Delicious Korean Tacos with Kimchi: Recipe

IMG_4031

A couple years ago my aunt found a restaurant in south Minneapolis, the Nokomis area, that served Korean Tacos. They soon became her favorite go-to meal for the evenings she didn’t feel up to cooking or didn’t have enough time to. Unfortunately, after the rent was raised at the restaurant, the owner had to close down and this left my aunt saddened by the loss of her favorite tacos. 😦 So for her birthday dinner last year, I was determined to make a Korean taco as equally satisfying for her and that’s when I came upon Bakedbree’s Crockpot Korean Taco recipe. I altered the recipe to my liking and changed the recipe to one that is baked in the oven, versus being cooked in a crockpot, so my recipe will be done in 3 hours instead of 8-10.

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs. Grass Fed Chuck Roast
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup BRAGG Liquid Aminos (or Coconut Aminos)
  • 1 Whole Medium Sliced Onion
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • Optional – Red Pepper Flakes
  • Olive oil, (or other high heat oil)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 cup of Water

Lime Cream Sauce:

  • 1 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 Lime Juiced
  • Salt to taste

Toppings for serving:

  • Kimchi (I use my homemade kimchi recipe, but store bought is just fine!)
  • Lime wedges
  • Siracha
  • Corn tortillas
  • Cilantro
  • Bean Sprouts

Pre-heat the oven to 275°F. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven and heat over medium high heat. Sprinkle sea salt, garlic powder and onion powder over the meat. Sear the chuck roast on one side, for about a minute until it’s browned. Flip the roast over to the other side and toss in the onions and garlic.

IMG_4010

In a bowl, stir together the BRAGG Liquid Aminos (or coconut aminos), brown sugar, vinegar, grated ginger, 1 cup of water and sesame oil. Once both sides of the roast are browned, remove the pot from the burner and add the liquid to the roast.

IMG_4016

Cover the roast and bake for a total of 3 hours, check on it after 90 mins and flip the roast over. Remove the cover for the duration of the cooking time. Add a 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of water if the pan looks dry. At the 3 hour point, your roast should be very tender and pull apart easily. If it isn’t, cook another 30 minutes and check again.

IMG_4023

At some point while the roast is cooking, create the Lime Cream Sauce (see ingredients above) and mix together. Set in the fridge until it’s time to grub.

IMG_4022

Once everything is ready, grab a corn tortilla, and top it with a little of everything and ENJOY!

IMG_4028

YUM!

Beautifully Fermented Watermelon Radishes: How to Ferment Radish Pickles

12642493_1125229114183403_775556442885661367_n

About a month ago I tried my first watermelon radish. I quickly fell in love with the beauty that was unleashed once I cut it open.  The color burst found inside is one of a kind. I have come to prefer watermelon radishes to the regular red radish, as they are not as harsh tasting; they are a mild version of what I am used to and they are much more aesthetically pleasing.

Initially I tried roasting the radish with other root veggies and I fell even more in love with my new found friend. I was unsure what to do with the remaining radish and so naturally I decided to ferment it. 🙂 If something is good raw, it’s going to be even better fermented… that’s what I’ve come to find anyway.

I only fermented one radish and that filled up a pint sized mason jar.

To Make: Wash the radish, cut off the ends and slice it up. I used a mandolin to thinly slice the radish. Pack the slices in a jar and cover it with brine.

The brine is made up of 1 teaspoon of sea salt (or kosher salt), stirred into 2 cups of water (filtered water is preferable but not required) until dissolved. Remember to leave about an inch of space from the top of the mason jar to curb spill overs as the radish ferments. I used a glass jar weight to keep the radish from floating above the brine and molding. If you don’t have a weight, you can sanitize a rock and use that. Cover the jar with cheese cloth and let it ferment on the counter for a few days. I like to taste my ferments daily and decide when it has the taste I prefer. I fermented this just 4 days. Once the desired fermented flavor is met, put a lid on the jar and refrigerate.

watermelon radish 2

Normally I add garlic to everything but this time I really wanted to taste how the radish fermented on its own. The beautiful pink color from the center of the radish leached out into the brine and made a gorgeous pink color out of it. The radish pickle tastes even less like a radish now and is a treat to have on the side of a meal or even chopped up and added to a salad or sandwich. My 5 year old even approved of them and she’s the true test after all.

