Dark Cherry-Reishi-Cacao Coconut Kefir
If you're looking for a probiotic-rich, good-for-the-gut, fermented beverage that you can make at home quickly and easily, then homemade COCONUT KEFIR is for you! Pre-digested (by its beneficial lactic acid bacteria), and therefore easily digested by the body, you can't afford to NOT make this health-promoting recipe for yourself! Resembling a yogurt-like beverage, coconut kefir may be flavoured in COUNTLESS ways! Beyond the minimal prep time, I love that such a nutritious addition to my day-to-day diet can also be so flavourful with just a few ingredients!
As I've done past blog content about Coconut Kefir (flavoured in other ways), here's a review of the process!
Ingredients & Supplies Required:
1 can organic, full-fat, coconut milk
1 probiotic capsule of your choice (*see notes about probiotics below)
1 jar (ideally just slightly larger than the volume of the coconut milk contents) (~500 mL)
Parchment paper (ideally unbleached, as the unbleached option doesn't contain unnecessary chemical additives)
1. Empty the contents of the can of coconut milk into a mixing bowl. Whisk, to thoroughly mix the contents that likely separated while in the can.
2. Open your probiotic capsule and add the contents to the coconut milk. Whisk once again, to thoroughly combine these two ingredients.
3. Pour this mixture into a clean glass jar, ideally leaving about 1 inch of headspace (space remaining) at the top. *Be sure to use a spatula to clean the mixing bowl, so as to not leave valuable ingredients behind!
4. Place a square piece of parchment paper between the jar and the lid, as an added seal. Screw on the jar lid, until you meet resistance; the lid is not intended to be screwed on tightly with ferments, so there is some "breathing room".
5. Place in a dark place at room temperature, so as to allow it to ferment for 24 hours without being close to a direct heat or light source. This conditions will allow the fermentation magic to happen!
6. After 24 hours, stir with a clean spoon and taste! You will notice the mixture is already plenty sour. *You may certainly taste test the mixture prior to 24 hours, to see how it is progressing - just be sure to use a clean spoon each time! The mixture will resemble that of sour cream once sour. *You may also certainly let it ferment a bit longer, if you'd like it to become even more sour!
7. If not consuming right away, place the lid back on the jar and place in the refrigerator.
8. If consuming right away, refer to the recipe below for the Next Steps!
*Consume within three days of refrigeration.
Dark Cherry-Reishi-Cacao Coconut Kefir
Coconut kefir (from above) (approximately 1.5 cups)
1/2 cup frozen, dark cherries (or cherries of choice)
*The Mushroom Cacao Elixir contains the following ingredients:
Organic Cacao Powder
Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
Organic Reishi Extract
Organic Cardamom Extract
Organic Stevia Leaf Extract
1. Boil some hot water and dissolve the contents of the Mushroom Cacao Elixir in about 1 cup of hot water. *The packet suggests 100 ml of hot water, but I prefer to dilute it somewhat more so it is not quite as strong!
2. Let this mixture chill in the refrigerator for awhile before proceeding to Step #3, or add an ice cube or two to speed up the process!
3. Combine all ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend until thoroughly combined.
4. Pour into a glass and garnish with anything you desire (optional - such as hemp seeds or unsweetened, shredded coconut).
*To view my past Coconut Kefir-based post, click here!
A little bit about Probiotics:
Numerous strains of beneficial intestinal bacteria perform several critical functions within the body[i]. The three types that appear to be most important in the body are:
Lactobacillus acidophilus (most well-known; known for reinoculating the gut with beneficial bacteria following a course of antibiotics)
Such bodily functions include helping to:
Keep pathogens (disease-causing bacteria) in check
Produce B vitamins and Vitamin K
Aid digestion (by producing lactic acid)
Reduce toxins in the colon
Bulk up stools when they die
Enhance mineral absorption by the body
Reduce cholesterol, as they break down bile so that it may be reabsorbed into the blood)
Strengthen the Immune System
Protect the intestinal wall lining from damage due to cortisol (our stress hormone) , prescription drugs and the birth control pill
Support liver detoxification
Improve skin health
Reduce cholesterol levels[iii]
*My current probiotic contains 14 different strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, with 30 million Colony-Forming Units (CFUs) as a result of these multiple strains of bacteria.
I hope this has inspired you to try this at home! Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org!
[i] Haas, Elson M. (2006) The Fundamentals of Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, 21st Century Edition (p. 272). New York, NY: Random House, Inc.
[ii] Haas, Elson M. (2006) The Fundamentals of Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, 21st Century Edition (p. 272). New York, NY: Random House, Inc.
[iii] Haas, Elson M. (2006) The Fundamentals of Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, 21st Century Edition (p. 272). New York, NY: Random House, Inc.