Fizzy Fruity Kombucha

I’m a fruity frizzy drink kind of girl.  Fruit ciders (not the beer ones!), Mojto’s, and their friends, those are my drinks!

Kombucha is a healthy fizzy fruity goodness.  You can make it without it without fruit and fizz too, of course.

Photo 2016-07-24, 11 21 23 PM

Tonight I had a BBQ with a group of ladies.  No Smirnoff Ice for me!  Instead it was BerryBoochHooch.  Berry Kombucha, Ice, Vodka.  Oh ya!

Basic Kombucha – 7-30 days Ferment

Requirements:

  • Gallon Jar (easiest!) – Make sure it’s scrubbed clean and rinsed well with hot water
  • A Scoby & cup of starter tea (you can grow your own (http://www NULL.thekitchn NULL.com/how-to-make-your-own-kombucha-scoby-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-202596) or simply ask on FB, I bet some of your friends have some to share)
  • 4 ‘bags’ of Black Tea
  • 4 ‘bags’ of Green Tea
  • Purified water, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar – I use the Unbleached Cane Sugar from Costco
  • Paper towel or coffee filter (cheesecloth can allow fruit flies in)
  • Rubber bands

Brew a kettle full of hot water.   Put your 8 bags of tea and your sugar in your gallon jar.  Steep until it cools to room temp (which means it should feel cool).  Remove tea bags with clean utensils or hands.  Add your scoby and starter tea.  Note! If your tea is still warm it can KILL your scoby.  Top up to full with more room temp purified water.  Cover with a double layer* of paper towel or coffee filter secure with a rubber band.

*I use one paper towel in winter and two in summer.  Two helps a bit with the fruit flies.

Photo 2016-07-24, 11 17 09 PM

Set your tea on a counter (never in a cupboard) where it can sit undisturbed, out of sunlight. Let it sit there and do it’s thing.  Remove the cover and check the taste starting around day 7 in warmer periods or 10 when it’s a bit cooler.  Use a non-metal spoon or a straw to remove some from your jar to taste. The longer it sits the less sweet it will get.  I prefer mine less sweet since I’m adding fruit back in.  Once it’s at your preferred taste remove your scoby and set aside with a cup of your batch so you’re all set for your next batch.  If you’re not brewing another batch right away (you really should though!) DO NOT REFRIGERATE.  I put mine in a mason jar covered with paper towel and sit it aside on the counter just like I did with the fermenting tea.

Kombucha gallon jar

Now here comes the fruity fizzy bit!  The Second Ferment:   2-14 days

Important:  The jars needs to be airtight AND you need to check it every day or two, Kombucha has been known to explode.  It’s not common although you are dealing with fizz!

  • 4-6 750ml to Litre Mason Jars (any size will work!) with lids
  • ziploc baggy sections
  • Berries – in winter I use Costco’s organic frozen

Fill your Mason Jar 1/4 full with berries.  Then add Kombucha leaving a couple inches of head space (empty space).  Having head space is important for the fizz!

Cover the top of each jar with with a square of plastic before adding the lid and ring.   The plastic does 2 things.  It ensures my kombucha won’t come into contact with the metal lid for even a second AND it gives a tighter seal to help the fizz.  The Kombucha won’t be in contact with the plastic either.  I have used flip top bottles although getting the fruit in and out and getting the bottles clean was a major pain in the butt!

Flip top bottle

Set your sealed jars of Kombucha back on the counter.  Depending on the temperature of the room it may be at your desired fizz in 2 days.  In warm summer days open EACH jar each day to ‘burp’ and check the fizz level.  If you miss a day… open over the sink with a tea towel over the lid just in case, better safe than sorry.  Once it’s as fizzy as you want it (max 14 days), strain it and put it in the fridge.

IF IT”S NOT as fizzy as you want it at 14 days, leave the fruit in and put in the fridge.  This is one of those, the fruit swelled up so much that I didn’t have enough head space for proper fizz.  I tucked it away in the back of the fridge months ago!  I had fresh and perfectly fizzed Kombuchatoavailable to drink so I just ignored this old batch.  Today I opened it and WOW!!  Barely any fermentation smell (the ‘booze’ smell my 14yo calls it) and as fizzy as could be!

Photo 2016-07-24, 1 03 50 PM

Nutty Banana Tree Stumps!

This was a fun after school snack!

  • Banana’s (buy the straighter ones from the back of the bunch – you’ll see what I mean at the store)
  • Almond Butter
  • Epicure’s Dark Chocolate Chips

You’ll need a Parchment Paper or a Silicone Baking Mat on a plate or cookie sheet.  Cut your banana into 3-4 pieces.  Using a large straw hollow out a hole in the banana chunk.  Melt your chocolate for 20seconds at a time in the microwave (about 1 min total) or over a hot water bath (hot, not boiling).  Dip your banana into the chocolate, place onto your prepared surface.  Using a small spoon or funnel fill inside with Almond Butter.  Put into the fridge so the chocolate hardens faster so you don’t have to wait so long!!

 

Apple Crisp

I was given a big bowl of tart apples today and since those aren’t good for dehydrating or making into apple sauce I decided to make an apple crisp for the kids and as I was about to start the topping decided to try to make a paleo top!  OH man!!  Haven’t cooked it yet although it sure tastes fab!!  I’ll add the cooked pic in tomorrow after we cook.

Filling:

Chop up a bunch of apples fresh from the garden, sprinkle with Epicure’s Apple Pie spice and drizzle with Agave nectar (you can find it inexpensively at Costco).

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • a drizzle of agave to your desired sweetness
  • a handful each of coconut flour and almond flour
  • a handful of slivered toasted almonds
  • a handful of toasted pecans
  • a sprinkle of Epicure’s Apple Pie Spice

Directions:

Using a pastry blender mix it all together and crush up the nuts. Pat onto your apples. Bake ~30mins.