Probiotics are delightful creatures. Kombucha is a natural bubbly beverage with an abundance of probiotics. Its origins have been traced to Asia. From there, kombucha was brought to Russia and then to Germany and the rest of Europe. It is brewed using tea and sugar through a fermentation process that requires a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Kombucha can help achieve digestive balance, boost your energy level, detox the liver, and possibly help maintain a healthy weight.
For almost a year, my boyfriend and I have been brewing kombucha at home. We have made all sorts of flavors by adding 100% juices, dried fruit and more recently, lavender buds. Remember from my Lavender Chocolate Chip Cookies post? Lavender has great health benefits, such as eliciting relaxation and helping ease insomnia, calming headaches and relieving indigestion. Put kombucha and lavender together and you achieve an all around healthful elixir.
If you made a resolution about health this year, you would not be alone. Whether you are looking to drop the weight you collected during the holidays, exercise more, or add vegetables to your diet, you have company. My opinion is that balance is very important; kombucha is one component that helps to create balance. If brewing kombucha at home is not your thing, no biggy. If I were to encourage any health habit it would be to get probiotics into your life regularly through natural foods such as store-bought kombucha, yogurt, kefir, or other fermented foods such as sauerkraut.
I posted a how-to on kombucha brewing back in May, so simply follow the steps in my earlier post along with the recipe below. Essentially all we do when we flavor kombucha is allow the kombucha to complete its first fermentation and then add juice or more flavored tea to the beverage and allow it to go through a secondary fermentation. Brewing kombucha at home can be risky, so if you are new to home-brewing, please respond to this post or email me with questions.
Note: I published a cookbook called Delicious Probiotic Drinks that includes everything you need to know about brewing kombucha at home, as well as delicious ways of flavoring it.
For detailed instructions on brewing kombucha, ginger beer, kefir, and other fermented probitoic beverages, pick up a copy of my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks!