What is a Scoby anyway?
A few years ago my hairdresser, Becky, was talking to her client about her Scoby. Now, since I wasn’t going anywhere with all that foil in my hair, I was paying a lot of attention, while at the same time trying to look like I wasn’t eavesdropping . (I am a woman of many talents!) She said her scoby was huge and she wasn’t sure how to make it smaller. What?! I was riveted!
I had NO idea what she was she talking about. Sounded like a disease to me. But, diseases don’t usually get huge. (Not in my experience anyway). Was it a plant….. or a flower with a weird name? Was it like a bunion or a wart? Curiosity got the best of me and I finally had to ask (more like butt in) what she was talking about. She said it was the ‘mother’ for her Kombucha. Kombucha? What is that? Becky proceeded to tell me that Kombucha is a fermented drink and is good for me in many ways. She drinks one every day and said that I would love it. (She has known me 17+ years)
That all sounded great to me but why was I even going to drink it? What was the point? What did ‘good for me’ really mean? And being a person of a curious mind I hit the web - this is what I found out:
Kombucha is a rich source of probiotics. A large amount of probiotic bacteria is produced during the fermentation process. The scoby uses the sugar for food and turns it into gas. And that fermentation creates probiotics, which in turn, provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss.
Hmmm.....sounded good. Healthy gut and weight loss? I was in!
But then I started thinking - what are probiotics and why do I even need them?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially your digestive system. They are often called ‘good’ or ‘helpful’ bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. You can find probiotics in supplements and some foods, like kombucha and yogurt (see my Keto Coconut Milk Yogurt post here).
Since I love trying new things - like making yogurt from scratch, homemade pickles or even sauerkraut, I thought I would give it a try. Click on the button below to print the Free Recipe PDF.
Our bodies are complicated machines. And when you get to be my age, some of the systems slow down…..if you know what I mean (wink wink). I have reintroduced homemade Kombucha into my morning routine and I have truly felt the benefits. Give it a try - it tastes great and is also fun to make! And, it’s also pennies to make compared to buying at the store. Eating healthy has some major health benefits too (and is not just for the younger generation)!
First gather all your supplies - LOW SUGAR recipe - Keto friendly.
Scoby. Becky found out that it was ok to cut her scoby in half....and gave half to me with some of the liquid. If you don’t have a friend with a large scoby you can buy one. ( I don’t mean buying the friend!) This is my fav.
Large container that can hold 2 gallons of liquid. This is the one I have. You don’t need a lid.
Old (and clean) t-shirt. I got this idea from my daughter who is a genius.
Rubber band to fit around the top of your container.
Bottles with a tight lid. I have these.
Tea bags. Either black or green tea. I use plain Lipton.
Some type of sugar free juice. Experiment and see which flavor you like best.
Sugar. The real white processed kind. (More information on why this is keto/paleo friendly below.)
Once I had everything gathered I proceeded to make my Kombucha - This recipe calls for a very small amount of sugar. That way it does not affect my Keto Lifestyle.
Directions - makes a 1 gallon brew - or about 8-9 of the bottles I have above (the ones I use).
Add 4-6 tea bags to about 2-3 cups of boiling water. Let steep about 10 minutes. A little less or a little longer is ok. I use my Alexa to set a timer.
Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar. Make sure it’s totally dissolved.
Remove the tea bags and put the tea in your large container. Make sure it comes to room temperature.
Add the scoby and its liquid. (did I mention to make sure the tea is room temperature before adding)
Add water so that you have about 1 gallon all together. Some people say it needs to be purified water. I just use tap water. I am a rebel that way.
Put 1 layer of your t-shirt on top and secure with a rubber band. This keeps dirt and buggies out. You only want 1 layer so it can breathe.
Put the container in a warm ventilated area. I put mine in my coat closet (we don’t have guests anyway).
Mark your calendar for 2 -3 weeks. (Some people, like my daughter and her husband, let it go 3 weeks. It is more bubbly then). You can always use Alexa and set a reminder - I do!
IT’S BOTTLING TIME! -
Scoop out your scoby and 2 cups of liquid. Set aside.
Start brewing your tea in the steps above. That way it can be cooking and cooling while you are bottling.
Fill your bottles with 1/4 - 1/3 cup juice. Top off with the kombucha liquid. Tightly close the cap.
Return those bottles to a dark cool place for 3 days. And then refrigerate.
Make your next batch of Kombucha. That way you always have some and don’t lose your scoby. (see notes below)
Pop one open and enjoy. Cheers to a healthy gut!
Notes- When your Scoby gets bigger you can make 2 gallons of Kombucha at a time. Just double the ingredients. AND, if your Scoby gets really big you can cut it half. Find a friend that would like all those health benefits and gift him/her a Scoby (don’t forget to add the liquid with it).
Why is Kombucha keto/paleo friendly with all that sugar? The Scoby uses the sugar for food - so in that process there are minimal amounts left over. Nature is so dang cool!
A side note -
A big shout out to Becky at Bespoke Salon. She is a color GENIUS and has been coloring my gray hair for almost 18 years now! I have followed her from salon to salon and am so happy that she now owns her own salon, and won’t be moving anymore.! I travel over 2 hours every 6 weeks for perfectly colored and highlighted hair. She is open to change (hence I am moving to what I call ‘Pink Himalayan Sea Salt’ as a color…stay tuned! If you are in the Atlanta area give her a try - I promise you won’t be disappointed. Just tell her Jane sent you.