By Guy Lawrence
Guy: I have to say, I was very excited to receive this guest post from Maria at True Foods Nutrition on how to make your own coconut kefir. I believe a healthy and thriving gut is one of the cornerstones to vibrant energy and wellbeing. So what better way to feed it than from fermented juice from a delicious young coconut, giving you those essential good bacterias your gut craves! Over to Maria…
Maria: A healthy way to enjoy young coconut water and flesh, is to use the power of lacto-fermentation and get the good bacteria to feed on all the sugars within the coconut. By adding some pro-biotic culture to coconut water and flesh you will not only significantly reduce/eliminate its sugar content, but also enjoy the real-food probiotic benefits. A win/win situation!
The Fermented Benefits
Foods that have been lacto-fermented have enhanced digestibility, are much richer in vitamins and minerals and of course are a great source of friendly bacteria. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances (source: “Nourishing Traditions”, S.Fallon). Fermented coconuts are no exception.
Whilst probiotic supplements definitely have their place in treating specific conditions, we should all be consuming real probiotic foods on a daily basis to ensure a well balanced gut flora population which is crucial to our health.
Pro-biotic foods, also known as ‘cultured’ or ‘lacto-fermented’ foods have played a very important role in human dietary evolution. Foods such as kefir (soured milk yogurt), sauerkraut (pickled cabbage), chutneys, pickles and preserves are featured in every traditional cuisine. Before pasteurisation, these foods provided our ancestors with the ‘good’ bacteria in the digestive tract that is vital for the healthy function of our ‘gut’ and immune system. They are sadly lacking in our diet today.
What You Need To Make Fermented Coconut Kefir
- 3 x young coconuts
- A big sharp knife
- Kefir grains or gome culture (I get mine here)
- A big glass jar with screw top lid
- Open 3 coconuts with a coconut knife (1) by making a square or pentagon shaped ‘lid’ on top of the coconut that’s big enough to put a tablespoon in (for scooping flesh out)
- Pour out the coconut water through a funnel a 1.5L glass jar (this is a good size for 3 coconuts)
- Scoop out coconut flesh with a tablespoon and put in jar with the liquid
- Add 1 sachet of Nature’s Goodness Kefir culture sachet to the jar and stir with wooden spoon
- Cover jar with muslin cloth and secure with rubber band (2). Leave in pantry or kitchen counter for 24-48h. NOT in fridge – fermentation happens at room temperature only.
- After fermentation is complete, the drink will taste a bit sour, not sweet. Screw regular lid back on and place in fridge (3)
- Store in fridge for up to 1 month
Use Fermented Coconut Water/Flesh in:
- Smoothies by scooping a few spoonfuls of the flesh and coconut water into your smoothie blender and blending with fruit of choice, raw egg, 180 Nutrition protein powder, cacao and any supplements. Great for kids smoothies as the coconut flesh adds a creamy texture. A fantastic option instead of processed oat/rice/soy milks as well as almond milk for those allergic/intolerant of nuts.
- Make a refreshing summer drink by adding ice cubes, mineral water, slices of lime or lemon and mint
- Breakfast ‘puddings’ by blending more of the flesh to make a fermented coconut ‘yogurt’ – click here for mango chia pudding recipe
About the author
Maria Shaflender founded True Foods Nutrition in 2013 after leaving a successful marketing career to follow her passions – health, nutrition and cooking. Maria is in her final year of an Advanced Diploma of Clinical Nutrition at Nature Care, Sydney after spending 15 years researching diets and nutrition in her ‘spare’ time.
TFN philosophy is grounded in Paleo and Weston Price principles with ‘Health through Real Food’ as the guiding principle. Being a mum of two small kids means that children’s health is a key focus. TFN projects include: cooking workshops, nutrition seminars, non-for profit nutrition consulting, shopping tours and personal consultations.
Check out www.truefoodsnutrition.com.au for details of upcoming workshops.