Coconut Kefir’s Benefits

Fresh Coconut

Photo Credit
Disclaimer: I am just a mom sharing what works for her! Please discuss with a qualified health provider any health concerns and diet related changes you want to make.

Coconut’s Kefir’s benefits are huge. I have received several requests to share my experience with coconut kefir, which I am very happy to do. Next time I make it I will try to photograph the actual process, but today I would like to share about how it has benefited me.

What it is

Coconut kefir is made from the juice (also called coconut water) of young coconuts -not the mature coconuts with the brown hairy shell.  This juice is then fermented by either using a kefir packet, or a water kefir grain. This converts the sugars in the juice into probiotics. This creates a bubbly, tasty drink that Joel and I really enjoy.

It’s benefits
The cup on the left contains coconut kefir, the cup on the right, plain coconut water. You will notice that the kefir has a more cloudy appearance.

Coconut kefir is a great source of  probiotics. The other benefit is actually in the coconut water itself. Coconut water, fermented or not has many benefits. 

“Coconut water is a superfood filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, and growth factors. It is low in fat and has only a fifth of the sugar found in most fresh fruit juices. One of the most remarkable characteristics of coconut water is its chemical profile and mineral content. The primary minerals or electrolytes in coconut water are essentially the same as those found in human blood.”  Coconut Water for Health and Hydration

So by taking coconut water, and then fermenting it, you have a super-drink!

My Experience

I find that kombucha not only tastes good (though I admittedly had to get used to it’s strong taste), but is helpful for me. But I have to say that coconut kefir has had much more obvious results for me. I feel really good when I drink it!

How to Make it

Like I said, I will share in another post the actual process I go through to make it. Today I will just give you a brief overview of the two methods and my experience with them.

Water Kefir Grains

You can actually make coconut kefir out of water kefir grains. You only have a one time cost of buying them (you can buy them at many places on the web), so they are much cheaper in the long run. You can also use the grains for other uses as well. However, I tried making coconut kefir using them once or twice, and I really disliked how it tasted. Granted, I could have let it fermented to0 long, or made some other mistake, so I am willing to try again! But so far my results have not been successes.

Kefir Packets

What I have had great success with is using the kefir packets . I’ve made it with both canned coconut juice and with fresh coconut juice with good results. It tastes very good, and seemed to really help me personally. To make it, I pour the juice in in a jar and add one packet of kefir. If it is canned it will take longer to ferment. If it is fresh it will just take 24-48 hours. Then you save a little portion of that batch and add it to a new jar with more coconut kefir. You can keep repeating this process of saving a bit from one batch and adding it to the next until it loses it’s fermenting power. So while the packets are expensive, you can stretch them out to a fair amount of batches.  Advantages included taste and effectiveness, disadvantages include cost.

The Cost

Coconut Kefir is one of the those things that I really wish I could have all the time! It is a bit spendy for us right now on our tight budget, so we just make it here and there, or when I especially need it. It’s definitely worth the cost though! We have been able to save a lot of money making it by buying our coconuts at a local Asian store. At our local health store, young coconuts cost 4 dollars per coconut At the Asian store, we can buy the same brand for about 1 dollar.  That’s a huge savings, especially when you consider that you need three to four coconuts per batch!

All in all, I think that coconut kefir is a wonderful drink!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Kathy says

    I would like to know how much kefir both coconut and raw milk, does the average person need to drink daily? What are some thoughts on that? Same for Konbucha? I usually have about 1/2 cup fermented veges with each meal, drink a glass of kefir once or sometimes twice per day.

  2. KimiHarris says

    I think it depends on your own needs. I drank about 1 1/2 to 3 cups of coconut kefir everyday when getting over a yeast issue. But I certainly don’t do that everyday (mostly because of cost and it being hard to make enough for all of us to have that larger amount). I think especially if you are being able to eat fermented veggies, you don’t need to worry about drinking huge amounts of fermented drinks. But really, it just goes back to what works for you and what your needs are!

    Anyone else want to share what they like to do?

    • John Cain says

      I’ve been drinking about 1 to 1 1/2 cups per day. I would consider this to be a “jump start” dosage, since the cocunut water can be expensive to make and also takes a few days to be well fermented. I typically take 1/4 to 1/2 a cup daily after having had the stuff in my system for a week. I’m having a hard time finding kefir grains, so a capsule of probiotic works well for me as a substitute. I just twist the capsule open and add the contents to the water. I’ve also noticed that the more potent the probiotic capsule, the faster the fermentation! Last week I made 2 quarts of coconut kefir that was ready to drink in 3 days!

