Most people are surprised to come to our home and find that we don’t drink soda (and therefore don’t have it available to guests). I had a terrible Mountain Dew habit in college, which I promptly broke once I started to learn more about natural health and move towards living a healthy lifestyle.
People are even more taken aback when they see that I still heavily dilute juice when I give it to my daughters. Most people think that juice is a healthy choice when in fact most juice is only marginally healthier than soda due to pasteurization and additives.
My older daughter actually prefers water to juice since that’s what she has primarily drank since she was very little. Just because we don’t drink soda or much juice doesn’t mean we’re stuck only drinking water. So, what is the drink of choice in our home?
I first read about Kombucha around 2 years ago on Nourished Kitchen. I was just starting to get into fermenting basic foods like pickles and sauerkraut, and I was fascinated by the idea of fermenting tea. I have always loved tea so, after learning about how Kombucha can help bring your body back into balance, I was eager to try it.
While it’s not a cure-all, Kombucha has many benefits, including:
- Improved digestion and metabolism
- A clearer mind and more energy
- Increase in healthy bacteria (probiotics)
- Alkalize your body and balance internal pH
- Detoxify the liver and rebuild connective tissue
- Lower blood pressure and glucose levels
- Relieve headaches and migraines
- Reduce kidney stones
- High in antioxidants and polyphenols
- Heals eczema when applied topically
- Speed healing of ulcers
- Help clear up candida and yeast infections
I first started purchasing Kombucha at my local grocery store to make sure that my family and I enjoyed drinking it. We liked it so much that I realized the cost was really adding up at $3 per bottle, so I decided to start brewing my own.
Brewing Your Own Kombucha
I was really nervous about it, but it was really so easy (and so inexpensive)! To get started, you need to get a good SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), often referred to as a Kombucha Mushroom (no, it’s not actually a mushroom) or Mother. I recommend choosing a SCOBY that is healthy and hydrated, not dehydrated or refrigerated. You’ll also need a brewing vessel (glass or ceramic), organic tea, sugar and water. That’s it!
It’s a very simple process.
1. Brew a sweet tea.
2. Once it’s cooled, you add the SCOBY to the tea and cover with a thin towel and rubber band.
3. Then set aside in a warm, ventilated location for 5-10 days and let the SCOBY do its magic (it will eat up most of the sugar during the fermentation process).
I wrote about the process I use to brew Kombucha on Happy Mothering.
Once it’s brewed to your taste, you can either drink it as is, or you can bottle the Kombucha and put it through a second fermentation. This is where you transfer the Kombucha to sealed containers (I used mason jars with BPA free plastic lids) along with flavorings like fruit or juice and allow it to sit for 2-3 more days before transferring to your fridge.
Our favorite flavor is mixed berry. I typically put 1 strawberry, 2 raspberries and 6 blueberries in a quart of Kombucha for the second ferment and it comes out very flavorful. You can use pretty much any fruit you enjoy! This page has some great recipes on it.
You can drink Kombucha warm or cold, whichever way you prefer it. We like it cold, but I know some people who prefer it warm.
It’s recommended that you drink around 4 ounces at a time, but you should listen to your body. Some days I find myself finishing a quart in one sitting. I always follow it with a good amount of water because Kombucha is detoxifying and you need the extra water to help flush out any excess toxins.
Both of my daughters (ages 3 and 5) drink Kombucha daily and really enjoy it. My younger daughter even has her own “Kombucha dance” because she gets so excited to drink it. We drink it with most meals as it aids digestion. We also drink it throughout the day. I brew 2.5 gallons per week, but will probably increase that amount again soon.
Over the last 6 months, Kombucha has become one of the main beverages in our household. I’m so happy that my family loves this healthful, probiotic beverage!
Do you drink Kombucha? If not, would you like to start? Share with us in the comments!
Chrystal, publisher of Happy Mothering and founder of Green Moms Media, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family’s life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who’s willing to listen. You can connect with her on her natural living blog or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.