Young Green Coconuts
Great discoveries often stem from a touch of serendipity and some creative experimentation. Don Kidson, owner of the Living Lighthouse (the raw foods center for the Los Angeles area), introduced Donna to the value of young green coconuts. Most Americans have seen and tasted the milk and meat of the mature (brown, hairy) coconut; a green coconut is really the same food, but it is just younger. Sometimes the green outer shells are cut off before they are shipped to U.S. markets. Look for either the green shell or a white "husk" if the outer shell has been removed. You may not see them in the produce section of your big-chain supermarket, but they are readily available in Asian, Latino, and other ethnic or farmers' markets. Many health food stores will carry them upon request.
Although the liquid of the young coconut has an abundance of minerals, Donna was concerned that it would be too sweet. Drinking it would make the body too acidic and encourage the growth of pathogens and cancers. The idea to add Body Ecology's kefir starter to this liquid and "culture it" kept popping into her mind. She knew it would be a perfect medium for the growth of beneficial microflora.
On a pretty summer night in Malibu, Donna, Don, and two close friends combined the starter and coconut water, let it rest for 24 hours, and were delighted with what they had created. All the sugar disappeared and a fizzy, sour, champagne-like drink, like a spritzer, was born. Donna and Don began teaching many people how to make this great new discovery, and the results were miraculous.
What People Say About Coconut Water Kefir
- It completely stops your cravings for sugar. Imagine the benefits of that!
- It aids digestion of all foods
- It has a tonifying affect on the intestines, even flattening the abdomen!
- It appears to cleanse the liver. In Chinese medicine the liver rules the skin, eyes, and joints. Coconut water kefir eases aches and joint pains. Many people report having a prettier complexion. They experience the brown liver spots on the skin fading away and skin tags, moles, or warts drying up and disappearing. Vision also improves
- It contains high levels of valuable minerals, including potassium, natural sodium, and chloride, which explains why the hair, skin and nails become stronger and have a prettier shine.
- It appears to have a beneficial, cleansing effect on the endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, ovaries). Women find that their periods are cleaner and healthier; some who had experienced early menopause have found this important monthly cleansing returning again.
- It increases energy and gives you an overall feeling of good health.
Young green coconuts yield several delicious foods. You can ferment the water (not "coconut milk") into that delicious, healing kefir. You can also eat the very special meat. Soft, pudding-like, and technically a seed, this meat is high in protein, enzyme-rich, and very easy to digest. Like all seeds and nuts, it is a protein fat, but this seed provides an excellent source of lauric and caprylic fatty acids. You can scoop the meat out of the shell and eat it raw, or you can put it in a blender with enough water to make it the same consistency of guacamole and then ferment it. Just add our kefir starter, and in 24 hours, you'll have a sort of kefir "cheese," a fabulous fermented base for salad dressings, dips, or just plain eating as is. It's like eating yogurt, only it's dairy-free.
How to Crack Those Coconuts
First, remove the 1½ to 2 cups of water inside the young coconut and use it to make kefir. To do this, lay the coconut on its side and shave several layers off the bottom until a circle appears. If you keep on shaving, two more circles will appear and you'll have what looks like a face with two eyes and a mouth. Place the young coconut in your kitchen drain so that the point fits into the drain. (This just holds the coconut steady.) Take a sharp object like a carrot peeler or apple corer and poke it through the bigger (mouth) hole. Rout out the hole, making it bigger, and then flip the coconut over onto a glass jar to let the water pour out.
Use the water from about four coconuts with one package of starter, let it sit on the counter for 24-48 hours, and you're all set. You'll know it's done when the color changes to a milky white and usually there's a bit of bubbling or foam on top. This means all the sugar has been removed. When you drink it, make sure it tastes tart and tangy. This is another sign that all the sugar is gone. Donna swears by this wonderful new kefir, saying that she wouldn't be without it, despite her busy schedule. Its medicinal benefits are well worth the time it takes to make it!
Special Notes: You can use about 1/4 cup from your first batch to "transfer" the friendly bacteria to your next batch of kefir. Do this up to seven times with one package of starter. And when the weather turns cold, warm the liquid to about 90 degrees before adding the starter. Then place the glass jar into an insulated container so it will maintain a steady temperature of about 70 degrees while fermenting.
Getting to the meat of the coconut takes a little more work. We suggest cutting it in half with a fine-toothed Japanese wood saw called a PULLSAW. This tool is imported from Japan by Takagi Tools, Inc in Wilmington, California. It breaks into two parts and can be stored easily in your kitchen drawer or cabinet.
Ways to Enjoy Coconut Water Kefir
Remember, since you now have two more cultured foods in your healing arsenal, you can devise many different ways to eat them. A half cup of the coconut water kefir with meals greatly helps digestion. You can add ginger, stevia, lemon, and/or lime if desired. A half cup at bedtime will help establish a healthy inner ecosystem. Studies from Europe show that when you are lying still during sleep, the microflora reproduce faster. In the morning, combine a half cup of the young coconut water with unsweetened cranberry or black currant juice, as a great wake-up tonic. And in stage two of the BED when you start introducing a little fruit for breakfast, the coconut kefir microflora will happily enjoy the sugar in the fruit and leave you with its vitamins and minerals.
If you are lactose intolerant because you do not have dairy-loving microflora thriving in your inner ecosystem, begin adding them by drinking the coconut water kefir and eating young coconut kefir "cheese." You'll soon find yourself enjoying kefir made from organic milk as well.
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