      • Rosa says

        Hi John, I know this an old post, hopefully you can still read it.

        If you want grains, Ihave an abundance of them, and don’t know what to do with them, email me and I can send you some for the cost of shipping.

  3. says

    Do you think the kefiring process is digesting a good portion of the sugar? My problem with the Kombucha is the amount of sugar. Although I’m experimenting with lowering the sugar. As you know the sugar is what is feeding the culture – so it can’t be eliminated.
    Normally I divide the sugar in 1/2 to calculate how much sugar remains in a cultured drink. So if Coconut water has 18 grams of sugar, I’m assuming 9 grams remain after fermenting. What’s your thoughts?

  4. says

    My husband took a trip to Sri Lanka several years ago. The water supply where he was was questionable at best, and many of the locals drank coconut water daily. My husband loved it. We have just started with kombucha. Maybe coconut kefir will be next?

  5. KimiHarris says


    I think it depends partly on how long you ferment it. If it doesn’t taste sweet anymore, I think most of the sugar should be converted. But I’ve never read a very scientific, proof based explanation of how much sugar is left. That’s a question I have had too!

    Donna talked about it in the Body Ecology diet and it’s pretty simple to make, so I just took it from there. 🙂


    How interesting!

    • mihai says

      you can buy a Refractometer on ebay for about 30$, and test a few drops. it will give you a percentage of sugar. the more expensive the model of refractometer will have a larger range and higher accuracy.
      i have looked into this but have not purchased one myself yet.
      good luck

  6. Nicki says

    I’ve tried to make coconut kefir a few times and ended up having to throw away most of the coconut water because it was slightly pink…which Donna warns you about. That turned out an expensive deal because as Kimmi says at $4 a coconut you can’t afford for the coconut water to be pink :-0 ( I need to find an Asian store near to us!) So instead I’ve gotten into the habit of making goatmilk kefir using raw goat milk that I get from the farm near where we live. I put kefir in the fruit shake that I make for my family every morning. I also make cultured veggies and we eat that every lunch time. My 2 children (especially my youngest) loves the cultured veggies. It makes a big difference when you start your kids early on eating healthy food…their taste buds aren’t spoiled by junk food 🙂 I definitely know that the cultured foods have made a huge difference to us. I hear mom’s talking about difficulties with their children and digestion and constipation and am very thankful that I don’t have those things to worry about! I know that fermented foods have a huge role to play in that!

    • KimiHarris says


      I’ve had that happen just a few times to me, and it was so sad. In my case, it was my own fault because I let them get to old. But it seems like the Asian store has a pretty quick turnaround so I really haven’t had too many problems with them, which makes me happy!

      I think that kids introduced to fermented veggies early really do enjoy them!

  7. says

    We too love the coconut kefir, it’s quite a hit at our house (along with Kombucha). I actually use my kefir grains and just rinse them thoroughly and keep those for our coconut kefir and we really enjoy the taste. 🙂 It’s a wonderful, healthy drink and so incredibly easy to make!

    Thanks Kimi for another great post – God bless you for all your hard work and effort you share!

  8. Anna Ovenell says

    Hi Kimmy, I have thoroughly enjoyed your website, having just recently subscribed. As I am currently in the Philippines and wish I could bring the abundance of fresh coconuts back with me. I am not sure where I can get kefir here…but since my cooking appliances don’t include an oven, I was excited release your coconut fudge recipe can be made here in my Philipino kitchen on the gas stove top! I just bought a fresh coconut in the market this morning for about 30 cent. They use a large knife right in front of you before shredding it for you and handing you coconut in a bag. I needed grated coconut for a dish I’m cooking tomorrow, to which I will add about 4 cups hot water and let it sit a few minutes before wringing the shredded coconut out with my hands, and then adding the left over milk to the dish. The rest of it includes basic chicken browned in a skillet with garlic, diced squash pieces added, green beans, and then the previously made coconut milk added. I thought you might enjoy hearing. And I am currently using fresh coconut oil as lotion 🙂

  9. katja says

    Coconut kefir sounds so good! I was wondering if you can make a thicker version using coconut milk. I live in the mountains and i have no access to fresh coconuts. But i can get the really creamy organic coconut milk out of a can. I don’t eat dairy so i am looking for creamy yummy substitutes. I have the kefir packets , do you think i could make it the same you you make your kefir?

    its so funny i have been thinking a lot about coconut yogurt lately and this morning i saw your post!

