Kombucha: The New Friendship Bread

Kombucha. It has so many health benefits and has become a daily staple in my diet. Simply put, kombucha is fermented tea. You brew a gallon of really strong tea, add sugar and a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), and let it ferment. Why would someone knowingly drink a tea that has been stewing in what looks like an alien brain? Because it’s delicious! And actually really cool, in a science experiment way, and so so good for your gut health. According to Healthline, kombucha “not only has the same health benefits as tea [think anti-inflammatory and lots of antioxidants (cancer killers)], but it’s also rich in beneficial probiotics. Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria, and may help fight several diseases… Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss.” Read this for more info.

Kombucha sounds great! Let’s get sipping! There is a downside to drinking kombucha daily, however: it’s expensive!! The average cost of kombucha is about $3.00 per glass. If you drink it daily, that’s about $93 a month. Ummmm, not happening for this frugal girl. But that’s where my favorite part comes in to play; you can brew your own (for mere cents per glass) with the help of a friend.

To brew kombucha, one must have a SCOBY. To get a SCOBY, you need to have a friend whom has one. My SCOBY came from a fellow crunchy friend whom got it from a friend. My recipe and supplies came from a friend whom got her SCOBY and info from another friend and so on. You get the picture. It’s like friendship bread, but healthier! So if you can get your hands on a SCOBY, here’s what you need to get started:

Materials:

  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • black, green, or white tea bags (varying the tea each brew, is good for the SCOBY and allows you to try different flavors)
  • sugar or honey (I prefer honey)
  • 6 glass bottles
  • mesh strainer

Directions:

  • Boil 8 cups of water
  • Steep 12 tea bags for 15 mins in the water
  • Pour into glass jar and add 1 cup of sugar/honey, stir
  • Let cool to room temp and add distilled water until 3/4 full, stir
  • Pour SCOBY into the jar
  • Cover the jar with a cloth or paper towels and a rubberband
  • Store in a dark place for 7-30 days (the longer you brew, the more vinegary it will taste)
  • After 7-30 days:
    • Pour tea through a mesh strainer into a pitcher
    • Pour into glass bottles and store in the fridge
    • Enjoy!
  • Adding flavor:
    • Fill empty glass jars with desired amount of 100% juice (1/2 an inch to an inch is plenty)
    • Top off glass with kombucha
    • Do not refrigerate. Allow to ferment for 2-4 days to desired fizziness and then refrigerate
      • If fermenting more than 4 days, burp the bottles to keep from exploding
  • When you’re waiting for the next batch:
    • Take a little kombucha in a mason jar and put the SCOBY in it
    • Then complete the tea/steeping directions
    • Pour the SCOBY and the kombucha it was sitting in, into the pitcher and repeat

Recipe Roundup: Whole30 Approved 

Our household has embarked on the journey of eating more whole foods and cutting out processed foods. We’re decent eaters, anyway, and don’t keep many processed items in our cabinets, but in the effort to lead a healthier lifestyle we’ve knixed the bread, cereal, and convenient freezer foods. While this involves more cooking, I know it’s beneficial for us in the long run (not to mention easier on the wallet). My recipe criteria- 1. I don’t want to be a slave in the kitchen and 2. I also need tasty meals that are little girl approved. All of these recipes are Whole30 approved and ridiculously good. Win!! I’ll keep posting my recipe roundups once a week to share the goodness. If you come across something that’s healthy and drool worthy, share it with us in the comments! Here’s my favorite recipes from this week’s clean eating. Just click on the links for the recipes. Happy cooking!

Coconut Cream Pie Larabars


Oh my goodness, these are scrumptious! I adapted this recipe from My Whole Food Life  by adding a tablespoon of almond butter for extra yumminess and protein. Then I baked them for 15 mins at 350* so they would be more solid once cooled. I didn’t think “cold” bars would stay together long in the hands of a four year old. But baking them gave them the staying power they needed to make it through an afternoon snack attack.

Orange Coconut Salmon


Hmmmm… I’m noticing a theme now. It’s summer, and what’s better than coconut and citrus?? This recipe from The Endless Meal is easy peasy. I followed it exactly (except for substituting another Tbs of coconut aminos for the fish sauce. Missed that on the shopping list!). I plated the salmon on a bed of fresh kale and served sliced Granny Smith apples and peas for the sides. Soooo good!

Harvest Chicken Skillet


Ok, maybe this one isn’t in season per se, but it had me at “one dish.” All this recipe from Well Plated really requires is some chopping. An easy trade-off for less cleaning!! I used boneless chicken thighs instead of breast meat, for more flavor, and didn’t cut them up. This is super inexpensive to make, too.