Health and Wellness, Recipes, Uncategorized

How to Brew Kombucha at Home

Brewing Kombucha at Home

Makes approx. 1 gallon

You will need…

  • 3 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 cup of sugar (regular white “table” sugar is fine)
  • 8 bags black tea (or 2 tablespoons loose tea)
  • 2 cups of starter tea from last batch of kombucha or from a friend
  • 1 SCOBY for each jar (a SCOBY is NOT a must – the starter tea IS!)
  • Stovetop pot to make the tea
  • 1-gallon glass jar (I use old 1 gallon pickle jars…wash them well and let them air out for about a week before)
  • Tightly woven cloth (like clean cloth napkins or towels), coffee filters, or paper towels to cover the jar (I use a rubber band to keep my coffee filters/paper towels in place)
  • Bottles for the “booch” when it is done brewing – I use wide mouth Mason Jars (for everything!) I normally use (3) one-quart jars (you’ll need to save 2 cups for the next batch)
  • Small funnel (optional, good is you use smaller neck bottles)
  • Large stainless steel strainer (optional – I strain my kombucha when I bottle it and when I pour a glass!)

 

Instructions

*** Avoid contact between #allthingsmetal and your kombucha during and after brewing. It could affect the flavor of your kombucha.


How to make the tea…     

 **(if you are a southerner, you already know how to do this!)

Bring the water to a boil. Take the water off the heat and add the sugar, stir until it dissolves. Drop in the tea (bags or loose) and allow it to steep until the water cools. When the tea has cooled off, remove the tea bags or strain the loose tea from the pot, pour the sweet tea in your gallon jar, and then stir in the starter tea – be sure to use a wooden spoon (plastic will work but I prefer wooden when stirring Kombucha😉 )

booch1Adding the SCOBY: Pick up the SCOBY (use CLEAN hands to avoid any bad bacteria getting in your tea – yeah…it’s slimy too so don’t drop it!) and gently slide it into the jar. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of tightly-woven cloth, coffee filters, or paper towels and secure it with a rubber band. I have found that coffee filters work best – especially when I write the start date of the brew on the filter!

 booch2

 

Fermentation time!

Keep the jar at room temperature (in the winter time you can buy flat heat strips or use a small string of non-LED clear lights – it needs to stay between 70-80 degrees), out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get bumped.  Let it ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the taste daily starting about day 6 (you can lift the “lid” and sneak a straw under the SCOBY and pull out a little “booch” in the straw to taste it)

 

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It’s not unusual for the SCOBY to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways during fermentation. A new transparent looking layer of SCOBY should start forming on the surface of the Kombucha in a few days. It usually attaches itself to the old SCOBY, but if it doesn’t it’s ok!!! You may also see brown stringy “tentacles” floating under the SCOBY, or some collecting at the bottom of your jar, and bubbles collecting around the SCOBY. These are all signs that the fermentation is happening and it’s perfectly normal.

 

Bottling Time!

Wash your hands thoroughly and then lift the SCOBY out of the kombucha and put it on a clean plate. If it is getting too thick, you can pull the bottom layer (or two) off.

 

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Using a glass measuring cup, pour 2 cups of kombucha into glass bowl or Mason Jar to save for your next batch.  The rest of the “booch” you can strain (you don’t have to if you don’t mind the “sediment”) into glass bottles or jars for storage (again, I use wide mouth mason jars).  **Note:  never use plastic bottles to brew or store your Kombucha!

 

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Putting your Kombucha in the fridge at this point stops any more fermentation.  You should have a little bit of fizz from this 1st fermentation and if you are going to flavor and do a second fermentation, do not refrigerate! Your bottled and refrigerated Kombucha is good for about a month or so in the fridge.

With your reserved starter tea, start the process all over again to you’re your next batch of Kombucha Tea!!!!

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And there you have it…Home Brewed Kombucha!  Enjoy !!!

 

Until next time…

Blessings,

~ Heather

 

 

 

 

Health and Wellness

Diets, oh my!!!!

I truly think that diets are the new craze!  There are TONS of diets floating around out there – which one do we choose?  Are any of them the “right” diet?

I don’t think that these “new” diets are really dieting…they are more of an eating habit than a diet, which in itself is a good thing!  We could all probably stand to change our eating habits to a healthier lifestyle!  Check out some of the “eating lifestyles” we have to choose from today…

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There is seriously a “Hay Diet”???  And what in the world would you eat on a Prison Loaf diet?  Or do I really want to know?

