Wanna smooch a Kombucha!
By: Leanne Ely
A diet rich in fermented foods is key to good health. That’s because fermented foods help to keep a good healthy balance of bacteria in the gut—a requirement for optimal digestion.
You should try to incorporate fermented foods into each of your daily meals, be it a glass of kefir with breakfast, a side of kimchi with lunch, or some sauerkraut with dinner. A glass of red wine acts as a probiotic in the system, and so does a cup of kombucha. Funny. Wine is one of the only fermented foods that is actually easy to pronounce.
Kombucha is a form of fermented tea that is served cold. This drink has long been regarded as a health remedy. In addition to its probiotic properties, kombucha is full of:
• B vitamins
• Amino acids
In addition to being a strong probiotic, kombucha contains antioxidants, much like green tea, and is believed to have anti-cancer benefits.
Kombucha also contains small amounts of alcohol, so it tastes a bit tart and a bit like a cocktail.
You can find kombucha at some health food stores, but it’s quite expensive. But, you can easily make your own!
To make your own home-brewed kombucha, you need:
• A SCOBY (sko-bee) which is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. Your best bet will be to get one of these online, or if you have a friend making their own kombucha, they might have a SCOBY to give you.
• Organic green, black or white tea
• Organic sugar
• Filtered water
• 1-gallon glass jar
• Paper towels
• Rubber band
Bring a pot of water to a boil (64 ounces of filtered water) and steep 8 tea bags for 20-30 minutes.
To your steeped tea, stir in a cup of organic, granulated sugar until it dissolves. (Liquid sweetener won’t work for kombucha.)
Add another 64 ounces of water to the tea/sugar mixture, and let that cool to room temperature. When it has cooled completely, pour it into your glass jar with the SCOBY. Now, put a piece of paper towel over the jar and secure it in place with a rubber band.
Place the jar in a dark and cool place—don’t let light get to it—for a couple of weeks. The longer you leave it to ferment, the less sugar remains and the more fermentation takes place. Don’t let it go too long because it will take on a flavor of vinegar (if that happens, add sugar and let it ferment some more).
You’ll know it’s done when it tastes good to you. It should be a little sour and quite tart, but there should be a teensy hint of sweet to it as well.
You can make flavored kombucha or fizzy kombucha . . . just Google it and find some recipes to try.
Full disclosure: There is some debate about the safety of drinking kombucha. There have been cases of liver toxicity associated with kombucha, so please do your own research before adding kombucha to your routine.