Healthy, Natural Living

Archive for March, 2014

Snack? Oh, Nuts!

image One of our favorite snacks are ‘Crispy Almonds’ with Dried Fruit. Soaking the almonds in salt water, then dehydrating them in a low temperature oven causes them to be so crispy, that they pop in your mouth when you bite them. They become fun to eat. But, of course there is a reason other than texture that I soak the nuts. Phytic Acid. Phytic acid in grains, nuts, seeds and beans represents a serious problem in our diets. Phytic acid chelates or binds with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unavailable. This study’s recommendation states: This“should be best interpreted in such a way as to prevent the consumption of excessive amounts of phytate, particularly for those whose mineral needs are great.” I don’t know anyone whose mineral needs are NOT great. This problem exists because we have lost touch with our ancestral heritage of food preparation. Instead we listen to those that promote the consumption of raw and unprocessed “whole foods.” But raw is definitely not nature’s way for grains, nuts, seeds and beans.  imageI know what you’re thinking…Really!? Nuts have to be prepared? We have to understand that we have moved away from our traditional diets and practices, which were passed down from generation to generation. With that our health and happiness have suffered greatly. Because we didn’t understand why great great great great Grandma did what she did we’ve stopped doing it. I am not even sure she knew why she was doing it. There was an intuitive Spirit that taught our ancestors how to prepare their food. Convenient, instant gratification, microwave oven, drive-thru food is our way of life, now. The good news is, we do have a choice. Let’s make good food a priority, slow down and breathe, consider meal preparation a joy, and make every single bite you serve yourself and family a powerful influence on your lives. When nuts are properly prepared they become a very nutritious snack. Soaked almonds have much higher protein content than the raw almonds and so does the water in which they are soaked. When nuts are soaked, the germination process begins, allowing the enzyme inhibitors to be deactivated and increasing the nutrition of the nut significantly, as well as making them much easier to digest. Traditional people instinctively knew that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten.image The Indians of the east made hickory nut milk by pounding the nuts, shell and all, into a paste and then adding water and boiling. Some would grill the nuts after soaking them for a few hours, to get a good flavor from the smoke. imageThe Indians of California consumed acorn meal. Converting the acorn from an inedible nut to the soup, mush, or bread required a lengthy process involving a diverse array of tools. The nuts were pounded into flour or meal using a mortar and pestle. Repeated flushing with either hot or cold water in a shallow, sandy basin or in a basket filter, then cooking. imageThe Aztec soaked pumpkin and squash seeds in brine and then let them dry in the sun. (excerpt from “Nourishing Traditions” pg 512) imageThe Aboriginal people made the Moreton Bay Chestnut seeds edible by cracking them and soaking in running water for long periods, after which they were dried and roasted. The seeds of this plant are poisonous when raw.. While doing the research for this section of the blog, I became more aware of just how far a culture can stray from their traditional ancestors. To the point of poverty and starvation. My heart grieves for the people of Central America, God does provide and His people will perish for lack of knowledge. This next paragraph and quotes is proof we need to ‘Think on These Things” and learn about traditional diets to maintain sustainability and health. In Central America the Maya Nut was the staple food for prehispanic cultures throughout the neotropics, who probably ate it boiled and protected it as a source of food. The marble-sized seed can be prepared to taste like mashed potatoes, chocolate or coffee. To those who stumble upon the nuts on the ground, they’re free for the taking.image

“People are living right there, in extreme poverty, not even eating more than one meal a day and there’s Maya nut lying all around,” Vohman said. “They don’t eat it because they don’t know.” It is truly a “lifesaving” tree. Today, however, the food value of the Maya Nut is largely forgotten. Having watched impoverished Guatemalan communities clear rain forests to plant food, it struck Vohman that the key for uplifting Central American communities was to help them return to their roots.The Maya Nut Institute