Love for Local: Wintertime Roasted Root Vegetable Recipe

IMG_3986

Typically in Minnesota, we think of summertime being the months of farmer’s markets, gardening and freshly plucked produce. Surprisingly there are a lot of wonderful produce options during the winter months that, I hate to admit, but I’ve looked past for years.

Recently I took a closer look at the produce section of my local co-op and found that not only was there a wide variety of root veggies to pick from, many were grown in MN and WI! I quickly gathered a basket of mysterious looking veggies and went home to experiment.

I decided the easiest way to sample all of the veggies at one time would be to roast them. Roasted veggies make a great snack and are a fantastic side dish to almost any meal. It turns out the assortment of veggies I collected included: yellow and orange carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, celery root (celeriac),  beauty heart radish (watermelon radish) and turnips.

12642493_1125229114183403_775556442885661367_n

I became completely enamored with the radish. Who knew such a vibrant color would be hiding inside? The flavor of it was similar to a regular red radish, but with less of a punch. The celery root had a faint flavor of celery, but a texture more similar to a potato. Shockingly, the roasted rutabagas were my favorite veggie of all.

These commonly overlooked root vegetables are not only versatile but offer a gauntlet of nutritional benefits to your health. Many are rich in vitamin C (antioxidant) and phosphorus, which is important for the health of your bones. They are also high in fiber and low in calories!

How to Roast Root Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Clean all veggies (cut skin off of the celery root, peel carrots and parsnips, cut ends off of radishes and parsnips) and rough chop them into fork-friendly sized chunks

IMG_3992

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
This looks more like a platter of fruit than a platter of vegetables, doesn't it? Stunning!

This looks more like a platter of fruit than a platter of vegetables, doesn’t it? Stunning!

  • Toss veggies in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (or other high heat oil of choice)
  • Once evenly coat veggies with oil, sprinkle seasonings of choice over veggies and mix well. I used garlic powder and Montreal steak seasoning but salt and pepper would work just as well.
  • Spread veggies out into one layer.
  • Roast veggies until tender, which is about 30 mins. Cook longer as needed.
  • DEVOUR. 🙂

IMG_4000

 

 

All products used in this post were generously provided by Lakewinds Food Co-op.

Chicken Foot Bone Broth Recipe: Step by Step Guide to Making Gelatinous Broth

 

79083067-0d41-477d-b656-c63a6cbf6040

I’m sure that you’ve heard the buzz about bone broth by now. Up until a couple of years ago, I didn’t know there was a difference between bone broth and soup stock. The main differences are the length of time each are cooked and the extra nutrition you get from broth vs. stock.

If you have not heard of bone broth, do some research and you’ll quickly see why it’s not only delicious but so beneficial to your health. Bones from animals offer a variety of benefits to your health including improving your immune system, strengthening bones, healing digestive system lining, improves your complexion and much more.  Of all the broths I’ve made and tasted over the last couple years, my absolute favorite broth to make and devour is Chicken Foot Bone Broth.

There are so many ways to make broth and it seems everyone has “the best” recipe or “the most effective” way to leach even more goodness from the bones. I’ve tried roasting the bones, soaking them for hours in apple cider vinegar and several other tricks I’ve read about, but the truth is, every recipe is divine and I’ve never tasted a bad broth. I like to keep things easy in my kitchen and that’s exactly what my broth recipe is!

Here is what you’ll need to make my very easy, super tasty and gelatinous Chicken Foot Bone Broth:

  • A Large Stock Pot (I use an 8 quart stock pot typically)
  • 1 lb of Chicken Feet, membranes removed – a little less than a pound or a little more than a pound will be just fine as well
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • Water
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Oregano

One important rule that you must remember is  there are no rules when it comes to seasoning the broth. You can pretty much add in whatever veggies and seasonings you like and the broth will turn out amazing. Don’t feel as if you need to stick to my recipe, toss in whatever you have on hand.

