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For those who are dairy intolerant, cultured dairy products like yogurt and kefir must be avoided. However, many cultured products can be made with coconut milk or coconut water, to fit a variety of diets or dietary restrictions.
Coconut Water Kefir
Coconut water kefir can be made from either fresh coconut water from a young coconut or pasteurized coconut water found in aseptic containers from a health food store. Use Water Kefir Grains or a powdered Kefir Starter to culture coconut water.
NOTE: If culturing coconut water kefir using water kefir grains, the grains must first be activated and well-established using sugar water. Once the grains are making good water kefir alternate with batches of sugar water and coconut water, to keep the grains healthy.
If using fresh coconut water, choose young coconuts that are light in color rather than the older brown, fuzzy coconuts. Hold the coconut down firmly, pointy end facing your dominant hand and your other hand holding the coconut on its side. Use a serrated knife to saw off the husky at the pointy end until a couple of square inch area is removed or until the inner light brown husk is showing.
Very carefully saw off the top half inch which should create a lid revealing a 1-2 inch hole with the white inner meat exposed. When halfway into cutting off the lid, turn the coconut so that the lid faces upward, to keep the coconut water from spilling out.
Coconut Milk Kefir
Coconut milk kefir is a bit thinner than yogurt and can be drunk plain or used in smoothies, parfaits, or desserts.
Coconut Milk Yogurt
Finally, you can make non-dairy yogurt using coconut milk and a variety of starter cultures. Non-dairy milk requires a thickener to set into a spoonable yogurt. Try these recipes to get started, or choose a thickener that works for you:
Kefir Making Supplies:
|Milk Kefir Starters|
|Water Kefir Starter Kit|