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Secrets for Making The Perfect Batch of Young Coconut Kefir With Donna Gates

woman coconut

Not all coconuts are created equal...and not all coconut waters are either! To find out how to select the best coconuts and coconut water for the perfect (and tastiest!) batch of young coconut kefir every time, learn 5 secrets (and 3 recipes) from Body Ecology founder Donna Gates.

These days, there is a buzz about young coconut water in the market prompted by Coca-Cola’s interest in Zico. Young coconut water is clearly a hit, but before you buy the pasteurized boxed young coconut water, make sure to read: Young Coconut Water Goes Mainstream... But Know These Important Facts Before You Buy.

In the meantime, let’s say you can’t get access to young green coconuts (or maybe you don’t want to spend time cracking them) and you don’t live in an area where you can get Body Ecology Raw Young Thai Coconut Water. But Know These Important Facts Before You Buy. If you want to make your own young coconut kefir, you still can with the pasteurized coconut waters like Zico, Vita Coco or O.N.E.

The thing is, drinking young coconut juice that has been fermented into KEFIR has so many benefits, that we just want to encourage you to drink it.

But whether you use fresh coconuts, Body Ecology Raw Young Thai Coconut Water or boxed coconut water, there are some things you need to know so that every batch of coconut kefir turns out perfectly each time you make it.

Secret #1:

The best and easiest fermentation happens when you use either young green coconuts from Thailand or Body Ecology’s Frozen-Fresh, Organic Young Coconut Water...also from Thailand. The reason is because they are truly the sweetest coconuts anywhere in the world. The sweeter the coconut, the better it will ferment. Our raw coconut juice from Thailand is rich in potassium and enzymes and contains sulphurated proteins that assist the body in cleansing. Body Ecology’s Young Thai Coconut Water is even better because it’s organic, which is a rare find in the market of young green coconuts.

Secret #2:

Not all young green coconuts can create a good-tasting batch of young coconut kefir. I used to live in Florida, where the young green coconuts are plentiful. Unfortunately, while they ferment well, the young Florida coconut water does not have the wonderful rich coconut taste that the Thai coconut has.  It is kind of flat in comparison.  What I found over the years is that the coconuts in other countries like Brazil or Jamaica just are simply not as delicious as the coconuts in Thailand.

Secret #3:

Not all young green coconuts ferment well. This surprised me too, but go to places like Jamaica and you’ll find that their coconuts do not ferment at all. At least I have not been lucky with them. I’ve tried three times so far and haven’t had a batch work for me once. Where you get your coconuts is key to creating a good batch of young coconut kefir.

Secret #4:

Some young green coconuts are exposed to wild fermentation. If you leave a young green coconut out in the open air, wild yeast will come to eat the natural sugar present in the coconut water. The result? Wild fermentation. Many people do poorly on wild fermentation. Some examples of wild fermentation are: wine, kombucha and sourdough bread. Wild fermentation is different from what we do here at Body Ecology. When we ferment we know exactly what the bacteria and yeast are in our starter cultures. These microflora we supply you with are the ones known for thousand of years to thrive in a healthy inner ecosystem. They are the microflora you can trust to build immunity and overall health. With our Starters, you have control over the kinds of beneficial microflora that go into the liquid you are fermenting, whether you are fermenting coconut water or cow and goat milk.

You will notice that all the commercial, boxed coconut waters are pasteurized. They have to be...otherwise, they would explode. This is because the wild yeast inside the unpasteurized water would cause the container to expand too much and burst open.  We’ve solved that problem with our Body Ecology Raw Young Thai Coconut Water. But Know These Important Facts Before You Buy. because we freeze it just after picking to lock in the freshness. So it goes right from the tree to the frozen section of your local grocer.

woman coconut

Just Drink It! If you want young coconut kefir’s healing benefits, you can easily make your own with Kefir Starter. . Just add the Kefir Starter and you’ll get a probiotic-rich beverage full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Learn more about Kefir Starter and order it now! Or go for convenience with ready-made Coco-Biotic.

