Kombucha: An Alternative Drink For Summer
During the hot summer months, it can be so refreshing to sit down and relax with an ice-cold drink. So if you are looking for a delicious summer drink, without all the additives, kombucha is a fabulous alternative.
But what exactly is kombucha? Kombucha is a sweetened tea that has been fermented by means of a “SCOBY,” which is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. With its rich, sweet, yet tangy flavor, and its wonderful effervescent quality, kombucha is not only delicious, it also offers remarkable health benefits.
As you may know, fermented foods have very healthful benefits in general, including: promoting healthy digestion in several ways. Kombucha contains enzymes, probiotics, and antioxidants– properties that detoxify your body as well as B vitamins (1, 2, 3, 6, and 12) vitamins which many of us are lacking in our diets. It even contains glucosamines which are very good for joint health. As if that isn’t enough, kombucha is also a great immune system booster— hence the reason why this drink has been referred to as an “immortal health elixir” in ancient Chinese culture, and has been enjoyed for hundreds of years throughout much of the Eastern world. Only now is it becoming popular in the West– and for very good reason!
Another wonderful and budget-friendly benefit is that with each batch of kombucha you ferment, a “baby” scoby grows over the first scoby. If you gently separate the two by hand, you can increase your production and have two gallons fermenting, in parallel, or share this technique with a friend.
On top of all of these benefits, the kicker is that kombucha is simple to make!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 1 gallon glass jar (we recommend these by Sally’s Organics)
- 1 dish towel to cover jar
- 1 rubber band to secure towel
- 8 cups water
- 1-1 1/2 cups of sugar (fine organic cane sugar is recommended; here is a great choice by Rapunzel)
- 8 tea bags of your favorite organic tea (Black, Green, Oolong, Red or White) or roughly 2-3 tsp. loose leaf tea. (We recommend Black tea. Buy it: bag or loose )
- 1 scoby/ kombucha sponge (Try this scoby from Kombucha Kamp)
- 1 cup of starter kombucha (the kombucha the scoby is stored in).
- 2 small glass jars or containers for scobys (after fermentation is complete)
In a large pot heat water to boiling, add sugar and stir with wooden spoon (no metal) until dissolved.
Add tea and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Remove tea and allow to cool completely. Once cool, poor tea into gallon jar.
Add scoby with starter tea.
Cover with a clean towel and secure with rubber band.
Allow to ferment for 5 days. After 5 days, tighten lid onto jar and ferment another 2-5 days. Taste until desired flavor is reached with a straw or wooden utensil. Each day loosen lid to keep pressure from building inside jar. You should begin seeing and hearing the effervescence of the kombucha.
Enjoy alone or over ice.
After kombucha is finished fermenting, separate the new “baby” scoby from the “mother” and keep them in glass containers with enough kombucha to cover them completely (about 1 cup). Scobys can then be stored in refrigerator until ready to use once again.
If you would like to enjoy this delicious drink but to not wish to make it yourself, we recommend that you check out Reed’s Culture Club Kombucha and try one of their eight delicious flavors.
Are you currently pregnant? Check out this post on 5 Pregnancy Safe Teas For The Tea Lover
Photo Credit: Kirsten H., Maria Johnson