Kombucha For Beginners

Chances are if you have not tried Kombucha, you have at least heard of it.  Having been around for centuries, it first made an appearance in US health food stores sometime during the 1990’s. Gaining popularity, probably due to the reported health benefits, Kombucha can now be found at most local grocery stores. 

What is it?

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made with a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), black tea, and sugar.  The SCOBY consumes 90% of the sugar during the fermentation process which usually takes between 7 to 12 days. Once the process is complete you are left with a tangy beverage full on vitamins, beneficial acids, probiotics, and enzymes known for the positive effects they have on your health.

Benefits of Kombucha

While there have been numerous benefits reported on the nutrient dense beverage, from better digestion to arthritis prevention, it is important to note that there is still much research to be done. Here are some of the most common benefits believed to be found in Kombucha in layman’s terms

Detoxification

Full of enzymes and bacterial acids, it is believed that Kombucha can aid in the bodies natural detoxification process. Gluconic Acid found in Kombucha binds to toxins and helps to expel them from the body. Glucaric Acid, produced during the fermentation process  may help boost the efficiency of the liver.

Aids in Digestion

Good gut bacteria can be depleted over time by such factors as alcohol use, antibiotics and stress. Kombucha helps replenish some of this good bacteria that aids the body in the digestive process.

Boosts the immune system

Probiotics found in Kombucha help cultivate a healthy gut and strengthen our defenses against harmful microbes and some forms of illness. It is also a natural source of antioxidants which can help detoxify the body and help to protect against diseases.

Joint Health

Glucosamine, which is another compound found in Kombucha, enhances hyaluronic acid production, which helps to protect cartilage and reduce arthritic pain.

While it’s too soon to be declared a cure all, it definitely seems like a great addition to your diet.

Steps to Make Your Own Kombucha

While it can be found at your local market, it may be beneficial to try your hand at making your own. Here is an easy process:

Utensils

  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Sugar
  • Black tea
  • SCOBY ( available from many online sources. I got mine from poseymom.com)

Directions

  1. Gather sterilized equipment
  2. Make  1 gallon black tea
  3. Add 1 cup sugar
  4. Pour brewed tea into glass jar once it has cooled
  5. Add 1 cup brewed raw Kombucha (which usually comes with Scoby
  6. Place Scoby on top, ideally it will float on top to seal air, but it will grow over the course of fermentation
  7. Cover with cheese cloth and store in a warm dark place
  8. Allow to ferment for 7 to 12 days.
  9. Remove Scoby and 1 Cup of Kombucha. The original Scoby (mother) will have formed a second scoby (baby). Use the baby along with the cup of Kombuca to start a new batch.

Some people flavor with juice and added fruit.  If you choose to do this it would be 1 part juice to 4 parts Kombucha. You will then need to cover and let sit for 1 to 2 more days.

Precautions

As with any fermented product those pregnant, or nursing and those with health conditions should check with their doctor before consuming.

If made incorrectly, Kombucha can contain harmul bacteria that could be dangerous. This is rare, but caution should be taken when brewing at home.

Some bloating may occur do to the presence of probiotics and carbonation.

15 Simple Laundry Tips Everyone Should Know

 

 

Laundry, we all have it! Some people hate it, some people don’t mind.  I have compiled a list of 15 tips everyone should know. After all, laundry doesn’t have to be that bad!

 

 

For Removing Stains

 

Dingy Whites  Brighten your whites by hanging in the sun. After the wash cycle, spray with vinegar and hang in direct sun.

 Ink Stains  Rub with hand sanitizer and let sit for for 30 minutes. The alcohol works to break down the stain. After 30 minutes wash in cold cycle.

Grass and Blood Stains Rub with a mixture of 1 TBS of dish liquid and 2 TBS of Hydrogen Peroxide. Let sit 20 minutes before washing.

Underarm Stain On White Shirts Mix 1/4 cup of the following: baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water. Rub into stain and let sit 30 minutes before washing

Grease Stains Rub with baby powder and allow to sit overnight to soak up oil before washing.

For the Washer

 

Brighten Whites With Baking Soda  Add 1 cup of baking soda to your load to keep whites looking bright

Use Vinegar In Place of Fabric Softener Add one cup of white vinegar at the beginning of cycle to replace fabric softer. Not only does it contain antibacterial agent but it softens clothes by removing residues. Don’t worry, it does not leave your clothes smelling like vinegar.

Clean Your Washer  Easily clean your washer by adding 1 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of baking soda and running an empty cycle on hot.

For the Dryer

 

Tennis Balls to Dry Bedding  Add 2 to 3 tennis balls to dryer when drying bedding. Not only will it fluff the bedding, but it will also speed up the dry time.

Ice Cubes to Release Wrinkles Add a handful of ice cubes to the dryer with the load.  The steam from the melting cubes will help to remove wrinkles.

Add a Dry Towel to the Load Add a dry towel into the dryer with your  clothes to reduce moisture. This will help to shorten dry time. Remove after 15 minutes.

Aluminum Foil For Softener Use a ball of aluminum foil to your clothes in place of softener to remove static electricity. Replace every  4 to 6 months.

Afterwards

 

Unshrink Your Clothes Add 1 TBS of hair conditioner to a tub of lukewarm water. Soak garment for 30 minutes and gently reshape. Allow to air dry.

Clean Your Iron With A Dryer Sheet Easily clean your iron by heating it on low setting and running back and forth over a clean dryer sheet. This will help to remove any built up residue.

Remove Tennis Shoe Odor Add baking soda to your shoes and allow to sit overnight. Empty in the morning. 

There you go 15 Tips everyone should know!

 Have any great tips that I didn’t share?  Please leave a comment.  I would love to try them out!