History and folklore credit coconut water with remarkable healing powers. Coconut water is harvested from young green coconuts (different than the liquid in mature brown coconuts). This fluid is a powerhouse of nutrition. Young green coconut water contains a complex blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, antioxidants, enzymes, and other phytonutrients. The electrolyte content and pH is so similar to human plasma (and it is sterile) it is compatible with the human body, so much so, doctors have used coconut water successfully as an intravenous fluid in times of emergency (WWII). Incredible as that sounds, I would much rather culture it for its powerful gut healing properties as a non dairy kefir beverage.
Donna Gates may be credited for originating the idea of fermenting the young green coconut water into kefir. If you would like to use the actual young green coconuts and retrieve the water from them, her website has instructions on how to do that. I found it way to labor intensive to locate the young green coconuts, open them with a cleaver and remove the water. It was frustrating to find several of the coconuts in each case were rotten. Additionally, in order to import them, a lot of fungicides are used.
Instead, I turned to prepackaged young green coconut water that comes in a tetrapak that is packaged in the Phillipines so that the fungicides are not needed. The plain coconut water that is unflavored works really well.
The water is full of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium and other trace minerals and is very popular as a sports drink. It certainly beats drinking Gatorade or the other commercial sports drinks with all their flavorings and additives.
When kefired, the water has the added value of probiotics and enzymes. When taken with a meal, it aids in the digestion of the food. Taken in between meals, it adds probiotics to the gut. In traditional cultures, the plain water was used for digestive upset. Clearly, as a kefir, it becomes an even greater healing food for the intestines.
Coconut Water Kefir
Two 11.2 ounce tetrapaks of plain coconut water
Water kefir grains or kefir culture starter powder (where to buy kefir grains or starter packs)
- Pour the coconut water into a glass quart jar
- With a plastic spoon drop one heaping tablespoon of the water grains into the water
- Seal with a lid or cover with a cloth rubberbanded around the lip of the jar
- Keep at room temperature for 36 – 48 hours or longer until it no longer tastes sweet
- Refrigerate when ready
- As with all probiotic foods and drinks, start to consume slowly and in small amounts so that your body gets used to this powerful culture
- Taste the water before you kefir it so you know how sweet it tastes
- Taste the water each day so you get to know how it is fermenting and when you like the taste
- You can also kefir coconut water with milk kefir grains that have been rinsed thoroughly
- If you use milk grains, be sure to put the grains back into milk after use in the water
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