Ginger Berry Kombucha [Recipe]
Even though delicious and tremendously good for you, the expense of a daily kombucha fix can really start to add up. At $3 a pop you could be treating yourself to a monthly single item purchase from Lulu! Am I the only one that uses Lululemon as a benchmark to gain monetary perspective?! ? Financial sacrifices aside, the benefits of this potent elixir is that it provides your body with a natural dose of probiotics (healthy bacteria). Probiotics aid digestion, reduce inflammation and improve your overall gut health, which is a crucial component of whole-body health and weight loss.
On a recent trip to Hawaii, Jason and I stumbled across a cute little neighborhood near Princeville on the north side of Kauai. We had heard good things about the poke from Kilauea Fish Market so we went to scope it out. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the old stone cottage was also home to a yoga studio, coffee shop and Kauai Juice Company. Jay had been wanting to get some kind of “herbal juice shot” since we got to the island so we wandered in. Not only did they have cold press juices, but this place was full of healthy cocktails, nut milks, elixirs and jars of pickled foods like kimchi. Then I spotted their kombucha on tap! They had a sweet deal going for a full gallon growler for only $8 and you got to keep the growler. Naturally I’m not one to resist such a tempting deal! I was also lured in by the vibrant pink hue of their dragonfruit kombucha which was on special. It turned out to be just as pleasing to taste!
I had purchased a home brewing kombucha set online just before Christmas – I’d bought one for a friend and one for myself, because that’s typically how my Christmas shopping goes. ? Ever since I was first introduced to kombucha by a yogi friend back in Cayman I had fallen in love with the stuff as a healthy alternative to sodas. But after I left Cayman I kind of forgot about it. Then one day I was in Whole Foods and came across Kevita kombucha. I love their lemon cayenne flavor, it is SO refreshing on a hot day in Florida. I also discovered GT Synergy’s Gingerberry Kombucha which became an instant favorite too. But as I mentioned before, at $3 a bottle I couldn’t justify feeding my addiction. So, inspired by my friend at Saucha Living, I thought, why not make it myself?
Naturally, those moments of inspiration often need to time to ferment (pun totally intended!) and build momentum. I needed this tasty reminder whilst on vacation that I really could and really SHOULD set my kombucha home brewing project in motion when we returned home. I’m not usually one to procrastinate, but my poor SCOBY had been sitting in a box for a couple months simply because I had this expectation like the process was going to be long, hard and ridiculously complex. Any time I have to read instructions these days I’m loathe to sit down and actually do it. It’s a reaction I’m trying to become more aware of and overcome by telling myself that most instructions are pretty idiot proof these days! ? Of course, my expectations couldn’t have been further from the truth. When I finally got round to pulling my kombucha kit out of the cupboard a couple weeks ago, I discovered that the process was VERY straight forward and simple. In fact, it’s kind of like throwing your food in a crockpot and forgetting about it for the rest of the day. And if that sounds too complex for you, well, you’re making tea. Don’t overcomplicate it!
Ginger Berry Kombucha
- 1 SCOBY
- 1 gallon glass brewing jar
- 3 tbsp organic tea blend (black or green tea)
- 1 cotton tea bag
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 1 coffee filter or cotton cover & rubber band
- 1 temperature gauge sticker
Stage 1 Fermentation - Brewing your Kombucha
- In a medium pot bring 4 cups of filtered water to a boil and then turn off.
- Add tea to the cotton tea bag and add to the pot to steep for 5-7 minutes. Remove the tea bag and discard the tea leaves. Rinse and air dry the cotton bag for next time.
- Pour the sugar into the pot and stir. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour your sweet tea mixture into the glass brewing jar.
- Fill the brewing jar with 8 cups of cold filtered water. Your jar should now be about 3/4 of the way full. Add your temperature gauge sticker to the side of the jarred check to make sure your sweet tea mixture is now somewhere between 68 and 86 degrees before moving on to the next step. If it's still too warm add another 1/2 cup of cold water.
- Take your SCOBY which, if new, should be in a starter liquid pouch and add it to the brewing jar. Give it a quick stir to combine.
- Cover the jar with a cotton cloth and seal with a rubber band.
- Place your brewing jar in a warm place out of direct sunlight, with plenty of airflow (no closed cupboards). Leave it there for 7-9 days. By days 7-9 you should see a new cream-colored layer has grown on the top of your brew. This is your new SCOBY! Try not to disturb your new culture as you taste test your brew with a spoon. If you like the taste, then you're done! If it's still a little too sweet then put the cloth back on and let it ferment for a few more days.
- You can enjoy your kombucha plain, or if you really want to blow your taste buds out the water then continue with this second stage of the fermentation process.
Stage 2 Fermentation - Adding Flavor
- For a raspberry ginger flavor combo, add 2 tbsp of fresh or frozen raspberries to each of your bottles with 1 tsp chopped or grated fresh ginger.
- Using a funnel, pour the kombucha into each bottle leaving about an inch of space at the top.
- Seal the bottles tightly and store in a warm, dark place for 2-5 days.
- After 2-5 days, move your bottles to the refrigerator.
- Once chilled, pop the top and enjoy! ?
Are you a kombucha home brewer? What are your favorite flavors of kombucha? I’d love some more inspiration for my next batch!