Water kefir is a non-dairy kefir that is gaining in popularity. Many people start with this method of making kefir because it’s so easy and fun and they want a non-dairy option.The culture added contains good bacteria which eat the sugars out of the juice or coconut juice and create probiotics, plus they unlock additional vitamins and minerals. Water Kefir is a great replacement for store-bought soft drinks. In addition to the probiotics, the culture in the kefir eats away the sugar, so you don’t have to deal with the adverse effects of sugar that processed soft drinks often promotes, such as fluctuations in blood sugar and cravings for sugary sweet foods. And as a bonus to those of us who crave bubbly beverages, the kefir creates naturally occurring carbonation.
It can be made with fruit juice, vegetable juice or a mixture, coconut water or even just organic Rapadura sugar and filtered water. A culture is then added and the mixture is fermented for 24-28 hours depending on the weather. In hotter climates it will ferment much quicker, however in cooler climates it will need the extra time to ferment.
If you are using fresh coconuts, this first step is best done outside as it can get messy. Use a heavy, sharp, large kitchen/ chefs knife to cut/ hack 4 lines making a square on the top of the coconut. You will need to use your strength and be very careful with aiming the knife only onto the top of the coconut where the lines are. After repeating the cutting and hacking on the cut square, eventually you will be able to pull the top of the coconut away.
Once you pull the top off, you will see the coconut flesh, just use a small paring knife to cut this away and be careful not to spill the coconut juice.
Repeat with the other coconut
Pour the coconut water over a fine mesh strainer and catch the beautiful coconut liquid in a glass bowl or jar.
Pour the coconut water into the large glass jar along with your 1 cup of coconut water Kefir.
Seal tightly and allow to ferment for 24-48 hours away from direct sunlight. (you can also choose to add additional fruit like mango, berries, kiwi fruit etc to flavour the coconut water kefir – this will ferment quicker due to the additional sugars from the fruits, so taste it halfway to make sure).
Once ready store in the fridge.
Suggested Serving: Add to smoothies, use as a base for ice-blocks, use this to ferment your vege/ fruit juices (for 6 hours) etc. or simply drink it as is.
Note: Water kefir can also be very explosive, and your bottles will burst and shatter if you don’t release the pressure often and refrigerate them quickly after fermenting. Always use bottles made for brewing (wide necked)– as they are made to withstand the pressure of fermenting.