Ahhh…Put de lime in de coco-nut and drink it all up 😉 I like some lemon-lime and/or ginger in mine occasionally, but, to be honest, I like it best straight 🙂 It’s a soury taste, so sweetening it up with some stevia and fruit may help a newcomer. It’s just too good for you not to! Read previous post on why I drink it and why you should. (I drank much of the kefir by the time I took that pic, by the way; so, yes, there was more 😉 )
Okay, a lot less talk and more pics! They tell the story, afterall. Let’s get to it!!
Start with — surprise! Coconuts! FRESH young Thai coconuts are recommended:
I scored on these organic Thai coconuts — only $1.99 each…
Now, crack those suckers! Okay, don’t worry. It’s really easy peasy…
With a sturdy knife, slice off the spike top…
Shave the sides a bit — just the top; no need to undress it completely 😉 — to reveal the hard shell underneath…
With a whack of the knife on the top-side, create an opening like so (ignore the mess I made of the sides) …
Wedge the knife in the slit and as to pry it open, wiggle it up and down to crack it further; it naturally creates lid in a nice little circle to remove easily …
An alternative way — I like because there’s less chance of me spilling that precious water — is, after slicing off the pointed top, to poke a hole in the top with the point of your knife for ease of draining…
You shouldn’t need a hammer to whack with like you do with the harder, mature, brown coconuts; it should be very soft….
Or simply drain from the crack you made on the side.
Then you can deal with the coconut meat later by whacking the lid off completely…
Okay, so drain the water over a sterilized fine-mesh strainer or new double-layer piece of cheesecloth into a clean, sterilized receptacle (boil a mason jar in hot water as for canning; or you can pour boiling water over it and in it. Make sure you warm up the glass first or that it’s not cold; it may shatter if not a thick glass):
Okay, this is the water from 2:
You want about 1 1/2 quarts of water to 1 package of kefir starter — Purchase from Wilderness Family; it comes with instructions or you can follow them right on their site.
Utensils: A large jug with an air-tight lid; a sauce pan or double boiler; kefir starter (also need a fine-mesh strainer or piece of cheese cloth. If neither, try an unbleached coffee filter found in any market or tea filters like these will work; and an inexpensive kitchen temperature gauge, found at any market, if you have one is great):
Warm the coconut water GENTLY to 90 to 92-degrees, only. Use a temperature gauge or use your finger to “just warm”; better not warm enough than too hot. It should work at lower temps, but you will “kill” it any higher.
Then add your starter to to the clean, sterilized storing receptacle ….
Pour in the warmed coconut water and shake a bit. I don’t like to add any instruments to stir to avoid any contamination:
I got these great air-tight 2-litre jugs by Bormioli Rocco of Italy at Sur La Table for only $6 each! I got 1.5-litre jugs for $5. This brand is a real bargain; I also have their glass pitchers. They have lots of variety to offer and jugs like these in various sizes. Love them! They are also available in many regular and discount stores; web sites; and Amazon — and always, unexpectedly, inexpensive. They aren’t “cheapy” at all; the Bormioli Rocco is very good-quality; and the $5-price was at Sur La Table! Not exactly an inexpensive store…Always preferred, however, is recycled, if I can find it. I recall Ikea used to have lots of recycled glass; however, I haven’t been there in a long time. I do see they have these at — if correct — incredibly low prices! Not recycled; Available only in stores, it reads.
Seal tightly and set aside, undisturbed for 24 hours — That’s it!
Taste test. If it’s flat, too sweet-ish ( it should have a bit of sweetness), or is not tangy then re-seal and let it go another six hours. Check. Let it go up to 48 hours, checking at 6-hour intervals. Most of this relies on the temperature at which it is stored. I would throw it out if not done by 48 hours. This time range gives you an idea when to start making your next batch so you don’t have any days going without. Be aware, also, that one packet of the kefir is usable 7 times! So that makes it even more inexpensive. also note that the kefirs following the first batch are done faster — so, usually within 24 hours, possible sooner. You only need to reserve 1/4 Cup of your initial batch of kefir to “start” your next batch, as opposed to adding a new packet of kefir; you can do this up to 7 times.
Should let out a nice hiss from the pressure build up when you first open it, and it should have a bit of a fizz…thing about the fizz is that sometimes it’s more fizzy-ish like a carbonation; other times, it’s very very light. Either way is fine from what I understand, and, for me, drinking either way has been the same experience, effectiveness-wise. Also, the more often you open it, the more the “pop” and carbonation diminishes, just like any carbonated drink; it’s still all good 😉
Here it is at about 18 hours. It’s gone from clear to cloudy, creamy white….
Not much difference looks-wise at 24 hours; however the taste wasn’t quite right…
Some difference looks-wise, at 36 hours; it’s got more “culture” on top — FINI! :^)
So there it is! Easy, no? Your own coconut kefir!! Yummy. Drink often 😀 Several places recommend that first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and just before bed as being the best times; so if you can’t drink before a meal or between meals, at least drink in the a.m. and p.m.
Now, to all that coconut meat: Scoop out the meat, which, in Thai coconuts is soft and silky and spoonable!
Even a child could do this…
Easy…. You can do any number of things with coconut meat. Add to smoothies; make coconut milk (you can also add coconut to your regular nut, seed, or soy milks for added richness instead of pure coconut milk); FREEZE! I freeze in portions as use as I do seeds and nuts, mostly for dressing. GREAT in raw food recipes. Use in place of dairy cream; half-and-half; or milk. Makes the best base for icecreams, cooked or raw (better than soymilk); Use to make “cream” soups, creamy pasta or other sauces. My favorite way is to ground it finely with some nutritional yeast and make a “parmesan” sprinkle — DE-licious. Add to trail-mixtures, granolas, cereals, bars, etc. Shred into slaws or add to salads — fruit or regular. Endless! 🙂
Now, you can also clean and dry completely in the sun or oven those shells and use for bowls or making fun crafts. 🙂
If opening a Thai Coconut yourself seems daunting — STOP IT! It’s sooooo easy. I thought it was difficult too until I figured it out — on my own, actually, and this video is exactly how it happened for me — wish I’d have seen this before the humongous mess(es) I made!
So come on! Make kefir; it’s easy and your Body Ecology will be stellar!
Next kefir post will be on making coconut kefir with brown-coconuts water. Then a followup on what I have brewin’ right now which is a kefir that takes longer to ferment; so I’ll be updating on that too.
Also … Coming Soon: Kombucha! 😉