I prefer to make small batches of broth because I don’t have a lot of freezer space to store jars. If you prefer large batches, double the recipe.

IMG_3963

Put Chicken Feet into Stock Pot

It's so easy a 5 year old can make this recipe, and she has been since she was 3 ;)

It’s so easy a 5-year-old can make this recipe, and she has been since she was 3 😉

I leave the veggies in large pieces so they are easy to strain once the broth is finished. Cut the carrots, celery, garlic and onions and add them to the pot.

IMG_3968

Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and a dash of oregano into the pot. Add Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), toss in bay leaves and fill the pot up with water. I normally use an 8 quart pot and fill it about 2″ from the top. 

Bring pot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to gently simmer for 24 hours. Once complete you will have a golden liquid that is going to bring much joy to your life. I enjoy broth by the mugful but it’s great to use for homemade soup recipes as well as. Typically I’ll add a little additional salt or seasoning once it’s finished simmering.

IMG_3983-2

Once the broth has cooled, strain it and store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 7 days. I find that my small batches of broth ALWAYS gel up.

What’s great about the bones is that you can use them again! I often times strain out my broth, leave all the bones and previously cooked produce in the pot, add more of everything from the ingredients list, sans new bones and cook a second batch. The second round does not usually produce such a gelatinous broth as the first, but it still tastes great and it’s perfect to use for soup and other cooking.

IMG_3985-2

My absolute favorite way to use my broth is to make soup with it. Almost daily I have kimchi, broth and two poached eggs for breakfast or lunch. It’s a fantastically flavorful meal that is very nourishing for the body and low on calories. Try it!

All products used in this post were generously provided by Lakewinds Food Co-op.

 

 

6481fc49-f73a-44cf-aaf4-23b8d003b5dc

Lunchtime Juice Recipe: Swiss Chard, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber and Apple

IMG_3972

For the last 3 weeks I have been participating in a 8-Week Health Challenge. The challenge includes forming better daily habits such as, not eating sweets, drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day, being active for a minimum of 30 minutes per day (I’ve been trying for an hour), eating a total of 5 servings of fruits & veggies each day as well as a few other goals. I’ve decided to revert back to a mostly Paleo diet, as that worked for me two years ago and with that, I started juicing again.

Juicing is a fantastic way to get vegetable and fruit servings in, as well as a very healthy way to blast your system with easily digestible vitamins and phytonutrients (a beneficial substance found in plants that is believed to help prevent diseases). I like to juice at least a couple times a week over lunchtime. It’s always surprising how filling the juice is and what an energy rush I get from having it.

Here is the latest juice I made and it was so tasty I had to share it on the blog.

Organic Ingredients:

  • 2 Carrots (rich in vit. A, C, K, B8 as well as folate, potassium, iron, copper and manganese)
  • 1 Apple (rich in antioxidants, as well as a great source of vit. C)
  • 3 Celery stalks (a wonderful source of vit. K, A, C and also contains folate & potassium)
  • A Bundle of Swiss Chard (a great source of vit. A, K & C as well as potassium, iron & magnesium)
  • 1 Whole Cucumber (full of vit. K, C, B1 as well as copper, potassium, manganese & biotin)

IMG_3973

Don’t forget to add some water to your juice and mix well before drinking.

IMG_3975

The juice turned out to be a dark brownish green (not the prettiest juice I’ve ever made), but the flavor was wonderful and all of the ingredients complimented each other well. No one ingredient overpowered the others.

IMG_3977

One tip I have is to line your juicer “waste bin” with a plastic bag. The pulp will gather in the bag for a super quick clean up.

To see what other healthy meals I’ve been eating over the last few weeks, check out my Instagram. To see my other favorite juicing recipes, click here.

All products used in this post were generously provided by Lakewinds Food Co-op.

MinnesotaFromScratch is 3! {Happy Blogiversary}

third-birthday

Last week the blog turned 3! It’s amazing the opportunities I have been given that are a direct result of the blog, as well as the many fascinating people I have met through the years because of the blog. I appreciate each and every one of my readers, thank you!

