Vanilla Coconut Water Kefir

Vanilla Coconut Water Kefir

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year! Everything is in bloom, the weather is warming up, the days are longer and winter is finally over. Spring is the season of renewal and the best time to start eating foods which are lighter and more cleansing. One of my springtime rituals is to create new flavors of fermented foods to help cleanse, reboot and support my digestive health. I’ve been having so much fun fermenting a bunch of different vegetables, fruits, nut milks, seed milks and coconut water! I had to share my latest recipe for vanilla coconut water kefir with all of you because it’s so delicious and really simple to make!


I had gut issues in the past and I know just how bad they made me feel and I don’t want any of you to have to experience that pain if I can help you support your digestive wellness. Coconut water kefir is a fermented beverage that is rich in beneficial bacteria, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that are crucial for digestive and immune system health. Coconut water kefir is one of my favorite fermented beverages because it tastes so refreshing and light. This kefir is perfect for anyone who can’t enjoy milk kefirs. If you’re experiencing low energy, blood sugar issues, excess weight, sugar cravings, and digestive issues, coconut water kefir will help support your digestive system so your body can get healthy.


I also enjoy making both raw milk kefir and water kefir. I make nut and seed milks using pecan, walnut, brazil nuts, coconut meat, sesame seeds, and hemp seeds and use them as the base for making different types of kefir.  When I took the Alcat test and found out I couldn’t have dairy for 6 months, I consumed a lot of coconut water and nut and seed milk kefirs and they really helped me feel so much better!


Vanilla coconut water kefir is easy to make especially if you have access to young Thai coconuts. These coconuts have a white outer shell. You can find these coconuts at Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts, and also many Asian Markets. If you can’t find young coconuts in your area, you can use high quality coconut water to make your kefir. This is the brand I use when I can’t find young coconuts in the store.  Once you get your coconut water, you will ferment it with kefir bacteria cultures to create a bubbly, tangy drink that will help reboot your digestive system, cut sugar cravings, aid detoxification, support your endocrine system, and strengthen your immune system.


How to Open Young Coconuts


  • Place one of your coconuts on a towel and turn on its side so that the pointed end faces your knife hand. Use the knife to saw the pointed top down until you see the light brown inner husk.


  • Set the coconut up on its flat bottom and use the edge of the knife to poke an opening in the brown husk. Cut open a hole and pour water into a sterilized glass jar. Scoop out the white meat with the back of a large spoon and freeze meat in airtight containers to use in other recipes.


Here are two good videos to show you how to open a coconut. The first video uses a large butter knife to open the coconut. The second video uses a cleaver to open the coconut.  See which method you prefer when you click on the video links.



Vanilla Coconut Water Kefir



My recipe today is an easy variation on the basic coconut water kefir recipe. I added vanilla beans and pure vanilla extract to the recipe to create a delightful vanilla flavored coconut water kefir. I really like seeing the tiny flakes of vanilla bean in the kefir and the intense vanilla flavor adds a warm, sweet note to the coconut water. This bubbly, probiotic-rich drink reminds me of cream soda especially when I add a few drops of liquid vanilla stevia to it.


If you enjoyed my coconut water kefir recipe, check out my holistic cookbook that’s packed with 154 tasty whole foods recipes and 50 pages of healthy living tips! Deliciously Holistic is for sale as an eBook for only $15.00. Find out more about the cookbook or get the eBook by clicking here.  Or get the print book on Amazon.


If you want to try some more of my fermented recipes, please check out my cinnamon coconut water kefir, pomegranate pineapple water kefir and purple cabbage and apple sauerkraut. Click the links below to see the recipes.


Cinnamon Coconut Water Kefir



Fermented Purple Cabbage and Apple Sauerkraut



Pomegranate Pineapple Water Kefir



Have you ever tried making your own coconut water kefir? Please contribute to the conversion by leaving a comment.


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Vanilla Coconut Water Kefir


Vanilla Coconut Water Kefir

Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Makes 1-quart

4 cups young coconut water—use water from 3-4 young coconuts or packaged unsweetened coconut water (This is the brand of coconut water I like)

4 tablespoons rehydrated water kefir grains or 1 packet of kefir starter

1-Quart sterilized glass jar with lid

Seeds from ¼ vanilla bean (my favorite vanilla beans)

1 teaspoon pure alcohol-free vanilla extract (my favorite alcohol-free vanilla extract)


1. Pour the room temperature coconut water into the glass jar. Add the kefir grains and place top on the jar. If using the kefir starter, warm the coconut water to 92 degrees F. and pour the water into the glass jar. Stir in the kefir starter with a large spoon and cover the jar loosely with the lid.

