nina pres-1719 copy.jpg

Hello fellow food lovers.
I'm sharing vegetarian recipes for wholesome foodies here.
My book "Bowls of Goodness"  is released in January 2017.

Kombucha! Brew your own natural sodas - Slow Sunday

Kombucha! Brew your own natural sodas - Slow Sunday

Kombucha intro.jpg

There were quite some jokes about making "sunshine" instead of "moonshine" while brewing my first batch of Kombucha! My crush on this fermented tea is what inspired me to begin with the Slow Sunday posts here on the blog. And it's slow. Real slow, taking 2-4 weeks to brew a batch.

Kombucha originates from Asia where it's been brewed for 5000 years. It's becoming increasingly popular with health conscious foodies everywhere. Being a fermented tea and a probiotic drink, its healing powers are currently debated by believers and sceptics. There are claims that kombucha can fight off cancer and aids, but no studies can support these superhero qualities yet. Still, Kombucha is praised health communities world wide as a healing drink. To me, I'm already sold by the fact that it's a real home brew soda, and it tastes heavenly, which is enough for me to wanna brew a batch.

The taste itself is special, complex and addictive. I was amazed by how good it was when I had my first sip a few years ago. Ever since I've been wanting more, and recently I had the good fortune of being given a SCOBY, the yeast mother that is the starter of every kombucha batch. I have to admit that the SCOBY looks a bit scary! It's a slimey, stringey fungus. It will keep forever but it needs a bit of love and feeding, just like a sourdough starter.

Straight outta my own mini brewery! Meet "Apple, Ginger remedy", Indigo Dreams, Sunshine brew", and Green Kaboom. My "Kombucha Cola" needs to be worked on, i guess that cola recipe isn't secret for nothing!

Straight outta my own mini brewery! Meet "Apple, Ginger remedy", Indigo Dreams, Sunshine brew", and Green Kaboom. My "Kombucha Cola" needs to be worked on, i guess that cola recipe isn't secret for nothing!

 

With every new batch there's new SCOBYs being made. They can be used to make new batches of kombucha, and if you get too many, give them away to friends! If you can't get a hold of a SCOBY, from someone you know, you can purchase one online. You can also make your own SCOBY! There's an excellent guide on TheKitchn's web site, check it out here.

Have yourself an Indigo Dream, or why not make your own flavors . It takes time, but I'll promise you that it's easy peasy.

Have yourself an Indigo Dream, or why not make your own flavors . It takes time, but I'll promise you that it's easy peasy.

The whole fun thing about making your own kombucha is that you can make your own flavors. Imagine that you're hosting a birthday party for someone and you brew a special flavor for them. Your own brew brand in other words. Why not make your own little labels to go with the bottles.

For this post I made a few tasty flavors! We had a small informal kombucha tasting at home and I'm going to share with you the most liked recipes. My "kombucha cola", smelled just like coca cola, so I thought to myself that the original coca cola most have been a simple mix of kombucha and coffee. But I need to tweak the amount of coffee and try a few more tricks to get there. Expect an update when I solve the cola recipe! If I do.

In the second fermentation stage, you can add any flavoring you like. Clean kombucha is also very delicious, without any extras.

In the second fermentation stage, you can add any flavoring you like. Clean kombucha is also very delicious, without any extras.

Pretty much what you need: A big jar, sugary tea, a SCOBY (as seen on the bottom of the tea filled jar), bottles, sieves, lids and time, lots of time.

Pretty much what you need: A big jar, sugary tea, a SCOBY (as seen on the bottom of the tea filled jar), bottles, sieves, lids and time, lots of time.

The most popular of the kombucha samples was the "apple ginger" and the "blueberry". I really liked the "mint kombucha" but the younger members of our tribe thought it was a difficult one. The peach flavored version was liked by everyone. How about that? Ready to start your own mini brewery? Here's how to:

 

THE BASIC
what you need:
time: It takes about 2 - 4 weeks to make a batch. It's real slow food. The fermentation does most of the work.

