Drink Kombucha for Health
Meet My New Pet
For Christmas this past year, my wife got me a new pet. I decided to call him Steve, and he is the perfect pet. Steve did not have hair to shed all over the house, nor did he need to be housebroken. All Steve needed was a little food and shelter. I only have to feed him once a week. How awesome is that. I gave him a little food, and he grew, produced babies, and made delicious treats for me to savor.
That’s right. I don’t give him treats. He gives me treats. Now how many pets can do that? Okay, okay. I’m obviously not talking about a real pet in the traditional sense. Steve is my new SCOBY and he is helping improve the health of my gut.
You may be wondering how this blob is helping me heal my gut. –“Is he going to eat that thing??”– No, of course I’m not gonna to eat my pet. What’s the matter with you? (Although, I have come across recipes for dehydrated SCOBY jerky, so who knows-stay tuned) He will magically turn sweet tea into a healthy & delicious drink. Thanks to SCOBY Steve, I now drink Kombucha for health everyday.
What on Earth is a SCOBY?
While Steve is not a traditional pet, he is very much a living and breathing organism. SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. Some people see the words bacteria and yeast and think I’m crazy. “Aren’t they bad for you”? People are still afraid of microbes believing that all bugs will make you sick. However, not all bacteria and yeasts are to be feared. In fact, we need a great deal of them to reach our full potential as humans.
Good microbes in our guts will assist us in digestion and absorption of nutrients, help regulate our immune system and other biological cycles, and they can even produce a variety of nutrients like B vitamins and K2. Furthermore, they control the bad guys like Candida or E-Coli. SCOBY Steve has been a big part of my health improvements. Steve has produced several baby SCOBYs and has created over 30 gallons of Kombucha this year.
What on Earth is Kombucha?
Kombucha (pronounced Kom-Booch-A) is a delicious fermented drink. It’s likely been bringing good health throughout the world for thousands of years. Kombucha, or Booch as those of us in the super-cool home brewing community like to call it, is made from tea, sugar, and a culture of bacteria and yeast. —“Wait, sugar? I thought this was a healthy drink?” — No worries. The sugar is removed in the fermentation process. The culture (SCOBY Steve) eats up the sugar and transforms the sweet tea. In about a week, you get a sour, slightly sweet beverage similar to apple cider. You can then flavor the brew any way you’d like.
Kombucha for Health
Because it is made with a live culture, Kombucha is chock-full of beneficial microbes. The microbes produce antioxidants, B vitamins, and healthy acids that aid the digestive system and liver detoxification. Other reported benefits from this delicious tonic include:
- improved mood
- increased energy
- better digestion
- Candida killer
- Alkalizes the body
- Kill H Pylori
- Headache/migraine relief
Making Kombucha is Super Easy
Personally, I love brewing Kombucha at home. It saves me tons of $$$ because store bought booch is $4-5 per bottle and has more sugar from the flavoring. I’m also able to know exactly what goes into my booch. I don’t have to wonder what “natural flavors” went into it. It’s really fun to experiment with different flavors and different varieties of tea as well. I do enjoy the taste of pure Kombucha, but the flavors make it feel more like a treat. My 8yo son, Gavin, just made a really tasty booch using mango, pineapple, lime, watermelon, and strawberries.
Once you procure a SCOBY, all you need to do is make a gallon of sweet tea. (1 cup of organic sugar:10 bags of organic black or green tea) Let the sweet tea cool to room temp, then pour into a glass container. With really clean hands (so you don’t introduce foreign microbes to the brew) gently place your scoby in the tea. Set in a warm place for about a week. The brew needs to be at the proper temperature to prevent mold growth. (around 78 degrees) I used hot water bottles in my pantry at first, but then ordered this heat strip for winter brewing.
Note* Kombucha will cause plastic containers to leach harmful chemicals in your brew while metal containers are harmful to the SCOBY. Glass is best. I ordered one simliar to this one from Amazon and then bought this spigot. There are a variety of places to buy SCOBYs online. My wife bought mine from Kombucha Kamp.
Not Everyone is a Believer
Of course, Kombucha does have its share of skeptics. Drinking Kombucha for health is just the latest fad they say. Most skeptics will claim there’s no evidence that kombucha improves health and some will even go as far as saying it is harmful. These skeptics usually point to the alcohol content in Kombucha, or say the acid can cause metals from ceramic pots to leach into your booch. Of course, they will claim that harmful microbes will contaminate your brew.
There are simple ways to mitigate the risk. You brew in glass, so there is no metal risk. The alcohol level is so low that Kombucha bought from the store doesn’t even need to come with the “trace amounts of alcohol” warning label. There may even be more alcohol in apple juice or vanilla extract. If simple sanitary procedures are followed in your home then there is little risk of contamination from the bad guys. Remember, I’m not a doc or scientist. I’m Simply a Dad that loves his brew and believes in its benefits.
People Have Been Drinking Kombucha for Health for Centuries
People have been drinking this probiotic goodness for quite some time, and that further cements my belief that Kombucha is good for you. No one really knows its’ origins. It’s likely people have been drinking Kombucha for health since before Jesus. According to the Kombucha Mama (aka Hannah Crum) who literally wrote the book on Kombucha, says,
“The most definite recorded history of kombucha began in Ukraine and Russia during the late 19th century.”
Yet, there are some stories that say Genghis Khan and his armies drank Kombucha for health as well. Another story points to the invention of Kombucha in Japan back in 220BC. Bottom line, it’s been around for a long time. Personally, I don’t care who invented it or when. I have fun making it. I like the way it tastes, and it makes me feel good. That’s all the evidence I need.
Check Out this Episode of It’s G.D. Cooking Time:
Gavin & Dad make kombucha and Kaitlyn enjoys an extra SCOBY. SO much FUN!
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Interested in learning more about the origins and legends surrounding Kombucha for Health. Here’s an article by the Kombucha Mama herself:
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