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My New Obsession: Kombucha

Susanne Dietze

Have you tried it?

I've only recently tasted Kombucha. A year ago I didn't know what it was, except that it's a trendy health-food/beverage. I heard a lot of this:

It gives you energy.

It's great for the digestive system.


It stimulates the immune system.


It's refreshing and tasty!


Online, buzz includes taglines like "immortal health elixir." Two of my friends even make their own! But what is it?

If you look it up on Google, it'll say: a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. Wikipedia says Kombucha: is a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks that are commonly intended as functional beverages for their supposed health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a "symbiotic 'colony' of bacteria and yeast" (SCOBY). Click here.
Mgarten at the English language Wikipedia. Kombucha brewing with SCOBY. No changes made.
So...it's a fermented tea rich in antioxidants, active live cultures, enzymes, and...stuff. Organic stuff. Including a little alcohol: because of the fermentation, Kombucha contains a small amount. The drink must contain less 0.5 percent alcohol, which is the amount the FDA has allotted as the line between beverages sold as alcoholic opposed to non-alcoholic. (Side note: some Kombucha contains more and should be marketed as such. However, another healthy drink, Kefir, is said to contain 1% alcohol, which is over the legal limit.)

Needless to say, if someone abstains from all alcohol, is expecting or nursing, etc, Kombucha is probably not for you.

But I thought I'd try it. As someone who always craves more energy, better digestive health, a stronger immune system, and yummy drinks, I thought, why not? I deal with GERD and am always interested in ways to help my digestive system find balance, so it was worth a shot for that alone.

It wasn't hard to find Kombucha at Target in the refrigerated "healthy drinks" section, and the brand Kevita Master Brew was on sale! I bought two flavors: Pineapple Peach and Raspberry Lemonade.

I started with the gentlest-sounding of the two: Raspberry Lemonade. I took a sip and immediately got on Facebook.

Kombucha friends! Is it supposed to fizz? Is it supposed to taste like vinegar?

Yes and yes. So I drank down half and shared the other half with my husband. He made a face, too. We drank them down, noted how few calories are in the bottle, hoped for good things, and went on with our days. (Back to the alcohol for a second: I had no clue at this point there could be a little alcohol here. I didn't feel a thing.)

The next day, my husband and I split the bottle of Pineapple Peach. Then something weird happened.

We started to like Kombucha.

We crave the vinegary tang of them. The light fizz. The taste. We both found them to be quite refreshing after a work out.

KeVita's Master Brew Kombucha contains 2 strains of probiotics, 4 billion CFUs, natural energizing caffeine, and 6x the organic acids as other Kombuchas.
From Kevita site
Since then, we've tried several flavors and brands: GT's were all good (Trilogy, Gingerade, and Multi-Green. I'm still looking for Lavender Love to try.)  Brew Doctor's were good, too, and they had the added benefit of being sold in a 6-pack at Costco at a cheaper cost (I liked the SuperBerry and Clear Mind, which has a rosemary taste. Because of my GERD, I give the Lemon Ginger Cayenne bottles to my husband. He digs them.) Other Kevita Master Brew flavors we've tried are Tart Cherry and Ginger.

The Pineapple Peach remains our favorite. But is it worth it?

Does Kombucha give us more energy? Maybe. It's been a busy season in my house, and while we are wrung out. we've kept our heads above water. As part of a healthy diet, exercise, and trying to get enough sleep, they might be helping...or might not.

Has it helped my digestive system? Well, I've felt more balanced and haven't had a GERD episode since I started.

Is my immune system boosted? Perhaps! I can't quite judge that yet.

It's expensive as a daily habit (bottles can run between $2-$4), which is why some people make their own. I'm interested in learning, and one peek at Pinterest can overwhelm you because so many hipsters offer cute memes with recipes for flavors and directions for other uses (Kombucha soap, anyone?). 
DIY Kombucha
www.KombuchaKamp.com allows use of this image!
In the meantime, I will definitely indulge from time to time. Kombucha may not be "the immortal elixir," but it is a good source of live cultures and enzymes which are helpful to digestion. I like it, too, and it can be one more tool in my attempt to be all-around healthier.

How about you? Have you tried Kombucha?

**

Susanne Dietze is the author of a dozen new and upcoming inspirational romances, like The Reluctant Guardian (LIH) and My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight (Barbour). Lately, she's typed some of them while sipping Kombucha.

Visit her on her website, www.susannedietze.com


Comments

  1. No, I haven't tried it. I'm not even sure I'd heard of it before you mentioned it on FB. I live in Whoopie Pie land so I'm a bit slow on some of these healthier options! I'm supposed to stay away from fermented foods so I'll just watch you become more energetic from the sidelines! ha ha

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ooh, definitely stay away if you need to avoided fermentation. This would be bad news for you!

      You can get the live cultures and enzymes and "stuff" elsewhere.

      I'll let you know if my energy zips into the stratosphere. For now, I'm plugging along.

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  2. Yes! Love Kombucha! Tried making my own last year (a friend shared a "mother") with me, but it never got fizzy enough to be satisfying. Had a Kevita "Mojita" on Saturday that was awesome... coconut and lime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you made it, was it easy? What a bummer that it didn't get fizzy.

      I haven't seen the Mojito flavor, but I would be all over that. I love the "faux"jito coconut, mint, lime thing. Delicious and so refreshing on a hot day!

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    2. It's a really easy recipe. I think my house is never warm enough for it to really get busy and ferment like it's supposed to.

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    3. Hmm..I'll have to look into this! My house is quite warm at the moment (80!) so I think it might work here!

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  3. Interesting. I've never heard of it. Not sure how well it will go over at our house since hubby thinks even sourdough has gone bad. Sigh

    I quit imbibing in alcohol years ago and now the tiniest drop - even wine - gives me a drastic headache.

    Great post though.

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    Replies
    1. That's from Anita by the way. Signed out of google and have no name now. Ha!

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    2. Ah, Anita! Hi! Oh my, sourdough is such a staple in California--now that you mention it, I want some! A nice roll with butter. Yum.

      I don't know how much alcohol is in the Kombucha I've had, but I would say less than cough syrup. But people should definitely avoid it if they abstain, are expecting or nursing, or for any other reason avoid alcohol, just in case!

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  4. Some people in the local homesteading group rave about it (they make it themselves), so I looked it up on the internet just to see what the fuss was about. Haven't tried it and haven't yet decided if I will.

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