Kefir and Kombucha

Kefir and kombucha are living cultures that digest complex sugars and produce a drink full of live enzymes, probiotics and nutrients.  Kombucha culture is made with a mixture of tea and sugar which the beneficial bacteria and yeasts then eat to make a naturally effervescent drink that the Japanese have taken for centuries to strengthen and balance their bodies and provide an anti-aging effect.  It has a tart, tangy taste that is very refreshing.

Kefir is fermented simply with sugar, sometimes with flavourings added, such as lemon as in Kate’s video below, or raw fruit powders or flavour extracts.  It is slightly sweeter than kombucha but with the same natural effervescence and similar health benefits.

Kefir culture is similiar to that which is used to make yoghurt, which when fed with sugar, produce anaerobic bacteria, which are extremely beneficial for the digestion. Milk kefir is more commonly known, but we make water kefir, by just adding organic sugar and water. If you can track down some kefir grains, I highly recommend it, not only as one of the most beneficial things you can do for gut health, but also as one of the most delicious drinks you’ve ever tasted.

For kombucha, if you can obtain the mother culture then you can make your own or alternatively, it is available ready made.  Here it what Milly had to say when she tried Go!Kombucha from Raw Living;

When I looked at recipes for making kombucha, I quickly decided not to try because it seems complicated and far too much trouble for someone of leisurely inclination.  But since the nice people at Go! Kombucha have already done the hard work for me, I had a taste and…zing!  It has a refreshing tongue-tingling tanginess, reminiscent of cider with a slightly vinegary bite.  But unlike cider, it has some really cool benefits.

Kombucha is nice to sip in the evening as a healthier alternative to a glass of wine, and I imagine it would be lovely on a summer’s day.  It is described as ‘effervescent’ but don’t expect it to come foaming out of the bottle like cola, it’s much more subtle.  Very similar to kefir in both its taste and its benefits – although sugar is used in the making, it is safe for candida sufferers and those of a sensitive disposition sugar-wise.  In fact it’s apparently a good anti-candida drink.  It provides a useful probiotic and enzyme boost, has vitamins and minerals in it (and anyway is more fun than taking a pill).  Tastes even better with a bit of fresh ginger grated into it, and also yummers with a squirt and/or a slice of fresh lime.  For a tall drink, I’d dilute it with sparkling spring water because you don’t need much – a serving should be about the same as a glass of wine.  We’re told it’s unwise to overdo it when you’re not used to it, presumably because there’d be an uncomfortably thorough cleaning-out effect.  So like wine, one bottle should get you six glasses.

One really excellent benefit that I haven’t seen written up in the product info is kombucha’s ability to kill 99% of sweet cravings dead.  If sweeties are your downfall, I highly recommend it.  I heard Truth Calkins talking about drinking a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a little water to kill sweet cravings, and wondered if kombucha would do the same thing.  Well, I can report that it does, very effectively.  Which means I might be able to stick to my New Year raw chocolate rationing pledge after all.