  10. Jessica O. says

    Hi Kimi….it is so funny you should do a post on this….as we have been reading and getting the things to make coconut kefir. I saw it in the “Eat Fat loose Fat” book. Have the kefir grains bothered you since they are from milk? that is why I have put it off since I have several children that can not handle dairy at present. Then I just decided to go ahead and try it….Also I saw you mentioned the recipe from Body Ecology diet and something about it turning pink not being good…I did not read that….how do we know if it is BAD and not good to drink….
    Thanks….for the helpful post…since we are just getting ready to add this into our routine….hopefully….
    Jessica O.

    • BeverlyAnn says

      If you cut open a fresh green thai coconut and see that the water inside is pink instead of clear then the coconut has spoiled.

  11. Jessica O. says

    Kimi, I forgot to add in my last post…Is there a sourdough book you really like & recommend…that teaches the ends & outs of sourdough & healthy recipes?
    I get confused by adding fresh starter….how long before to add it and let it sit, putting more started back in, how much to add back in, increasing my starter and so on….all we have made each week is biscuits until I can’t more of a hand on it….
    Jessica O.

  12. says

    Is the kefir gluten free and casein free? I love coconut water and use it in my smoothies. I take probiotics so combing the two sounds great to me. Coconut water has tons of benefits which I’ve shared with my readers. I would love to share this too especially if it’s gluten and casein free. Thanks!

  13. KimiHarris says

    Rachel-Another fellow kefir lover! So the grains work for you, huh? I will have to try it again. 🙂


    So nice to hear from you! I hope that you are doing well. I wish I could have some of those wonderful fresh coconuts that you have access too. 😉 Thanks for sharing how it’s done there. It sounds lovely. Can I come for dinner?


    I don’t see why not. If you try it, let me know how it turns out. 🙂

  14. says

    Thanks for posting this. I was planning on making it anyway and reading your post gave me more confidence. I just started my first batch today. We have made Kombucha in the past and loved it so I am sure we will like this. I got my young green coconut water at the Asian grocery store and it was only $1 for a 17oz. can and I am pretty happy about that because it is easier and more economical. Are you going to be doing more posts on fermented veggies? I just started on those too and am learning to like them.

  15. spencer says

    Wow, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I haven’t made a batch in a couple of months and I really miss it. I experience the same instant feeling as you described. I was teaching some small groups how to make it for a while and everyone said the same thing, some people even experienced a temporary “high” after drinking it. I think that as the transfers grow in strenth they consume more and more sugar and make even more fizzy bubbles tickling your nose! Most kefir is a blend of several different bacteria and yeast, I think its the yeast that helps fight candida as they compete for the same nutrients and the candida ends up starved out. benificial yeast is also full of b vitamins witch most people with parasites are very low on. All and all you just can’t go wrong with it! Joel is very lucky to have such an industrious woman, not a drop of kefir has passed my lips from another persons stash and I really started to get greedy with it. I think it’s time to make another batch to hoard:-) Thanks Kimi, your always a source of inspiration.

  16. kellyne says

    That sounds great! Unfortunately I’m in the same boat as Katya – no access to fresh coconut but I can get the canned milk. If anybody has tried to make kefir with the coconut milk it would be great to hear your results. Have been trying to figure out if I would need the milk grains or the water grains for it. Any ideas?

    Thanks again Kimi for all the good advice and information!

    • Rosa says

      I use milk kefir grains with coconut milk, and it tastes yummmy! I don’t have any problems with the milk, but ever since trying it out with coconut milk, I don’t want to use milk with my grains anymore.

      I get a really thick creamy coconut, it tasted very much like coconut flavored yogurt, add some granol, and flax seed, and I got my breakfast. YUM!


  17. Loree says

    Has anyone heard about buying young coconuts not from Thailand (apparently they are not organic and have high toxic/pesticide use when traveling to the U.S. by boat) but from a more secure source? Has anyone been able to find organic young coconuts at an Asain food store (or other)? Maybe an online source?

  18. Liz says

    Hi Kimmi,

    I was glad to see you have had success with fermenting the premade coconut water. I just tried my first batch. Its been about 36 hours and it still tastes sweet. Could it be that the temp is too low? Is it possible if I left it out longer it would ferment? Can I still drink it even though it has the grains and no ferment? What do you reccommend for getting this right? Thank you.

  19. Carly says

    THANK YOU!!!!!
    Can this be made with the grains from cow’s milk kefir? I bought some in hopes of trying to create it…..any help?

  20. says

    Thanks for the great info. I’m a long time drinker of kefir yoghurt, but never came across coconut kefir before…even better coconuts are readily available in my part of the world.

  21. says

    There have been some very useful questions, answers, and ideas generated by this blog post, thanks to Kimi for posting it!

