Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Do You Kombucha?

2013 was the year of trying to improve my health. I started out the year on a Whole 30 Diet and have continued to {mostly} eat a Paleo diet...except the random desserts and alcoholic drinks that I don't want to give up. I swam more laps than I have ever swam this past spring and summer. I continue to try to maintain my weight and even lose a few more pounds but lately that has been difficult because I have had a flare up of Plantar Fasciitis. Hopefully I can get back to a regular form of excercise soon. The plan was to start walking October first, but the pain in my foot will not allow that right now.

One of the things I have learned to really like is a probiotic drink called Kombucha. I must admit that prior to learning about the Paleo diet, I had never heard of Kombucha.

It is so easy to make at home. All you need are some tea bags (or loose leaf tea), sugar and water.

And you need a slimy, ugly thing called a scoby or a "mushroom" as some people call it. This can be purchased at a health food store, online or if you know someone who makes Kombucha (like me) you can get a scoby from them. With every batch of Kombucha that is made a new scoby is created, so there is plenty to share.

After bringing the water to a boil, you allow the tea to steep for 30 minutes. Then you add the sugar and more water and the scoby. You cover loosely with a cover that will allow air to flow but keep dust and the bugs out (I use a t-shirt) and let it sit in a quiet place for about 10 days. This is where taste comes into play. Some people like a more vinegar taste (then you can let it sit up to 14 days), but I prefer my Kombucha to still have a bit of sweetness to it.

After the initial ten days, then you divide up the batch to flavor it. You can flavor it with herbs and fruits. So far my favorites are Blueberry/Basil and Lemon/ Ginger. You let it sit again for 3 days and allow the flavors to meld and a bit of carbonation to form.

It even gets a little alcoholic, but really nothing worth mentioning here. It has a refreshing, soothing taste and creates a good bacteria for the tummy.

I used my new labels from my son and daughter-in-law to mark the flavors
that was supposed to say Blueberry Basil

I try to drink about 8 ounces a day and it seems to keep my tummy feeling good. 

So tell you Kombucha?

How I make Kombucha
Bring 64 ounces filtered water to a boil.
Add 10 tea bags and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
Add 1 cup sugar, stir to dissolve.
Add 64 ounces more filtered water and allow to come to room temperature.
Put cooled tea in a large glass vessel (I use a 3 gallon jar), gently add the scoby and about 2 cups of plain Kombucha from a previous batch, cover with a thin t-shirt held closed with an elastic tie.
Allow to sit at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and away from drafts for 10 days.

After 10 days...
you need 5 or 6-32 ounces glass canning jars
to each jar add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup of your preferred flavorings. I like blueberries (fresh or frozen) and 5-6 leaves of fresh basil muddled together;  1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice; a few slices of fresh or frozen peaches.
Then fill each jar, leaving 1" of head space and cover with a folded paper towel held on with a rubber band. Allow to sit in the same way for three days. Then strain into bottles and refrigerate, covered tightly with a screw on lid or a wire swing top lid. It keeps for several weeks.

Kombucha can be tricky. This is  just a brief lesson in how I make it. If you decide to make it please read up on it in a book or on the internet and learn all the rules. There are lots of recipes on Pinterest
A couple of good websites

These books are two that I have found very informative.


Debbie said...

This was really interesting Diane...I've only had kombucha once and really didn't know much about it. Thanks for sharing your process and recipe.

Leanne said...

It sounds a bit like sourdough where you use the starter to make a new batch every time. I am sorry to hear about your foot, I hope it clears soon.

Katy Cameron said...

Hope the foot feels better soon, been there with the PF, no fun! Don't think I'll be trying that any time soon though, sorry!

Cindy said...

I must really be in a dark hole as I've never heard of Kombucha before. Can you buy it at a health food store already made? I hope your foot gets better soon.