What do we do with all of this indecisive diet planning – do I eat meat or do I not eat meat?  Do I eat fat, or not eat fat?  Do I eat lots of protein, or just a little protein?  Do I…you get my drift.

So, I have come up with the Oily Homestead Diet!  Our meals “normally” consist of healthier foods – no fried food, minimal salt, good fats, veggies, tuna (hubby doesn’t like fish but I could eat fish daily!), organic/free range chicken, grassfed/organic beef on occasion, and fruits, especially the berry family fruits – although I have been “addicted” to oranges recently!

We have cut back on the amount of gluten and sugar we eat because I do believe that gut health determines your overall physical and emotional wellness!  Gluten and sugar are not “gut friendly” so therefore we (we in this case means more “I” than “we”) try to stay away from both as much as possible.  My dear hubby is diabetic so he already eats a {mostly} sugar free diet.

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Basically, we try to eat healthy foods.  Foods that are low in “bad” fats, low in sugar, minimal gluten, and mostly lean protein.  We don’t drink milk {we just don’t like it} but we do eat yogurt, cottage cheese, and a lot of “real” cheese, so we are obviously not “dairy free”! That’s pretty much our “diet”!  Personally, I honestly believe that we need to take care of the temple God gave us, but being obsessed about what goes IN to our body is, in my opinion, unhealthy.  We need “treats” sometimes, we need to be able to eat that piece of cake at a birthday party and not beat ourselves up about it for days, we should be able to splurge now and then by getting dessert on date night.  We need to actually enjoy life while we are here, while at the same time, eating healthy foods so we can hang out here a little longer than if we didn’t eat those healthy foods!  Does that make sense?

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For a little extra gut boost, we take a really good probiotic, I drink kombucha first thing in the morning before anything else goes in my gut (fermented foods are an excellent natural probiotic !), we stay away from taking any antibiotics unless it’s a life threatening necessity!  We do also eat prebotic foods like onions, garlic, and oatmeal, apples and  bananas.

I’d love to hear about YOUR eating plan!!!  I’m always up for new and better ideas!

Until next time…

~ Blessings

Heather

 

Health and Wellness

Journey into Wellness

A few things I have learned on our wellness journey…

 

clean eats

Clean eating is the ONLY way to eat! Processed foods were slowly killing us! We are on the beginning of a path to healthier eating – extremely limiting gluten with intentions to eliminate it all together, cutting out processed sugar, limiting dairy products, eating more fresh vegetables and no processed meats (like lunchmeat), and adding good fats like grass fed butter, salmon, coconut oil, and I am also going to be making some “bone broth” to add to our healthy gut diet. What you feed your body has a direct correlation to your emotional health!!! Your gut health and your brain health are connected!  An unhealthy gut may be a factor contributing to depression, ADHD, Anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and more!  Gut health and a healthy immune system should be our tops goals!

 

 

suppsAlways keep your body systems at their peak, especially your Immune System! Having an immune system that STAYS above the wellness line makes for a much healthier winter!  We have a daily wellness routine of all natural supplements and essential oils that hasn’t failed us in 4 years!

 

 

toxic chemicals

photo source: Natural Resource Defense Council

All the toxins!!! I never realized how many poisons we were putting in and on our bodies daily!  Shampoo, laundry detergent, make-up, skin care products, cleaning products and so much more are full of chemicals that are cancer causing!  We now use all natural products in place of all of these!

 

 

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Kombucha is a natural probiotic! There are so many health benefits you get from drinking fermented tea – a healthier gut is so important, so that is the main reason I have started brewing my own Kombucha!  I’ll be adding my recipe here soon!

 

 

There is so much more that I could add to this list but this is a great start!  I’m so thankful for the journey we are on – we are not spring chickens anymore and I am positive that these 5 things will allow us to hang out on this earth a little longer than we would have had we stayed on the unhealthy path we were following – God willing!

Love and Blessings ~

Heather

Essential Oil - Recipes, Essential Oils, Health and Wellness

GERD – do you have it?

GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is no joke!!! Even so, I do LOVE my coffee in the mornings but I have got to cut it out !!! (I need to find something new to put in the {{awesome}} mug my oily friend Elizabeth at Living the Nourished Life gave me!!)

no more coffee

Some of you may know that I had gastric bypass surgery (RNY) in 2004, and after this surgery it is highly recommended that caffeine (and a myriad of other things that can cause damage to the stomach lining) be avoided – so, my daily coffee has really affected my stomach negatively.  This is one of the things that I have had a hard time giving up – although I did cut out coffee and caffeine of all types about 3 years ago after a short stint in the caffeine world, but somehow this little culprit snuck back in within the last year !

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My GERD has gotten worse since my coffee binge, and it will have to go !!!  Having a “pouch” instead of a stomach with working acid pumps (I can just envision little pumps in my stomach!), make any irritating drink or food “off limits” for gastric bypass patients!  Check out this article on what foods and drinks to avoid if you have heartburn here.

After my gastric bypass surgery I was prescribed Prilosec for occasional GERD flare ups, and for many years I didn’t take it at all…I didn’t need to!  Since the coffee, I have had flare ups and have taken it occasionally, then daily fo

r awhile – but these 2 articles changed my thinking drastically!  The first one is from Science Daily and the second one from a Canadian Health website.

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Photo from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170705113546.htm

What a scary thought that a prescribed medication may actually do more harm than good!!!  But this is NOT unusual!  Another reason we started using essential oils for a healthier alternative!

The icing on the proverbial cake is that caffeine also decreases bone density!  I also have Osteopenia (pre-Osteoporosis) and caffeine is a HUGE no-no!  Read more about osteoporosis and  coffee in this article at WebMD.

 

osteoporosis

So, my diet and coffee intake MUST change y’all !!!   I have also started using my DiGize Essential Oil in a roll-on form over my abdomen, and it has helped soooo much (what took me so long to do this????  Hubby uses it daily!  Hello?)

DiGize

My next project is to get some help from my friend and followers to make a list of yummy (and healthy) smoothies to replace my coffee in the morning! Does anyone have any suggestions for me ???  Leave them in the comments!

 

 

Essential Oils, Health and Wellness

FREE Essential Oil Class!

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Have you ever wondered what essential oils are all about? Would you like to go to class but just don’t know anyone that’s teaching one? I have a solution for you!

I have an awesome Intro to Essential Oils class and I’d be happy to  email you an MP3 file.  This is one of the best classes that I have ever heard! It’s recorded by Sara Harnisch, author of the book “Gameplan”. I just love listening to her speak, she was a radio host for many many years and has the best voice ever!

I learned so much about essential oils, listening to this class…why it DOES matter where you buy them, why the Seed to Seal guarantee is so important, and so much more!

If you’d like a Copy of this Essential Oil 101 class for free, go to our contact page and send us an email!! You can listen to it in your car, at work, or wherever you are – just download the MP3 file to your computer, phone, or iPod! 👍

For a little more info on these power packed bottles of oil, read more about them here.

#ListenWhileYouDrive #EssentialOil101 #IntroToEssentialOils #CleanLiving #NaturalWellness #DitchTheToxins

Chickens, Essential Oil - Recipes, Essential Oils

Cleaning the Coop Naturally

 

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Since we are new to chicken “farming”, we wanted to incorporate our love of essential oils in our poultry care! We knew that Lemon Essential Oil is awesome for its cleaning properties and it is all natural, so we decided to use it to deodorize our chicken coop!

This spray works great, is safe for our chickens, and best of all it is  100% chemical free!

  • Using a 16 ounce spray bottle – glass is best – fill 1/2 way with white vinegar
  • add 25 drops of Lemon Essential Oil – you can buy it here – swirling the bottle to mix
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with water

We clean our nesting boxes, roosting bars, and for general coop clean up !

*If you would like more information on how to get your hands on essential oils or how to use them, you can contact me here !

DIY, Homestead, Recipes

I went to a Kombucha Class!

As we get deeper into our health and wellness journey, we are finding more ways to incorporate new things into our bodies! Kombucha is known for its health benefits, mainly for digestive support, but it has many different health benefits.

I spent the afternoon with two of my friends, both of whom embrace the wellness lifestyle like we do! Sheri, from Oily Organic Mama, showed me and our friend Kathy how to “grow” Kombucha! It definitely is an acquired taste…which I know I will learn to love!  She sent us both home with a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), so I am now in the process of brewing my own batch!

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