You didn’t know National Kombucha Day was a thing?
Yeah, me neither. That is, until my oldest daughter texted me this morning. And, it just so happens that during a text conversation with my sister last night she stated that she would actually read my blog if I posted about kombucha.
Anyway… Kombucha is a fermented tea with some pretty kick-ass health benefits! It is created by introducing a culture called a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) to sweet green or black tea. <Stay with me.> I’ll admit – the SCOBY is a disgusting looking beast. Sort of like if a mushroom and a slug had a nasty little love child. She ugly.
This SCOBY, a living organism, feeds off the sugar in the tea producing the following byproducts:
- Probiotics – good bacteria needed for gut health that assists with nutrient absorption and digestion
- Acetic Acid – stabilizes blood sugar and has anti-microbial properties
- Malic Acid – assists with detox and boosts sports performance
- Amino Acids – healing and repair of muscle and tissue, helps digestion, and provides energy
- Enzymes – helps break down food for energy
- Gluconic Acid – supports the growth of bifidobacteria which support a healthy gut
- Analgesics – pain relief
Some pretty great stuff, huh?
But Cari, what about the taste? Yeah, about that….Kombucha is one of those things like cilantro or mushrooms or curry. People either love it or they hate it. Personally, I love it (and love cilantro, love mushrooms, hate curry, if anyone cares). BUT, the taste is reminiscent of vinegar, slightly sweet and effervescent.
Did I lose you?
IMO, the most important contributing factor of a tasty kombucha lies with the second ferment or 2F. This is where additional fruit and flavors are added to the fermented tea to, get this, ferment a second time. I’ve had a few store-bought kombuchas that will do in a pinch but I prefer my 2Fs over store-bought any day of the week. Some of my fun flavors:
- Ginger Lemon
- Pineapple Turmeric
- Lavender Lemon
- Apple Pie (apple, cinnamon, clove, vanilla)
- Orange Cardamon
The flavor possibilities are ENDLESS.
With all the amazing benefits and fun flavors, though, kombucha is also one of those controversial topics within the teetotaler community. Commercial kombucha is labeled as non-alcoholic, but it does contain a fraction of alcohol. Less than 0.5%, to be exact. The same amount of alcohol as a ripe banana.
Kombucha is an excellent addition to any healthy lifestyle, and poured in the right glass, can be a great stand in for a fancy cocktail. And it beats eating an overripe banana any day of the week!