2015 was such an incredible year. I personally, had one of the best years of my life. It was the first year since becoming a mother that I was really able to divulge myself into my interests once again. I was able to preserve throughout the seasons, making 2015 my highest yielding canning/fermenting year ever. If you are interested in what I preserved, follow this link. And one item not on that list is pickled red onions – oh my, YUM.

canning

wild and free

I had an amazingly successful year with my stamped metal jewelry hobby-turned-business, which is a hobby I started at the end of 2014, but has now morphed into a true passion. It’s not something I talk about frequently on the blog but it’s a very large part of my life and a big part of what made 2015 so wonderful. If you are interested in seeing what I’ve been up to in the custom jewelry sector of my life, here is a link to my page.

pickle contest

Another large highlight of 2015 was a trip to Boston I took with co-author of this blog, Kristin and two other of our family members from NYC. We all met in Boston for the Boston Fermentation Festival. I got to meet Amanda Feifer, blogger extraordinaire of Phickle and author of the new book, Ferment Your Vegetables. I also got to meet the co-founder of the event and potter of my favorite, most gorgeous fermentation crock, Jeremy Ogusky. At the event we got to sample many ferments from local fermenters and even judged in a pickle contest — that was a true highlight for me. We took advantage of being in Boston and toured it endlessly for the 3 days we were out there. What a lovely city – I can’t wait to go back.

Enough about me… here are the top 5 posts that kept people coming back to the blog in 2015:

#1. 101 Things I Love About My Mother  – This one moved up to first place this year. I had no clue anyone would be interested in this tribute to my mother, let alone become my most popular ranking post. 🙂

#2. Pickled California Mixed Veggies – An easy refrigerator pickled veggie recipe with lots of flavor that is a great addition to salads, bloody mary’s, or just a quick flavorful snack.

#3. Chunky Cream of Broccoli Soup – No Blender Needed.  – This post has been my 3rd most popular for the last two years. It’s a go-to recipe in our household, super easy and delicious. A crowd pleaser.

#4. Baked Zucchini with Mozz Cheese AKA “The New Garlic Bread” –  Baked zucchini is a perfect healthy substitute for bread when eating an Italian dish. It’s a wonderful side dish for any meal, really.

#5. Cucumber, Kale, Apple & Carrot Juice Recipe – A new recipe to make the list this year and I’m happy to see it on the top 5. Juicing is a terrific way to get a blast of vitamins and nutrients into your body quickly and it’s easy on the digestive system. I’ll be posting more juicing recipes in the weeks to come.

Happy 2016!

Cranberry-Apple Jam with Honey Recipe

IMG_3865

Cranberry-Apple Jam is one recipe I make every fall/winter. I love making jam, it’s so easy and it’s a great gift. It’s fun to preserve different fruits throughout the lovely seasons we have in Minnesota. One issue I have with jam is all of the added sugar and that’s why I have adjusted this recipe to only use half of the usual amount of sugar by substituting the rest with local honey.

Yield: 9 jam jars

Ingredients:

  • 8 Cups of peeled and diced apple (which is 8 regular sized apples, or 6 large apples).
  • 4 Cups of whole fresh cranberries
  • 3 Cups organic sugar
  • 2 Cups of honey (1 pint)
  • 2 Lemons, zest and juiced
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves

IMG_3861

 

IMG_3870

Combine cranberries, diced apples, sugar and honey in a heavy bottomed pot, stir well and bring to a boil. I use any kind of apple because I like the chunkiness of the apples, therefore I am not concerned with using a soft apple. Dice the apples up in whatever size you prefer them. I typically chop them up in about 1/4-1/2″ chunks. Continue to stir while jam is boiling so it does not burn.

IMG_3877

Cook for about 12 minutes, until the apples are soft and the cranberries have begun to pop.

IMG_3871

Add spices, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir well and continue to simmer the mixture until the sauce begins to thicken (5-10 more mins). Feel free to take a little spoonful out to taste test and determine if you want to add more spices. Get creative! Other spices you might consider adding are ginger, nutmeg or allspice!

