Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ferments and Probiotics

Monday our class concentrated primarily on good bacteria in the form of fermented foods and probiotics.

Some positives for introducing more ferments into the diet are:
  • they contain acidophilus
  • they promote good intestinal bacteria
  • they are high in enzymes
  • ferments such as kimchi and pickling help to make vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage more "bioavailable" (rate at which the nutrients are absorbed)
We started by making one of my absolute favorite beverages... Kombucha!

This is probably the part of the course that I was most excited about. As my husband can attest, I am a kombucha fanatic! Unfortunately, it is not the most fiscally responsible habit. With each bottle being around $3.50, the $$$ really start to add up. So now I can support my habit (and keep my bod filled with good bacteria) without breaking the bank.

Kombucha is incredibly easy to make! It is basically a fermented beverage made with caffeinated tea, some type of sugar, and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast).

Contrary to popular belief, the SCOBY is not a mushroom or a fungus. It is a white rubbery pancake-like substance that feeds off of the sugar in the kombucha in order to emit its good bacteria into the drink.

The original SCOBY is actually considered the "mother" and during the fermentation process actually produces a "daughter" SCOBY on its back. Once the kombucha is fermented you can basically pull the "daughter" from the "mother" and use it to make another batch... These two SCOBYs will then produced two more "daughters" and so on and so forth. You could definitely get a little kombucha farm going on.

Okay... Now for the recipe!!!

KOMBUCHA (1 Gallon)
  • Brew Caffeinated Tea - Green or Black is preferred (use 1/4 cup of loose tea or 4 tea bags to about a quart of hot water - I chose a tropical green tea...)
  • Add 1 Cup of Sweeter to Tea ** this is important because the SCOBY cannot survive without sugar, but I am told you can play a little bit with the amount you used (I chose organic honey, but white sugar and agave may also be used.)
  • Fill the remainder of the gallon jar with filtered water
  • Add your SCOBY (be careful not to touch the SCOBY to any type of metal - take off your rings!)
  • Add a bit (1/4 - 1/2 cup) of kombucha from the mother brew in order to get your ferment going
  • Seal the jar up with a bit of cheese cloth and twine to allow it to breath
  • Let the jar ferment for 2 weeks in a warm area but away from direct sunlight
  • Add 1 part fruit juice of your choice to 3 part kombucha
After you bottle the kombucha, you may want to leave it at room temperature for a week or so to increase the carbonation.

And there you have it! Super easy...

Here is what mine looked like today. You can already see the good bacteria forming from the mother!

I will leave you with photos of our raw cheese plates... My plate contained a pumpkin seed cheese with raw candied walnuts, a macadamian nut cheese with fig compote, a cashew cheese with black pepper and olive, and a crumbled almond cheese drizzled with lavender honey.

After class we had a little wine and cheese tasting party... I'm getting pretty spoiled :)

1 comment:

Dad said...

Cool Stuff Ann!! Thanks for taking us along on your raw foot journey.