‘Resident Raw Foodie,’ Afke Zonderland shares her personal and professional insights into the health benefits of kombucha. The information and the accompanying recipe are sure to provide you with plenty of food for thought!
A shining star within the gluten-free and health conscious community in British Columbia and beyond, Afke is a Raw Food Chef and Co-Founder of Okanagan Rawsome. Her delicious whole-food philosophy is a wonderful encouragement for making the healthiest choices for yourself and your family.
Is Kombucha Making a Comeback?
Kombucha tea has been around for centuries and has been brewed and consumed by civilizations all over the world. Kombucha is a fermented green tea beverage that contains unique probiotics different from lacto-fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.
Healthy Eating says, “Kombucha is made by combining a strongly brewed, sugar-sweetened tea with a bacteria and yeast culture, often referred to as a SCOBY, or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. At room temperature, the yeast and bacteria feed on the sugar in the tea and ferment it. It’s a similar process to making wine, and a small amount of alcohol is produced in the fermentation process. Vinegar and carbonation are also produced, which give kombucha its distinct sour flavor and effervescence.”
The health benefits point first and foremost to a happier gut flora as it supports and adds yet another strain of good bacteria and good yeast. We know that a happy gut supports a happy liver, a happy liver is a clean liver that is the engine behind super important functions in your body. Is there any non-important body organ, limb, or lymph? Regular consumption of Kombucha is certainly not a cure all but does deliver a delicious immune boosting beverage.
Anecdotally, most people find relief from constipation … a little a day goes a long way! Some find relief from arthritis and ulcers, others feel that they sleep better, lost a few pounds, lowered cholesterol or found diminished allergy symptoms. Below is a list of acknowledged benefits of kombucha:
• cleansing and detoxification properties
• contains glucosamine
• packed with probiotics and life enzymes.
• contains antioxidants from the flavonoids in green and black tea
• a natural energy booster
Some of kombucha’s energy is derived from the caffeine in the tea. The caffeine as well as the white sugar that is added to begin the fermentation process is consumed by the yeasting process, but some will be left, this is why “a little goes a long way” is your motto.
If you are a fan of carbonated drinks, but not their high sugar content, you can add ¼ cup to your fruit juice. Fermented drinks as you can guess contain alcohol. Kombucha tops the scale at about 0.5 to 0.6 %. Make it kid friendly by diluting it with fresh juice or add some to a green smoothie.
My favorite energy drink is beet juice with a good measure of Kombucha. This is what goes in my “water” bottle whenever I have a long ski or bike ride planned.
How To Make Kombucha
You can buy Kombucha (raw organic) or make your own. (It’s expensive to buy and super cheap to brew.) My daughter, Anna, Co-Founder of Okanagan Rawsome, brews a batch every ten days, so I have the best of both worlds. An online how-to video I particularly like is one by Donna Schlenk of Cultured Food Life. See How to Make Kombucha. You can order specialty tools and your SCOBY from Sproutmaster, a Canadian company.
What is SCOBY?
A Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, or SCOBY is a popular term used to refer to mixed cultures of bacteria and yeast present during production of kombucha. The species comprising the mixed cultures vary from preparation to preparation, but generally include Acetobacter bacterial species, as well as various Saccharomyces and other yeast types. SCOBY cultures are used in beverage production can produce a structure referred to as a mushroom (biologically misleading, because mushrooms are a completely unrelated group of fungi. Read more …
Creating with food is a wonderful art form. Having a few different cultures on the kitchen counter is a living process that feeds my inner artist!
• Green or black tea; (has to be caffeinated) Anna’s favorite is matcha – pomegranate tea
• Organic white sugar or coconut sugar
• 2 cups of store-bought or friend-supplied raw kombucha
• And your SCOBY! You can purchase these on line or get a “baby” from a friend
Also by Afke:
Afke Zonderland and Co-Founder/daughter Anna, have turned Okanagan apples and carrots into a made-in-BC success story. They’ve mastered mixing what farmer’s grow in the Interior with carefully sourced spices and sprouted seeds, nuts and fruit. The tincture of time + low temperature results in convenient, portable power-packed crisps in four flavors! Great gluten-free fuel for the health conscious, celiacs and athletes alike! Watch the video!
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