Lychee Coconut Water Kefir

 Lychee coconut water Kefir Loula Natural

The Summer is on its way and that means in the tropics we have Lychee’s in abundance! However since it is still only spring I have also used tinned and dried lychees to make this. It comes close!

One of my favourite Kefir’s is Coconut water Kefir. I prefer to use the fresh coconut water (open a coconut here) but carton coconut water is better absorbed after it has been fermented. After 12-24 hours and I have strain the grains (see how to make Kefir) I then add ripe plump Lychee’s to the jug. About 5-10. I then leave that out for another 12-24 hours and you get a beautiful tart, sweet sharp Kefir which is lovely on its own, diluted with some sparking water, in your Green Juice’s, in my Watermelon Cooler or with a dash of vodka and a squeeze of lime!

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Lychee coconut water Kefir Loula Natural pin

5 Reasons to Make Kefir

 

Grains in the picture are water grains I ferment with Coconut Sugar and Filtered Water  or Coconut Water (hence the colour!)
Grains in the picture are water grains I ferment with Coconut Sugar and Filtered Water or Coconut Water (hence the colour!)

 

Fermentation is the “transformation of food by various bacteria, fungi and enzymes they produce” (The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz- awesome book. The transformation is enormous.

Fermenting is a natural phenomenon. Very little is actually understood about the make-up of the starters and how they grow, transform and multiply. Some do it spontaneously and some are seemingly indestructible. The trans-formative power of fermentation can produce alcohol, preserve our foods and make them more digestible, less toxic and more delicious.

1. Vibrant is how I tend to describe fermented foods especially Kefir. We would not exist without our bacterial partners. Our digestive systems need them and this system is vital for the procurement, absorption and assimilation of nutrients used to power every other body system. Our immune system depends on it and we could not use or store energy without them. The product is amazing! When using a UHT milk you will get a superior product with more nutrients ready to be absorbed. If you go up the scale and ferment a Raw Milk (sadly impossible for us here in HK) you are getting a true super food. The same goes for your water Kefir- if you use white refined sugar you are getting the bacterial benefit, if you are using a coconut sugar or maple syrup there will be so many more nutrients available within the water

2. Kefir is a natural pro-biotic. Kefir grains, whether water or milk, are essentially cultured beneficial bacteria. It is what they then go onto culture that makes them one or the other (milk or water). However with time and patience they can be used to culture both. If someone gives you ‘milk kefir’ grains you may be able to use them to culture any milk (cows, goats, sheep’s, soy, rice, any nut/seed or coconut). ‘Water Kefir’ grains may be used to culture Water (sugared water, juice or coconut water). This means that grains can produce different results based on where they are from and what they have been used and no two batches will be the same. They feed on the lactose in the milk and the sugar in the water (coconut or juice). 

3. They are cheaper to use then bottled probiotics. They are also alive and not freeze dried like in the capsules so are ready to inhabit and balance the bacteria in your digestive system. Safe for everyone Kefir can be taken while pregnant and is great for babies (not the milk kefir before the age of one) Capsules will help promote good bacteria but will not take up residence like Kefir does (source) Also Kefir has 35 strains of alive bacteria working together in symbiosis. How many strains are listed on the back of your probiotic capsules?

4. Kefir is so easy to make. Liquid (containing sugar), warm environment (room temperature) and grains. Leave for between 12-24 hours strain and go. Other forms of fermenting can take longer and be a bit more tempermental! The Grains are virtually indestructible and can be stored easily in the fridgeThe Kefir community is inclusive and open to all so you should be able to find grains from someone in your area. (The grains are meant to be free but some people may charge postage or a nominal fee- my grains are free to come and collect!) 

5. What to use it in. I add it to a smoothie every morning. However you can also make yoghurt from it, use it as a sourdough starter, pancakes, ice cream, chiaporridge, cereal, raw cookies, green drinks;the possibilities are endless. Use them on your skin and is great for Eczema (in the bath, grains as a face/body mask, in a spray bottle for after swimming and my favourite way is as an alternative to shampoo; the water and coconut water are amazing on hair and the milk kefir is great as a hair mask- try mixing it with a little coconut oil) Come and find my Fermenting Inspiration board on my Pinterest where I also share other great ideas). This post is just addressing the first ferment– with an additional second ferment the possibilities for goodness, nutritional content and taste are virtually endless!

 

If you are in Hong Kong come on one of my Fermenting Workshops to taste and learn Kefir, Kombucha and Coconut Yoghurt within a community! See my events board on my facebook page or subscribe to my newsletter to be kept up to date with all recipes and tips! Learn more buy buying my book;

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Almond and coconut flour kefir pancakes

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My hubby came up with this recipe. These are based on Jamie Oliver’s American pancake recipe, changing the ingredients but keeping e method. Whipping the whites gives these pancakes an amazing lightness. If you need it to be egg free you may lose this lightness. You can substitute the eggs with ground flax- 1 egg= 1 tbs flax to 3 tbs water mixed together then added (so this recipe will need 3tbs flax mixed in 9tbs water) try whipping the mixture to see if it makes a difference.

