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Home > Healthy Living > Coconut milk kefir – a non-dairy kefir alternative

Coconut milk kefir – a non-dairy kefir alternative

Have you ever tried coconut milk kefir? It can be a great alternative to regular milk kefir!

Milk kefir is fantastic diary drink with high amounts of probiotics, vitamins, minerals and proteins. However, despite fermentation which removes much of the lactose in milk (kefir grains feed on it), there is still some left and many feel the effects of it. For some this might be just gas others might have severe case of diarrhea. In either case it’s not pleasant and might cause many to restrain from drinking kefir.

Not all is lost! There are non-dairy options.

First obvious non-diary option is water kefir, where fermentation happens in water by feeding kefir grains with sugar. This produces sweet fizzy drink, with lower amounts of probiotics.

But this is not all, there are also milk alternatives you can use. Most commonly used are nut milks (almond, walnut…). Maybe less used, but still very useful and incredibly tasty, is coconut milk. From Coconut you can use both milk and water (we will publish how to make coconut water kefir soon).

What is coconut milk?

Coconut milk is liquid produced by grating meat of a brown coconut. The colour and taste are attributed to high content of oil (saturated fat).

Traditionally, coconut milk is acquired through the grating of the white inner flesh of a brown coconut, and mixing the resulting substance with a small amount of water to suspend the fat present in the grated meat. (source)

Cocnut milk (source: Wikipedia)
Cocnut milk (source: Wikipedia)

How to make coconut milk kefir?

Process is quite easy and does not change much from fermenting diary milk. You will need to experiment a bit and see what is best for your kefir grains.

  1. Prepare Kefirko and milk kefir grains.
  2. Place grains in Kefirko together with coconut milk
  3. Stir the contents with the swizzle stick
  4. Cover and let it ferment.
  5. After 12 hours start checking for taste and consistency. When you reach desired taste strain and enjoy.

Donna Schwenk also adds a tip how to make coconut milk kefir creamier and tastier.

The secret is to add a little coconut spread. Coconut spread is made entirely from coconut meat.  It is prepared by first drying coconut meat at low temperatures and then grinding it into a paste. (source)


Your milk kefir grains will need time to adjust. First one or two batches might not be as good as you want them to be. This is due to grains being used to another environment. This adjustment period is present with most small changes in fermentation environment (migrating from store both milk to fresh raw milk).

Coconut milk kefir
Coconut milk kefir

Overall coconut milk kefir is not all that difficult to prepare. Of course it goes without saying that better ingredients will produce better results. We recommend using organic canned coconut milk with at least 8 grams of carbohydrates (food for kefir grains). Try finding milk with no additives as they might damage your kefir grains.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4


Get Kefirko kefir fermenter here.

Get milk kefir grains here.


  1. Do you add the coconut spread at the beginning of the process or after 24hour fermentation is complete? Thank you!

    • Hello, according to the source the author is using in this blog, the coconut spread is added in the beginning before the fermentation starts. If she used only shredded coconut meat it was sticking to the grains and the straining of kefir was very difficult.
      You should try it and tell us how it goes.

  2. I had the problem of the coconut milk sticking to my grains, I think because of the high fat. I’ll try the coconut spread if I can find it. What is the name of the product?

  3. Hi! I make my own coconut milk; I put water and meat of a fresh young coconut together in a blender and it makes a very creamy milk. Do you think that I can use it to do milk kefir? Thank you

  4. I just backed your Cheese Maker on Kickstarter and was wondering if I can make cheese from coconut milk kefir.

    • Hello Sharon!
      Unfortunately it would be very difficult to make cheese from coconut milk kefir since is not as thick as milk kefir. There has to be some thickness to allow separation of solids from whey.
      Best, Urška

  5. Hello and good day! I just tried putting milk kefir grains in coconut milk and it turned extremely oily ! Is that right? 😉

    • Hi Alice,
      a lot of things can happen when making coconut milk kefir. Coconut milk is by itself very fatty, sometimes separation happens quickly. Try stirring it few times during fermentation, maybe this will help.

  6. Hi there, My coconut milk kefir tastes good but it is very fizzy? Did I leave it too long? (24 hours)

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