When you think of DIY fermented drinks, what do you think of? The vodka-filled watermelon from your first frat party? Or maybe your Uncle Roy’s “sure to make you blind” moonshine?
Well, tea may not be as exciting as a boozy streak down University Row (What? Did we reveal too much?) but it is definitely a whole lot healthier.
And of course we’re not just talking about any tea leaves. Today we’re all about the super tea, kombucha!
Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based beverage that has been widely praised for its incredible immune-boosting health benefits. And best of all, the elixir can easily be made in your own home.
Nadine Ijaz is a nutritionist/herbalist at InspireHealth, an integrated cancer care center in Vancouver. The health food guru is a huge kombucha fan. She explains that the tea is chock full of probiotics and healthy amino acids.
“Kombucha produces lactic acid, which is needed in the large intestine. When you take antibiotics, you kill the lactic acid bacteria. Without replacing these friendly intestinal flora, you’ll have an imbalance of too much yeast (sugar/candida) and not enough bacteria (lactic acid, probiotics, etc.).”
Further, the amazing tea contains glucoronic acid, which Nadine said is “a neutralizer of toxins.” And in today’s toxic world, our liver can use all the help it can get.
Last but not least, kombucha is also a fabulous immune booster that can help “protect against cancer and other degenerative diseases.”
- Obtain a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) from a GT Synergy Bottle (can be bought at health food stores). Pour the bottle into a glass jar or container.
- Boil about 12 cups of water.
- Take it off the heat and allow it to cool for 2-5 minutes.
- Add five bags of black or green tea (Nadine always uses green tea because of the health benefits of green tea — antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-aging, just to name a few). She combines it with other teas like Rooibos tea (“antioxidant-rich, vitamin-rich”), rosemary (“great for memory”), and spearmint (“wonderful for digestion” and has a relaxing effect).
- Add 1 cup of sugar to the tea. You can use refined white sugar, but Nadine prefers whole cane sugar because of its nutritional benefits.
- After about 30 minutes, strain the tea — if you use loose-leaf tea, make sure all the herbs are strained out so as not to irritate the SCOBY.
- Stir the sugar around in the tea.
- You will want the tea to cool down to room temperature before you add it to the SCOBY.
- Once the sweetened tea has cooled down, add the tea to the jar with the SCOBY.
- Cover with a thin cloth towel or paper towel so that no particles get in but it can breathe. Secure the towel with a rubber band.
- Leave in a dark place, like the cupboard.
- Leave for about a week and then you can try it to taste. If you like it, drink it straight from the bottle or pour into another container and put it in the refrigerator for later drinking.
xx, The FabFitFun Team