Hi! I'm Renee, and I like soda (Dr. Pepper and Pepsi, especially). :-/ I like sweet and I really like carbonation!! Anyone else?! ;0)
Most sodas are laden with sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, which is worse than sugar because it's been genetically modified (GMO) , OR they're made with carcinogenic artificial sweeteners. Needless to say, we should AVOID SODA!!! But what am I to drink when I eat popcorn (or Mexican food! Right, Michelle?!)
Alas! I discovered something I could drink and enjoy in place of soda!! And now that I make my own, it's inexpensive and I actually like it better than that syrupy sweet soda!!! Yippee! ;0)
Meet my new favorite soda, Kombucha!!
Kombucha has been around for more than 2,000 years and was known in ancient China as the "Immortal Health Elixir."
It has many health benefits:
- Boosts immunity
- Aids digestion
- Detoxifies, helping to prevent and fight cancer, arthritis and other degenerative diseases
- Reduces Anxiety & Depression
- Increases energy
- Kills candida and increases good gut flora
- Aids in weight loss
For more info: http://www.gaiaresearch.co.za/kombucha.html
Kombucha is a sweetened tea which is fermented (similar to the process of sour dough) with a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, known as a SCOBY. Depending on the temperature, the fermentation process takes 7-12 days, during which time, 80-90% of the sugar is "eaten" by the SCOBY. The longer the ferment time, the less sugar remains.
It's really not hard to make! It's just a matter of learning how and getting a system.
You ready to try it?! :0)
Here's how --
- 1 gallon glass jar
- pot for brewing tea
- SCOBY (if you live local, contact me, I can share mine! :))
- ginger juice (optional)
Brew 1 gallon of tea:
- boil (a little less than) 1 gallon of water
- turn off heat
- add 4-6 tea bags -- I use 2 black tea bags and 2 Tbsps of jasmine loose green tea in a tea ball
- steep for 4-5 minutes
- add 1 cup of sugar -- I use evaporated cane juice crystals (less processed)
- Let cool
- pour cooled tea into your 1 gallon jar, leaving some space at the top
- add your SCOBY and some reserved Kombucha from a previous batch (about 1/2 cup or so) -- if you live local and would like to get a SCOBY and some tea from me, I'd love to share! Please contact me; I have extra (they multiply!;-))
- cover with a washcloth and a rubber band
- store in a dark cupboard for 7-12 days. During this time, the SCOBY eats the sugar and ferments the tea. Kombucha is really a low sugar, low calorie treat!
When it's time (after about a week or so), remove the SCOBY and about 1/4-1/2 cup of the tea (to use in your next batch)
Your Kombucha is ready to drink at this point, BUT if you want the carbonation, proceed with the next step.
- Pour Kombucha into bottles. (I like 16-32 oz bottles with plastic lids) NOTE: be sure to leave at least 1 inch of space at the top
- add 1-2 tsps of ginger juice (optional) (see above)
- seal tightly
- store in enclose cupboard for 3-7 days IMPORTANT NOTE: I had a bottle explode one summer when it was very hot -- expansion occurs as it carbonates, so it is a god idea to "burp" the bottles after 3 days, leave sufficient space at the top and store in an enclosed cupboard or cooler.
- Refrigerate to stop the fermenting process
Any questions? I hope I didn't leave anything out! :0)