How to Make Cinnamon Coconut Water Kefir
Cinnamon coconut water kefir…. Mmm! Sounds delectable right. Cinnamon coconut water kefir is one of those drinks where when you try to recall the taste, all you can think is refreshing, refreshing, refreshing. If harvested at the right time it is not overly sweet (coconut water is not very sweet to start off with) and not overly sour.
Besides being an extremely pleasant tasting drink, coconut water kefir has some hefty health benefits.
Note, if you’ve never made water kefir, check out our guide to making water kefir.
Coconut Water Kefir Health Benefits
Coconut water used to be the drink of tropics dwellers. Nowadays, thanks to its list of health benefits, coconut water has found its way into shops all over the world. It is often drunk for its detoxifying effects, vitamin and mineral content, anti-fungal properties, and low calorie count. Combine these healthy attributes with the probiotic health benefits of kefir – and you got yourself a real health booster!
One of the reasons why coconut water kefir is so refreshing in taste is due to the fact that coconut water kefir contains natural electrolytes. Almost magically, the electrolytes in coconut water also occur in the same balance as within our bloodstream, making it the perfect electrolyte drink. Maintaining one’s electrolyte levels is important for good health. What better way than to do so via a tasty glass of coconut water kefir.
Coconut water has been going through somewhat of a rage in the States. The main reason for all of the excitement is thanks to its detoxification powers. Although these claims might sound very much like handed along hype, published studies (1,2,3) are in full support. Coconut water can assist an overburdened liver to get rid of its waste, help to dissolve kidney stones and fight free radicals. The antioxidant properties of coconut water is one of the reasons why it is thought have anti-aging effects.
Source of Vitamins and Minerals
Although its watery, cloudy appearance does not suggest it, coconut water contains an impressive list of vitamins and minerals. The reason why it is so concentrated is because the coconut water has to hold all of the elements which are required to form the ‘seed’ within the coconut shell. Which in turn has to begin the growing of a whole new coconut palm. So by consuming coconut water, you are taking all of these building blocks.
Vitamin & Mineral Content of Coconut Water
- Vitamin C
If coconut water’s outstanding positive effects on the body are not enough – let’s add some probiotics! Thanks to the fermenting power of kefir, coconut water kefir brings with it a whole host of digestion related health benefits. Through the presence of chemicals in our water, food, bleach in bread, the contraceptive pill and antibiotics, the microbes who do all of the work in our GI tracts can really take a knock. Drinking a probiotic like kefir is one of the kindest and most thoughtful things which you can do for your body.
So, let’s get down to the business of making cinnamon coconut water kefir!
Making Coconut Water Kefir
If you have made kefir before, then this is just as easy. You do not need any complicated equipment, just some kefir grains or ready made water kefir, a big glass jar, some coconut water, and a nice big stick of cinnamon. Before we get started – let’s take a look at the different ways you can culture your coconut water.
3 Different Ways to Culture the Coconut Water
For the process of converting coconut water into coconut water kefir you will need to have some source of kefir microbes to do the fermenting. Here are three different ways you can do this.
1) Using Water Kefir Grains
If you have water kefir grains you can use these to culture your coconut water. This is probably the most popular method. Because the grains have not come into contact with milk, it is a 100% dairy free option.
2) Using Milk Kefir Grains
If you do not have any water kefir grains, but have some milk kefir grains, then you can also using these. Lots of people use milk kefir grains to make their coconut water kefir. Milk kefir grains actually contain a substantially higher amount of probiotic strains than water kefir grains. So if you do choose to make coconut water kefir using milk kefir grains, you should be getting about 30 different strains of probiotics as opposed to about 10 from water kefir grains. However, keep in mind that using milk kefir grains will not produce a 100% dairy free kefir, as milk residue can leach into the coconut water kefir.
3) Using Water Kefir
Another alternative is to not use grains at all, but to rather use some ready made water kefir as a source of bacteria. As long as it is relatively fresh, it should culture the coconut water just fine. This method is great to use if you do not want to endanger your grains. Most cultures do not like having to ferment foreign substances, because unfamiliar substrates towards which they are not genetically adapted can sometimes cause them damage or starvation.
This is also a convenient trick to use if you do not make kefir yourself, but have bought live water kefir, or have gotten some from a friend – and want to turn it into coconut water kefir. Just make sure that it is still fresh – otherwise you might end up wasting some good coconut water.
Kefir Grain Care
When using kefir grains to ferment liquid other than their usual substrates, then there are a couple things you should do to maintain the health of your culture and ensure that you do not lose it.
Reviving Your Kefir Grains
If you use grains to ferment your coconut milk, then after the fermentation is finished you need to revive them in a solution of sugar water (if they are water kefir grains) or a batch of milk (if they are milk kefir grains). This is important because it will give them a chance to recover from the foreign coconut water, and feed on their usual food source.
