Kombucha

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By now you probably know how much I love to include ferments as a daily part of my diet, so here is my recipe and some tips I've learned over the years.

You Will Need

4L glass jar, preferably with a tap. NB please ensure that your tap is not metal, as the kombucha can cause corrosion and leach toxins from the metals.  Similarly, this is why a glass or ceramic container is used for brewing instead of plastic.

Saucepan

Cheesecloth or cotton top for covering

Twine (long enough to secure cloth)

Glass bottles for second stage of fermentation.

1 kombucha SCOBY (This should always be stored in a small amount of liquid from the previous batch). 

15 teabags (I use a combination or black tea and green.  This recipe is not suitable for herbal teas).

350g raw sugar.

1L filtered water.

3-4L filtered water (separate to first lot).

 

METHOD

Place the SCOBY in the 4L jar.

Pour 1L of filtered water into the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add sugar and stir continuously to allow sugar to dissolve.

Remove from heat and add teabags to sugar water mixture.  Allow these to steep for approximately 20 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool completely before pouring into the jar with your SCOBY.  If the mixture has not cooled properly it may kill your SCOBY and cause mold.  Even luke warm water can damage your SCOBY

Fill the jar with the remaining 3L of water (or as much as is needed) until it is an inch or two from the top.  Cover with cheesecloth and secure it with twine.

Your SCOBY will be happiest in a quiet place without lots of movement and noise.  Store away from direct heat and light for best results.

The fermentation process takes from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the ambient temperature.  The best way to tell if your kombucha is ready is by tasting it.  If it’s quite sweet then it’s not ready because the sugar hasn’t yet been effectively metabolised by your SCOBY.  If it is sour it is because your fermentation has been sitting for too long.  Don’t be surprised if it takes you a few tries to discover a good balance for your home.  Just remember that fermentation happens more quickly in a warmer environment.

 

SECOND FERMENT (this stage is optional.  Many people really enjoy the flavour of kombucha after the first ferment)

 

You will need

2-3 large bottles with airtight tops (I like the ones with a hinged top)

Fruit of choice (my favourites are passionfruit, turmeric and blueberries, but the options are limitless).

 

METHOD

Transfer kombucha (minus the SCOBY) into glass bottles.  Ensure you leave enough behind for your SCOBY to live in (approximately 15% of kombucha brew). 

Add slices/pieces of fruit to kombucha liquid, leaving a couple of inches from the top. Secure lids.

Place bottles in a cool, dark place.

Check the bottles every few days by opening them.  When they are fizzy and you like the flavour, your kombucha is ready.

NB if you are not using your SCOBY again immediately, store in a glass container in it’s own liquid and covered.  Must be stored at room temperature and NOT in the refrigerator, as this will cause your SCOBY to hibernate and may even kill it.

Don’t worry if your SCOBY sinks, they all behave differently, but this doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it.

Ensure that the glass container you are going to store your SCOBY in is clean, but doesn’t have soap residue, as this may kill the SCOBY.  Remember to wash your hands well before handling the SCOBY, as they will reproduce bacteria and this is harmful for the SCOBY and you.

Peace, love and wellness,

Mandah xo

 

Handmade Gifts

body scrub

Thanks to my housemate for the inspiration, I knocked these little gifts up last night.
Peppermint sugar scrub is super easy to make and is a great way to give a thoughtful gift without breaking the bank.

You'll need:
Jars - I used 250ml jars, but it's up to you.
Ribbon
1L coconut oil
1-1.5kg sugar (raw or caster sugar)
Natural food colouring
Peppermint essential oil

Ensuring the coconut oil is soft, place it in a bowl and combine with the sugar.

Mix well. You may want to add more sugar to the mix to give it more texture.

Add 2 drops of colouring, being careful not too use too much, or your jars will end up looking like the grinch!

Add 10 drops of peppermint oil. Ensure you don't use too much, as the purpose is to invigorate, not burn.

