What is this Kombucha stuff anyway?
If you're anything like me, I turned my nose up at the sight and smell of Kombucha. I claimed it wasn't really my thing and that I didn't think I'd like it without even giving it a try! Well, that all soon changed...
When I was pregnant with my son in 2017 I had gotten to the point where I had to be tested for the Group B Strep bacteria. Ok, cool, no big deal I thought. Had the lovely swab done, got dressed, and left. A few days later I got a message from my midwife informing me that my results came back positive! Well, me being anti doctors and antibiotics I went on to research the crap out of how to fight this naturally! I was told this could not be present by the time I were to go in labor, meaning this bacteria may work its way out of my system but they would just take preventative action ( put my on antibiotics during labor and delivery ) anyway from the positive test that came back weeks ago. ( so frustrating! )
To spare you, from what will probably become another blog post about all that I found to combat this Group B Strep, I will share that one BIG factor was loading up on lots of probiotics and fermented foods/drinks. Guess what one of the fermented drinks was?!?! Ok, I'll tell ya...Kombucha! ;) So I put on my big girl pants and decided to go on to the store and get me some!
What is Kombuch you might ask? It is a fermented drink made of Black tea and sugar! (I'm like, I can drink that!) Yeah, that's all folks. Here's the kicker though, it is fermented with a SCOBY ( Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria in Yeast ) which is what makes it a nutrient rich drink! Basically it feeds off of the sugar and tea during the fermentation process ( 7-12 days ) and results in a low sugar finished product bc the SCOBY consumes over 90% of the sugar. It's a colony of microbes that turn sweetened tea into probiotic rich kombucha. It is also known as a "mother" or "mushroom".
Where to get a SCOBY? First off, they are freakishly gross looking at first but you get over it after a while I promise. If you know someone who makes their own you can get one from them or buy one online! I found that I wasn't interested in making my own as I wanted it ASAP to kick this GBS so I went and bought different brands and flavors. Now I make my own bc it's WAY CHEAPER!!! ( When you make your own, the SCOBY actually creates babies every new batch you make!)
What does it DO? This is a about a 30 calorie carbonated beverage ( 8 oz. ) It's fat free and has no protein. It contains about 20% of the daily valueof B-vitamins and a crazy amount of probiotics. It helps to improve digestion, supports immune system, detoxification, liver support, and weight loss.
Is it for everyone? Always check with your doctor if you feel uncertain about implementing this into your diet. It contains small amount of caffeine and sugar as well as about 0.5%-1.0% alcohol . They say to not drink while pregnant or nursing but again just be aware of how much you are consuming and check with your doctor if you are concerned. I was OK with drinking it later in my pregnancy after doing some research.
How to make it. ( from wellness mama website )
Sterilize all equipment and wash hands thoroughly. NO METAL can touch the SCOBY. Take off all rings, use glass or plastic containers, stirring untensils, and spigot.
Make 1 gallon of tea using black tea or a mixture of black tea with green/white tea or herbal teas.
Add 1 cup of natural organic sugar. Honey is not recommended and other sugar substitutes do not work.
Let the sweetened tea cool and place in a 1 gallon or larger glass jar.
Add 1 cup of brewed raw kombucha (or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar).
Carefully place the SCOBY or “mother” on top of the mixture, ideally floating it on top to seal the mixture off from air.
If the SCOBY is not the same size as the container, don’t worry. It will grow to fill the container as it ferments.
Cover the jar with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and a rubber band.
Let sit at room temperature for 7-12 days to desired tartness.
Remove the SCOBY and 1 cup of finished kmobucha to start a new batch and repeat steps 1-9.
If a fizzy finished drink is desired, pour finished kombucha into airtight jars or bottles and add organic juice or fresh/frozen fruit. Add 1 part juice/fruit to 4 parts kombucha.
Cover tightly and let sit an additional 1-2 days until carbonated.
Store in the refrigerator in airtight containers until consumed.
My container I found at Sam's Club. It's a beverage dispenser but be careful bc it came with a metal Spigot and I had to go on Amazon and order a plastic one.
I found these cute glass jars at Target for $3! Love them.
The flavored ones from the store might be the way to start but over time it can add up cost wise. Plus it's just convenient to have right from home and you can flavor them on your own as well.
The END result for my GBS is unknown seeing as I was going to be retested forthe bacteria after a few weeks of trying to combat it but I went into labor the day I had the appointment. ( go figure! ) So I chose to not have the routine antibiotics bc I found that only 3% of babies get this as they pass through the birth canal and if they do they can be treated ASAP in the hospital if they show signs and symptoms. Since I declined the antibiotics we were asked to stay 48 hrs. in the hospital so they could monitor baby and all was fine! Praise the Lord!
If you have questions or comments I'd love to hear them. I hope you found this helpful and maybe would encourage you to branch out and try some!
Blessings of Health and Happiness,