How to Make Organic Coconut Milk Kefir

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

coconut milk

Kefir is a healthy and delicious cultured milk drink, similar to yogurt, that has been enjoyed for centuries throughout Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and even certain parts of Asia. Much of the Western world is just beginning to discover the benefits of this amazing drink.

Depending on area of origin, most recipes call for either cow or goat’s milk to be used as a base for the kefir cultures to ferment. For vegans and people who are sensitive to dairy, coconut milk also works very well.

Like yogurt and other probiotic foods, kefir that generally requires a starter culture. Because each culture is a unique living ecosystem and reacts differently to different environmental factors, the subtle differences between one batch and the next can be quite considerable.

In the case of kefir, new cultures are started using specially prepared, fermented kefir grains. These “grains” are a mixture of yeast and bacteria built-up around the remnants of sugar, protein and fat of what was formally cereal grain. While this may not sound particularly appetizing, especially if at-home fermentation of dairy hasn’t been a common practice for you, it’s actually more robust and easier to work with than most yogurt starter cultures.

Making Organic Coconut Milk Kefir at Home


  • 1 Quart Jar (Glass)
  • 1 Wooden Mixing Spoon
  • 1 Quart of Undiluted Sweetened Organic Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of organic live Kefir Grains (Available online)

After thoroughly cleaning and drying the glass jar, add kefir grains and fill jar with freshly opened coconut milk. Mix slowly with wooden spoon. Cover jar with a loose-fitting cloth or paper towel. Set it aside and try to be patient. (It usually takes somewhere between 12 and 36 hours or so for the kefir culture to develop.)

After letting the mixture sit for about 12 hours, begin checking it every few hours. The coconut milk will thicken slightly as the kefir grains act on it. You can leave the grains in longer for a thicker, more sour kefir, but be careful not to overdo it.

Carefully remove all the kefir grains from your new kefir coconut milk and place milk in the refrigerator. Don’t be surprised if it continues to thicken as it cools. Enjoy it as it is, or let it warm back up to room temperature if you prefer to drink it the traditional way instead.

Storing Kefir Grains for Future Use:

One of the best things about making your own kefir at home is the sustainability. Once you get started, it’s easy to continue making fresh kefir whenever you want. Simply store the leftover grains and a small amount of milk covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make another batch.

Has anybody here made their own coconut milk kefir? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our kefir recipe!

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Anjali

    I have a question. When you say Coconut milk, does that mean something that one might purchase in a can (no other variety of packaged coconut milk here), something that is thick and white?
    Or can it also be the water from the coconut? I don’t know if anyone calls that coconut milk.
    Also are you selling kefir grains?
    There are 2 types, I heard. One for milk and one for water (may be sugar water or coconut water)
    Thanks 🙂

  • Rachel

    Very good question.. I drink coconut water.. So What kind of coconut should we use in making our own??

  • Nechama

    Is there a recipe for Kefir using coconut milk made from a NON-gluten grain? How does one do that?

  • Karensamenow

    I too would like more info. Can I use the organic coconut water from the refrigerated food section in the store? It’s flavor is like a green baby coconut. About the grains, exactly what do I look for when purchasing starter grains for coconut kiefer? Do they have gluten in them? I want to get this right.

  • Ecomama Says

    Hey Doc, are you using Milk Kefir grains or Water Kefir grains? I read that milk kefir grains don’t have that much sustainability when used on non-milk liquids … that you can only use for a few batches and then the grains weaken.

    Also, when storing in fridge in between uses, you say to place the grains in a little “milk” … do you mean cow’s milk or coconut milk?

    Lastly, what type of coconut “milk” are you using? The one in the can with possible added ingredients like guar gum and polysorbate 60? Or something like the coconut beverage “So Delicious”? Both products seem fairly “processed” with added ingredients, do the kefir grains really still work?

    Thank you!

  • ghc_health

    My wife was making it with real coconuts a couple of years ago and stopped making it so please let me know what you are doing and what works and I will update the blog. Thanks!
    -Dr. G

  • CoconutLover

    Kefir grains are not actually grains at all so they do not contain gluten. Kefir grains are actually SCOBYs (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) but they are called grains because of the way they look.

    The grains will look like cauliflower if they are caucasian kefir grains or small little peas if they are tibetan grains.

  • CoconutLover

    Coconut milk is a liquid made from blending the coconut meat with water or coconut water.

    Coconut water is the liquid inside of the coconut.

    To make coconut milk kefir, you want to use coconut milk otherwise you would be making coconut water kefir. Both can be made using kefir grains.

  • CoconutLover

    Kefir grains contain no gluten so any kefir grains will work!

  • Droque

    Can i use the same SCOBY to make kombucha and kefir?

  • ghc_health

    Good question, anyone have some insight?

  • HK

    I make coconut milk kefir. for grains, I took about a table spoon of some of my water Kefir grains. for the coconut milk i purchase a Can of organic coconut milk from whole foods…. any brand whose ingredients is only the organic coconut milk and water…..without preservative or sulf…or sulph.. In one to 2 days, the kefir is ready…. it is sooo delicious

  • Joao Nunes

    Unfortunately coconut milk is very expensive in my area (I live in Europe so need to purchase with import prices) and so I mostly cannot afford it. But I would like still to get the benefits of kefir. Is there an alternative to cow’s or goat’s milk? I’ve heard that soy milk could be an alternative. Can you comment on this?
    Warm regards,
    Joao Nunes

  • Almond milk and other nut milks are good too. I don’t care for soy. It gets a lot of hype as a health food because it’s vegetarian but it’s not all good-

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  • Jill Parisi

    I make cow’s milk Kefir at home, my question is : Can I use those same milk Kefir grains for Coconut milk Kefir?

  • MtnWolfGrl

    No. Two totally different types of yeast/bacteria cultures. SCOBY is for kombucha. There is also a jun SCOBY which is made with honey, Total different SCOBYs. Kefir grains come in two varieties, water and milk. I was always under the impression that water kefir grains were used in non-dairy products, but I have only made water kefir which is very slightly sweet, and can be a little fizzy. it makes a great second ferment.


  • Craig Rayle

    A great source of coconut milk is Goya, an unknown brand, usually the least expensive, no addatives; it is many of our stores in Missoula but also available Target online, $1.75/can.

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  • Jason T

    Do you sell the kefir grains on this site? If not where can i purchase them?

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