The girls from Nourishing My Family gave a great talk last Monday and if you live locally they'll be doing it again. Details at the bottom of the post.
It was all about Kombucha, Milk Kefir and Water Kefir.
Above is the kombucha which is a fermentation of sweetened black tea by a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, commonly called SCOBY, which is the rubbery mass in the right photo. The scoby floats on the tea and in about 10 days it has produced a lightly effervescent drink. There is much see-sawing about the scientifically proved evidence of health benefits but it has been a practice in many countries for decades with very strong anecdotal evidence. The resulting drink contains probiotics, multiple species of yeasts and bacteria and acetic acid, lactic acid and glucuronic acid. If your liver is overloaded and under stress the additional glucuronic acid binds with toxins allowing them to be excreted.
We taste tested kombucha that had been flavoured by different teas. We tried a vanilla and rose kombucha that was really quite remarkable in taste and would be a wonderful cool beverage to serve people. Other flavours include, peach, blackcurrant, green tea and more.
Like anything produced for consumption there are protocols to follow but the process is very simple. Do some research and maybe it could be for you. The scoby produces "babies" readily so if you put the word out you are bound to be able to obtain one for free and be sure to get a cup of the existing tea to go with it to. If mould occurs, throw the whole batch and scoby away and start again.
We also taste tested milk kefir and water kefir, a probiotic drink made from a fermentation using starter "grains" (because they look lumpy like grains) of yeasts and bacteria. Again, whether you use cows milk, coconut milk, water etc, the result is a slightly effervescent tangy drink. I really love the milk kefir straight but many people enjoy it in smoothies. There are a wide range of health benefits and again, the scoby grains multiply readily and if you ask around somebody will have some to give away. If you find yourself swamped, just refrigerate and put it into a state of retardation till you are ready to resume fermenting. Your chooks will LOVE any spare probiotic drink or scoby as well and it is good for them too.
It's a big subject so get out there and do some reading. There are plenty of sources on the net and I also recommend reading "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. For those lucky enough to be in the Launceston area, the girls are coming to do a FREE talk and taste at the next
Living Better With Less
Thurs 28th August
3 Charles St south (parking in Howick St)
(If you could let me know you are coming for numbers that would be great)
There will be grains to give away, please bring a jar with a lid and there may also be kombucha scoby.