Keeping a Backup of Kefir Grains
It is always a good idea to have a backup of your culture. Even when doing ordinary fermenting this is wise. If you have an occurrence of mold, or some other phenomenon which requires you to throw your batch of kefir out, grains and all, then it is always great to have a backup. If you are fermenting an out of the ordinary substance such as coconut water, then it is a particularly good practice to set some culture aside in case of accidents.
Do You Want to do a Second Ferment?
Lastly, before you set up your cinnamon coconut water kefir, decide if you want to do a secondary ferment. Secondary ferments simply consist of letting your finished kefir sit at room temperature for an extra day after you have stopped the ferment and bottled it up. It is a good trick to use to lock in additional carbonation, and also an opportunity to incorporate extra flavouring. So, if you want to do a secondary ferment, reserve your cinnamon stick until then, and add it once the grains have been removed. This is better for the kefir grains as spices and their oils can be detrimental to the culture.
If you decide to do a secondary fermentation, then it is best to stop your kefir on the early side. It will continue to ferment while standing at room temperature, even without the grains. By stopping it early when the grains are present, you minimize the chance of the brew getting overly sour.
Cinnamon Coconut Water Kefir
Once you have decided what you are going to use to culture your ferment, water kefir grains, milk kefir grains, or finished water kefir, then it is time to set up your brew.
What You Need:
- 3 heaped tablespoons of kefir grains
or 1 cup of freshly made water kefir
- 3 cans of coconut water, or roughly 2 pints (1 litre) of fresh coconut water
- 1 quart sized glass jar
- cloth cover or coffee filter and rubber band
- 1 large stick of cinnamon
Note on quantities: If you wish to make a smaller batch of coconut water kefir, then you can reduce the quantities -sticking to the 1 heaped tablespoon of kefir grains per can of coconut water, or per 12 oz (355 ml).
Note on coconut water: Fresh coconut water is superior in taste and nutrition to canned coconut water. If you can get your hands on some of this, great! However, as coconut palms are restricted to the tropics, if you can only get canned coconut water that is also fine. Just make sure that you select a brand which does not have any added sugar or other additives or preservatives. In addition, avoid coconut water which is reconstructed from a concentrate or pasteurized. The best method for extending the shelf life of coconut water is called HPP (High Pressure Processing). It is a heat-less process, and thus ensures that the maximum amount of goodness remains within the coconut water. If you can find a brand which uses this processing method – go for that!
Wash your glass jar with hot water and vinegar to rid it of unwanted bacteria. Do not use soap, as residues from this can harm the kefir microbes. Let dry.
Pour the coconut water into the glass jar. Add in the kefir grains, or ready made kefir. If you are going to be doing a secondary ferment, then reserve your cinnamon stick for then. If you are not going to be doing a secondary fermentation, then add the cinnamon stick in now.
Cover the top of your jar with the piece of cloth or coffee filter and secure it with the elastic band. Place the jar on the countertop in a place which is out of direct sunlight. Allow to ferment.
After about 16 hours, check your ferment. Depending on the temperature it can take up to 48 hours to ferment fully. You can taste some along the way if you are unsure as to how fast it is fermenting. Remember, if you want to do a second ferment, then you should stop the initial one early to avoid over souring.
Once fermentation has taken place, you can strain out your kefir grains and decant into glass bottles. Fliptops work great for this. If you are doing a second ferment you will have to break up your cinnamon stick into sections, one for each bottle. Once the bottling is done, you can either allow them to sit at room temperature for another 24 hours to build up fiz, or simply transfer them to the fridge.
Or alternatively if you do not want to break up the hard cinnamon stick, simply do the second ferment in the glass jar by removing the grains, adding the cinnamon stick and screwing on the lid. Once the secondary ferment is complete, you can decant into fliptops or other glass drinking bottles. If you don’t have any of these, you can also simply leave the coconut water kefir in its big jar with the lid on, and refrigerate.
And that is that! Cinnamon coconut kefir, for your enjoyment. This drink is especially suitable for times when you have lost a lot of body fluids through sweating, heat, fever, diarrhea etc.
Probiotic fermented beverages are a great way to boost one’s overall health. Coconut water itself is a bit of a super food, renowned for its detox abilities. Cinnamon has been racking up fame itself for anti-inflammatory properties and as a metabolism booster. Combining the three together makes for a very healthful drink -which has a lovely flavor.
Making sure that you are making fermented items which you enjoy and like the taste of is just as important as making them as altogether. The more you enjoy something, the more you will have of it – which and in the case of cinnamon coconut water kefir that is a good thing!
Happy fermenting guys.