    There have been several references to Donna Gates and Body Ecology, and for those of you who haven’t visited the Body Ecology website, there is a wealth of information about probiotics, health, and nutrition, including a page with step-by-step instructions (with pictures) on how to prepare young coconut water kefir (see

    My family is also concerned about the cost of making the coconut kefir, but it has become such a staple of our diet (and our bodies seem to crave it so much) that I try to “stretch out” every bottle of coconut kefir by mixing it with other healthy liquids. Some of my favorite mixes are:
    – 1/2 coconut kefir + 1/2 mineral water
    – 1/2 coconut kefir + 1/2 tart fruit juice
    – 1/3 coconut kefir + 1/3 mineral water + 1/3 tart fruit juice

    You should see young kid’s eyes light up when they taste the kefir, mineral water, and fruit juice combo sweetened with stevi – but don’t you dare tell them how healthy it is!

    I admit I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I tend to add stevia so I can sweeten the taste without adding sugar to most of these mixes (and even to the coconut kefir alone, but by “cutting” the kefir with another healthy, complimentary liquid you can make those precious coconut kefir ounces go much farther and have a great tasting, healthy drink, as well!

  22. says

    I am fascinated by your kefir. I drink coconut water in coconut countries rather than mineral water. First thing to do is buy tender coconuts and put them in the fridge. when they took up too much space I started to let teh water out in a glass and it keeps very well for a couple of days. According to Hindu mythology, coconut water is meant to cure all the ills inthe world – I will put the quote on my web site.

    I develop coconut processing as part of development projects and am off to the Solomon Islands in a few days. I have been arguing for a really fantastic quality milk and my next target is a soft coconut cheese, any help will be greatly appreciated.

  23. Anita says

    I have live Water Kefir grains/SKG/Tibicos, if anyone wants to buy some. They’re very healthy cultures, & make great fermented fruit drinks (even plain lemon is fantastic!!), & perfect for Young Coconut Juice kefir. They last a lifetime, as long as they’re looked after. The packets are too expensive!

    **Australia only, thanks**

    • Mikael says

      Hi Anita !
      I am in malaysia & wonder if you can sell & ship your kefir grains to me .
      Now, only using ‘whey water’ from yooghurt making + probiotic capsule to make ‘fresh coconut water kefir’ drink .

      I read ‘water kefir grain’ has much better benefits . Yours is SKG/Tibicos kefir & that will be a great start for me to culture .

      Best regards,

  24. Ee-Leen says

    hi Kimi,
    I’m rather confused, what’s the difference between kefir packets and kefir grains? I live in Singapore and am intending to buy some starters off the internet…are those the water kefir grains you are talking about? do you buy the kefir packets from a health food shop or?

    many thanks!! i’ve been a lurker on your site and i’m so delighted with all i’m learning from you!

    p/s coconut milk and juice is abundant here because we are in the tropics. 🙂 the canned variety here has additives in it so i’m thinking of making my own – our markets here sell grated coconut, fresh. 🙂

  25. kim mundell says

    Hi! I was looking to see if you can make kefir out of canned coconut milk too and I found this site that gives a recipe.
    I am going to try it with powder starter, as this is what I have. Also, she says it turns out very thick, so I think I will try it with water added (and without the other ingredients listed below).
    “Eat Fat Lose Fat” has many coconut milk recipe’s and one is for
    Coconut Milk Tonic (calories and calcium equal to Milk)
    * 1 can whole coconut milk *1 3/4 cups water * 2 Tbsp maple syrup * 1 tsp pure vanilla extract * 1 tsp Dolomite Powder (calcium, found at
    Here’s hoping!

  26. nancy says

    I recently tried making coconut kefir with packets kefir. I stirred in the kefir into coconut water,however I didn’t get it to dissolve/mixed up completely.

    So now there it like undissolved particles in the bottom of the jar. It is fermenting and I’m just wondering if it is still good to consume like this?
    And yes, the liquid has the cloudy white look to it.
    Please help.

  27. gwen bobb says

    have just mixed 1 can coconut milk and 1 can coconut water used packets of kefir from body ecology will adjust amounts and let u know but both items have added sugar cannot find sugar-free

  28. says

    We have a wonderful raw food cafe that opened up in our area (finally!) Cacao Tree Cafe in Royal Oak, MI, and they have some delicious coconut water kefir. It is an amber color, though, kind of the color of beer! I have not asked them yet about the process, but I have been going regularly and getting 1-2 oz. of wheatgrass juice, then a chaser of 8 oz of the coconut water kefir, and I feel great every time. I assumed this was the normal color for it, but is sounds darker than what you describe. I will say that I’m pretty sensitive to alcohol, since I don’t drink it other than in these types of probiotic drinks, and I do find that a small glass of this or kombucha tea will kind of go to my head for about a half hour, but doesn’t leave the headache that a regular alcoholic drink would.