Mix thoroughly and spoon into jars, then decorate however you wish.

I also used the same recipe with lemon oil and salt instead of sugar. Delish!

Peace, love and health,

Mandah xo

Vegan Gut Broth

gut healing broth

In the process of making a beautiful vegetable broth for gut health. This one has:

red cabbage, Spanish onion, kale, leek, dried shiitake mushrooms, nutritional yeast, coconut aminos, wakame seaweed, turmeric powder, garlic, ginger (tip for this is to store it in the freezer to make it easier to grate), Murray River salt and ghee, though you could replace this with coconut oil for a vegan version.
I've used all organic ingredients, local and fair trade where possible. 

I have a tendency to cook by feel, so haven't measured this one out. Lots of wakame, kale and dried mushrooms make this an incredibly hearty dish.

Peace, love and wellness,

Mandah xo

Gooey Caramel Brownie Cakes

Gooey Caramel Brownie Cakes  Cake  2 cups blanched almond meal  1/2 cup cacao powder  1/4 cup coconut sugar  2 vanilla pods, scraped  1 tsp baking powder 3 eggs, separated  1/3 cup coconut oil  3/4 cup almond milk  Gooey caramel  1/2 cup medjool dates  1/3 cup almond or cashew butter  1 tbsp mesquite powder  1/4 cup coconut cream  Generous pinch of Himalayan salt  Method  1. Preheat oven to 180  2. In a large bowl, combine dry cake ingredients.  3. Add almond milk, coconut oil and egg yolks.  4. Whisk egg whites until firm and gently mix into cake batter.  5. In a separate bowl, combine all caramel ingredients and combine until smooth. This may require a food processor or blender set on high.  6. Grease and flour (with almond meal) 6 ramekins.  7. Spoon in some cake batter, then caramel and top with more cake batter.  8. Pop into oven and cook for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy warm

Gooey Caramel Brownie Cakes

Cake

2 cups blanched almond meal

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 vanilla pods, scraped

1 tsp baking powder 3 eggs, separated

1/3 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup almond milk

Gooey caramel

1/2 cup medjool dates

1/3 cup almond or cashew butter

1 tbsp mesquite powder

1/4 cup coconut cream

Generous pinch of Himalayan salt

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180

2. In a large bowl, combine dry cake ingredients.

3. Add almond milk, coconut oil and egg yolks.

4. Whisk egg whites until firm and gently mix into cake batter.

5. In a separate bowl, combine all caramel ingredients and combine until smooth. This may require a food processor or blender set on high.

6. Grease and flour (with almond meal) 6 ramekins.

7. Spoon in some cake batter, then caramel and top with more cake batter.

8. Pop into oven and cook for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy warm

Zucchini Cannelloni

Ingredients

 

5 large zucchinis (may be substituted with eggplant)

1 small onion, finely diced

250g baby spinach, roughly chopped

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

500g cottage cheese

1 handful basil, finely chopped

1 handful continental parsley, finely chopped

1 ½ cups grated cheese

Pinch sea salt

Crack of pepper

1 ½ - 2 cups passata (tomato puree)

 

Method

 

1.     Thinly slice zucchinis lengthways,  approximately ½ cm thick.

2.     Place olive oil in a pan on medium heat, then cook zucchini slices on each side until lightly browned.  Remove zucchini from pan and set aside on a plate for later.

3.     Brown off the onion and garlic in the pan.

4.     Add baby spinach and cook until wilted.

5.     In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, herbs, garlic, onion, baby spinach, salt and pepper.

6.     On a plate or chopping board lay out 2-3 slices of zucchini so they are slightly overlapping.

7.     Place a spoonful of the mixture across the zucchini slices, then roll.  Ensure that mixture is completely wrapped in zucchini. Repeat until all mixture has been used.

8.     Place in an olive oil lined baking dish.

9.     Pour passata over the top of zucchini rolls and top with grated cheese.

10.  Bake in a moderate oven for 20-35 minutes or until golden.