Secret #5:

Boxed young coconut water does not ferment well. As I looked into coconut waters, here’s what I learned: the coconut water producers typically want the MOST water out of each coconut. This makes sense from a business perspective, but unfortunately, the very young green coconut, which has the most water, also has the LEAST amount of natural sugars. Thus it won’t ferment as well because you must have sugar for the microflora to grow. This is why most people have trouble making a good batch of young coconut water with pasteurized boxed coconut water like Zico, Vita Coco and O.N.E. See below for tips on how to overcome this problem.

How To Make Young Coconut Water with Boxed, Pasteurized Young Coconut Water

While this is not our first, second or third recommendation for making young coconut kefir, if using boxed, pasteurized young coconut water is your only choice, then here’s how to get the water to ferment:

This tip comes from our Body Ecology followers in England, where they do not have access to young green coconuts or fresh coconut water.

  • Using the boxed, pasteurized coconut water, add 1 teaspoon of sugar to 1 liter of coconut water (the typical size of most of the larger boxed coconut waters).
  • Add one packet of Kefir Starter. You are now making your “initial starter batch.”
  • The added sugar will help your young coconut kefir ferment and the microflora will consume these extra sugars.
  • Use ¼ cup of this first batch to inoculate future batches (up to 7 transfers are possible).
  • Alternative Tip if You CAN get access to young green Thai coconuts: Here’s what I also discovered for those of us living here in the US where most of us have no problem purchasing the young Thai coconuts. (In health food stores and Asian supermarkets.)  You can also improve the fermentation of the boxed coconut water if you add the juice of just one fresh coconut instead of the sugar. In other words, the juice of just one fresh coconut will provide enough sugar to make a nice finished product...and you only have to open one coconut. So easy!

Recipes for Making Your Young Coconut Kefir Taste Delicious:

  • Drinking young coconut kefir with meals greatly helps digestion. Here’s a nice young coconut kefir spritzer with lunch or dinner:
    • Start with ½ cup young coconut kefir.
    • Add the juice of ½ lemon or ½ lime.
    • Add 3 – 5 drops of Stevia to taste.
  • Enjoy a sweet antioxidant-rich wake up tonic:
    • Mix ½ cup young coconut kefir with unsweetened cranberry or black currant juice concentrate (you can get this in most health food stores).
    • Add 2 – 3 drops of Stevia and enjoy!
  • Ginger Ale – make this recipe for homemade ginger ale and add 2 oz. of young coconut kefir for a truly delicious and energizing drink anytime of day!

I’m all for making it easy to drink young coconut kefir so we made a lot of effort to obtain a source of raw, certified organic, young Thai Coconut Water. Iffreshly picked and organic is important to you, you’ll love our just-off-the-tree coconut juice. Right now, 36 stores on the West Coast (yes, even Whole Foods Markets) are carrying our coconut water and coconut meat in their freezer section. In 2010 you can expect to see it in your area and it will help us speed up the distribution process if you request it from your local health food store (Tell them to order it thru UNFI.)

And by the way, we also have raw, organic coconut spoon meat or “jelly” as well...so no more scrapping it out of the shell.

Stay tuned next week for one of our favorite recipes: coconut pudding with almond whipped cream!

If you want access to the healthiest organic, raw coconut water on the market, ask your local health food stores and grocery stores to carry Body Ecology Raw Young Thai Coconut Water.


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  • jennifer

    Hi!~ Can you please recommend a substitute for the stevia in your Coconut Kefir? Stevia is known to cause UTI's (aka: Urinary Track/Bladder Infections) even in super small doses to some folks, especially to people as sensative as myself?

    Thank you SO much!!!~jennifer

  • ervin estandarte


    How can I acquire or buy KEFIR STARTER?

    Thanks

  • Dancing Shiva

    I purchased a number of bottles of the Young Thai Coconut Water off of this website and froze them once I received them as was recommended. The water quickly turned from clear to pink, before I even had a chance to try and make kefir. The pink color is an indication that the coconut water is spoiled. I had to throw them all out. I am very disappointed in the coconut water from this website and next time will get mine at Whole Foods.

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