Finally, the recipe from “Nourishing Traditions” 4 cups *raw almonds 1 Tbls sea salt filtered water enough to cover almonds Mix almonds with salt and filtered water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Spread on a stainless steel baking pan (I use stoneware) and place in a warm oven (no more than 150) for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in an airtight container. *Unfortunately, truly raw almonds are no longer available commercially in the U.S. Since 2007, all U.S. almonds must be “pasteurized.” While there are four main methods of pasteurizing almonds, steam processing, high heat treatment (roasting), blanching and highly toxic fumigation treatment with propylene oxide (PPO), two of them are the primary methods that are used most often.. These two are steam processing and PPO fumigation.To get truly raw almonds with all their enzymes and vitamins intact, you must live in California, get them imported from Spain, or order them online. Katie over at Kitchen Stewardship emailed Meijer and Country Life Naturals. These just happen to be the two places I get almonds, and both use the steam method of pasteurizing. No chemicals. I can’t help myself. For the Dr. Oz fans, he is now promoting soaked nuts. It must be true 😉

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‘What I Am Going To Do For’…Yucky Tummy.

imageThis past week a tummy bug struck both of my boys. Late Tuesday night about 10:30pm, Silas started to vomit. He continued to vomit every hour to hour and a half until 4:30am. As important as I know it is to allow the illness to run it’s course, I’ve never said, ‘it was fun to watch my baby suffer!’
My plan of action–get a stack of towels. I personally find it easier to just allow my sick baby to vomit into a towel, than to try and catch it in a receptacle. I covered the pillow and the area where he was laying with towels, as well. I always encourage my children to “get it all out.” I am their comforting, soothing cheerleader. I think it is natural for everyone to just want to make it stop, but the body is rejecting something and this is the way it is getting rid of it. Let the body work and “get it out.”
‘Think on this’…You go out to eat. You eat some bad fish. You get sick and throw it up. It that a good thing? Absolutely! Your body is ridding itself of toxins. It is the same when we have a bug. Whether it be a virus or bacterial, the body knows how to get rid of toxins. It may come out in the form of snotty noses, coughing, sneezing, vomitting, and/or diarrhea.
I never do anything that would stop this process. I do offer support to the body. Just like a jack supports the car while you fix it. I give support to the the body while the immune system goes to work repairing.
Silas nursed often, even though he threw it up every time. I still nursed him on image demand. It is most important to stay hydrated. I also, ‘rememebered’ I had recently got some activated charcoal. I opened up a capsule and mixed it with some water and got him to drink it. It is flavorless and he didn’t care that the water was black. He also started sipping on some water kefir. Shortly, after I did those things he stopped vomiting and we slept peacefully for the last few hours of the night. Had he continued until morning, I would have sent my husband for some coconut water to help with hydration.
When Roman came down with it four nights later. I knew what to do much quicker. Roman does have more of an arsenal when it come to his antibodies compared to Silas. Silas is still building his portfolio. Right after the first time Roman vomited I gave him a capsule of the activated charcoal and he sipped some water kefir. He only vomited once mor, slept through the night and woke up good as new Sunday morning.
So, what is this activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a fine black odorless and tasteless powder made from hardwood, bamboo, coconut, or peat, that have been exposed to very high temperatures in an airless environment. It is then treated, or activated, to increase its ability to adsorb various substances by reheating with oxidizing gas or other chemicals to break it into a very fine powder. Activated charcoal is pure carbon specially processed to make it highly adsorbent of particles and gases in the body’s digestive system. Activated charcoal is an inert, nontoxic adsorbent with a surface area up to 2000 m2/gram. This activation creates the highly developed internal pore structure and small particle size needed for effective gastrointestinal decontamination.
imageActivated charcoal has often been used since ancient times to cure a variety of ailments including poisoning. Its healing effects have been well documented since as early as 1550 B.C. by the Egyptians. However, charcoal was almost forgotten until 15 years ago when it was rediscovered as a wonderful oral agent to treat most overdoses and toxins. Your stomach acid will not break down the Activated Charcoal, it’s not absorbed by the body, but carries toxins out of the body in the feces. It can also adsorb gas in the bowels and has been used for the treatment of gas or diarrhea.
To get the best results from activated charcoal administer it as soon as possible. I had great results after one dose, but more commonly it is 2-3 doses. If the child vomits it back up, give another dose right away. There is no toxicity level for activated charcoal. The recommended dosage for poison treatments is, for a single dose of activated charcoal suggests a dose of 1 gram per kilogram of body weight in a child up to 1 year of age, 25 to 50 grams in children 1 to 12 years of age, and 25 to 100 grams in adolescents and adults. However, most children up to 12 years of age receive a dose of 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. That is a LOT of activated charcoal. I just followed the suggested dose on the bottle.
More info here and here oh, and here too.

