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Kefir has been a big part of my life since childhood because it's a staple item in my birth country and commonly consummed in my house growing up. So when I found out I can make it home with relative easy and minimal expense, I was beyond excited.

Since I've started, my grains have really grown into a healthy culture that keeps multiplying faster than I know what to do with. So I decided to put some to use to make some coconut milk kefir. I wasn't sure which coconut milk to use - the boxed stuff or the fatty canned stuff. I thought the fat in the canned kefir may be necessary to make up for the thiness of typical coconut milk, so I went that route.

Turns out that wasn't the best route, because now that it's developed it still has that canned coconut milk taste (not the most pleasant to drink) and it's somehow developed into a substance that's slighlty thicker than even solid yogurt.

So I was wondering, since I don't want to drink it so much, can I substitute it for coconut cream in any recipe (e.g. in curry soup or heavy cream substitue in baking)? Or does anyone have any general or specific recipes in mind where the coconut kefir may play well?

I should note, I used lime in the second fermentation to give it a bit of flavor, but it's not a very strong presence in the final product

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If you're okay with the added acidity in a sauce, that would be fine, but for baking I would recommend looking for a recipe that calls for yogurt or buttermilk.

As far as I know, coconut milk does not curdle like dairy or other nutmilks might in the presence of acid or heat. It might separate, but should re-emulsify well enough.

However, baking usually involves some form of leavening, which means chemistry. If a recipe calls for sweet cream and you use an acidified substitute, you could change how it rises and end up with a dense final product (I've discovered this by adding too much lemon juice to cake recipes in the past...) But that's probably the worst that would happen. If the fat content is significantly higher, it will come out rich and moist, which may or may not be a good thing.

It might be interesting to give kefir cheese a shot with this coconut version. You could then mix it with butter or cream cheese and citrus friendly seasonings and sugar to make a nice spread.

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