Tart. Sweet. Fermented. Fizzy. Tasty. Tangy. Fun to make and good for you, too. Hello, Kombucha!
My cool friend who shared her Lemongrass and Tumeric plants with me, also introduced me to Kombucha. I watched in disbelief as she brewed up a batch of “Booch.” Staring at the flying saucer (SCOBY) floating in dark tea, I wondered if she was kidding.
I was hesitant to taste her science project. I suddenly had horrible flashbacks of my childhood days, ingesting cod liver oil and brussels sprouts. Yuk! Acting like the same little brat, I cringed, kicked and held my nose as I reluctantly choked down my first sip of this mysterious potion….
Wowzie!! Love at first sip! It was like the moment that everything turned from black and white into color on The Wizard of Oz. No, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Welcome to the wonderful world of Kombucha!
So long, sugar-packed bottled juice. See ya later, crappy soda. Buh-bye, boring tea. There’s a new drink in town. It’s Booch, baby, and I’m hooked!
Kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) is a sparkling sensation packed with probiotics, live enzymes, B vitamins, polyphenols (fights free radicals), glucuronic acid (a powerful detoxifier), and tons of other purported health benefits. Simply put, Kombucha is good for your gut, builds immunity and helps to detoxify.
“Booch” is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a pancake-like “SCOBY” (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). SCOOBY DOO?!
Basically, the SCOBY gobbles up the sugar and magically transforms the tea into a low calorie, low-sugar (low alcohol) fermented fizzy goodness.
If you have never tried Kombucha, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle at the health food store. It comes in all flavors. I will even bet you a Scooby Snack that you will be instantly hooked. And once you’re hooked, you too will brew! Why pay up to 5 bucks at the store when you can make your own for just pennies? Here’s how:
yields 3 quarts
- 3 ½ quarts filtered/distilled water
- 9 black tea bags
- 1 cup sugar, preferably organic
- 1 SCOBY (from a friend or purchase online here)
- 2 cups starter kombucha (use either the liquid that comes with your SCOBY or store-bought raw/unpasteurized/unflavored kombucha)
- large wide-mouth one-gallon glass jar (not plastic)
- tea towel or paper towels
- large rubber band
- a bit of patience
In a large stockpot, heat the water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the tea bags. Reduce heat. Steep for about 5-10 minutes and remove the bags. (Do not use metal utensils).
Remove from heat. Allow tea to cool completely. Pour the cooled, sweetened tea into the clean glass jar. (Rinse jar first with white vinegar, not dish soap which kills the SCOBY.) Add 2 cups of starter kombucha.
With clean/sterile hands (rinse hands in white vinegar), carefully place the SCOBY into the jar (SCOBY should float on top, but it’s OK if SCOBY sinks to bottom or goes sideways).
Place a tea towel or double layer of paper towels on top of jar and secure tightly with a rubber band. You want it to breathe, but you also need to keep bugs and dust away.
Place jar in a warm, dark place where it will not be disturbed. Mark date. Keep out of direct sunlight.
Let the mixture sit for 7 to 10 days. To test the Kombucha, simply slip a straw into the liquid (underneath the clear film/SCOBY on top) and put your finger over the top of straw so you can taste it. DO NOT PLACE USED STRAW INTO KOMBUCHA AGAIN.
NOTE: It’s normal for brown strings to float below the SCOBY. You may also see sediment collecting at the bottom of the jar and bubbles collecting around the SCOBY. These are all signs of healthy fermentation
The Kombucha should taste slightly sour, tangy, sweet and be a little fizzy. If the Kombucha is too sweet, let it sit a little longer. It could take up to 14 days depending on fermenting conditions. (If it tastes off at all, start over.)
Once the taste is to your liking, with clean hands carefully remove the SCOBY and reserve two cups of the kombucha. Set these aside and use to start another batch.
(The Kombucha will have produced a second SCOBY. Use this for other batches, store it as a backup SCOBY or share with a friend.)
Pour Kombucha into a glass (not plastic) jar or pitcher with a tight fitting plastic (not metal) lid. Store in your refrigerator. (You can strain Kombucha before bottling using a non-metal strainer.)
If your SCOBY develops holes, bumps, dried patches, darker brown patches, or clear jelly-like patches, it is still fine to use. However, any sign of mold or a foul smell, discard and start over. (Remember, it should be FIZZY, not FUZZY!)
You can drink your Kombucha plain or add flavors. The possibilities are endless! My favorite combo is Ginger, Raspberry and Rosemary, straight from my garden. Simply pour the Kombucha in a jar (I used a quart mason) and infuse with your favorite fruit, fruit juice, herbs and spices. Cover with a paper towel/cheesecloth and let sit for 24 to 48 hours. Strain, then refrigerate.
So, will you be hooked after only one sip of this fizzy, fun drink? You bet your sweet Boocha!
Sharing my delicious Kombucha with Natural Living Monday, Busy Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Motivation Monday, Home and Garden Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Green Thumb Thursdays, Share Your Cup Thursday, Fiesta Friday, HomeAcre Hop, Real Food Fridays, GlutenFree Fridays, Great Idea Thursdays, Simple Saturday Blog Hop, Simply Natural Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Farm Girl Friday, Link Party Palooza, LHITS DIY Linky, Weekend Bites, Creative Style Linkup, Old Fashioned Friday, Healthy Vegan Friday, Creative Mondays, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tuesdays With a Twist, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Tuesday Garden Party, Wellness Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Plant Based Potluck
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Photo of Scooby Doo courtesy of Yumingsu.com
Original photos by Seedy Lawyer. All rights reserved.
DISCLAIMER: Information on SEEDYLAWYER.COM is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be a substitute for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. (After all, I’m just a Lawyer, not a Doctor.) As always, it is recommended to seek advice from your healthcare professional.