Mesquite-Chocolate Coconut Kefir
Rainy Saturdays call for new recipe experimentation! It was definitely time to make some homemade, organic coconut kefir once again, and change up the flavour profile once again! You can't go wrong with chocolate!
Coconut milk-based kefir is a non-dairy alternative to dairy kefir - a fermented milk-based beverage that, like other homemade ferments, is very easy and economical to make at home! A bit thicker in consistency than milk, it mimics a yogurt-like beverage. It may be flavoured in numerous ways!
Any ferment is pre-digested (by its beneficial lactic acid bacteria - bacteria of which provide the sour taste we come to love with any ferment). Therefore, it is easily digested by the body.
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 any unnecessary chemical additives)
1. Empty the contents of the can of coconut milk into a mixing bowl. Whisk, to thoroughly mix the contents (cream and fluid) 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. These 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. Place the lid back on the jar and place in the refrigerator to chill (if you'd like to consume it directly after flavouring it, later). Otherwise, flavour and then store in the fridge for future consumption!
*Be sure to consume within three days of refrigeration.
Mesquite-Chocolate Coconut Kefir
Coconut kefir (from above) (approximately 1.5 cups)
2 tbsp. raw cacao powder (I love Organic Traditions)
1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract (I love the options by Simply Organic)
1/2 tsp. mesquite powder
Sprinkling of pink, Himalayan sea salt (or sea salt of choice)
1. Pour the 1.5 cups coconut kefir into your high-speed blender.
2. Add remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly.
3. Refrigerate any portion not immediately being consumed.
*This kefir may be enjoyed a variety of ways!
Add a small portion to your smoothie (i.e. 1/4 cup)
Enjoy a portion with some fresh fruit, granola, unsweetened/shredded coconut and/or nuts/seeds of choice as garnish (i.e. berries would work well here!)
Drink some as it is!
*A 1/4 cup serving is plenty! Ferments are concentrated with bacteria, so a little bit goes a long way. If ferments are new to your diet, you can certainly decrease this serving size and try a couple of tbsp. a time, to test how your body responds.
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 particularly important in the body are:
Lactobacillus acidophilus (most well-known; known for reinoculating the gut with beneficial bacteria following a course of antibiotics)
Beneficial probiotic bacteria are supportive of the following roles/processes in the body:
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]
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.