The Kombucha Craze

We’ve all seen it in our favorite health food stores – kombucha! It’s everywhere!

It’s no mystery that kombucha is good for you. Known as the “longevity elixir,” it helps boost our immune system, balance our metabolism, and acts as a wonderful detoxifier, helping your liver filter out all the bad stuff. So why, oh why does it have to taste and smell so strongly?! A lot of people I know just can’t bring themselves to drink it because of its smell and taste. To be honest with you, I don’t even like most of the brands and flavors that I’ve tried.

So the idea struck me – I wonder if homemade kombucha would be more palatable? Let me tell you – it definitely is! I tried making my own a few years ago, and it got me hooked. So, I’ve decided to make it again, and this time, I’m happy to share it with you!

The kombucha mushroom is the key to this beverage’s power. The mushroom (or “baby”, as some people call it) is actually a colony of yeast and bacteria that works with the sugar and the tea base of the drink to produce glucoronic acid, a strong detoxifying substance that can boost your immune system, and also helps protect against cancer and other degenerative diseases.

There are so many benefits to drinking kombucha, and it is so easy to make at home! Please feel free to watch my video above to see how I did it! I’ve also put the recipe and instructions below for your easy access. The best way to get a kombucha culture is to find a friend who is brewing some at home, or you can order them online. I got mine from my dear friend Kathy – thanks, Kath!! Below is the recipe I use, adapted from Sally Fallon’s wonderful book, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.

Ingredients:

3 quarts filtered water

1 cup organic sugar

4 tea bags of organic black tea

1/2 kombucha from a previous culture

1 kombucha mushroom

Begin by bringing the 3 quarts of filtered water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and add 1 cup of sugar. Allow the sugar to fully dissolve, stirring if necessary. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and add 4 bags of organic black tea. Allow to cool completely.

Once your tea water is fully cooled down, remove the tea bags. Transfer the liquid into a 4-quart pyrex bowl and add 1/2 cup of kombucha from a previous batch. Place the kombucha mushroom on top of the liquid.

With masking tape, make a crisscross over the bowl. Cover loosely with a cloth or towel, and transfer the bowl to a warm, dark place away from anything that could contaminate it. Be sure it will also be safe from insects.

In about 7-10 days, your kombucha will be ready! It should be sour and possibly fizzy, and it should no longer taste like tea. Transfer it to covered glass containers to be stored in the fridge (note: kombucha bowls should not be washed in the dishwasher, only handwashed).

You’ll notice when your kombucha is done that the mushroom will have grown an additional spongy pancake. You can use this to start your next batch, or give it to a friend so they can start theirs! Be sure to store this in the refrigerator in a glass or stainless steel container – never in plastic! The great thing about these mushrooms is that they can be used over and over again. You’ll know that they are no longer usable if it turns black, or if your kombucha doesn’t sour correctly. This is usually sign that the mushroom has been contaminated, and you’ll need to start over with a fresh one.

Have you tried kombucha yet? Do you have a favorite brand, or do you make your own? I’d love to hear everybody’s ideas!

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