I've been so encouraged to have so many people helping me along in my slow year. Thank you for the emails, advice, and inspiration!
I have found the benefits so far to be very rewarding. I do find I'm in the kitchen a lot. ;) but I'm going to be getting a schedule together so there are only certain days I'm having to bake and cook stuff for the week. My creativity has grown in all areas of my homemaking! :) It has caused me to read more, research things I ordinarily would have taken for granted because someone else did it for me... and I'm learning a lot about myself and how important the little things in life are. In addition, my kids are learning to form good habits while they're young, and are also learning to appreciate the simple things in life! They're realizing that while a new toy is fun, it is temporary until another new thing comes along...they have instead sought pleasure today in exploring the outdoors with nothing but jars, paper,and rubber bands!They are learning that material things aren't everything, and happiness can be found in the simplest things in themselvs, each other, and even in their own backyard:)
My dear friend LeAnn sent me a "live" goodie box today! I was so excited! Thank you so much girl! It had my sourdough starter, Kefir grains, and my beloved Kombucha...I am so addicted to this stuff! But that's alright, because it is very good for you and to you! Nature's live elixir....
In case you haven't heard of Kombucha...I posted some info on it, including some health benefits and also how to make your own. I'm also offering to send you a kombucha of your own to start if you leave a comment:)
Kombucha is a probiotic which is a live bacteria that helps populate the large intestine with friendly bacteria known as gut flora, which dissolve harmful micro-organisms and cholesterol. Kombucha contains high concentration of probiotic-rich acids that can provide a powerful energy boost, and detoxify and cleanse the blood of disease-causing toxins, allowing the body to alleviate a wide spectrum of ailments and conditions; from the mildest indisposition to the most serious diseases.
Health benefits you may experience in drinking Kombucha may include relief for: arthritis pains, intestinal problems, digestive disorders, kidney stones, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue, asthma, bronchitis, migraine, eczema, headaches, constipation, diabetes, rheumatism, anxiety, dizziness and insomnia. Problems associated with advancing years, such as high blood pressure, poor eye sight, arteriosclerosis and gout may also be helped by Kombucha's anti-aging properties.
Kombucha is made using green tea or black teas. I brew the tea and add sugar. The Kombucha mushroom(not really) feeds on the sugar and then end result is enzymes, minerals and vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and B15.
It's very simple to make...fun to use as a science project with your kids:) You just have to remember a few important rules because it is live culture and you don't want to kill it! So I've listed some instructions below for you.
1. Wash all the utensils, the jar, and your hands VERY WELL. Everything needs to be extremely clean so the culture doesn’t get contaminated.
2.Brew 3 to 5 tea bags in water that is not contaminated with chlorine ect...well water is okay
3. Add the cup of sugar and stir well with the wooden spoon.
4. Let the mixture sit until room temperature (important, because if you add the culture while it’s hot, the culture will die.)
5. When it’s at room temp,pour your tea in a clean, non-colored jar, then add the kombucha starter and mushroom.
5. Cover with the napkin, secure with a rubberband. Or a coffee filter works great on jars.
6. FInd a warm place to put your kombucha...I put mine on the counter or on top of the fridge.
7. You will need to let it sit for about a week– you can test it periodically to see if it’s ready. When it’s done, it should not be sweet, but instead tangy and slightly effervescent. (the first batch might take a bit longer than a week to fully mature.) It will smell sort-of vinegar-y when it’s ready. Mine is usually ready in a week.
8. When it’s ready and tastes to your liking, pour the finished kombucha into glass bottles, jars, or a pitcher. I like mine very fizzy as it becomes naturally carbonated. I also flavor with ginger, or whatever flavoring you opt to have. Put them in the fridge to leave the taste as is (the fridge stops the fermentation process), or leave the bottles of kombucha out– the fermentation will continue in the bottles and change the taste– it’s definitely worth experimenting, to see how it tastes best to you.
9. Leave about an inch or so of kombucha in the sun tea jar with the culture, to serve as a starter for the next batch.
10. When you’re ready for batch #2, pour the sweet tea into the sun tea jar with the inch of kombucha from the first batch, and then you may start a second jar or give the "baby" away, as each batch will form an additional mushroom. Good way to start a friend on Kombuca...you may find you have to aquire a taste for it...also depends on how long you ferment it, but I have grown to love it as well as the way it makes me feel...great! My kids love it as well. If you have further questions, please feel free to ask.:)