2. Let coconut water kefir set at room temperature out of sunlight for 24-48 hours. Coconut water kefir is ready when it turns milky white or cloudy, fizzy, and tastes tangy.  After 24 hours, pour a small amount of kefir into a glass and taste. If the kefir is fizzy, milky white or cloudy and you like the taste of the kefir, strain out the kefir grains and add the vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract for the second ferment. Screw the lid on tightly and do a second ferment for 1 day or 24 hours.

3. If you are using the water kefir grains, once you strain them out of the coconut water kefir, you can use the kefir grains to make another batch of coconut water kefir right away. If you’re not ready to make another batch of kefir you need to store the grains in sugar water made with ¼ cup of organic sugar and 1 quart of pure spring water in a clean covered container until you’re ready to make another batch of coconut water kefir. The water kefir grains can stay in the refrigerator for several weeks and up to 1 month in the sugar water.

4. If using the kefir starter, you can remove ¼ cup of the coconut kefir and add to another 4 cups of coconut water to make a new batch. Water kefir will last under refrigeration for 7—14 days.


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  1. Hi Shelley,

    Spring is a time of renewal for me. As everything is changing, so is my body. I like to eat foods that are season oriented. By that I mean, heavy foods like roots in the winter and as we approach spring, I yearn for lighter foods.

    I also like to try new things all the time and appreciate this recipe this week. Somehow, I never like the texture of yogurt but when it comes to Kefir, I love it. This is wonderful because I have been also using coconuts in my diet lately.

    Keep them coming!
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Got Business Swag?My Profile

  2. Hi Shelley,
    Nice post Thanks for sharing with us keep up it Have a nice week ahead.
    Bilal Tahir Khan recently posted..How to Find Your WordPress Login URLMy Profile

  3. This recipe sounds delightful Shelley! I decided to get back to eating better earlier this week and stocked up on coconut water so nothing will be preventing me to making this this evening.

    Thanks for sharing it and have a great weekend!
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..We are Natural CreatorsMy Profile

  4. Hi Shelley! Thanks for sharing this recipe. It sounds yummy. I am not the biggest fan of coconut water, but I love the idea of your combination so I should definitely give it a try.
    HoodaK recently posted..Where Have I been And What Are My Plans? Let Me Tell You…My Profile

  5. I have not used coconut water that much, but after reading your post and looking at your recipe, I Think its something I want to try. Thanks for sharing.
    Siphosith recently posted..Using WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast Doesn’t Have To Be HardMy Profile

  6. I have heard great things about coconut water. Your recipes sound delicious!
    BeckyW recently posted..Britt Robertson’s Interview #TomorrowlandEvent | Casey in TomorrowlandMy Profile

  7. I haven’t had much experience with coconut water, though one of my sons was into it a year or so ago. At least he got me eating fresh coconut. 🙂 Your recipes always sound delicious as well as healthy, and your presentation is so appealing.
    Willena Flewelling recently posted..The FarmMy Profile

  8. Thanks for this great posts. Keep it up.

  9. Rai Muzammal says:

    this an amazing post which i have got here .thanks you so much for sharing vanilla coconut water kefir cool article with use
    Rai Muzammal recently posted..How to Get High Quality Backlinks with Free Blogger TemplatesMy Profile

  10. i like Vanilla Coconut Water Kefir

  11. thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe i will definately give a try today itself

  12. Hi! I decided to get back to eating better earlier this week and stocked up on coconut water so nothing will be preventing me to making this this evening… 🙂

    Thanks for sharing


  13. I can not wait to make this! I ordered kefir grains but I do have some questions as i am new to making Kefir 🙂 i appreciate you answering them

    1)what do you mean by rehydrated?
    2) what do you do with the grains once you are done (aka how do you store them?)
    3) how long do they stay good for? like how many times can i use it to make a drink? thank you!

    thank you!

    • Hi Sarah, I’m so happy you’re going to make your own coconut water kefir! Most water kefir grains are shipped out in a dehydrated state. You have to bring them out of dehydration in order to start making kefir by letting them wake up in sugar water. I recommend you use organic sugar and spring water to do this. Here’s a very helpful video on YouTube to show you exactly what to do:
      Once you rehydrate the grains you can make your first batch of water kefir. When the kefir is done fermenting you can strain out the grains and store them in sugar water until ready to make another batch of kefir. You need to store the grains in sugar water made with ¼ cup of organic sugar and 1 quart of pure spring water in a covered container until you’re ready to make another batch. I usually just use the kefir grains to make another batch of coconut water kefir right away. If you don’t want to do this, the water kefir grains can stay in the refrigerator for several weeks and up to 1 month in the sugar water. If you want to store them for a longer period of time you will need to strain the grains out of the sugar water and make a new batch of sugar water to keep them fed and happy. You can use the grains over and over again. They will continue to multiply the more you use and feed them.
      Shelley Alexander recently posted..Simple Strategies for a Healthy Holiday SeasonMy Profile

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