Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Benefits of Fermented Foods

Before I have discussed the benefits of probiotics. Probiotics are like the beneficial bacteria already in our bodies. Probiotics help the good bacteria grown and control the bacteria that is not beneficial. Healthy intestines alone contain over 100 trillion healthy bacteria. We have bacteria all over and in our bodies.

While taking a high quality probiotic supplement like Young Living Life 5 or Prescript Assist, we need more. The best way hands down to get our vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and healthy bacteria is through our food. We were designed to be nourished. We should be eating to live not living to eat.

An on going goal of mine is to include more fermented and and cultured foods into my and my children's daily regimen. It's cheap, effective, and beneficial to our health. At first sound fermented foods might not sound all that appealing. Whether you realize it or not you are probably already in small quantities consuming them.

Some fermented and cultured foods include yogurt, kefir, kimchee, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, natto, and a favorite of mine, kombucha. Foods are fermented by using healthy bacteria with the food or drink and storing them. When the bacteria populates the food it becomes a powerhouse of nutrition.

Kombucha is a fermented tea full of healthy bacteria, B vitamins, and amino acids. Adults and children alike love this beverage. It is yummy, effervescent, and great for you! In today's video I included a step by step guide on how to make plain kombucha. Once you become a kombucha pro, you can flavor it with fruit. I like to use ginger. This is great for families because its easy and low cost.

In order to make kombucha you need the bacteria culture called a scoby. It's a type of fungi or mushroom. You can easily order a scoby or get one from a friend already making kombucha. A good friend gave me a scoby she had grown and instructed me how to make it. I'll teach you what she taught me in the video.

A new scoby will grow on the top of the kombucha as it brews in the jar. What makes it effervescent is the new scoby forms a seal at the top. So CO2 gas naturally builds up inside. Once you make the tea and it goes into the jar with the scoby it will sit on the counter for about 7 days. You should start to see a new scoby grow within a day or two depending on weather and warmth of your house.

Do not store the kombucha in anything other than glass. You don't want toxins from the plastic to leak into the kombucha. Also do not store kombucha in stainless steel either. Once the kombucha is made you store it in the fridge. Any glass container will do, but in order to keep the effervescence use a flip cap bottle. You will need to have a few of these, if the jars/bottles are on the small side, to store almost a gallon of kombucha.

Be aware that there will be strands of bacteria from the scoby either in the bottom or floating around in the tea. That's perfectly normal and healthy to drink.

In order to make your own kombucha you will need:

One scoby
4 organic plain black tea bags
1 cup organic sugar
3 quarts of filtered water
1 stainless steel pot
1 bamboo spoon
1 gallon glass jar
1 6in x 6in square of fabric
1 rubber band
Glass carafe or flip top lid bottles preferably to keep the effervescent bubbles fresh.

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