Tips & Tricks to Make Young Green Coconut Kefir (yck)
Tara Carpenter, NC.
I’ve made young green coconut kefir (yck) for going on 12 years and moved through many learning curves. I can now whip up a batch of this probiotic drink in less time than I once did and with zero frustration. I hope these Tips & Tricks help you feel comfortable to step into this business of making yck while healing on The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.).
- No time or desire to make yck? Buy here.
- Thai green baby coconuts (white “coneheads”) are available in Asian, Latino and ethnic markets. Look for green shelled coconuts or ones with outer shell removed/white husk. Choose one with little or no blemishes.
- Don’t buy bruised or moldy coconuts, as they usually have pink, cloudy, syrupy or sour water in them. Empty each coconut into pint-sized jar before pouring in quart-sized jar, so the whole batch isn’t spoiled if coconut is bad!!
- 2-3 coconuts will fill a quart-sized jar (1 coconut=1-2 cups liquid), but you should have an extra coconut on hand in case you open one up and find old water (very pink, syrupy, cloudy, sour). If all your coconuts are good, you can always store this extra coconut in the fridge to use for a transfer.
- Your original batch of young coconut kefir can be used to ‘start’ up the next batch up to 7 times!! See how at the bottom of this recipe.
- Can’t source fresh coconuts? Look for young coconut water in the freezer section of health food store with the words “organic”, “raw”, “unpasteurized”, “no added sweeteners” (i.e. Exotic Superfoods, Feeding Change). Next best is “high pressure processed coconut water” (uses cold water under high pressure to inactivate microflora and aerobic pathogens). This process is more gentle then “high heat pasteurization” and allows raw food a longer shelf life and better retained flavor. You can find this coconut water in the refrigerator section of most health food stores (i.e. Harmless Harvest, Invo).
- Bottled coconut water is often pink and that’s usually fine. Certain brands, like Harmless Harvest and Exotic Superfoods are pink due to phenolic-antioxidant compounds that naturally occur in plants and react with enzymes in coconut water exposed to air. You don’t want very pink, syrupy, sour, or cloudy water. Here’s a video by Healthy Gut Girl on how to make yck with store-bought coconut water.
- Save the coconut meat inside of each coconut. Scoop out gently and blend with some coconut water, place in fridge until first batch of yck is ready, then add 3 tbsp. of yck per pint of pureed coconut meat for a probiotic-rich pudding (see recipe).
- Your first batch might look/taste different then subsequent batches. It might taste more flat at first, and won’t be as fizzy/foamy, but should get more fizzy with each subsequent transfer. This is why it’s best to rely on taste and smell NOT how things look.
- My husband and I created Oven Kit, essentially a small incubator for keeping temperatures constant when making unsalted cultured foods like yck.
- Use Mason jars as they allow air to escape but don’t allow air in to contaminate.
- Make a Coconut Mojito with yck, mint leaves, stevia extract, and squeeze of lime ??
I’m getting better results since adding young coconut kefir; I have longstanding “gut problems” and thankful for Tara for the relief I finally feel!
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May all bellies be happy!