Coconut Milk Kefir Recipe

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Photo by Glenn Scott Photography

Using coconut milk creates a delicious, creamy kefir that you can use as a base for smoothies, as a topping for desserts, or even as an addition to your coffee or tea.


  • 1 cup (235 ml) coconut milk, unsweetened, or make your own from a fresh young coconut (see Note)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons milk kefir grains

Equipment You Will Need:

  • Glass jar (no lid required), plus a jar with lid for storage
  • Small piece of cheesecloth, or a paper towel or coffee filter
  • Rubber band
  • Fine-mesh strainer


  1. Pour the milk into the first glass jar, and add the kefir grains.
  2. Secure the cheesecloth on top with the rubber band and store at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. This time is dependent on the temperature in your home and also the level of sourness that you desire. It may take up to 48 hours. The kefir will start to thicken after about 12 hours, so check it periodically to get a feel for what it tastes like at different stages of fermentation, and stop when you reach a consistency and taste you are happy with.
  3. Strain the kefir through the mesh strainer into the lidded glass jar, and keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.
  4. Transfer the kefir grains to a new jar to begin a new batch.

Note: You can also make coconut milk kefir using a whole fresh young coconut. Just open the coconut and pour the water inside into a blender. Scoop out the white flesh from inside the coconut and add that to the blender too. Blend until smooth. Now use 1 cup (235 ml) of this liquid in the recipe.

Although this recipe uses coconut milk, it still uses tibicos that have been “raised” on milk. If you require a truly dairy-free option, Cultures for Health has the wonderful suggestion of mixing 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) finished fermented water kefir (not the grains) with 2 to 4 cups (475 to 946 ml) coconut milk, and then allowing it to ferment for 24 hours.

Yield: 1 cup (235 ml)

More from Cultured and Fermented Beverages:

Maintaining good bacteria in the body is critical to achieving a healthy gut and a healthy immune system. Fermented beverages are brimming with hardworking, beneficial bacteria that work to improve your digestion, fortify your immune system, assist in detoxification, and contribute to a radiant complexion and a balanced mind. Healthy bacteria is sensitive to everyday habits such as sugar, caffeine, processed foods, and toxins, and fermented beverages provide some insurance against this. It’s time to get back into balance with Cultured and Fermented Beverages. Enjoy 75 recipes for cultured drinks like kombucha, kefir, herbal and medicinal ferments, and cultured smoothies you can brew at home.

Reprinted with permission from Superfoods for Life: Cultured and Fermented Beverages by Meg Thompson, photos by Glenn Scott Photography and published by Fair Winds Press, 2014. Buy this book from our store: Superfoods for Life: Cultured and Fermented Beverages

Inspiration for edible alchemy.