    Buying it at a restaurant a few times a week is adding up, so I found your site when I was looking up recipes on making it! 🙂 I used to do milk kefir years ago, but just couldn’t keep up on taking care of those cultures, it’s was too hard to take a break, and I wasn’t crazy about using dairy, so this is a good alternative. 🙂

  29. David says

    Hi I live in florida and climb trees for young coconuts. These are great because I am a very health conscious person who picks these coconuts in a mindful way and know they are not treated by formaldihide like many asian coconuts. I have more coconuts than I can drink and am wondering if there are people interested in receiving them

    • Rosa says

      Hi David,

      I would love to have some of your coconuts, but don’t you think that shipping would be so expensive because of the weight?


  30. hedvig says

    Hi! I just wonder, why can’t one use mature – brown – coconut to make coconut water kefir or coconut cream yogurt/kefir? I have a masticating juicer so I can make a cream that takes some of the fibre out..
    We don’t have young coconuts over here unfortunately but fresh brown furry coconuts.

    • Samuel Tan says

      hi hedvig,

      I am from Malaysia where fresh coconuts are everywhere. It’s God-given nuts 🙂 to us.

      The water from mature coconut (brown) is not as sweet and as nutritious as compared to the young ones (green). The nutrients has been transferred to its thick and hard flesh where coconut milk or coconut cream is extracted.

      I make Coconut Water Kefir (clear soda) with Water Kefir Grains and Coconut Milk Kefir (creamy) from Milk Kefir Grains. I love both, to the last drop 🙂

  31. Samuel Tan says

    hi hedvig,

    I am from Malaysia where fresh coconuts are everywhere. It’s God-given nuts 🙂 to us.
    The water from mature coconut (brown) is not as sweet and as nutritious as compared to the young ones (green). The nutrients has been transferred to its thick and hard flesh where coconut milk or coconut cream is extracted.

    I make Coconut Water Kefir (clear soda) with Water Kefir Grains and Coconut Milk Kefir (creamy) from Milk Kefir Grains. I love both, to the last drop 🙂

  32. Samuel Tan says

    Dear Kimi,

    Wow, I could spend days just going through your recipes and information for healthy diet here. Thank you for the good works done, keep it up.

    I am from Malaysia and if anyone in Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand would like to get their Water Kefir Grains or Milk Kefir Grains, they may write to Joy at kefirbaby @

  33. Kelly says

    I know a lot of people use coconut water. Hopefully I didn’t miss an answer to this question. I wondered if it’s okay to use the brand coconut dream… or so delicious. I’ve heard of people using it but do you think the benefits are the same. Or is it actually better to use the coconut water.
    Also when I make “dairy” kefir.. I usually know it is done because it shows lines going up the bottle when I tilt it for a minute or so… on the film that is left on the glass. How can you actually tell when the coconut kefir is done fermenting? Either the coconut water or the white coconut milk (or both) if anyone knows.
    Thank you so much. I’m a beginner. I use dairy, but my sister needs either almond or coconut b/c she is allergic to dairy.
    I appreciate everyone’s advice here so much. Very nice place to visit.

  34. says

    When you drink liquids at meals it will
    often dilute your stomach acid to the point that your stomach is
    no longer able to break down the foods that enter it.
    (I’d love to see a stevia-sweetened version in the future). A natural part of the digestive process, fermentation uses the bacteria in your gut to break down food into an easily absorbed form, allowing it to ‘predigest’ which aids our digestive tract and offers friendly bacteria to help keep our immune systems strong while supporting our overall digestive health.

  35. Judy says

    Hi I was really interested in making coconut kefir but I bought the wrong one, I ended up buying the mature one instead. My question is can i still get the same results with the mature one?

  36. Bianca says

    Hello, I recently made coconut kefir water from a previous bottle of inner eco by mixing 2 tbs with about 4 cups of coconut water. I let this sit in my pantry for approx 48 hours. It had a very slight effervecence. I closed the lid and them refrigerated. It lost it’s bubbly ness and now it tastes and smells sulphury. Like beer. Is that normal? I added a little sugar to see if it would help add bubbles but nothing. Any suggestions? I’m afraid to drink it cuz I don’t want to have done something wrong. Seems like there’s visible grains now though? Help!


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