What’s the buzz?
Coconut water was the UK’s fastest growing soft drink in 2014, thanks in part to its rich nutritional profile. But this year it’s all about coconut kefir which gives you a double health hit combining the benefits of coconut with kefir.
Kefir grains are originally from the Caucasus mountains where they were traditionally used for aiding digestion, but have been increasingly growing in popularity of late. However if you are lactose intolerant, traditional milk kefir (where the grains are fermented with regular milk) may only serve to upset your stomach. Not so, coconut kefir. Adding kefir grains transforms coconut water into a fizzy, slightly sour ‘spritzer’ that’s a great choice if you’re avoiding dairy.
What are the nutritional benefits?
On its own, coconut water is low-calorie but contains valuable nutrients. It is rich in alkaline minerals like magnesium and potassium; in fact coconut water contains five times more potassium, a key electrolyte, than leading sports drinks. As it is 95 per cent water, it’s a great option for rehydrating and maintaining electrolyte balance.
How to make your own
Fill a half litre glass jug with coconut water and add the water kefir grains (these can be bought online). Cover loosely and leave to ferment at room temperature for 24-48 hours. When ready it will look cloudy. Remove the grains and store the coconut kefir drink in the fridge. Use within three weeks.
Coconut Kefir Ice Lollies
2 cups coconut water
125 g punnet of blueberries
1 tbsp of date syrup
1 tsp of vanilla extract
- Blend ingredients in a food processor on high until smooth. Pour mixture into ice-lolly moulds and freeze.
Coconut Milk Kefir Muffins
350g of flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
150g coconut sugar
2 eggs, beaten
225ml of coconut milk
110ml of coconut oil
1 ripe banana, mashed
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- Heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 4. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk kefir and oil.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture, then fold in the mashed banana.
- Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tin and bake for 20-30 mins until the muffins are risen and golden.