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My Coconut Kefir is Better Than Yours


Coconut Milk Kefir
Coconut Milk Kefir

I get asked a lot about dairy-free kefir options. I have seen some amazing results with kefir made from coconut, almond or walnut milk. I highly recommend these non-dairy milk kefirs if you want all of the benefits of kefir without the dairy.

Of these non-dairy milk kefirs, I have noticed that coconut kefir brings the best health results. Coconut milk has so many wonderful properties, including antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is my favorite option for dairy-free kefir. However, every time I say something is my favorite, somewhere down the road I find another favorite. Do not be surprised if I change my mind.

Coconut kefir tends to be very thin and separates quite quickly when made according to the basic recipe. I found a way to make it a little bit creamier and the taste is supreme. The secret is to add a little coconut butter. Coconut butter is made entirely from coconut meat.  It is prepared by first drying coconut meat at low temperatures and then grinding it into a paste. You can find coconut butter at most health food stores or in my store. Adding coconut butter to the coconut milk will give texture and extra flavor to the coconut kefir, but is not necessary to add and you can make it without it. I have tried just adding shredded coconut but it stuck to the kefir grains and then the kefir didn’t drain through the strainer. Coconut butter was a better option and the taste is wonderful.

Water kefir is another dairy-free alternative and many assume that this is the best dairy-free option but this is not true. Water kefir has smaller amounts of good bacteria compared with milk kefir, including dairy-free milk kefir. Water kefir has 10 probiotics while homemade milk kefir has anywhere between 30 and 50 probiotics. I repeatedly see the greatest health benefits with dairy and nondairy milk kefirs, including the healing of food allergies and improved digestion. Water kefir is a still a good probiotic drink, but if you are looking for the most health benefits, I recommend choosing dairy or non-dairy milk kefir.

Walnut kefir
Walnut kefir

I have a new section entitled “Dairy-Free Options” on my website.

If you’re a Biotic Pro, you can also view the following lessons:

How to make coconut kefir cheese.

How to make coconut milk.

How to make coconut kefir.


171 Responses to "My Coconut Kefir is Better Than Yours"
  1. Hi Donna,
    I would like to make coconut kefir using my water kefir grains. Can I do that, instead of using milk kefir grains? I am a vegan and I have been making water kefir for a while now, so it’d be good if I could do that.

  2. Is it ok to use sweetened coconut milk or almond milk? I’m referring to the kind in the half gallon cartons like Silk, not the canned kind. Will the sugar in the milk be eaten or will it harm the grains at all?

  3. I have been doing great with kefir…four months my husband and I have a smoothie each morning with 1 cup each of dairy kefir. Suddenly now we are both constipated. What should we do? I saw on the web this may be caused by fermenting too long but I ferment 24 hours each day and sometimes a 2nd ferment of another 24…never longer. Please advise. Many thanks.

    • Do you make cultured veggies or other cultured foods? Often this can be a the probiotics killing and trying to remove debris from the colon but can also be from something else you changed in your diet.

  4. I recently tried a fluffy whip cream like coconut Kefir and I was wondering if you knew a way to make it into the texture of a whip cream? Great site!

  5. Love the site! I want to ferment packaged coconut water that has no additives with my milk kefir grains. Can I do that? Or can you only ferment coconut milk? Thanks so much!!!

  6. I made coconut milk kefir without a recipe for the first time when I had to go off dairy for a while for gut issues. I made it with milk kefir grains, however, I think I let it sit about 48 hrs like I often do with my milk kefir to make it extra thick. I put it in the fridge a few months ago, and have just taken it out. It had separated, but I mixed it with a spoon and it is creamy. However it tastes very sour…So, I guess my question is if you think (without seeing or tasting it yourself) that it is ok to consume, even if very sour? There was a slightly discolored layer on the top that I scraped off…have done that before with milk kefir and it was fine. Will sweeten and flavor and consume unless I did something wrong or it shouldn’t be that sour. 🙂 Thank you so much!

    • Actually…I sweetened with a little stevia and vanilla extract…and YUM! I have been eating it everyday mixed in with berries and walnuts and coconut like I do everyday with my milk kefir…and I almost like this better! Unbelievable…I think I was just nervous because I had never fermented coconut milk before…but it is really delicious! Thank you! 😉

  7. Hiya, I have been making coconut kefir and I love it, but I have been advised to grow it in full fat milk in between making the coconut to make it grow, is this right. Also my kefir is not growing to a size that it should be, please can you advise , many thank


    • Kefir grains won’t grow in coconut milk and it doesn’t matter what kind of milk it is. You need to refresh it in regular milk by making kefir to get them to multiply and grow. They can last awhile in coconut milk but eventually they will die and you will need new grains.

