Your Holy Health - Part 19 - Fermented Foods
by Tonja Taylor

From what I remember, I first heard about kombucha and kefir years ago. I was not interested at the time, although I was glad to know it had health benefits. So I just skimmed over that part.

Then I must have read or heard something else about kombucha (fermented tea), because I decided to try one at the local health food store. It was pretty good, and then, over the next many weeks, I tried many, with all sorts of flavors and some even containing chia seeds (Not my fave, for it reminds me of snot, for some reason, LOL. At this point, I prefer to consume my seeds separately.).

I really liked the fact that, besides the fact that it was a decent price and tasted pretty good (better than those nasty “energy drinks” and much better for you, in that it is all good, with a natural fizz and no harmful carbon dioxide), I was investing in myself.

Instead of wasting my money on something that might taste okay but be bad for me—and thus, harming myself, I was doing my body good! I was not only enjoying the taste of good health, but raising my immunity and preventing sickness, illness, disease, and loss of money from drugs and doctor visits and missing work.

Then, at a farmer’s market, where you can often find organic (meaning—overall—grown with no poisonous pesticides nor fertilizers) and non-GMO foods, I discovered that I could make my own! My husband is actually the one that suggested that, and bought me a book on making kombucha.

Also, the LORD led me to a site from which I have learned much and from which I purchased my first SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and started making my own. (I know bacteria and yeast sound yucky, but they are very important to us humans, and when they partner to produce kombucha, the result is greater health for the consumers, because these are good bacteria and yeast!)

Actually, I had created my own from using part of a store-bought brand. However, because it took so long, and because the starter liquid was from a commercial brew, I did not have peace about drinking it. I did put the two very pink (they are supposed to be tan or brown, or a light cream color) SCOBYs in my compost pile, so it wasn’t all wasted.

Also, being a science teacher, I was interested in the process as well as the product, and I learned some things.

Then I tried again, with a SCOBY from the friend at the farmer’s market, and when I checked the brew five days later, it had mold on it! I knew it was mold because I had studied the pictures from the book. At least I knew what it was before I drank it. I think that the SCOBY, which is a living organism, must have gotten too warm the day I got it from her, because I left it in the car while we sat in the restaurant talking for over an hour.

My mistake. SCOBYs are living organism and, as with most of us, don’t like being too warm.

I ordered an excellent SCOBY online months ago, and have happily made many batches of beneficial kombucha. My favorite is strawberry-pineapple-ginger. The kombucha has a “zing” to it already, to me, but the ginger enhances that, not to mention the nutritional value.

I use organic strawberries, of course, and (right now), canned pineapple or pineapple juice, along with organic ginger. I have discovered that the ground ginger works even better than the fresh.

Have fun and experiment with your own designs. I’ve even seen recipes for mint and for chocolate kombuchas.

While I am waiting, my husband and I tried a new brand, months ago, which I will not name. (He had recently become more adventurous and tried kefir just a couple weeks before. So he tried his very first kombucha tea, or KT). He was not impressed. Mine tasted like beer, and I drank it, but only after sweetening with red grape juice and a bit of liquid stevia.

The brand I had bought many of obviously had added more fruit juices to the mix. So now, I add at least a tablespoon of fruit and/or juice to each bottle of mine. (I reuse commercial kombucha bottles and just pour the fruit juice mixture and kombucha in them, till I run out, then I use quart glass jars.)

By the way, always store your kombucha in glass or some other natural container, never plastic.  I learned that online from a website about fermented foods.

Also, kombucha should not be consumed by a child less than 18, because it contains a trace amount of alcohol. Although kombucha has a trace amount of alcohol which will not impair the judgment of most people, I stopped drinking alcohol decades ago and will not return, so I don’t welcome the taste of beer. Kombucha definitely has much less alcohol than many nighttime cough medicines, which I also avoid.

Ultimately, ask the LORD Who is Wisdom to guide you. He created your body and knows what it needs even more than you do! He will help you!

Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, through River Rain (Creative Arts) Ministries (You Tube, God Tube), their church, and beyond.

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