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL CONTRADICTIONS
You shouldn’t take this as a supplement long term, as it could be absorbing vitamins and minerals from your diet, leaving you deficient.
Some people report constipation with higher doses, or long term use.
If you are on any type of medication, you should absolutely consult your doctor before taking activated charcoal, as it will adsorb medications.
Don’t give it with ipecac, as activated charcoal will absorb it.
Parents should not mix charcoal with chocolate syrup, sherbet, or ice cream, even though it may make charcoal taste better. These foods may prevent charcoal from working properly.imageCoconut Water is…
Rich in natural vitamins (especially the B vitamins), minerals, and trace elements (including zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, and manganese). Vitamins are necessary for the enzymatic reactions your cells need in order to function.
Full of amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
Rich source of electrolytes and natural salts, especially potassium and magnesium.
Light, low calorie and nearly fat-free, as well as low in sugar but pleasantly sweet—contains about a fifth of the sugar of other fruit juices, like apple or grape juice, as well as containing a little fiber to moderate absorption.
Rich in cytokinins, or plant hormones, which have anti-aging, anti-cancer, and anti-thrombolytic effects in humans. Source

 

 

Where Do I Start?

I have been getting a repeated question. Where do I start? My friend, Anna, has done a series recently called, “The Switch.” She does a wonderful job guiding us on how to make the switch to nutritional, real food eating. I encourage you to read ALL of her posts in her series. I am going to share this one, because she helps you sort out the reasons we consider to be obsatcles.

Barriers to Healthy Eating

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I want to encourage you, I did not get here over night. I have been working on this for years and years. Trust me, I still fall short of where I would like to be. My sons gets foods, that I wish they never ate. Ha! I eat foods that I wish I never ate. We Wards are just a work in process everyday. We are thankful for God’s gifts of Grace and Mercy! And that His Strength is renewed everyday.

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isaiah 40:29 KJV)

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

We needed a treat and I had some heavy cream that needed to get used up.
My favorite ice cream in Mint Chocolate Chip. So, I had to go looking for recipes to make my own and this is what I came up with. Oh, Man! We are happy, happy Wards. The best homemade ice cream I have ever made!
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3-1/2 cups cream, local and grass-fed preferable
3 pastured eggs
1/2 cup Sucanat (grind in a coffee grinder to make a powder) or 1/2 Maple Syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons mint extract
1/3 cup cocoa nibs (grind in coffee until small bits)
2/3 chocolate chips (read the ingredients, there are several that have undesirables in them)

Blend all ingredients thoroughly, but not too much to whip the cream. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Add to ice cream maker, filling bowl only 2/3 of the way, to allow room to add cocoa nibs and chocolate chips. Follow manufacturer’s directions for churning. During the last few minutes of churning, which is when the ice cream is almost firm add cocoa nibs & chips.
I transferred the soft serve styled ice cream from my ice cream maker into an air tight container and popped it into the freezer. Several hours later the ice cream was scoopable, creamy, and smooth.

Chocolate Ice Cream
3-1/2 cups cream, local and grass-fed preferable
3 pastured eggs
1/2 cup Sucanat (grind in a coffee grinder to make a powder) or 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa

Vanilla Ice Cream
3-1/2 cups cream, local and grass-fed preferable
3 pastured eggs
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Simple Chocolate Syrup

‘What I Am Going To Do For’…You Ask? Part 1

People often ask me what I do for certain ailments or what I will do if my children contract whooping cough, measels, chicken pox, etc. What I do for everything, is continuously make decisions that build and strengthen the immune system. The immune system is designed to defend the body against foreign organisms.
The first thing I did to give my children the best chance at good health was to focus on preconception health. Jeff and I prepared our bodies for pregnancy following many of the guidelines presented here. God had already been doing a work on me, regarding my health before it became time to start our family. I was about half way to my goals when God started to work on us to start a family. I remember saying, “just let me get my body right.” He already knew that, so after another year we conceived Roman.
The website Women’s Health has this to say about preconception health:

Experts agree that women need to be healthier before becoming pregnant. By taking action on health issues and risks before pregnancy, you can prevent problems that might affect you or your baby later.

