My Kombucha Journey

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When I first heard the word “kombucha” I was quite puzzled. Sounds a little funky, right? I decided to find out for myself what kombucha was, exactly. Originating in Northeast China, kombucha is a fermented tea, which comes from a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast known as a SCOBY. Sounds a little more odd, but stay with me! Consuming fermented foods can have a multitude of benefits on your gut, including balancing your gut flora. Kombucha is known to be helpful to the gut because it contains 40 different strains of good bacteria and yeast.

Now, it may sound a bit weird to be drinking bacteria, but kombucha is a natural probiotic drink. Our gut is made up of trillions of good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are known as good bacteria, which work to coat the lining of your intestines and stop harmful bacteria from entering the body. Probiotics are considered to help maintain our immune system and help digest food. It’s important to ingest probiotics regularly as once their job is finished they are excreted through your bowel. A daily dose of probiotics will help to ensure you support the beneficial bacteria in your gut!

During the process of brewing kombucha, the SCOBY will feed on the caffeinated tea and sugar thereby creating a delicious nutritional drink loaded with beneficial bacteria (aka probiotics), B vitamins and antioxidants. After hearing the benefits and noticing all my friends drinking it, I decided to take the plunge and give it a taste. It wasn't too bad after all! Its unique taste comes from the combination of fizz and sweet flavoring from fruits. Store bought kombucha can be quite expensive, so making it at home can save you some money! The great thing about making your own kombucha is that you can experiment with the taste by adding various fruits and it’s a healthy and cost effective beverage you can enjoy on the regular. 

My friend AglaĆ©e Jacob got me started on this healthy kombucha journey, whom I am very thankful for! Check out her website at http://radicatamedicine.com



Materials:
1) SCOBY and 1/2 cup of Kombucha from a previous batch
2) Organic Cane Sugar
3) Organic Green Tea
4) 1 Litre Jar
5) Wooden spoon
6) Elastic band
7) Measuring cups
8) 1/2 cup of fresh fruit
9) Strainer

 Step 1: Add 1/4 cup of Organic Cane Sugar to your 1 litre Mason Jar.




Step 2: Boil hot water and add some to the jar. Shake the jar until the cane sugar has dissolved completely. Then add more hot water until the jar is 3/4 full.


Step 3. Include two tea bags of Organic Green Tea in your jar and let the tea steep for 20-30 minutes and then remove tea bags.

Step 4: Allow the tea to cool to room temperature. This is important, as you do not want to add the SCOBY to hot tea.

Step 5: Once it has cooled down to room temperature. Add 1/2 cup of a previous batch of kombucha plus the SCOBY. Make sure to always handle the SCOBY with a clean wooden spoon or your hands.

Step 6: Secure the top of the jar with paper towel and an elastic band. The SCOBY needs some oxygen to live and the paper towel will help prevent anything from entering.


Step 7: After placing the SCOBY into the tea, let it live quietly on a counter top at room temperature for between 9-20 days. After a couple of days it will smell a little tangy. At day 9, taste the tea. If it isn't sweet anymore you know it is ready. The longer you leave it to ferment the more sour it will become, eventually turning into a vinegar-like taste.

Step 8: You should now see two SCOBY's near the top of your jar. Once you feel like it is ready to drink. Remove both SCOBY's and place them into another jar and submerge them in some kombucha so that they can live.

Flavouring your Kombucha
Step 1: Flavour your new kombucha batch with 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen fruit (i.e. berries, pineapple, mangoes, peaches, etc.). Secure the top of your jar with your jar lid (instead of the paper towel). Let the new batch sit at room temperature for about 1-2 days.
Below is a picture of my mango and crystallized ginger kombucha!


Step 2: Strain the kombucha to remove the fruit and any yeast particles. Store your newly made kombucha in the fridge and enjoy regularly!

Step 3: Use new SCOBY and previous SCOBY to start two new batches of kombucha!

Resources: 
http://paleomagonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Low-Sugar-Kombucha-Recipe-From-DHRF_TCBlr.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lH-xXDIEtk&list=FLLoNNlqCaiECF7wFTGiMVew&index=4

FRESH & BOLD Guacamole Recipe

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Guacamole is a staple in our house; we make it almost every week. I have to admit that this is my boyfriend’s recipe and everyone seems to love it! The healthy amount of cilantro and a hint of jalapeno really brings the recipe to life. Once you have ripe avocadoes, this recipe is simple and fast to whip up. Don’t shy away from avocadoes simply because they are known to be high in fats. The truth is, they are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats that have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. The recommended daily intake of fat is 20-35% of your total kcal consumption. This recipe is a perfect way to get some good healthy fat into your diet and is a delicious snack to add to your list!

HELPFUL TIP: The best way to get your avocados to ripe faster is to place them in a brown paper bag along with an apple or banana. The brown paper bag allows for the ethylene gas that avocadoes produce to be trapped inside, which speeds up the ripening process. The addition of the fruit simply increases the emission of this gas.


Ingredients
4-5 ripe avocados (should be soft)
1 small onion
handful of fresh cilantro
2 limes juiced
sea salt to taste
ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno (optional for some spice)

Instructions
1. Cut avocadoes in half, peel skin and remove core. Cut avocadoes into cubes and put them into a mixing bowl.
2. Mash the avocados with a potato masher or fork.
3. Finely chop onion and add to the bowl.
4. Finely chop about a handful of cilantro and add to the bowl (also finely chop jalapeno if adding)
5. Squeeze the juice from the 2 limes and add to the bowl.
6. Add some sea salt and ground pepper to taste.
7. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
8. Mix all together and serve!