Learn How to Make Kombucha Tea Easily for Improved Health

Kombucha tea is an ancient Chinese beverage which has been around for over 2000 years. It’s a delicious sparkling drink which can be flavoured with herbs, spices or fruits.

 

Kombucha  is produced using sweetened tea and a symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast (a.k.a. SCOBY)

 

As it is naturally fermented, it is a probiotic beverage and is reputed to be beneficial for gut health and improving digestion. The bi-product being reduction in depression, anxiety and improved mental clarity.

 

It also contains Glucosamine’s which are known to prevent joint inflammation by increasing the production of Hyaluronic Acids. These acids help to increase the production of synovial fluid and preserve cartilage.

There are also claims that  Kombucha  aids in liver health by producing a lot of enzymes and bacterial acids that your body uses, thus taking the burden off the pancreas and the liver.

 

Where do you get it? You can buy it in health food stores (be ready to be shocked because it’s about $7 for a 600ml bottle) or you can brew your own.

 

It costs only a few cents a litre to produce.

 

The SCOBY can be ordered online or get one from a friend who brews Kombucha. The magic in the SCOBY is that it reproduces, so anyone who brews Kombucha will have a “baby” to share with you to get you started.

 

I ordered my initial SCOBY from The Good Brew Company.  It arrived promptly and was well packaged after apparently attending several festivals in places of peace, love and hippydom.

 

You can be quite creative with the flavours you  add to make it a delightful and refreshing alternative to sweetened or artificially sweetened commercial beverages.

 

My Mum brews and flavours hers with chunks of fresh ginger. Her brew is clear, sparkly and very delicious.

 

The picture below is of my latest brew. I used Black Tea (Bushells) and organic raw sugar (the SCOBY devours all the sugar to convert it into the  enzymes and antioxidants). Next batch I am trying a Chinese Tea which was bought back from Beijing as a special gift.  See the bubbles!  Better than Champagne.

Kombucha flavoured with ginger
Sparkling Kombucha

It’s fun to brew up this delicious drink, whether the health claims are true or exaggerated.

Here is the recipe I use:

Ingredients:

2 litres of water1 cup sugar

2 heaped teaspoons of tea
1 SCOBY with 1/2 cup of starter fluid
Grated Ginger to taste
Method:
Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan.  Then add the tea leaves and stir in the sugar.  Leave to brew for 15 minutes.
Sweet Black Tea
Black Tea brewing in the water

Strain the tea into a tall (sterilized) jar and leave to cool down to room temperature.  Then add your SCOBY and the starter liquid.  Cover with a clean cloth which will allow air to flow but keep any insects out.  I use a piece of cheesecloth and an elastic band.

 

Sweet tea cooling
Cool the tea to room temperature

Leave the jar to brew for about 7 days.  You will see the SCOBY growing larger and the tea will become paler.  The longer you leave it, the more sugar will be devoured by the SCOBY so it will become more tart in flavour.

 

Lift off the SCOBY and separate into two – you will see a “baby” has formed underneath.  Place the “Mother” into a sterilised bowl with about half a cup of the liquid to start your next batch.  Bottle the remaining liquid into sterilized bottles which have really tight seals.  I use recycled beer bottles with pull down clips to lock shut.  Add your desired flavouring – I add some grated ginger.

The SCOBY and starter liquid
Your SCOBY ready for the next batch

 

Leave them to ferment for a few days
Bottles of fresh Kombucha
Stand your bottles in a cool place (I cover mine with a Tea Towel) and leave for a few days.  The Kombucha will go through a second fermentation and the flavour will develop.  Then place in the refrigerator.
Drink, enjoy and share with friends.  Mine tastes a bit like old fashioned ginger beer.
Do you know anyone who would enjoy this recipe – do share!
Easy way to make Kombucha
Simple Kombucha Tea Recipe
Have you brewed up your own Kombucha?  I would love to read your comments.

Cycling For Women of Every Age

We all know the key factors in maintaining great health, right?

  • Good Nutrition
  • Reduce Risk Factors
  • Proper Sleep
  • Supportive Medical Care
  • Clean water and air
  • Exercise
  • Positive Mental Attitude

As a Mother, we look after our families and ensure that all of the above are covered but often find ourselves last on the list – especially when it comes to exercise.

After my kids all moved out and found their own lives, I found it surprisingly hard to adjust. I thought it would be great to have peace and quiet. What I found was a great gaping hole in my life. I worried about my kids, a lot. I had a sense of purposelessness. I doubted myself and my value.

One day, I found myself in such a dark place that I could not stop crying. I had begun to have some serious pain in my left knee and it was swollen and ugly. I felt overweight, unattractive and old. I started to think that Jeff would be better off without me. At that point I realised that something was very wrong so I went and saw my GP. I was not living a joy filled life. I was a sad, sad woman.

I totally do not judge anyone who needs medication to help them through rough patches in their lives. Sometimes, it’s just too overwhelming and the hole too deep to climb out of alone.

I chose not address my feelings with my GP, I just showed him my knee.   He had a good look and told me it looked like I had the knees of a 65 year old (I was 53 at the time). He ordered X-Rays and by the end of the day I knew I had hardly any cartilage in my left knee and that bone on bone situation was causing the swelling and inflammation.

Obviously, I needed to drop some weight to take the pressure off. I needed to find a way to exercise which would not cause further pain in my knee. My GP suggested I either buy myself a bike or get myself into a swimming pool.

I bought a bike and I think it saved my life.

I had no background with cycling except for hooning around on a bike as a kid. I did however have a friend who was a cyclist and she guided me through buying the best bike for me and getting me started with riding again. I did not know how the gears worked, how to change a tyre and climbing even the slightest incline was really, really hard. I felt embarrassed and awkward but she encouraged me to keep riding. Jeff bought a bike too and we would ride together, sort of. Jeff rode off into the distance and I tried to keep up without falling off.

I Googled “women’s riding groups” and discovered She Rides. This is a relatively new initiative by Cycling Australia designed to help Australian women to get back on their bikes. I booked in to She Rides Hollywood course located in Perth. She Rides offer three levels of courses for Road Bikes and Mountain Bikes. I chose the Confidence Course as that fitted my skill level at the time.

I met some fabulous women and had great fun doing the initial eight week course. Some were on upright bikes (the ones with the cute baskets) who just wanted to be able to confidently ride the kids to school while others were dressed in cycling gear and were on dropped handle road bikes. I learned so much during that eight weeks! The best part was the new connections I made with the women in the group though. Connection is so key to loving your life.

Riding has become a wonderful part of my life and I participate in group rides with women whenever I can.

Best of all, Jeff can’t keep up with anymore. Winning at life!

Vietnam

Finding a way to exercise that suited me, my body, my own needs and was fun for was the key for me. I just developed a mindset that I did not care what anyone else thought about how I looked or what crazy things I did. I allowed myself to gradually just get better.

I love cycling. I love riding with a bunch of women. I love the camaraderie of the coffee after the ride. I love that my knee is pain free and I have muscles in my legs.

I have cycled down a mountain in Bali, around the gardens of the Peterhof Palace in Russia, Down a volcano in Hawaii and around an island in Vietnam as well as given the track a good try!

Cycling has been a blessing in my life from the moment I began.