So, I hit the books, lots of books. A few of my favorite books are “Childbirth Without Fear” by Grantley Dick-Reed, “Birth Reborn: What Childbirth Should be” by Michel Odent, and “Having a Baby, Naturally” by Peggy O’Mara.

38 weeks pregnant  with Silas

38 weeks pregnant with Silas

Once I was pregnant, it was time to nourish my changing body and grow my baby to the best of my ability. I continued to follow many of the recommendations from the Weston A. Price foundation.

It is important for babies to be born vaginally. Natural childbirth lays the foundation for the health of your child.

As they pass through your birth canal, your baby picks up a protective bacteria that they ingest. This bacteria colonizes in their intestines and forms a balanced immune system as they develop from childhood into adulthood.
Lowers the risk of respiratory prblems~When your baby passes through your vaginal opening, the pressure helps to expel the amniotic fluid in your baby’s lungs. Thus helping to clear away any blockages in the lungs and nasal areas naturally rather than with extra medical attention. Source: American Pregnancy Association

Moments after Silas's birth

Moments after Silas’s birth

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

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We hear it all the time “Breast is Best.” But I have to question, do we really believe that? When I read over 900 babies die every year, because they were not breastfed, I have to wonder. Do we really understand the benefit? Both of my children have had the milk from other women. Because it is that important to me. I am not a successful pumper, so I have had a friend and a family member pump their milk for my children. Side note: Just because I am not successful pumping, I have PLENTY of milk to feed my babies. I just can’t feed a pump. Don’t ever let your ability to pump determine your ability to breastfeed.

The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations,” the report said. Journal of Pediatrics

So, I breastfeed my babies until they are done. I didn’t “try” I did it. I refused to allow any formula in the house. When some came in the mail. I threw it into the trash, immediately.

Breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children and one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. People who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese later in life. They may also be less prone to diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests; but globally only an estimated 38% of infants are exclusively breastfed for six months.
Nearly all mothers are physically able to breastfeed and will do so if they have accurate information and support,” said Dr Carmen Casanovas, breastfeeding expert with WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

Breast milk contains immunities to diseases and aids in the development of baby’s immune system. Formula provides neither of these benefits
Koutras, A.K., “Fecal Secretory Immunoglobulin A in Breast Milk vs. Formula Feeding in Early Infancy”. J. Ped Gastro Nutr 1989.
In keeping to the topic of building the immune system, I will just share this reference.101 Reason to Breastfeed Your Child
At this point in our lives Roman is 7 and Silas is 21 months. Neither have ever had an antibiotic, tylenol, or any OTC medicine. I may just be “lucky,” but I don’t think that is the case. I personally know several families having the same results.
If your children were born c-section and they were not breastfed let me encourage you, it’s not too late to strengthen and build up their immune systems. Starting with a nutritious diet, stop eating processed, denatured foods. Get them outside in the sun and play in the dirt. Getting a good night sleep is healing to the body. Choose whole food supplements; vitamins, minerals, and herbs all have a role in our home. Immune boosters, such as, colloidal silver, echinecea, oregano oil, elderberry syrup are all kept in my ‘health cabinet.’

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Green Smoothie

A couple times a week we have smoothies for breakfast. I don’t have a set recipe. I have a bag in my freezer for bananas that are more ripe than we like for fresh eating. Make sure to peel them before you freeze them. The base of my smoothie always includes, cultured dairy, raw eggs, bananas, and flaxseed. This morning I took inventory of what I had and then decided on the theme of our smoothie. I had an avocado in need of being eaten and with no festive plan for dinner in the near future, that had to go into the smoothie. What else….?

2 cups Kefirimage
2 cups Kale (raw)
1 Avocado
1 frozen banana
2 Raw eggs (from my chickens)
2 tbls peanut butter
1 tbls honey
1 tbls flax seeds
1 tbls cocoa nibs

Add all the ingredients into a blender. I always put my liquids into my blender pitcher first, this seems to keep the mixture spinning. This turned out so creamy, smooth, and yummy with just the right amount of peanut butter cup flavor!

