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Since cutting dairy from my diet last year, I’ve been aware of maintaining my probiotic levels and supplementing with tablets. I had never tasted Kombucha until earlier this year – I had only heard of it and seen it at shops and cafes. I thought I’d buy one bottle and totally fell in love with it.
It’s so delicious but the weekly cost can add up, so in true Goodness Gracious Me style, I decided to make it at home! A few people have been asking questions when I post Kombucha related snaps, so for those who have no clue as to what it is, here is a quick rundown:
What the deuce is Kombucha, and how is it made?!
Kombucha is a fermented, probiotic drink which originated over 2000 years ago in the China/Russia region. It is made from black/green tea, sugar and something called a SCOBY. The yeast/bacteria in the SCOBY react with the sugar to produce a certain fermentation, resulting in a naturally carbonated drink, low in sugar and full of health benefits.
Is SCOBY like the dog detective?!
No, but I do like to call it SCOBY Doby Do, ha! SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. It multiplies naturally with each Kombucha brew and looks like a weird round mushroom top.
So, what’s so good about this Kombucha?!
While there is no solid scientific evidence to back up the health claims, Kombucha is thought you be extremely beneficial when consumed daily. Some of the benefits include:
- Probiotics for healthy gut
- Detoxified liver
- Boosts energy
- Relieves headaches
- Contains antioxidants
- Reduces inflammation
- Indirectly helps mental health
If you'd like to read up more on the health benefits, check out this page.
Ok sounds good, so how do I make it?
All you need is a large glass jar for brewing, a small cloth to cover the jar opening, green/black tea mix, sugar and a live SCOBY. Once brewed, it takes a few days for bubbles to start rising to the surface and pH levels should be around 2.5 to 3.5 depending on your taste. The temperature should not go over 28 degrees C as that can kill off the bacteria. You then bottle, leave at room temp for a further couple of days (second fermentation), then refrigerate. Leave the leftover SCOBY and liquid for a couple of days (to ensure it's concentrated enough to kickstart the next batch), and then you start the whole process again.
This is a good website explaining how to make it yourself, and I bought my kit from Karl Kombucha. If you can however get your hands on a good SCOBY, you can get away without a starter kit if you have a big glass jar.
If you’ve been thinking about making it, I highly recommend it! It doesn’t take up a lot of time, and the drink is truly delicious. I have it first thing in the morning, and then later in the day – sometimes even mixed with a bit of soda water.
I hope that clears up a few questions you may have.
Here’s to good health – CHEERS!
And that means so are the colds, coughs, infections and fevers! We prefer using natural supplements and cooking healthy broths/drinks to keep our bodies fighting fit and ready to ward off any nasties, so here are my top 5 tips for attempting to stay healthy during winter:
1. Chicken Soup
Chicken Soup is thought to be extremely effective in reducing the severity of colds and flus. My Basic Chicken Stock recipe is the first thing I make upon seeing/hearing a sniffle, and can be consumed as a tasty hot drink, or used in my cooking for added flavour and health benefits. On days when the boys refuse to drink it straight, I use it religiously while preparing their meals (especially when boiling their rice, pasta or potatoes).
2. Hot herbal/natural teas
There’s nothing better than sipping on a nice hot cup of tea when you have a cold. I love to make my own using natural ingredients and a few of my favourite combinations added to boiling water are:
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder + 1 tsp jaggery/honey
- Green tea (optional) + ½ tsp freshly grated ginger + fresh squeeze of lemon + 1 tsp honey
- Black tea + ½ tsp freshly frated ginger + 1 tsp honey
3. Oil pulling
Many believe ayurvedic oil pulling to be effective in drawing bacteria from the body through the mouth by swishing oil in your mouth, first thing in the morning. A few people are sceptical, but this was one thing I stuck with last year when I was pretty sick, and I personally believe it helped. I’ve been doing this again during the last fortnight and so far so good (touchwood)!
4. Natural supplements
We find Triple strength Garlic C + Horseradish tablets extremely effective in preventing colds and flus. I was advised not to take any Horseradish while pregnant or breastfeeding, so pure garlic tablets were also pretty effective.
Lack of sleep is the biggest thing affecting my health at the moment. When I have a few bad nights thanks to the kiddos, not only am I in a terrible mood, but a few autoimmune issues I have flare up. Resting while you’re ill is one of the best ways for your body to heal, and by staying at home, the spread of viral colds and flus may also be reduced (although your kids may go crazy with boredom!).
Good luck, and may the force be with you to evade coughs and colds this winter season!