Two weeks ago, I wrote about a tool that help me clear things out and feel good. The Squatty Potty is my in-bathroom helper for my morning poop. In that post, I also hinted that there is a second factor to help with keeping it regular. For me, that is my kombucha.
Kombucha is a fermented tea said to have many benefits. First, and most noted, is that it contains probiotics. The main job of probiotics is to provide good bacteria in your gut. There are other benefits, too, but helping your digestive system is the most commonly cited use for probiotics. Aside from giving your gut good bacteria, kombucha can also kill off the bad bacteria and yeast. Depending on what you put in your kombucha, there can even more benefits (I’ll tell you later).
Being a noted cheapskate, I prefer the DIY method. I decided years ago that I was not going to pay upwards of $5 a bottle for this stuff. Luckily, my local chiropractor happened to brew her own. I got a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) from her and started brewing. In the beginning, I was very nervous about killing my SCOBY (yes, it is a living organism). The directions were followed and I always measured perfectly. As time has gone on, I have worked out a system that takes very little time to make a good gallon of this healthy drink.
Upon waking up in the morning on brewing day, I boil a gallon of water. I am actually not sure that it is exactly a gallon. My pot has a tea stain on it that I fill the water up to. After the water has boiled, I stir in a cup of sugar and add eight green tea bags. Using green tea adds the health benefits of green tea to the other benefits of kombucha. Once mixed, the tea steeps while the water cools.
My tea usually sits until after supper, when I do the dishes. That is when I whip up the actual kombucha. I take a cup of my tea that has been fermenting for at least a week and add it to my new mixture. The remainder of the fermented tea gets put into a glass jar with a spigot. I then put my newly brewed tea into the fermenting jar, add the SCOBY, and cover it with a dishtowel and rubber band.
Since the tea is supposed to ferment for at least a week, I have three jars fermenting at a time so that I don’t have to wait for the fermenting to finish. A jar is always ready whenever I need it. The jars are stored in a place that is dark and not too cool. If it is too cool, the tea does not ferment very fast. The downfall of leaving it out in the warmer temperature is that the SCOBY can eat up most of the sugar, leaving the tea very bitter. (My kids like this because of the way my wife reacts when drinking it)
Once all the brewing materials are put away, I add the flavoring to my spigot jar. The most common way I flavor my drink is to add a mesh net of frozen blueberries. Blueberry is good, plus you get the antioxidant benefit of the blueberries, but I have another flavor that is my favorite. My absolute favorite is cherry almond (it tastes like Cherry Coke). I add a cup of cherry juice and 1/4 tsp of almond extract to the mix. There are many more creative flavors that people have come up with if you just do a Google search. A flavoring tip…if it starts to get too tangy, put it in the refrigerator to slow down the fermenting.
Whether you buy it or make your own, there are so many health benefits gained when drinking kombucha. For me, I like the flavor and feel like it is a great way to start my day. I drink it on an empty stomach (Be careful doing that since it does have some alcohol due to the fermenting). This wonderful drink is part of my one-two punch that helps clear me out and get my day started on a regular note…speaking from experience.