This recipe can be canned using the water-bath processing method or it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 months.

The deep red color and cinnamon flavor makes this the perfect holiday jam!

12399484_876843852174_1977982456_n

Enjoy!

All products used in this post were generously provided by Lakewinds Food Co-op.

My Great Great Grandma Selma’s Sugar Cookie Recipe

Minnesota from scratch - grandma's cookbooks

Today I’m going to share my Great Great Grandma Selma’s sugar cookie recipe! I had the pleasure of knowing my grandma for ten years before she passed away. I have joyful memories of grocery shopping with her, my great grandma and my grandma. When Selma got too old to shop, we’d sit in the bakery area and enjoy a sweet treat while the other grandmas shopped. I recall often playing the card game “Gold Fish” with her, as well as memories of painting her nails. She was a sweet woman and I am so thankful I got to know her for the short time I did. She was 93 when she passed away and though she wasn’t much of a chef in her later years when I knew her, it turns out she was quite the wizard in the kitchen in her younger years. Thankfully, many of her hand written recipes are preserved in binders that my aunt and uncle have in New York City.

Making this recipe with my daughter (Selma’s Great, Great, Great Granddaughter) somehow made me feel as if I was connecting the two in some way… bringing a tangible object from my grandma into the present for my daughter. Imaging my grandmother making these cookies around the holidays and tasting the same thing we are tasting now, nearly 100 years later is special to me.

Enough of the chit-chat, let’s get down to the recipe… 😉

IMG_3760

Great Great Grandma Selma’s Sugar Cookie Recipe
Makes about 65 small cookies

Cookie Dough:

5 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted organic butter
1.5 cups gmo-free granulated sugar
2 organic eggs
1 cup organic sour cream
1 teaspoons organic vanilla

1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and heat oven to 350°F
2. Whisk dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

IMG_3761
3. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer.
4. Add eggs one at a time, and mixing well. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined well.

IMG_3767
5. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

IMG_3768
6. Use a spoon to scoop out dough and roll dough into 1.5″ balls. Flatten balls out with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour to avoid dough sticking to the glass.

IMG_3769

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The top of the cookie will not brown, however the bottom of the cookie will.

IMG_3771
8. Cool completely and decorate!

IMG_3775

Frosting:
2 sticks room-temp (1/2 lb) butter
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
3 cups organic powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons organic milk (as needed to create a smooth consistency)
Seelect Natural Food Dye
Homemade Colored Sugar for Sprinkles
9. Frosting: Beat butter and vanilla using a hand mixer until creamy and smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until combined well. Add milk and continue mix. Once frosting is made, divide up the frosting into small bowls, and add food coloring until the desired color is reached.

We used Seelect Natural Color brand food dye colors Red and Forest Green. We used 2 tsp of the red to reach our desired color and 1 tsp of the green.

IMG_3778

***Though my grandma did not note if this dough could be used for sugar cookies that you roll out and cut shapes out of, we did try making three bears and it worked great. If you are going to cut shapes out of this dough, I recommend cooling it in the fridge for 2 hours before rolling out.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

All products used in this recipe were generously provided by, Lakewinds Food Co-op.

How to Make Colored Sugar with Natural Food Dyes



IMG_3759

Baking cookies and other treats around the holidays is a tradition many participate in annually. I personally am not a huge sweets lover, but I do like going through the process of making them with my family members (my daughter LOVES it) and it’s fun to share the cookies with those we love. Because I like to cook from scratch and try to avoid unhealthy preservatives and synthetic food additives, I always struggled with baking cookies and then smothering them with red dye #40 and other junk. So for many years we just had plain white frosting on our holiday shaped cookies (they still tasted good 🙂 ~ but looked a little blah). Well, I’ve come upon a whole game changer this year and we are finally ready to add some color to our cookies – the natural way!

