HEALTH WITH JESSICA

Brewin’ Kombucha

So I remember when kombucha was just starting to become a trend in the mainstream health and wellness world. I was SO not interested. It looked disgusting and its description sounded disgusting. Nope. Not for me.

However, I am like that kid at the dinner table that, if you introduce to a veggie that they despise enough times, they’ll eventually try it. Kombucha is suddenly all over the place (heck, lots of tap rooms offer this stuff in their own growlers!) and as it has made its mark, I somehow got sucked into the idea that I wanted to give it a fair try. Low and behold…I love it! 

Not only am I seriously a fan of the taste (really enjoying all the different types and flavors available EVERYWHERE) but I am super impressed with its benefits! That just makes it taste even better to me somehow. 

Here are just a few of the touted benes:

Improved Digestion

Weight Loss

Increased Energy

Cleansing and Detoxification

Immune Support

Reduced Joint Pain

Cancer Prevention

All I can say is that I love that I am ingesting a probiotic and that it offers a more natural energy source (I am not a stranger to energy drinks so this is awesome). I just feel GOOD drinking it. 

This stuff is not cheap, however. I’d say $3 a bottle is a good average for 12-16oz. Nope…not cheap. But amazing. So, what’s a girl to do?? Make my own of course! 

I won’t lie, I tried this once before and it didn’t work. I didn’t get enough of the right info and I didn’t talk to anyone in depth about how they personally made it. I got this fly verbal tutorial from the lady I bought my original scoby from and I tried to marry that info with stuff I found online and it just. didn’t. work. I felt way confused and it ended up growing mold. Oops. That happens.

Since then I got some great advice from a friend who has been making it since long before it was ever popular. She also sent me a link to some directions that she trusted. I appreciate that because I need stuff written down and in front of me!! 

So…Kombucha: take 2

I did some Christmas shopping on Groupon and stumbled across a Groupon for a Kombucha kit! Hello! Had to get it. Merry Christmas to me. It was only $15 and I got a scoby, 3 dark bottles for my finished product, 2 different types of tea and some evaporated cane sugar. Not bad! My hubby had bought me a really cute jar for my original batch. So, I was set!


What to do:

Find some scoby. What the heck is scoby?? It’s essentially the starter. Just like sourdough bread. It has all the awesome cultures you need. It looks gross, but that little guy is what holds all the good stuff you need for it to be so stinking great for you. 

Here’s the place I got mine from through Groupon: Kombucha Brooklyn brewing supplies

They have great products and great costumer service. However, they are in NY, and there are lots of local places to get your supplies from. In fact, if you don’t know someone who makes their own who can give you your own scoby, people sell it on Craigslist and Amazon. 

Once I got my stuff, I heeded the advice of my friend and followed the directions she sent me the link to: Oregon Kombucha

One major thing I had overlooked was temperature. I didn’t make sure that mine was staying at the optimum temp. I also let it brew too long. 

What you need to start:

A large jar or glass/ceramic container: gallon size 

Black or green tea

Sugar 

Scoby

A plan to keep your Kombucha at the right temp

When you follow the directions you will learn that Kombucha brews best between 75-90 degrees. Yup. Missed that part the first time around. 

Our solution, since we don’t have a nice safe spot in our place that is a consistent temp, was to put it in a cooler. We have a large glass measuring cup full of hot water that we change out 2-3 times a day to keep it toasty in there. Found that idea online and it seems to be working! 


So there you have it. I am not going to go into detail with the directions, as I gave the link to the ones I used and they are great!

Would love to hear about your adventures with Kombucha making!! We’re on Day 3 of this batch so I will be sure to update! We will start checking on Day 7 to see how it’s doing…just a taste test. You let it go longer if you want a stronger, more tart taste. That is what we want!

Stay tuned!

xoxo, Jess 

NEWSFLASH: French Fries and Ketchup Do Not Count as Veggies!

Listen. I get it…you are an adult now.  Who says you have to listen to your mom’s nagging voice and “eat your veggies!”? I admit, sometimes it’s hard to get them in.  There are several that are not allowed to touch my plate as well…celery (gag me)…carrots (only in carrot cake OR shredded and hidden in things so I don’t even know they’re there!).  HOWEVER, there are a lot of very powerful reasons that when you look at your plate that your veggies should be representing the majority of what you see!  For reals!  Don’t leave me just yet…!! There are tons of ways to make veggies not just  palatable…but super yummy, without creating a monster out of something that was healthy and turning it into a sad resemblance of a vegetable (no deep frying this stuff, people!).

Big green leafy veggies, colorful peppers, juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower…. all this stuff is super filling, LOW calorie and SUPER NUTRIENT DENSE! Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck!  Here’s some other cool stuff:

1. FIBER (duh)

Veggies help fill you up and um…keep you regular 🙂    Also, the fiber helps lower bad cholesterol in the blood. Bonus!  I’m tellin’ ya, if you fill your plate half up (yes I said half of your plate should be full of veggies and NOT drowning in dressings and sauces!) you will start feeling pretty darn good as this becomes a habit.  I, for one, like food.  Yup.  And when I get to make my plate full and keep my calories low, nutrients high…winner!

2. Phytonutrients

Phytohuh?? Do you feel like you’re in middle school science right now?  This is what makes veggies pretty darn cool.  They offer some powerful stuff that we can’t get anywhere else!  Did ya hear that?  You can’t skip out on this stuff and think you are giving your body what it needs.  Phytonutrients give fruits and veggies their brilliant colors and give our bodies some of the things they have to have for OPTIMAL CELLULAR FUNCTION!  Yes, I’m yelling!!  You guys, why on God’s green earth should we expect our bodies to feel good, look good and perform well when we aren’t offering them what they need at the very basic level?! “Cellular” = very basic level.  Got it??  Would you get up to go to work and think to yourself: “I haven’t checked my oil in my car in like…well, months, but I don’t like doing it…it’s not cool, so forget it.  My car will be fine?”  Yeah…probably not.  We NEED this stuff!  AND we HAVE to get this stuff from whole food sources…not from a pill!  You can’t give your car an oil pill, right?  Really.  You can’t give your body something that you think might “act” like the nutrients it needs and expect good results.  If you are paying a bunch of bucks for supplements to avoid eating your veggies, you might as well be flushing your $ down the toilet.  Your body doesn’t recognize that stuff.  It’s called bioavailability.  LOVE that word!  It boils down to what you ingest versus what your body actually absorbs.  More on that later…

veggies

I will end here for now and highlight one veggie and some benefits:

SPINACH: Full of vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.
Some of its key phytonutrients and their benefits:

  • Polyphenols (group of phytonutrients) – Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, also immune enhancers
  • Alpha lipoic acid – Helps stabilize blood sugar, aids in improved cardiovascular function

SO…go make yourself a big veggie omelet; or crisp colorful salad with a lean meat on top; or a smoothie with Greek yogurt and dark green leafy veggies and yummy fruits…or… need I go on?!  🙂

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