With coconut water as the liquid base, this kefir boasts of a high probiotic content, and a wide range of other nutrients.
Kefir is a fermented drink that has been used by humans through the centuries. The origin of this drink can be traced back to the North Caucasus mountains, where nomadic shepherds used to prepare it with raw milk as the liquid base. They used sheepskin bags to store fresh milk (from cows, sheep, or goats) mixed with kefir grains. Those bags were kept out in the sun for a whole day, after which they were hung near the door so that the bag moves with every movement of the door. This was done to ensure proper mixing of kefir grains with the milk. The fermented milk was removed for consumption, and fresh milk was added to the kefir grains retained in the bag, and the process continued.
Now, kefir is popular in other parts of the world, especially in Europe and Asia. You can find pasteurized kefir in supermarkets. Even flavored versions of kefir is now available in the market. This drink is said to offer numerous health benefits, as it has a high probiotic level. Traditionally, kefir is prepared with raw milk from mammals. Nowadays, substitutes like soy milk, coconut milk, etc., are also used instead of milk. Coconut water is another option, when it comes to the liquid base used for making kefir.
: In order to prepare this recipe, you need green or tender coconuts. It is not advisable to use store-bought or packaged coconut water. Go for fresh coconut water from young, tender coconuts. They are different from the regular, brown-shelled coconuts available in the market. Tender coconuts are often sold with the outer green husk. You may also find the slightly peeled ones with the whitish, fibrous husk. You may find such coconuts in the Asian markets. Now, let us take a look at how to make young coconut kefir.
Green coconut water
: Kefir grains can be purchased online or from health food stores that have culturing supplies. You may buy powdered kefir cultures or fresh kefir grains. The latter can be obtained from anyone who prepares kefir on a regular basis. Kefir grains contain a wide range of beneficial bacteria and yeast embedded in a base formed by proteins, lipids, and sugars.
Young Coconut Kefir Recipe
Crack Coconuts: Procure three to four green coconuts and drain the water. For this purpose, you have to slice the pointed part in layers, till you reach the soft part to poke the hole. Use the sharp end of the knife to poke a hole through the shell. As compared to brown-shelled coconuts, the shell of a green coconut is less hard, and is easy to make a hole. Once done, empty the coconut in the container. Each coconut may yield around 1 to 1.5 cups of water. It is advisable to drain each coconut separately so that spoiled ones can be identified easily. If the coconut is spoiled, the water will be pinkish in color. Drain water from three to four coconuts, strain, and keep aside.
Warm Coconut Water: Pour the strained coconut water into a stainless steel pan and heat it to 90 °F. At this temperature, coconut water will not feel hot or cold. You just need it to be slightly warm, so as provide the ideal setting for fermentation. You may skip the heating procedure, if the coconut water is of room temperature.
Add Kefir: Pour the coconut water into a sterilized glass jar. Add kefir, and mix well with a wooden spoon. You may use two to three tablespoons of hydrated kefir grains for water from three to four coconuts (will amount to one quart). Secure the lid of the jar and shake well. Keep the jar in a warm, dark location for 24 to 36 hours. Once done, the water will turn cloudy due to fermentation. It will have a sour taste, instead of sweet. You may also find the drink a little fizzy.
Once the drink is ready, you can consume it or store in the refrigerator (up to three weeks). You may retain the kefir grains for preparing the next batch of coconut water kefir. If you are using powdered kefir, retain half a cup of this drink for the next batch. You may consume half a cup of this kefir, along with meals, for boosting digestion. This drink can be consumed as it is, or with additives like ginger, lemon juice, or any fruit juice.
In short, green coconut kefir is a probiotic drink that is healthy in many ways, Apart from proliferating beneficial intestinal microflora, it also contains some essential nutrients. This kefir is said to be useful for fighting candida and to reduce sugar cravings. It also aids in enhanced absorption of nutrients and boosts the immune system. However, some people may experience symptoms like rash, headaches, and digestive problems during the initial stages of consumption. So, start with small amounts and increase the quantity (maximum one to two cups per day) gradually.