I have a confession to make.
I've been buying kombucha ready made that the store.
That's right, the resident tea queen at the farm, has been buying ready made kombucha. That expensive kombucha, you know the one. Even though I have a whole 600 square foot space reserved for tea ingredients and all the things to make my own, much more affordably.
It's hurting the pocket book though and it's time stop that madness.
Is this you? Are you spending $3-5 dollars a bottle on your kombucha habit? There are better ways!
Join me in making simple, and MUCH more affordable kombucha at home, with SO many more flavor options! You won't be sorry.
With spring in the air, dandelions in bloom, and seed planting up on us, I'm also dreaming of cooler drinks over hot ones.
While there is always room for a good cuppa hot tea in the morning, the warmer weather has me turning to iced and sun tea as well as cold, bubbly, kombucha. There is just something about that fizz that is refreshing after a hot day out in the garden.
In our family of 6, brewing kombucha with the batch brew method doesn't cut it. It just doesn't make enough tea for all the thirsty people in our house and so we use the continuous brew method for making our kombucha. Plus continuous brew kombucha is faster, easier, and simpler to make.
“80% of your immune system lives in your gastrointestinal tract and probiotics can help. Approximately 500 different species of bacteria live inside you. The weight of these bacteria is about two to three pounds.” Institute of Health Sciences.
What we eat and drink directly affects our immune system by way of our intestinal health. We truly are what we eat (and drink) and the quality of that food and drink has a huge impact on our immune system. There could be no truer quote regarding food and medicine than that from Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
Kombucha, a fermented tea packed full of probiotics (good bugs for the gut) can attribute to making sure your gut is getting what it needs and in turn your immune system what IT needs. Adding herbs and spices to that mix just adds to the healthful affects on the body. Whether you are flavoring your first fermentation with herbs or the second fermentation, adding herbs and tisanes (herbal teas) will open up the flavor possibilities as well as the benefits of drinking kombucha.
Gut shots and kraut pounders. A couple of words I didn't think would probably ever enter my vocabulary until a few years ago. Doesn't sauerkraut just come in a jar? Isn't that, that stinky stuff that goes on roast beef sandwiches? Cabbage? Bleck! I wasn't a fan of sauerkraut in the least, at least the stuff that I saw at Costco being piled on hot dogs and the yellowish stuff out of a jar for on top of St. Patrick's day corned beef. And if your wondering what a gut shot is.... its kraut juice in a shot glass (just had to put that out there.) I'm here to tell you that REAL fermented sauerkraut doesn't taste like that stuff at all. Its actually good!
About 5-6 years ago I encountered traditional cooking. A way of cooking that uses traditional preparation methods for things like grains, vegetables and meats. Some of these methods might not seem so strange like dehydrating meat for jerky. Fermenting bread dough and vegetables was a new thing to me though.
The fermentation process, whether it be bread our sauerkraut adds nutrition to the foods, helps to pre-digest some things our bodies are not so great at digesting and helps with our overall health. Live fermented vegetables add probiotics to our gut which helps us have healthy digestion. It is said that health starts in the gut!
These forms of food preservation were used until the Industrial Revolution making them quite normal in every day life. Over time that changed and these methods were lost and set aside. With so many gut related health issues in the news (think Chrons, IBS, ulcerative colitis) its no wonder that these traditional methods are coming back.
So its time to throw out that jar of store bought kraut and meet the real stuff!
Plain sauerkraut Recipe
2 medium to large green cabbages (purple cabbage works too, a bit spicier!)
9 tablespoons of good quality sea salt
1.) Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage to insure cleanness.
2.) Shred cabbage with a food processor shredding blade, knife, or traditional cabbage shredder.
3.) Add sea salt to shredded cabbage. Blend in well.
4.) Pound the cabbage to help speed the release of the the cabbage juices. When cabbage is juicy pack into a jar that kraut will fill to the top. You don't want any extra space in the top of your jar.
5.) Place a fermenting weight on the top and a lid. Let fermented at room temperature for 3-7 days until you see bubbles and have a sour taste. Time frame will vary depending on the temperature in your house.
If you love spicy and hot things than kimchi is going to be the kraut for you! Ours is a little more low key than the traditional Korean stuff but a great place to start if you are not sure about kimchi .... or if your just not ready for that hot bright red stuff!
Our low key kimchi
2 heads of green cabbage
9-12 tablespoons of good quality sea salt
1-2 daikon radishes
2-3 garlic cloves
Approx. 4 inches horseradish or to taste
2-3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1.) Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage to insure cleanness.
2.) Shred cabbage, carrots, daikon radish, horseradish, and garlic with a food processor shredding blade, knife, or traditional cabbage shredder.
3.) Add sea salt to shredded cabbage & veggies. Blend in well.
4.) Pound the cabbage & veggies to help speed the release of the the cabbage juices. When cabbage is juicy pack into a jar that kraut will fill to the top. You don't want any extra space in the top of your jar.
We hope that you enjoy these simple sauerkrauts as much as we do! Feel free to try different veggies in either of these recipes. Caraway seed and dill might be great in the basic recipe and remind you a bit of dill pickles. Spice up the kimchi more or less according to your taste! Add some green onion or what ever suits your mood.
If you would like to watch how we make sauerkraut we did a little video here with our 3 year old helping us out, complete with an end of fall farm update! See you next time.
CeAnne & Paul
How to Make sauerkraut
Bread has been the staff of life for many ages and only in recent times has it come under attack for being hard to digest and nay even the cause of our ill digestion.
Celiac disease is on the rise and gluten free diets are all the rage. Did our staff of life go bad on us or did something change?
In our post today we are sharing a few thoughts on wheat along with our family recipe for whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread. It turns out, that it may not be the wheat itself at all.
My name is CeAnne, wife to my Farmer and mama to 4 adopted kiddos. I help farm lov'n mama's (and grandmas) turn common herbs into powerful medicines without being overwhelmed. Here you will find all sorts of nourishing goodness on natural medicine, herb gardening and wholesome real foods. Read more about our farm HERE.