July 10, 2012

Kombucha


Kombucha is a healthful beverage offering anti-microbial activity against a range of pathogenic bacteria, thereby promoting immunity and well-being. It consists of yeasts and acetic bacteria living symbiotically. It is a living culture that looks like a jelly fish or placenta pancake in a jar. It is a lightly fermented tea dating back to ancient China, which provides an excellent tonic for immunity and strengthening digestion.

Ingredients for one gallon of brew:
Kombucha Mushroom (ask your friends for one!)
6 tea bags or 6 grams loose-leaf tea
1 cup sugar
3 quarts water

Supplies:
One gallon mason jar (available at most hardware stores)
Clean cotton cloth
Rubber band or string to secure cloth
A warm quiet spot (it does not need to be in the dark!)
Vinegar or alcohol to clean utensils (Do not use bleach, soap or tap water)

Directions:
Boil water
Add tea and steep for recommended time dependent upon tea. Remove tea bags. Some people only seep their tea for a few minutes others allow it to steep overnight.
Choose Organic Green, Black or White Tea. Flavored teas will add that flavor to the finished brew.  
Add sugar and stir to incorporate.

Cool to room temperature and pour into a mason jar.     

Add the kombucha ‘mushroom’ into the tea. Make sure that the tea is not hot! The kombucha will grow to fit any size container. The ‘mushroom’ may float, sink or go on its side. This is not a problem.

Cover with cloth that is tight knit to prevent pathogens from contaminating the brew. Leave undisturbed for 6-8 days. Taste and enjoy in small sips! Dilute with water if you like.

References: thanks to MandalaBotanicals and Kombucha by Gunther W. Frank. For a more detailed guide, visit the Happy Herbalist's site.

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