Gut health is the catch phrase of the year and has been linked to many disease states. One of the most beneficial medicines to improve gut health are probiotics. Now most of us think that this comes in a capsule from the chemist, and yes you can buy a variety of probiotics from the chemist which are expensive with a limited shelf life, or you can eat a variety of functional foods. One of the best sources of probiotics is Kombucha, a fermented tea that you can pay a fortune for at the health food store or you can make it yourself for a fraction of the cost.
I was reminded of one of my favourite flavours today when I cut some beautiful elderflowers to fill my vase. Below is a recipe that I use and I hope you like it as much as I do.
A couple of things to note:
SCOBY or single celled organism of bacteria and yeast, is required to ferment the sugars in the tea and produce the probiotics. You make a new scoby every time you make a batch of Kombucha. This is something that you are gifted from a fellow Kombucha maker.
Organic only. The scoby is very delicate organism and can be killed if there are any traces of pesticides in the ingredients.
Filtered water only. The chlorine in town water can also have a detrimental effect on your scoby.
2 Litres of filtered water
1/2 Cup organic sugar
4 Organic tea bags of choice
(elderberry or elderflower is best for this flavour)
1/4 Cup reserved Kombucha
Place sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and add your teabags allowing them to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the teabags and pour the liquid into a wide mouthed bowl (not metal) and leave until it comes to room temperature. Add your reserved Kombucha liquid and top with the scoby. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm place for 7-10 days (mine lives on top of the freezer) until a new scoby forms below the original. Separate the scobys and keep one with 1/4 cup of the liquid in a container in the fridge ready for the next batch. Pour the rest into sterilised glass bottles as is or add some flavouring. Some examples are lemon peel and fresh ginger; star anise, orange peel and cinnamon quill; liquorice root and vanilla extract; elderflowers and goji berries. Allow the flavours to develop on the bench for a couple of days or refrigerate immediately ad consume.