Coconut Milk Kefir

How to Make Vegan-Friendly Coconut Milk Kefir

Coconut milk kefir is a fermented probiotic drink that is a dairy free alternative to regular yoghurt or milk kefir. Whether you are vegan or lactose-intolerant,  you can enjoy the same kefir taste without cow’s milk. This delicious drink can be added to smoothies, cereal or consumed daily as a probiotic beverage, similar to drinking yoghurt.

You may have seen other recipes that use milk kefir grains as a starter. These recipes are not a 100% dairy free option and unsuitable for people who don’t eat milk-based products.

In this article, you’ll learn how to make this fermented drink using water kefir and coconut milk. The method is super simple and you only need a few things to get started. 

Before you begin, you’ll need to have a pre-prepared batch of water kefir. Click here  to learn how to make water kefir from fresh grains.

Equipment that you need

  • A glass jar.
  • Piece of unbleached cheesecloth/muslin.
  • Rubber band.
  • Non-metallic plastic mesh strainer. 
  • Non-metallic stirring utensil (wooden or plastic spoon).


  • 1/4 cup of pre-prepared water kefir (Click here to learn how to make water kefir). 
  • 500 ml of coconut milk, fresh or two cans of organic, BPA free coconut milk.
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of raw sugar. 

 Instructions for making milk kefir

1. Pour 1/4 cup of water kefir into a glass jar.

2. Add 500 ml of coconut milk. Optional: Add 1 teaspoon of raw sugar. Stir gently. 

3. Cover your glass jar with a piece of cheesecloth or muslin. This will protect your grains from insects and dust. Secure with a rubber band.

4. Place your jar on your kitchen bench out of direct sunlight. The ideal temperature for making kefir is between 20-24 degrees Celsius. 

5. Leave for 12 – 48 hours. Your kefir should have a thickened texture, similar to a light yoghurt (not a thick Greek yoghurt) and have a slightly tangy taste and aroma. This process will be quicker in warmer weather. 

6. Drain the coconut milk from the grains using a fine mesh, plastic strainer. Gently squeeze the milk through the strainer using your wooden or plastic strainer. 

7. Drink and enjoy the milk, or store in the fridge. 

8. Repeat steps 1-7 using your leftover grains. If you are not making a current batch of kefir, your grains can be stored in fresh coconut milk in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

9. As your grains grow and multiply, you can gradually increase the amount of coconut milk that you use with each batch. 


  • When your kefir grains become too thick to easily strain, use your fingers to gently squeeze the milk out of the grains. Ensure that your hands are clean. Do not use anti-bacterial soap as it will contaminate your grains.
  • In temperatures under 20 degrees Celsius, your kefir may be sluggish and the fermentation process may take longer.
  • Hot weather, over 30 degrees Celsius will create an unsafe environment for your kefir, as it will create an environment of ‘bad’ bacteria. Please discard your grains and milk.
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