Yesterday at my local co-op, I found some natural food dyes. I picked up a red (made from beet extract) and green (made from turmeric and spirulina) and only had intentions of using the dyes for coloring the cookie frosting. Then it dawned on me that I could potentially make colored sugar to use for additional decorating and so I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised!

I used 1/3 cup sugar and mixed it with 1 tsp of the red dye and mixed it together evenly. It didn’t look red enough, so I added 1/2 tsp more. Once pleased with the color, I spread the sugar out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

IMG_3750

IMG_3751

I repeated the task with the green dye as well, but for this I only used 1 tsp of the green dye.

IMG_3752

The I turned the oven on to 350°F for only two minutes and shut it off. You just want to warm the oven enough so it can dry out the sugar and not actually cook it/burn it. Once the oven was warmed up, I placed the baking sheets in the oven and set the timer for 45 mins.

IMG_3754

IMG_3756

At 45 mins, I took a spatula and tapped the sugar to break it apart a bit more and spread it out evenly again and placed it back into the oven for another 45 minutes. That’s IT!

IMG_3757

It turns out the baking process lightened the sugar coloring a bit, which I was pleased with for the green (it turned from dark blueish green to a lovely pine green), but next time I’ll likely add 2 tsp of the red dye to try for an even darker red outcome.

Store the colored sugar in an air tight container and use as needed. That’s it. I’m so excited about it that I think I’ll go grab the yellow and blue colors to experiment with them as well.

In the next day or two, I’m going to be posting a recipe about how to bake my great great grandma Selma’s sugar cookies… a recipe that is nearly 100 years old! Don’t miss out!

 

 

All products used in this recipe were generously provided by, Lakewinds Food Co-op.

How to Make Kombucha at Home: {Guest Blog Post}

Last February I handed over the blog to Kirstin Bernau and she explained the benefits of bone broth and how to make it. If you missed that post, you can catch it here. Today she’s taking over once again and will be teaching us how to make Kombucha!

KirstinBernauCoaching

If you’re into health and wellness at all, you have probably come across Kombucha. It is a fermented sweet tea, chock full of probiotics, great for detoxifying and wonderfully good at aiding your digestion. Kombucha is also tasty; a cold, refreshing, slightly fizzy drink that comes in many fruity flavors as well as the original (which is great as well).  I absolutely love it, but due to the price (nearly $4/bottle) I decided it was time to learn to make my own.  You can make it for pennies on the dollar compared to buying it pre-made. It’s easy to make and full of great health benefits including:

Probiotics and Naturally Occurring Acids– These both work to heal our whole digestive system, leading to a host of other benefits like clear skin, decreases in mental health issues like depression and anxiety, healthy weight, and improved immunity.

Detoxification– The malic, gluconic, and succinic acid have a powerfully detoxifying effect.  Additionally, by healing the gut and re-balancing our bacteria we boost our body’s ability to detox hugely.  A healthy gut is the most powerful detox system you can have, even greater than the liver or kidneys or lymph system.

Enzymes which help us digest our food more effectively and actually use the nutrients we eat. You can have the best diet around but if your digestion is impaired (and for most of us it is) you won’t get many of the benefits.

B vitamins– these are important for energy levels, mood, healthy skin, hair and nails.

Kombucha also makes an awesome soda replacement if you’re trying to kick that habit or just want something fun to drink.  I’ve even seen recipes for fruity kombucha cocktails!  So are you ready to give it a try?  Here are my recommendations:

  • Buy a bottle at your local store first, so you can see how you like it.  I’d suggest trying a few different kinds as there is a range of sweetness and flavors.  I love GT’s organic.  There’s about 20 different varieties at Whole Foods, and they sell a few kinds at most grocery stores now as well.
  • If you enjoy it and are ready to try making it, you need to find a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeasts).  If you have a friend who brews, you can probably get a culture and starter tea for free.  Otherwise, I’d recommend culturesforhealth.com or growing your own using a bottle of GT’s from your local grocery store.  If you order a SCOBY, follow the directions on the package to get started correctly.  If you want to try growing your own, it’s really quite easy but takes more time. Directions at the bottom.
  • Find a glass jar for brewing. Plastic, metal and ceramic containers are all problematic, they can leach chemicals or metal into the kombucha and are more inclined to harbor less than friendly bacteria.

