When making kefir with nut milks or coconut milk it is absolutely vital to understand that the grains do not get any nutrients from these milks and will perish If this is the only milk type you sit them in. when you first receive your grains you must sit them in full fat cows/goats milk for twenty four hours, sieve through, and then give them more full fat cows/goats milk. It is extremely advisable to do this at least three times. This not only helps the grains settle but also feeds them up. The milk grains eat the lactose in cows/goats milk to survive and thrive. This isn’t there for them in nut milks.
In order to keep your grains happy and healthy you must operate a rotation system once you have done your three full fat milk changes you can now use nut milks to make your vegan kefir. Sit your grains in the nut milk for twenty four - forty eight hours and then sieve them through as the standard instructions advise. Then after 2-3 brews sit your grains back in full fat cows/goats milk for twenty four hours so they can feed. As long as you continue on with this rotation your grains will happily make your probiotic for you while staying happy and healthy too!
You must ensure that the grains are put back into dairy milk at least one in every 3 brews otherwise they will perish.
Please also note that non-dairy kefir is often not as thick and yogurty as dairy kefir. This is due to the fat content in the milk. Some nut milks will not get thick at all (although they do ferment) so please do not expect to get the same texture with nut milks.
Coconut Kefir recipe
This can be adapted for most nut milks however some are more succesful than others.
- Milk kefir grains
- Coconut milk: Fresh homemade, canned or boxed. We recommend avoiding brands with additives and sweeteners as they can be hard on the kefir grains (guar gum, which is a typical additive, does not seem to be problematic).
- To make coconut kefir, just place the milk kefir grains in coconut milk, give the coconut milk a quick stir with a non-metal spoon, cover loosely (a towel works great), and allow the coconut kefir to culture on the counter for 12 to 24 hours.
- After 12 hours, check the coconut kefir every few hours (as possible) so you can remove the kefir grains once the coconut kefir reaches the desired consistency. If your home is on the cool side, it can take a few hours longer for the milk kefir to culture.
Sometimes kefir grains will require an adjustment period when changing milks so the first batch of coconut milk kefir may not culture as desired. Use the non-kefired coconut milk for cooking and place the kefir grains in new coconut milk. An adjustment period isn't uncommon whenever kefir grains are switched from one type of milk to another (cow to goat, pasteurized to raw, dairy to coconut, etc.). We recommend only using grains in this way once you have had them for a few weeks. It is not helpful to the initial settling in period if the grains are switched from cows milk.
Milk kefir grains can be cultured in coconut milk regularly but should be allowed to culture in cow or goat milk for 24 hours once every few batches to revitalize.
Note that dehydrated milk kefir grains should be rehydrated in dairy milk and allowed to become fully active before being used to culture coconut milk.
Dairy-free Option: While using milk kefir grains is the most effective way to make coconut milk kefir, there is a truly dairy-free option. Put 1/4 cup water kefir (finished kefir, not the water kefir grains) in 2 to 4 cups of coconut milk. Cover loosely and allow to culture for 24 hours.
What can i do with my Coconut Milk kefir.
Use in place of sour cream in a recipe or as topping to your favorite recipe.
- Add to your coffee.
- Sweeten the coconut kefir and add it as a topping to fruit or your favorite dessert.
- Use as a base for your favorite smoothie.
- Use as a base for making coconut milk ice cream.
- Use in almost any recipe calling for yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk (will add a coconut flavor; may need to thin out the kefir with a bit of water).
- Just eat with a spoon like yogurt (particularly when cold, as coconut milk kefir can be quite thick).