Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Benefits of probiotics and Kombucha

We live in a society where the word "fermented" makes anything sound unappealing.
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word fermentation means the following:

a : a chemical change with effervescence
b : an enzymatically controlled anaerobic breakdown of an energy-rich compound (as a carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and alcohol or to an organic acid); broadly : an enzymatically controlled transformation of an organic compound.

Basically, it's when a sugar is converted into an alcohol, via yeasts or bacteria (or both). Beer, wine, sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, and a long list of other foods go through this process as well.
The result?
Living food.
Why is this good?
It put's a load of "healthy bacteria" aka probiotics in our gut to aid digestion, recover from the use of antibiotics by replenishing what our body needs, boosting immunity, maintaining a healthy weight, minimizes inflammation, treating skin problems, etc. There are a million and one studies on the benefits of probiotics in the human body, however let me just tell you, THEY'RE AWESOME FOR YOU!

Everyone, I'd like you to meet my mother.
My kombucha mother! It's also known as a "scoby" and this is the bacteria aspect of the fermentation process. Its basically a big cartilage like pancake. 
I know what you're thinking....

What the f**k?!

But it's actually quite delicious and extremely good for you! Especially when you add fresh fruit, ginger, mint, and lemon... It's great. 


1. Boil a large pot of water with a lot of white sugar. (I'd say about 1/4-1/3 cup to 4 cups of water.)
2. Once sugar is dissolved, steep 3 tea bags in the large pot. (a combination of black and green, one or the other. As long as there is caffiene and it is PLAIN TEA with no flavorings or additives.) 
3. Keep the tea bags in the pot until it cools. You want this tea STRONG!
4. Pour into a large glass jar. Make sure it's GLASS and not metal or plastic. Kombucha likes glass the best.
5. Add the scoby and a little bit of plain raw kombucha. You can also buy a bottle of plain raw kombucha and add it to your sugary tea to make your own scoby! That's how I started.
6. Cover the top with a towel and rubber band so it can breathe.
7. Let it sit for 1-2 weeks in a dark-ish place and you've got yourself homemade kombucha!

You can also add a little bit of raw apple cider vinegar to speed up this process. (Apple cider vinegar is made the same way but with apple juice and is fermented for up to 2 months!)

The first one is kombucha with mint and fresh lilikoi, the second one is kombucha with fresh ginger and gotu kola.

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