70g almond flour
25g coconut flour
20g Quinoa flour
3 large eggs
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
140ml Kefir (but you can also use almond milk or oat milk
a pinch of salt

First separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another. Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter. Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter – it is now ready to use.

Heat a good non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to look golden and firm. At this point sprinkle your chosen flavouring (see below) on to the uncooked side before loosening with a spatula and flipping the pancake over. Continue frying until both sides are golden. The batter will keep in the fridge so why not make half and save the other half for the next morning!

We serve these with a choice of nut butter and banana or berries and coconut nectar. But you can have them with anything. You can also add banana, blueberries or raspberries to the batter while they are cooking too if you like and then drizzle them with coconut nectar/maple syrup. Delicious…

Pumpkin smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Loula Natural

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

We have a protein shake every morning with our breakfast. I used to use a pumpkin seed protein mostly because its unflavoured and I am not a huge whey protein fan. Nowadays we just just nuts and seeds in our quest to eat as close to nature as possible. This Pumpkin smoothie is great tasting but also really filling and satisfying.

Both of my kids have had morning smoothies from around 6 months (although I kept them nut free for the first year). My eldest would have porridge and it was not keeping her full up till lunch. I was adding ground almonds and berries when she was one however she would still be looking for food an hour after. Since I was already having a smoothie myself I started giving her some. She’s had one every morning since! Now my youngest is also not complete in the morning without his smoothie! 

Breakfast= smoothie then muesli then apple! 

Check out all my other breakfast recipes here

I love pumpkin. I love it in soup, pie, roasted, chipped and puréed. I found organic canned pumpkin but also prefer making my own pumpkin puree. This is a twist on our regular morning smoothie and my kids and I think its delicious. The hubby is going along with it but he has issues with using veggies in sweet mode (he eats my beetroot brownies alright though!!)

 2 cups of oat milk/Almond Milk
1/3 cup of organic pumpkin puree
1 banana (I keep mine in the fridge- but a frozen one would be nice too)
1 tbs peanut butter (or other nut butters- optional)
2 scoops protein powder/almond meal/ground flax/ground seed mix (30g protein- optional)
Tsp Pumpkin Spice powder (to taste so add more or less)
Vanilla (essence, pod or paste)
1 tsp maple sugar (coconut nectar, maple syrup- optional)
1 tbs coconut oil/ghee/butter

you can also add 2 tbs kefir (dairy or water) for a probiotic kick

Whizzzzz up. This serves 3 glasses.

Delicious- I also love sequins!!

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Other pumpkin recipes;

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

Pumpkin Bread

 Pumpkin Brownies

Immune boosting pumpkin pie spice

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Loula Natural Pin

Rocky Road Coconut Ice-cream

I will never go back to dairy ice cream- coconut ice-cream all the way.

You may have noticed a trend with my recipes! Chocolate. Combine that with coconut ice-cream and I am very happy! I love Chocolate- there’s nothing wrong with it. In the right form and the right amount it’s really good for you- a very good anti- oxidant. Full of healthy fats (when cocoa butter/coconut oil is used), magnesium, vitamins and minerals

I have raw organic cacao powder and I use it in my baking and for hot chocolate and my  2 kids like it way better than the sickly sweet, poor quality, addictive garbage that is generally billed for kids. “That’s not chocolate” she says about the mass produced stuff and reaches for the 85% I always have in the fridge! Guess what, she’s happy with one square.

Anyway, I love ice cream- it doesn’t love me- until now. My husband is a great cook and he too loves his sweet stuff although he has a lot more will power than me- not difficult. He also is not great with dairy and the only stuff we have is kefir and cheese (although mainly goats and Sheeps cheese and only occasionally). So dairy free coconut ice cream has always been something we have tried. Most products out there are either soy (something else we avoid unless it’s fermented) or very sweet and the chocolate flavour is usually lacking. We have developed our own little favourite flavour from checking out some blogs (see below) and have already started to brainstorm other flavours.

Here’s Niall’s winning recipe-

700mls coconut milk (organic preferably)
1 mashed banana
100ml Coconut nectar
100ml Maple syrup
3 tbs Cacao powder (I may have added 1 or 2 more to make it really chocolaty!)

Whisked in the kenwood (without banana). Stirred in banana at end. Then either use an ice cream machine or put in container and in the freezer- use a hand blender to break up the ice crystals at intervals when frozen. Yum yum!!! Seriously like it better than dairy chocolate.

Here is our Rocky Road version;

1 ½ cups of Coconut yoghurt or 1 cup coconut meat

1 cup  Fresh coconut milk (you could also use any nut,oat or dairy milk)

1 Banana (mashed) Optional

1tbs Raw Cacao powder

Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

3 drops Vanilla essence

1tbs Honey or Maple syrup (optional)

Rocky bits (marshmallows, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, soaked seeds, toasted coconut…)

Just made it again and added a tablespoon of peanut butter yum yum!

The third adjustment comes from Miranda, I was struggling because it keeps freezing really solid- she suggested a little salt. Have tried it and it has made a difference. It also definitely brings out the taste of the chocolate- just add it slowly and taste along the way- the first time I did it I added too much salt! Thanks Miranda x

Here is a winning chocolate syrup recipe too from A Happy Health Nut- using honey to sweeten, yum!

 

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