or grape juice and place the whole contraption into the refrigerator they can stay there for about a week. I then finish that batch at room temperature (It takes less time!) and make a new batch that I can place back in the refrigerator. I use or give away a lot. I haven’t needed to put them in long term storage. Cultures for Health tells more. (click to go to link)
Why is Kefir so Beneficial:
Kefir has 44 different beneficial bacteria and yeast in it. You would go broke before you could ever replace them with pill supplements, especially with a family. (Click to go to the Cultures For Healthy Website for more kefir information)
New Update! March 13, 2014…
Coconut Water Kefir:
I am super excited about coconut water kefir! It is super yummy. It is not as “butter milk” like as coconut milk kefir. It is much more like a “soda,” mildly sweet but not sugary. I added just a 1/2 Tbsp of cooked/blended pineapple (as per the SCD) to a quart. It was so much like a pineapple soda. WOW!