Why is it that almost every culture around the world eats fermented foods? Is it an inherent love of the tangy and sour?
That’s part of it, but there’s an evolutionary reason that our taste buds crave these flavors… it’s because fermented foods are extremely good for our digestive health, which plays a HUGE part in our overall well-being.
Your digestive health rules over your immune system, detoxification processes, cellular respiration, skin quality, and mental function. Every single one of these systems (to name but a few) hinge on your ability to effectively convert your food into fuel.
So naturally, you’ve got to do everything you can to make sure the enzymes and friendly bacteria in your belly are thriving.
It turns out that one of the best ways to nourish healthy digestion is by eating the right fermented foods — which are actually the most neglected dietary component in our modern world. Foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi… all have the same healing powers. They introduce new healthy bacteria to your gut so that the trillions of helpful microorganisms in there (also known as your microbiome) stay well balanced.
The hottest fermented food on the market right now is a tangy beverage called kombucha.
This deliciously fizzy tea has become a superstar in the wellness world because it can heal your gut, normalize your bowel movements and boost your immune response, when consumed daily.
As much as people rave about it, most don’t know that it’s actually very easy to make your own kombucha at home.
And the magic all starts with something called a SCOBY…
Shorthand for Symbiotic Cultures of Bacteria and Yeast, SCOBYs are rubbery, pancake-like living cultures that make kombucha the powerful drink that it is. Your SCOBY eats the sugars in your tea blend, turning them into the amazing antioxidants, vitamins, and probiotics that kombucha is well known for.
The first step to making kombucha at home is to find a SCOBY.
You can get your SCOBY (and the liquid it came in) either from a trusted natural food retailer or a kombucha-crazed friend. These can be divided and given to friends for their own kombucha starter kits — so if you know someone with an affinity for home-brewed kombucha, they’ll likely have one to give you.
The second step is to prepare your tea.
For your tea, you can put together any combination of healing herbs and flavors you love as long as you add the proper amount of sugar. You’ll need 1 cup of sugar for every gallon of tea (do not use honey!).
Follow this kombucha recipe to a “tea” and you’ll be well on your way to a delicious digestive tonic in no time.
DIY Herbal Kombucha
- 1 SCOBY
- 1.5 cups starter liquid that the SCOBY came in
- 1 gallon filtered water
- 2 TBSP green tea
- 1 TBSP peppermint
- 1 TBSP holy basil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-gallon glass jar (or other sealable glass vessel)
- Cheesecloth or a tea towel
- Brew your tea (in the filtered water) for at least 10 minutes
- Add sugar and stir until dissolved
- Strain out loose herbs
- Allow to cool — at least 30 minutes
- Add tea/sugar mix to your jar
- Place the SCOBY on top
- Add starter liquid
- Cover with cheesecloth
- Place in a dark, clean cabinet where no critters or light can damage the brew
- Wait 2-3 weeks
- Taste test – It should be slightly acidic, but sweet. It should be a little bubbly, but not overtly so.
- When your kombucha tastes just right, you can decant into smaller bottles. This tea should yield a nice peppermint / holy basil taste with the bitterness of green tea.
If you’re a visual learner like me, here’s a Kombucha Tutorial by Wellness Mama that is straightforward and easy to follow.
Last, but not least, be sure to save the SCOBYs (there should be two now, if you’ve done it right) when your kombucha is ready to be bottled. That way you can start your next batch ASAP!
Founder, The Sacred Science