  8. i made coconut milk kefir for the first time. I used canned coconut milk. I used body ecology starter powder. How do I know if it cultured properly? It is sour…not tremendously sour (like my goat milk kefir store bought)….it isn’t thick, probably about the same thickness as when I poured it in. It tastes fine. Is that what coconut milk kefir turns into?

    • Well these culture packages don’t work very well making non dairy kefir which is why it isn’t as sour. However if it is sour than its still fermented and safe to consume. The thickness does not matter as much as the taste.

  9. Hi, i make my own coconut milk out of shredded coconut. I want to make coconut kefir with water kefir grains, and i am wondering just how long can i keep this kind of kefir coconut in the fridge? I currently drink coconut milk but it doesn’t last long enough.


  10. I’m not dairy intolerant, but I find the taste of milk disgusting, especially fermented milk. So I just can’t make myself come at kefir even though I know it would be really good for me. Coconut kefir sounds like a good option for me, but do you think it is just as beneficial as dairy kefir? In my case, could I mix a little milk in with the coconut to give the grains some lactose, but not enough so I could taste it?

  11. I’m keen to make coconut kefir but we want buy coconut butter or coconut spread here. Could I use coconut flour and/or coconut oil instead and if so what proportions? Love your recipes and your book!

    • No you cannot use flour or coconut oil it must be the spead or butter and canned coconut milk will work without having to buy the coconut spread and will make thick coconut kefir as well.

  12. Hi Donna
    This is part two of a question from earlier today.
    I think I may know why my coconut kefir went thick. When I made the coconut butter the recipe called for coconut oil. When I put the coconut ‘pudding’ in the fridge it became very firm.

  13. I made this before and it turned out great, this time it is thick like pudding.It tastes great but I lost my kefir grains in it.
    This time I used my homemade coconut butter, do you think it was just too much. Not sure what to do, perhaps use less coconut butter.
    Please let me know what you think asap.
    Thanks, Susan

  14. I am a beginner so need all the help I can receive. I desire to use coconut milk. I have read the above comments, however, I wonder if the store bought half gallon of coconut milk would work as well? we use the unsweetened but the regular has six sugars so know doubt that would have to be used because of the sugar content if able to use that kind. (Blue Diamond brand). Thank you for all your expertise help.

  15. Hi Donna,

    Agh! I’m so disappointed! I just made my first Coconut Kefir milk and it separated in 5 hours! I used fresh coconut flakes and liquified them in the blender with 4 cups water and 1/2 cup of coconut cream to make the coconut milk. Then I added the 1/2 c coconut cream and blended again according to your Coconut Milk receipt. I really just don’t know what to do right now. 🙁 I’m feel really sad I was doing so well making the Kefir Milk for 4 days straight and when I try to make the coconut kefir its like a train just crashed! I hate to ask why did it separate so much in only 5 hours today! Can I dump some of the liquid out and keep trying to ferment it? It hasn’t been 24 hours yet.

  16. Is there a difference between water kefir grains and dairy kefir grains? And if so, which is best for making coconut kefir? Also, after soaking the grains I’ve used for coconut kefir in milk, is it harmful to rinse the dairy off before using again?

    • Huge difference between the two and milk kefir grains have many more bacteria than water kefir up to 40 more. Yes, you can rinse the dairy off with coconut milk but never with water it kills them.

  17. Hi I really want to make coconut kefir but I cant even get the hang of making cows milk kefir, it comes out thin and grainy, the grains grow fine I think im doing it wrong

  18. THANK YOU!!! I just stumbled on your site and you are absolutely correct. I will make your advice my priority for myself and my family. I got a fermenting vegetable kit months ago and never opened it…my bad. I love everything coconut for its health benefits and will start making your Kiefer this weekend. No more procrastinating. Bless you!

  19. do you always use fresh coconut milk? its so time consuming…so i just get a caned version without preservatives


  21. Hi Donna
    I am new to making kefir with kefir grains but very excited about making the coconut kefir, I was given some grains. My question is; is coconut spread the same as coconut butter? The way you describe it, it sounds the same.

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