Here are the ingredients for a gallon of Kombucha, adjust up or down depending on your jar size, but be sure to keep ratios the same:

  • 1 gallon clean, filtered water.
  • 2 Tablespoons or 8 tea bags of Black Tea (English Breakfast works well)
  • 1 cup organic sugar or “Cane” sugar if you can’t find organic- most other sugar is full of GMOs which can harm the SCOBY
  • at least 1/2 cup plain kombucha – you can buy at the store if needed, 1 bottle will be plenty.

1. Make the tea as normal (boil water, add tea, steep 3-5 minutes or whatever your package says.)  Then add the sugar, stir until dissolved.  Let the tea cool to room temp, but keep it covered so no flies or food get in while it’s cooling.

2. Add the cooled tea to a jar with your SCOBY and kombucha. Once you’re onto your second batch, I aim for a ratio of about 4:1 Sweet Tea: Kombucha.   This is probably more kombucha than absolutely necessary but it’s important that the mixture retains enough acidity from the start to protect the SCOBY from any mold growing on it or bacteria growing in the mix that you don’t want.  I’ve never had a problem and I’ve brewed more batches than I can count, but it always better to lean on the side of generous with how much kombucha you keep in the jar for the next batch.

3. Cover the jar a paper coffee filter, layers of cheesecloth, or a paper towel, and secure with a rubber band.  This way it can ferment and breathe.  Leave it somewhere warmish (70-75 degrees ideally) and not in the sunlight or next to other fermenting foods.  I use a pantry or linen closet usually.  My husband thinks it’s creepy so it’s not welcome on the kitchen counter…

4. Check the jar after about a week  to see how it tastes.  It may help to have a bottle of store bought kombucha on hand to compare at first but it should taste a little tart and a little sweet. It shouldn’t be like drinking straight vinegar and it shouldn’t taste like sweet tea either.  If it’s too sweet- wait a little longer and try it again.  If it’s too tart, pour a little out, add in some more sweat tea, and keep a close eye on it.  In winter my house is usually around 63-65 degrees- less than optimal- so it can take a month to finish brewing.  I just ordered a warmer to help speed things up so we’ll see how that goes!  In the summer, our house is between 74-80 and it brews in about 7-10 days.

5. Pour into bottles and refrigerate to store.  This slows the fermentation process.  If you want to try adding some fruit juice or puree- now’s the time.  Just avoid citrus or pineapple. About a 4:1 ratio (Kombucha:fruit) and then let it sit at room temp with airtight lids for a couple days.  It will begin to carbonate so be careful but when it’s the way you like it, pour it over ice or store in the fridge.  I’ve made ginger + blueberry as well as mango.  Both were quite good, but I had to strain out the blueberry/ginger solids.

Kombucha

To make your own SCOBY: Buy a bottle of plain Kombucha.  Add it to a quart jar, along with about 2 cups of cooled black tea sweetened with 2 T sugar.  Cover as stated above, let it sit for a week or more and you will see a white film growing on top (your SCOBY!)  The scoby will thicken and add layers over time. Keep checking the tea and replacing with sweet teas as stated above when it’s ready. I think mine took a few months before I got a good solid SCOBY, so if you want to get going quickly I’d just order one online.

Please leave any questions/comments you may have below and I’d be happy to answer them.

Thank you!

Kirstin

Kirstin Bernau is an Intuitive life coach for people who are looking for more peace, direction and purpose in their lives.

Through her one-on-one coaching, blog and speaking events, she’s here to help you get in touch with your intuition and create the life you dream of — while making it all feel easier and richer than you ever imagined.

When she’s not writing and coaching, you can find her indulging in meditation, long walks with her husband and dog and reading good books in cozy corners with a cup of tea.  

Meet Kirstin + get ready to find your way home (to you) at http://www.KirstinBernau.com.

Previous Older Entries

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-41549617-1', 'wordpress.com'); ga('send', 'pageview');