I was blessed with a mother that has always seemed to me to be a little bit ahead of the times when it comes to ‘new age’ thinking and health. I was introduced to the drink Kombucha about 25 years ago. I can still smell the faint smell of vinegar that would gush out as the cupboard was opened. Back then I had no idea what it was or why mum was fermenting a fungus but now, 25 years later, I know exactly why.
Gut health is all the rage at the moment and there is a good reason why. It’s a fact that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut so with this in mind, it would make sense to eat and drink foods that are said to keep your gut working at an optimum level. There are many things you can do to keep a healthy gut but a method we are loving at the moment is drinking Kombucha.
Kombucha is a beverage that is said to have huge health benefits extending to your heart, your brain and also your gut. It’s a delicious probiotic drink that is naturally carbonated in the fermenting process so if you’re one to be inclined to want to quench your thirst with a fizzy, this a great alternative for you.
Kombucha retails for between $5 and $8 per bottle but as the whole family loves this healthy beverage we’ve made a habit of making our own at a fraction of the cost. Here’s how we do it.
First things first, you will need a SCOBY (an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, a rubbery like structure that’s primarily used for making Kombucha). The easiest way to obtain a SCOBY is to find someone that is already making Kombucha as every time you make a batch it creates another SCOBY so they are bound to have a spare. If you don’t know anyone I’ve seen them on Facebook Marketplace or you can buy a mother SCOBY online or some health food stores have them too. You can make your own SCOBY but this is a process we haven’t yet tried.
You will need a large glass jar to make the Kombucha and a thin cloth or towel to cover the jar during the fermenting process. Don’t use plastic or metal as this can taint the SCOBY. It’s also very important that you and all your utensils are as clean as absolutely possible.
1 x SCOBY in a cup of pre-made Kombucha
3 x litres of water (unchlorinated)
8 x tea bags (black, green or white tea)
1 x cup of caster sugar
- Bring the water to a boil
- Remove from the heat and add tea bags and sugar
- After 20 minutes, remove tea bags
- Once the liquid is cool (at least room temp) pour into your glass jar
- Add SCOBY and pre-made Kombucha
- Cover the jar with a cloth or paper towel and put it in a dark cupboard for 7 to 10 days.
Taste your Kombucha as you go. You will know when it ready as it will start to have a slight vinegar or tart taste. When the Kombucha is done to your liking, remove the original SCOBY, the newly formed SCOBY and one cup of starter tea (previously made kombucha) for your next batch.
I leave most of mine out on the bench so the kids can help themselves, but I also like to take a few of the bottles and fill them with the Kombucha and add flavours. Lemon and ginger, raspberry, strawberry and basil, just have a little fun experimenting. Let the flavours ferment for another couple of days, strain and put it in the fridge for your drinking pleasure.