I have a confession, I suck at DIYs. Like, I'm awful at them. The best example perhaps of my DIY fails, that was essentially a fail from the moment I dreamed up the idea, was the time I painted a couch. You read that right, I painted a couch. Or at least attempted to paint a couch. Josiah and I had just gotten married and inherited my parent's old couch and love seat that were not the prettiest of colors.
So I decided to paint them. Most sane people would have maybe thought of the idea and then let it float away with the rest of the idea that you know are just bad. Me on the other hand, I thought of this idea and held onto it for dear life. In fact, at the time I didn't know if I could have had any ideas that were quite as amazing as this. Like, it was just the best. It was going to be cheap and I was going to get a beautiful black couch of my dreams. Did I mention it was going to be cheap?
Well after buying about $170 worth of paint we ended up with some splotchy, crunchy-feeling seating in our tiny living room. Maybe not my best idea. Since then there have been a series of DIY fails that I've gone into so eagerly and fallen so flat on my face.
Moral of the story, I'm not great at DIYs. I tell you this so that you know that if I can make this DIY coconut kefir, anyone can.
Let's talk a little bit about why kefir is important. Kefir is a fermented drink that is similar to yogurt. It's made using cultures of yeast and lactic acid bacteria and it is super good for your gut. We all have probably been told that yogurt is good for our gut, but kefir is especially good for you because it includes a wide variety of bacteria strains. Yogurt on the other hand only contains a few.
So not that long ago, because I don't tolerate dairy well, I hadn't really tried kefir before. I knew there were benefits to drinking it, but I just assumed because I didn't eat dairy, those benefits wouldn't be available to me. However, after a conversation with my friend Kate I was introduced to the idea of making a non-dairy version of kefir at home. She sent me the link to the kefir starter and in no time I had the most creamy, dreamy, tangy, and irresistible jar of coconut kefir. The fact that it's super good for me is really just a bonus. I would drink this stuff whether it was helping support my GI tract or not. So thank you, kate, for your wisdom.
A few things to note when making this recipe. I was not successful with ALL coconut milk. If your coconut milk is watery or just all around not thick, the kefir will still do it's thing, but you'll end up with a much chunkier and less appetizing result that separates in the fridge. The coconut milk that I have found works the best is the Whole Foods brand. However, I do think as long as you are conscious of choosing a coconut milk that is legitimately thick, you'll be golden.
This recipe could not be easier. Like You combine two ingredients and then leave them to do their thing for 24-48 hours and then BAM, you have a good-for-you base for a super yummy snack. I am totally cool with drinking this stuff straight up or spooning it straight from the jar, but I also think it's extra magical with some berries and granola added. I hope that you enjoy this recipe and feel super good about yourself for totally nailing a DIY project that looks fancy, but requires minimal work.
- 1 can of coconut milk (14 ounces)*
- 1 packet of the kefir starter
Combine the coconut milk and kefir starter in a mason jar using a whisk. Place a paper towel, cheesecloth, or thin dish towel over the mason jar and set it in a place at room temerature that it will not be disturbed for 24-48 hours. I put mine on our refrigerator. The amount of time you leave your kefir to hang out depends on how tangy you want it. The longer you let it set, the tangier it will be. I usually aim for close to 48 hours because I like it really tangy. If you prefer a more mild flavor, call it good at 24. Once the kefir has reached the level of tang you want, cover it with a lid and store it in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
*Using thick coconut milk such as the Whole Foods brand pictured above is critical to the texture of this turning out creamy and delicious. I've found that Trader Joe's coconut milk does NOT work, so I would not recommend using it or other coconut milks that have similar consistencies.
Coconut Kefir Parfaits
- 1 cup coconut kefir
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup gluten-free or paleo granola
- a drizzle of honey (optional)
Alternate layering the coconut, blueberries, and raspberries into two small mason jar or bowl. Top with granola and if you're feelin' extra, drizzle some honey.