We all know that probiotics are great for the gut, but unfortunately most of them are made from milk products. So what about all of us who follow a dairy-free or vegan diet? Do we just sit this one out? For a long time, that’s what we did. We’ve been dairy free for nearly four years now (and gluten free for more than 30!). Overall, going dairy free has worked wonders for our bodies, but we did have to ditch our favorite yogurts and probiotic supplements. Until now, that is!
Kefir is a fermented milk drink originally from Turkey. The word kefir is said to have come from Turkish “Keif” which can translate to “good feeling”. Kefir originated many centuries ago, when the shepherds of the Caucasus Mountains carried milk in leather pouches where it would ferment into drinkable sour yogurt. We’ve adapted the original methods to create a delicious drink that is dairy-free, soy-free, and probiotic! And you don’t even have to trek through mountains to get it.
- 2-4 cans of coconut milk (without preservatives or additives. We like Thai Kitchen).
- Freeze-Dried Kefir Starter (we use Yogourmet).
- Fresh coconut (optional)
- Pinch of Salt
- Blender (or a strong arm)
- Non-metal spoon
- Non-metal container
- Napkin or washcloth
Get out your ingredients. We also have our salt on hand. No fresh coconut today 😦
Make sure you have enough jars! Two cans will produce about a quart of Kefir.
Place all ingredients in a blender. Add in your fresh coconut milk now for extra yummy coconutty flavor! If you don’t have a blender, not to worry–use a non-metal bowl. Metal and Kefir are not friends. Glass is best, but plastic will do.
Blend ingredients until well incorporated. If hand-mixing, make sure you are using a non-metal spoon. We’re partial to wooden spoons.
Pour your mixture into your clean jars.
Cover with a clean napkin or cloth and wait 12 hours (but no longer than 3 days).
*If you’re avoiding dairy completely, give most of the first batch to a friend who isn’t. Keep a few tablespoons for yourself, and use this to start another batch of kefir. Simply add some fresh coconut milk to the remainder of your previous batch, blend, and pour back into the jar (unless you see visible signs of mold, there’s no need to clean the jar. The kefir left on the side will only help to feed the next batch even more). Give the second batch to your dairy-consuming friend, as well. By the time you get to the third batch, your kefir is now completely dairy-free! Continue using the starter you’ve created from the coconut milk to make even more delicious dairy-free kefir!
Kefir is also delicious poured over fresh berries or into your morning coffee. Add it to smoothies or in place of buttermilk in your recipes. Oh, the possibilities! What do you do with your homemade coconut kefir?