The benefits of these ingredients:
See my Kefir post
imageRaw Kale is not only a very nutritious vegetable, but including it in your diet may help lower levels of bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease as well. Kale is a very rich source of vitamin K, vitamin A, beta carotene, calcium, and vitamin C. It also contains minerals; copper, manganese, and potassium. Kale contains the antioxidants carotenoids and flavonoids which are thought to help prevent the development of cancer.

Avocados may be fatty, but that doesn’t mean that they are bad for your health. Healthy fats account for around three quarters of the calorie count of an avocado. Most of it is monounsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid. Monounsaturated fat is considered to be a “good fat” which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease. Avocado contains around 4 grams of protein. Avocados are an excellent source of potassium (containing more per weight than bananas). In addition, avocados are rich in vitamin K, Vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5 vitamin C, and vitamin E. A medium avocado contains 11 grams of fiber, which is close to half of the daily recommended minimum intake.

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Bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, including: vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin A, folate, riboflavin, niacin, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron.

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Fresh ‘Pastured’ Eggs~Egg yolks are the richest source of two superstar carotenoids—lutein and zeaxanthin. These fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients combate macular degeneration, and cataracts and support overall healthy vision. They have a long list of other benefits, including protecting the skin from sun damage and even reducing one’s risk of colon and breast cancer. Besides providing all eight essential protein building amino acids, a large whole, fresh egg offers about six to seven grams of protein and five grams of fat (with about 1.5 grams of it saturated), which comes in handy to help in the absorption of all the egg’s fat-soluble vitamins. One egg also serves up around 200 milligrams of brain-loving cholesterol and contains the valuable vitamins A, K, E, D, B-complex and minerals iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Choline, another egg-nutrient, is a fatty substance found in every living cell and is a major component of our brain. Additionally, choline helps break up cholesterol deposits by preventing fat and cholesterol from sticking to the arteries.

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Raw local honey~Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections. Raw honey’s benefits don’t stop there. Raw honey can also stabilize blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves, and it has been used to treat ulcers. Raw honey is also an expectorant and anti-inflammatory and has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

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Flaxseed are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that may be helpful for heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and other health problems. In addition to the important omega-3 fatty acid ALA, flaxseed also has a group of chemicals called lignans that may help protect the body from cancer. Lignans are phytoestrogens, substances in plants that act like the hormone estrogen.

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Cocoa nibs are high in potassium and magnesium. One ounce of cocoa nibs provides almost 80 milligrams of magnesium. They also provide a small amount of calcium in addition to trace amounts of vitamins D, vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. Eat a serving of cocoa nibs and you’ll be getting a boost of healthy antioxidants. In fact, chocolate contains more health-promoting catechins, a type of antioxidant, than does green tea. You’ll also get the amino acid tryptophan along with small amounts of phenylethylamine and theobromine — all of which can improve mood.

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Now, What Are You Drinking?

imageKombucha (kom-bu-cha)
What in the world is that? Kombucha is a fermented tea made with a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) also called mother or mushroom, tea prepared with sugar, and some kombucha tea from a previous batch. Kombucha is a traditional fermented tea that has gained popularity in the United States as it is increasingly associated with health promoting effects. Kombucha is a slightly sweet, acidic tea beverage currently consumed worldwide, but historically in China, Russia, and Germany
The beneficial properties of Kombucha have been well documented in past centuries. Early to mid 20th century, mainly German medical research, documented Kombucha primarily as an intestinal regulator and as having excellent effects on general body functions, but also progressively established specific efficacy in cases of digestive disturbances, constipation, hemorrhoids, kidney stones, gall bladder problems, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, cholesterol, high blood pressure, angina, gout, eczema, arthritis, rheumatism, atherosclerosis, irritability, anxiety, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, tiredness.
By the 1960’s kombucha research fell victim to the cold war, with the Russians withholding details of their research, with many known documents still remaining classified. Regardless of the lack of scientific evidence, the fact remains that this beverage has 2,000 plus years of tradition behind it. Although it may seem new to most of you, kombucha is not at all new, it is truly ancient. In fact the name derives from a Korean physician, Kombu, who was called to treat the Japanese Emperor Inkyo back about the year 415 AD.
The kombucha ferment contains various acidic metabolic by-products, including acetic, citric, malic, tartaric, succinic, pyruvic, ascorbic, butyric , glucuronic, hyaluronic, lactic, usnic and chondroitin sulphate acids, as well as glucosamines, heparin, beta-glucans (cell-wall only), B-vitamins, including B-12, more than a dozen yeast strains and also other active antibiotic substances.

