Saturday, March 31, 2018

Live Probiotic . . . Kambucha

I have the best neighbor that shares and loves living healthy! She knows that I have been changing my lifestyle for breast cancer survivorship, and I am always looking for ways to stay healthy. 

I love her texts with new ideas. The text asking me if I had ever had kambucha kind of threw me off. I had to google and find out what she was talking about. She explained the health benefits and told me I could get the drink at our local grocery store that is by our house. 

I started digging in and researching because I really want to know what I'm putting in my body. I'm allergic to several medicines and some things can make me jittery, so I have always been a little cautious of the unknowns. So here are my notes on kambucha:

Health Starts with PREVENTION and EDUCATION
Fermented black tea
Ancient beliefs = “Immortal Health Elixir”
Benefits: (no medical claims just findings from researching)
v  Immune Builder
Ø  Fights off bad bacteria that makes you sick and develop infections
§  Natural alternative to antibiotics
Ø Helps good bad survive and thrive for your overall health

v  Antioxidants
Ø  Reduces toxicity
§  Free radicals oxidize causing cell damage
·         Age faster
·         Get sick
§  Fights free radicals that oxidize in our bodies
v  Helps Prevent Cancer
Ø  Glucaric Acid – active ingredient in black tea
§  Fights cancer
·         Breast
·         Pancreatic
v  Reduces Stress
Ø  Root of anxiety and depression
Ø  Stress causes cell damage
Ø  Vitamins to help fight stress
§  Vitamin C
§  B Vitamins
v  Overall Health
Ø  Minerals
Ø  Enzymes
Ø  B Vitamins
Ø  Vitamin C
Ø  Gluconic Acid -  fights cancer
Ø  Acetic Acid – large amounts of antioxidants
v  Arthritis Relief and Prevention
Ø  Contains glucosamine
§  Lubricates joints
·  Stronger and more elastic

I liked what the research findings told me, so the next time I went grocery shopping I picked up a couple of the kambucha drinks. It wasn't what I was expecting, but I am so use to drinking and eating for my health now that taste is not necessarily the one and only factor I consider. But I actually liked it and have continued to drink it daily. However, it can get kind of expensive, so I am making it myself now.

My awesome neighbor also gave me my starter scoby. 

What is a 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 — think of the scoby as the coral reef of the bacteria and yeast world. It a rubbery raft that floats on the surface of the kombucha. Aside from being a home for yeast and good bacteria, the scoby seals off the fermenting kombucha from the air and protects it from outside, undesirable bacterias while it's fermenting. You'll also sometimes hear scobys referred to as "kombucha mothers" or "kombcha mushrooms." 
I have never been one to eat leftovers after a day. Food going bad makes me a little anxious. So this whole process has taken my husband by surprise. But this is healthy "sitting around for awhile" kind of beverage. So I'm all into it! 

Here is an interview I did about Kambucha . . .

Here is my scoby and the fermented tea that is ready for its second fermentation process. 

I am going to make mango and ginger kambucha. I love ginger! I love the smell and the benefits for your gut. Ginger can also help with car sickness. Go google ginger and benefits Mango provides a natural source of sweetness to the kambucha. 

I put the mango in the food processor to mush it up so it dissolves in the kambucha. The ginger chunks dissolves easily  I used one of the boys old baby spoons to put it in my bottles.

I saved the glass bottles from my store bought kambucha to use for the second fermentation and to store my kambucha in to drink. You need to use glass when fermenting and making kambucha. 

I poured the kambucha over the mango and ginger and then sealed the bottles tight with the lids that came with the bottles.

The second fermentation will take place for three days. Each day I will burp the bottles by gently twisting the lids. After three days, I will place the bottles in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process and begin drinking my mange ginger kambucha. 

You can choose to use whatever fruit you want or other healthy foods you want to flavor you kambucha with. 

Here is how to begin your first fermentation process of kambucha: 

Gallon Batch:

  • 10 organic black tea bags
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (don't worry keto friends the scoby will absorb the sugar) 
  • Gallon of water
  • 2 cups started fermented tea and scoby (I got mine from my neighbor - there are kits or find a friend that will gift you a starter scoby. For my local friends I would love to gift you a scoby)
  1. Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling.   
  2. Place the tea or tea bags in the sugar water to steep. 
  1. Cool the mixture to 68-85ºF. The tea may be left in the liquid as it cools or removed after the first 10-15 minutes. The longer the tea is left in the liquid, the stronger the tea will be. 
  2. Remove the tea bags or completely strain the loose tea leaves from the liquid.
  3. Add starter tea from a previous batch or that was gifted to you to the liquid. .
  4. Add an active kombucha SCOBY. Make sure the tea is cool before adding to the scoby. 
  5. Cover the jar with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
  6. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste. I let mine sit for 11 days. I'm still playing with the perfect fermentation amount of days. 
  7. Pour kombucha off the top of the jar for consuming. Retain the SCOBY and enough liquid from the bottom of the jar to use as starter tea for the next batch.
  8. The finished kombucha can be flavored and bottled, if desired, or enjoyed plain. As you saw above, I chose to use mango and ginger for the second fermentation and flavoring. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through the comments of this blog post. I am not an expert, but I am on a journey of finding the best version of myself and living abundantly! 

Sharing is caring! If you have ideas or advice for my kambucha journey, please share in the comments! 

#girltalk #liveabundantly #kambucha #healthyliving

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