A few weeks ago I was bemoaning the cost of Kombucha while shopping for groceries. I like all of the health benefits of kombucha, but the $3 price tag per 16 oz bottle was getting a bit too much for me. Anyone else feel the same way? Well, the universe was listening and a friend offered up her scoby so that I could make my own. I was excited and a bit apprehensive at the same time. Was it going to be hard? What did I need? What if I screwed it all up?
I pushed through my fears – with the help of another friend – and we brewed our first batch of Kombucha! It was super simple and the supplies were easy to find. Basically all you really need is a one-gallon glass jar, black tea, sugar, water, 100% fruit juice and a scoby.
A sco-what? Yes. Scoby. Scoby” is actually an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. And that’s exactly what it is! A scoby is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha. You need to get one from friend or you could buy one online. Once you have your own it will continue to grow – so you will always have one to make a new batch or to share with a friend.
Want to Make Your Own Kombucha?
I have an easy recipe for you to follow!
What Is Kombucha?
The drink has a slight effervescence and sweet-tart flavor. It often has small remnants of the bacteria mix floating in it, which sounds unappealing but is not much different from finding some sediment in your wine. Kombucha is highly acidic, contains sugar, B vitamins and antioxidants, as well as some alcohol that results from the fermentation process. It has about 30 calories per eight ounces (mainly from the sugar), which is considerably less than other soft drinks.
Why Would I Want to Drink Kombucha?
Kombucha has been touted as a magic elixir, curing everything from digestion problems to arthritis and cancer. While may not be magic, it will help the body function better by supporting:
- Liver detoxification
- Improved pancreas function
- Increased energy
- Better digestion
- Improved mood (helps with anxiety/depression)
- Reducing Candida (yeast)
- Helps nutrient assimilation
- May be beneficial for weight loss
The research is still out on the specific way Kombucha affects digestion, but we do know that it contains probiotics, enzymes and beneficial acids and these have been researched for their health benefits.
Harvard Medical School explains that a healthy gut will have 100 trillion + microorganisms from 500 different identified species. In this sense, we truly are more bacterial than human. There has been a lot of emerging research on the dangers of an overly sanitary environment and how overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial soaps and products is literally changing the structure of our gut.
Drinks like Kombucha, Kefir and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain billions of these beneficial bacteria, enzymes and acids that help keep the gut in balance.
Natural Detoxification and Liver Support
The liver is one of the body’s main detoxification organs. Kombucha is high in Glucaric acid, which is beneficial to the liver and aids its natural detoxification.
As Kombucha also supports healthy gut bacteria and digestion, it helps the body assimilate food more easily and provides quick and easy energy without caffeine.
Kombucha is naturally high in antioxidants and supportive of the immune system. Again, there is no magic pill or silver bullet when it comes to immune function- it is best to support the body in its natural immune process.
It contains a compound called D-saccharic acid-1,4-lactone (or DSL for short) that has amazing antioxidant properties. This compound is not present in unfermented teas (though many teas are high in other antioxidants). DSL has been specifically identified as beneficial for cellular detoxification.
Better Than Soda
Kombucha is a great alternative to sugar-laden drinks like soda. It is naturally carbonated. This means that the secondary fermentation process naturally produces bubbles and carbonation. Sodas, on the other hand, are artificially carbonated by forcing carbonation into the liquid.
This fizzy fermented tea is an attractive alternative to other carbonated beverages and provides probiotics and nutrients not present in soda. Kombucha also contains less sugar than soft drinks. The sugar in the recipe is simply the food for the beneficial bacteria and is largely consumed during the fermentation process.
Do you drink Kombucha? Have you made it? Would love to hear your experiences!
Move your body, put good things in and ENJOY every day.