Ingredients

First fermentation
1 SCOBY ("symbiotic 'colony' of bacteria and yeast"), get from a friend or by one online.
3 1/2 quarts water (3.3 litre)
1 cup sugar (2.3 dl)
7 - 8 tea bags, organic black or green tea
2 cups starter kombucha, unpasteurized, store-bought or home brewed from an earlier batch.

Second fermentation
additional flavoring, fruit, teas and spices etc.

Equipment
big jar (4 litre), sterilized
cloth & rubber band or string
a funnel
a sieve
bottles and lids

HOW TO:

Making the tea: In a big pot, boil the water and remove from heat. Add the sugar and let it dissolve into the water. Leave the tea bags in the water until it's cool. Remove teabags and add starter tea. Pour the tea into a large glass jar and carefully add the SCOBY. Cover the opening of the jar with a cloth. Use a rubber band or string to keep a tight fit.

Let the brew ferment for up to 2 weeks. Leave the jar in a dark corner with room temperature. Check it now and then, (if it smells very bad, something has gone wrong and you should throw away the batch). After a week you can start tasting the kombucha which will be very sweet at first and then gradually become more sour and vinegary, as well as being more fizzy. When you reach a level of sourness and sweetness that you like, then it's time for the second fermentation. This usually occurs after 2 weeks.

Time to bottle and carbonate for 2-3 days: Remove the SCOBYS from the batch and gently place them in a smaller jar with 2 cups of the kombucha juice. This will be your starter juice for the next batch. Pour the kombucha into bottles using a funnel and a sieve or a straining cloth. Leave 1/2 inch of space at the top for additional flavorings. Add pieces of fruit, herbs, juices or other flavoring that you can think of. Make sure the lids are firmly closed and set the bottles aside for 2-3 days for a second fermentation. The kombucha carbonates during this period. Stop the fermentation process on the second or third day by refridgerating. Leave in the fridge until serving, wait at least 10 hours before drinking. Drink within a month.

 

Sunshine brew

Peach flavoured kombucha
Golden, sweet, and a real flirty summer kombucha.

INGREDIENTS:
1 peach
1 bottle of kombucha ( all measures work)
How to:
Add pieces of peach to a bottle of kombucha when you start the second fermentation.

Green Kaboom!

Mint and lime flavored kombucha
Fresh as toothpaste! But way tastier, a grown up taste according to my mini survey at home.
my favorite out of these flavors. I like special flavors often. Not everyone does.

INGREDIENTS:
1 lime
5-6 leaves of mint
1 bottle of kombucha ( all measures work)
How to:
Add mint leaves and lime pieces to a bottle of kombucha when you start the second fermentation.

Indigo dreams

Blueberry flavored kombucha

INGREDIENTS:
a handful of blueberries, washed and halved
1 bottle of kombucha ( all measures work)
How to:
Add the pieces of blueberries to a bottle of kombucha when you start the second fermentation.

Apple & ginger remedy

Apple and ginger flavored kombucha

INGREDIENTS:
1 apple, cut into pieces, seeds removed
1 tsp of fresh ginger root, finely sliced
1 bottle of kombucha (all measures work)
How to:
Add pieces of apple and ginger to a bottle of kombucha when you start the second fermentation.

Enjoy!

I would like to thank Christo Markham for giving me a SCOBY, he makes amazing buildings and ovens in clay and bakes the best sourdough bread.

More inspiration:
Get inspired by Kombucha Brooklyn's website, plenty of knowledge and inspiration.

Reading tip: There is an excellent book about "Wild fermentation" by Sandor Ellix Katz, he's  one of the advocates of kombuchas greatness and an expert on wild fermentation, you can buy his book here.

Flavored Kombuchas!

Flavored Kombuchas!




















Real slow Sunday: The Mindful Foodie Recharge

Real slow Sunday: The Mindful Foodie Recharge

Grilled apricot Salad with creamy soy dressing

Grilled apricot Salad with creamy soy dressing