Kombucha

A while back I mentioned making Kombucha. I have made this a few times, but the flavor is a little too much like vinegar for me. I know I could brew it for a little less time to take out some of the vinegar taste, but I also want the amazing health benefits. I usually make kefir, but on occasion I do Kombucha. I kinda wax and wane on which I like most and which I’m convinced is better for me. Once I get on the band wagon of one I have it in the fridge all the time and then after a few months I switch back!

SCOBY

The symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) is what is used for brewing Kombucha. It is also known as a “mother” because of its ability to reproduce or “mushroom” based on its brownish appearance. The SCOBY will last at least 6 months in the fridge and I’ve been told you can freeze it as well for use later. I haven’t tried that, so I can’t comment on its effectiveness! For the Kefir grains I’ve kept in the fridge for 6 months or more and not had a problem with that either. But we aren’t talking about the Kefir today… so on to Kombucha.

So as I mentioned a minute ago the flavor can be a bit strong for me so I usually mix it with some juice or spices or add it to smoothies, but there are a lot of other recipes which it can be used for as well. My next thing to try is Kombucha fermented mustard. I’ll let you know how it works!

What are the benefits of Kombucha you ask? Well, it has been said that is helps prevent and fight cancer, arthritis and other degenerative diseases. It also contains a lot of B vitamins, antioxidants and glucaric acids. It is a great detox for the body, especially the pancreas and liver. It also contains glucosamine which increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. This acid aids preservation of cartilage and helps prevent arthritis pain. Some tout it to be as effective, or more so, than NSAIDs. Because there is a probiotic nature to Kombucha it also aids in digestion and is a great option for those suffering from constipation or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Others claim that it helps relieve or eliminate the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety and also boosts the immune system and energy levels. Who wouldn’t want all those benefits?

Here are some additional articles I’ve found helpful about the health benefits of Kombucha:
www.gokombucha.com/health_benefits.html
www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-health-benefits/
www.kombuchakamp.com/health-benefits-of-kombucha
www.culturesforhealth.com/expert-advice/Kombucha/Kombucha_FAQ.html

 

My recipe for brewing Kombucha

Ingredients:
3 quarts filtered water
1 cup sugar (don’t worry, the sugar is to feed the SCOBY and is necessary!)
4 bags of organic black tea
1/2 cup Kombucha from a previous culture or use 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar if starting with a new mushroom
1 Kombucha mushroom

Directions:
1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Add sugar. Dissolve.
3. Remove from heat. Add the tea bags. Let tea steep until the mixture is completely cooled.
4. Remove tea bags. Pour tea mixture into a gallon sized glass jar. Add Kombucha saved from previous batch.
5. Place the Kombucha mushroom on the top of the liquid inside the jar.
6. Cover with a cloth (cloth napkin for example) and put in a warm, dark place for 7-10 days. Inside a kitchen cabinet works great.
7. Remove the mushroom. Kombucha mushrooms reproduce with each batch. Gently tear the new mushroom from the mother mushroom. Use the mother for the next batch and either pass on the new mushroom to a friend or dump it down the disposal.
8. Transfer liquid to covered glass containers. Reserve 1/2 cup of the Kombucha for your next batch.
9. Begin your next batch right away or store the mushroom in the 1/2 cup liquid in your fridge.

*Note: Do not wash Kombucha containers in the dishwasher.

Medical Disclaimer: Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to Kombucha. Also, some say Kombucha is not advisable for pregnant or nursing mothers due to its detoxing effect, and also due to the caffeine in the tea. This information is meant to inform and not diagnose or treat illness or disease. Before trying any of the ideas posted please research for yourself in order to make an educated decision. Also, consult your doctor if tying to treat medical conditions.