Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cultured Young Coconut Pudding

Cultured coconut pudding is delicious on its own or with any kind of fruit.

Once you have opened the young coconut, make sure that the "meat" is white, not pink or purple, which indicates that it has spoiled. Spoon out the white meat. Add it to the high power blender. If you want vanilla, snip off the hard ends of the vanilla bean cut in half and add. Blend to a smooth paste. If you have coconut kefir already made, add some before blending. This will be the culturing agent. If you are beginning, you can order a culture starter. (Just google coconut kefir starter...there are many options now, Body Ecology being the first). This starter can be reused for a few generations if you keep it going, as you would with yogurt, by adding some of the previous batch to the new batch.

You can also make coconut pudding and kefir from kefir "grains". If you use milk grains (putting some grains in with the coconut before you blend it) use extra grains, because you won't be getting those back. You can also start your kefir or pudding by adding water kefir grains or the kefir made from them. I like to do this, as it's cheaper and sustainable.
To learn more about fermenting coconut or water grains or milk grains, check out Dominic Anfiteatro's wonderful and comprehensive site. This page is specifically about water kefir, but there are hundreds of other pages with fermenting information as well.
click here for more information. You can buy "grains" from Dom and also join his Yahoo group where thousands of people from all over the world compare, ask questions and trade grains. Dominic also has a book on kefiring. He's truly a treasure.

Well, you made it back from Dom's site! Here is what the coconut pudding looks like once it has cultured...full of air bubbles.

This is an image of what NOT to do. The first time I made coconut pudding, I had this romantic notion that I could make them in these sweet little jars, just like yogurt cups. In the middle of the night I heard strange sounds. Plurp, blrap, pluuurp, and then a loud band as one great air bubble erupted and sent pudding all over the ceiling. This stuff is alive! It needs air to breathe and space to grow. Use large jars, leave lots of head room and don't attach the lid tightly.

Fermenting kefirs and puddings like a temperature of around 70 degrees Farenheit to grow and develop. If your house is cooler than that, you can wrap the jar in a wool blanket and put it in an insulated picnic cooler. If it's warmer, put the jar in the cooler with some ice packs. Don't worry too's not rocket science. If it cultures too quickly, in the heat, the flavour will not be as delicious. If it's way too cold it will be difficult for the culture to begin its work.
Once the coconut has cultured keep it in the refrigerator....assuming you will have enough left. This is delicious food.

**I just found an email that I sent writing about what happened with the exploding kefir. I had forgotten some of the funny details:
"I have to tell you what happened last night with the young coconut meat.
I thought I would try an experiment, inspired by you saying that you couldn't see the grains but still something was making kefir.

Water grains look different than milk grains.
They are smaller and sometimes called crystals because they are translucent.
Lately I've been making fruit kefirs with only the residue in the bottom of the last batch, no visible grains in the residue (as an experiment).
Last night, after putting the coconut meat in the blender with some coconut juice and vanilla bean seeds, I put some of the thick residue with kefir into the creamy coconut as a starter.
This was a big deal, because I had been using the body ecology starter that comes in packets for the coconut kefir pudding. (expensive)

I filled the jars a little over half full, leaving what I thought was a generous amount of space for expansion) and as an afterthought, set them on plates.
At a little after one in the morning I was wakened by a "pfffttttttt", "ppppfffftttttt", "pfttttt" sound, getting louder and louder.
I thought maybe raccoons had gotten in the cat door or something.

I went downstairs and found the coconut pudding oozing out of the jars and taking over the kitchen. I was using snap top jars and so decided to ease off some of the pressure. Half awake, I chose the biggest jar first. In an instant, soft, fluffy coconut pudding was all over me AND the kitchen.
OK.....I was now AWAKE!!
It took about an hour to clean up most of it, but the experiment was a success. Water kefir grains and even the residue works!

Meanwhile, the kefir grains which had been in the refrigerator for a week and a half were still dozing in the coconut juice and nothing much was happening. (This morning they are awake and the juice is beginning to fizz.) They must really hate being refrigerated.

I feel like my kitchen is getting more energized and in tune with the kefir, as each time I make something I put less starter in and get a bigger result.
Either that or it was the Beltane eve (half way between vernal equinox and summer solstice) moon acting on it.

For whatever reason, it was deliciously alive,"


I'll write about water kefir one of these days, but I'm sure you'll find it on Dom's site.

1 comment:

  1. This also happened to me this morning. I went to hit the internet and found your site via a google search using [[ "coconut kefir" over filled jar ]] as the algorithm. This entry was on the first page of results. :D

    Anyway, I assume it's still safe to eat even though it went all over the room? :D