One of the best ways to support your gut health is to consume probiotic foods on a regular basis, whether it's by eating fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi, eating fermented soy, like tempeh, miso, natto, eating yoghurt or drinking fermented drinks like kefir, kombucha and kvass (you can find a recipe for beet kvass here). I have been experimenting and making my own different fermented foods and drinks over the years, but it was my first time to try and make coconut water kefir.
Why coconut water?
Drinking the water of young coconuts is a really good way of getting in your electrolytes, especially if you are exercising or travelling in a warm client. Coconut water contains around 600mg of potassium, making it a high electrolyte drink. It also contains sodium, magnesium and calcium. Electrolytes are important for dehydration prevention, heart health and for blood volume, but also help with boosting energy, lowering cholesterol, increasing athletic performance, reducing cellulite etc.
Do not confuse coconut water with coconut milk. Coconut milk is extracted from the flesh of the coconuts, it's thicker, more tense and sweeter. Coconut milk has also many health benefits (containing potassium, magnesium, folate, selenium, calcium, manganese), but should be consumed moderately due to its high calories and saturated fat content.
Coconut water kefir is a good alternative for people who can't tolerate dairy and can't drink kefir made from from goat's or cow's milk.
Coconut water kefir
2 cups of coconut water
1 tbsp of kefir grains
Pour the coconut water in the the jar (I used a simple jar with a lid). Add the kefir grains to the coconut water. I bought these from Amazon as I don't know anyone locally whom to ask the kefir grains from.
Put a lit on the jar (I put it loosely so that air can escape if needed) and leave it to stand in a dark warm place (+21C to +25C) for 24-48h. I chose to go for 48h as I like my drink to have a stronger taste. Stir the liquid twice a day, so that the fermentation can take place equally in the liquid.
After fermentation strain out the kefir grains from the coconut water with a cheesecloth. You can use the kefir grains immediately to start another batch of coconut water kefir.
You can add some 100% juice of your choice to give it some more flavour or drink the coconut water kefir plain as it is. If you want to drink it chilled, leave it in the refrigerator for a little while.