Kombucha and Kindness

 We recently held a launch party for our new grow-your-own garden based at Full Circle Funerals in Guiseley.  They have very kindly given us the use of their garden for us to makeover into a kitchen garden and use to demonstrate how to grow your own herbs, fruit and vegetables.
We have lots of plans for the garden. Fortunately we have been awarded a grant from Leeds Community Foundation to make the garden suitable for us to hold Food Growing for Wellbeing groups in the future.
At the launch event, we had homemade apple cake, raspberry scones and pumpkin soup to eat plus herbal teas and seasonal fruit kombucha to drink.  We were showing people how to make their own bouquet garni from fresh-picked herbs and how to make wildflower seed bombs. We also asked people’s opinions on our plans and got lots of advice and pledges of support.
All part of the Kinder Leeds Festival. We were celebrating the kindness of Full Circle in giving us the use of their garden!
A popular giveaway were our Kombucha starters ( Called SCOBYs which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)  so people can make their own Kombucha at home. Kombucha is a fermented tea drink which we flavour with our seasonal fruit. it’s a lovely alternative to soft drinks but much healthier as it’s very low in sugar and as it’s fermented it’s good for your gut bacteria.  Healthy gut bacteria makes for a healthy immune system, so very important at this time of year.
So here is our recipe for making Kombucha from our gifted SCOBYS. If you’d like to hear more about our garden and how to get involved in any future groups and maybe get gifted your own SCOBY do contact us to go on our mailing list.

Seasonal Kombucha Reipe

Ingredients

  • 1 litre boiling water
  • 80-100 grams sugar
  • 4 tea bags
  • Scoby (from a friend, or available online)
  • Scoby starter liquid
  • Fruit for flavouring e.g. raspberries, apples, fresh ginger

Utensils:

Heatproof bowl

Wooden spoon

Large glass jar (1.5 litres or larger)

Muslin cloth (or other, very clean cloth)

Screw-top or swing-top  bottles

Method

  • Before you start, wash everything thoroughly in hot, soapy water – we only want the good bacteria!
  • Make a big cup of tea in the bowl with the water, tea bags and sugar. Stir and  leave to cool
  • Remove the tea bags and pour the tea into a large jar
  • Add the Scoby and its liquid – it might float, sink, or something in between – it doesn’t matter
  • Label the jar with the date and leave for 7-10 days to ferment – it should be slightly fizzy and sour – taste it each day with a clean plastic spoon (not metal) until you like the taste
  • You can drink it straight away but it’s better with flavour. In autumn we like to add apple and ginger or autumn raspberries – you will need about 1 tablespoon of fruit per 500ml bottle. Cut fruit into raw chunks, or cook into a puree.
  • Sliced fresh ginger also goes nicely with autumnal apple
  • Remove the Scoby. You can use it again but remember to reserve a couple of tablespoons of the liquid to act as a new “starter”
  •  Funnel the liquid into 2 bottles. Add your fruit and seal.
  • This ‘second fermentation’ takes 2-4 days depending on the temperature – unscrew the lid every day to stop too much gas building up. It should be nicely fizzy and ready to drink.
  • You can keep the kombucha in the fridge for a couple of months – but you will want to drink it before then!

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