Glucuronic acid in the liver binds up all poisons and toxins both environmental and metabolic and rushes them to the excretory system. Toxins once bound by glucuronic acid cannot be resorbed into the system, they are rendered water soluble and made capable of being passed through the kidneys and eliminated with the urine. Kombucha appears to offer an abundance of this key detoxifier.image
Because of our polluted environment, processed food, chemicals in our water, medicines, and stress our liver is overloaded with toxins. A healthy liver producing adequate glucuronic acid is critical to rid toxins that can accumulate. To ensure our liver is healthy and functioning properly, detoxifying the liver is important. Detoxification produces healthy livers and aides cancer prevention. One of kombucha’s greatest health benefits is its ability to detox the body. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, thus reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver. Even Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the recently deceased Russian author and nobel-prize winner, in his autobiography, claimed that kombucha tea cured his stomach cancer. Because of this testimony, President Reagan used Kombucha to halt the spread of his cancer in 1987.
In my post What Are You Drinking, I cover the importance of good gut flora. Kombucha is also a probiotic beverage that will promote good gut health.
I will be covering water kefir too, but before you start wondering, what is the difference? I’ll say this, when comparing water kefir versus kombucha, it seems that water kefir acts primarily as a wide spectrum probiotic, whereas kombucha acts as a digestive aid, a probiotic and detoxifier.

How to ferment Kombucha tea:
I make a 1/2 gallon, but this can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc
You will need:
1/2 gallon glass jar

4 tea bags-The type of tea used to brew kombucha is one of the most important influences in how the finished kombucha will taste. However, not all teas are appropriate for use when making kombucha. Click here to read more about which teas are best to use for the health of the a scoby

1/2 cup sugar (this is a good place to use the white stuff  and the only place I recommend using it).

Water-While tap water can be used, it is recommendeed that filtered water free of as many contaminants as possible is used. Contaminants such as chlorine, chloramines, and fluoride can be detrimental to a batch of kombucha and the health of the scoby.

SCOBY  along with 1  cup of kombucha tea from a prevous batch

Brewing Tea & Dissolving Sugar

Brewing Tea & Dissolving Sugar

Put sugar and tea bags into the jar. Fill a third of the way up with boiling water.

Brew tea 10-15 minutes.

Remove tea bags and be sure sugar is dissolved.

Add cold water to jar until it is 3/4 of the way full.

Add your SCOBY and kombucha tea from previous batch

Add more cold water if needed to fill jar.

Cover with a breathable cover (cheesecloth, coffee filter, towel)

Place jar in a spot out of direct sunlight, at room temperature, and several feet away from any other cultures you may have going. Now, forget about it for 7 days. As the kombucha ferments, the scoby consumes the tea and sugar producing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, carbon dioxide, etc. After 7 days using a straw sample your kombucha tea. If it is still too sweet,, allow it to ferment couple more days or until it gets to a flavor you like.

Mother Under the Baby SCOBY

Mother Under the Baby SCOBY

Remove the SCOBYs-You will have two, because there is a baby every batch. You can use both in your next batch, give one to a friend, or search the internet for other ideas. Never use reactive metals when handling your SCOBY.
Bottling your kombucha tea-Whether  you’re keeping your kombucha plain or flavoring with juice, fruit(fresh, frozen, or dehydrated), extracts, or herbs a second ferment is recommended. A second fermentation period allows the flavors to meld and achieve a deeper and more complex flavor. When bottled in an airtight container, the live yeast and bacteria in the kombucha will continue to consume the tea and sugar that remaines, and a byproduct of second fermentation is that the sugar is turned into carbon dioxide giving the kombucha the fizzy texture it is often known for. Allow the kombucha to remain bottled for 2 to 14 days at room temperature. Cultures for Health is a great resources for all things fermented and has several flaovoring ideas.

Frozen Blueberrie

Frozen Blueberrie

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This batch I used frozen blueberries. 1/4 berries to 2 cups Kombucha….YUM!

More science of kombucha check out the Happy Herbalist posted study from Cornell University.

gaiaresearch.co.za
kombu.de

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