Kombucha (pronounced kawm-boo-chah) is a fermented tea, beverage. It’s fizzy, tangy and usually found in fruity flavors. People tend to either love it or hate it. I happen to love it! Kombucha is tea and sugar that’s fermented with the use of a “SCOBY, ” which is a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. I’m not going to describe what the SCOBY looks like, because it might scare you away. The end product after the fermentation, is very low in sugar, because the bacteria use the sugar as food. Many companies do add fruit juice or additional sugar, after the ferment though, so check the label for sugar content. Kombucha does have a slight amount of alcohol that is naturally occurring from the fermentation process.
For those of you who aren’t local to the Pioneer Valley here in MA, Katalyst is a local company in Greenfield. They make some super awesome fermented foods and drinks. I also really like the Synergy brand, which is commonly found but not local to here. My favorite flavor of the Katalyst Kombucha is ginger (it’s strong!) and the Synergy brand is the trilogy flavor.
Why I Like It:
- Rich in probiotics which need constant replacing due to environmental toxins (chemicals, medications, preservatives, pesticides, GMO foods, synthetics, etc)
- Helps to keep bad bacteria and fungus like Candida, in check so they won’t get overgrown
- Helps to improve digestion (especially the ginger flavor)
- Rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, thus reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver
- Supplies a descent amount of B vitamins
- Fizzy and flavorful
- Can be a nice substitute for a cocktail or drink on a weeknight. Still feels like a “treat.” Can mix with seltzer if you prefer a subtle flavor.
- Widely available at natural food stores
- Low in sugar (3-5 grams per serving, in the brands mentioned above)
- You can make it at home if you want (you can buy the SCOBY on this site and it will tell you how to make it. If you know someone who makes it, you can also use their SCOBY. I have been making it for almost a year now and it doesn’t take much time or effort) Here is another good resource for making your own.
How I Use It:
- In place of iced coffee or tea when I’m out, just for some variation and extra probiotic benefit
- In place of a beer during the week
- Many use it in place of soda
Where You Can Buy It:
- Natural food stores like Co-ops, Trader Joes and Whole Foods
- Many coffee shops in the Pioneer Valley