Tag Archives: alternative

Kombucha: AKA The Hippie Drink

Minds work best when they are like a parachute, open (we all know that quote, right?). I think there is a huge difference between having an open mind and having your brains fall out. Don’t tell my Dad, but I am a whisper hippie, progressive, alternative. I mean, I think he has a sneaking suspicion, but let’s not confirm his fears, huh?

Anyway it’s his fault I am all these things (for the record, my Mom’s open mind influence had NOTHING to do with this, nothing). Seriously though, when I had my break from the Ranch, I got out there and tried new things, it was great! When I didn’t have the financial backing, or the support of the Ranch, I was forced to learn a ton and I think I am a better and more interesting person because of it (trust me, having everything you’ve thought and loved taken away from you, will change your point of view like no other). I kept my mind open, but I didn’t let my brains fall out.

One of those new things I learned about was Kombucha. It’s a fermented tea, with probiotics and stuff. Every time I think I am getting sick, I tend to chug this like its my job. But, really, I mainly like it because it’s fuzzy and not soda.

This is what a jar of kombucha looks like.

This is what a jar of kombucha looks like.

My friend gave me a SCOBY (a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) about a year ago, since I’ve start brewing my own Kombucha. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Especially because some of my friends trade me stuff for it, and now that I am working on the Ranch full-time, I love me some good trades (always looking for jars, produce, neat stuff, money).

It seems counterintuitive to share my recipe, but it is kinda a lot of work to keep a SCOBY going, so I’m not terribly worried. I make my Kombucha in two, 2 gallon batches (because go big, or go home, right?). I got inspired to share this knowledge because my friend and fellow blogger, Jessy wrote about keeping her food choices in check and this is one thing I do. I give you…..

Kombucha

2 gallons spring or distilled water

2 cups sugar

12 bags tea (I use green or black)

1 cup kombucha, plain (save it from your previous brew or get some from a friend)

1 SCOBY

Sugar. Some people swear that you have to use organic sugar or raw sugar, but I've had no problems with regular old white sugar. Just don't use honey.

Sugar. Some people swear that you have to use organic sugar or raw sugar, but I’ve had no problems with regular old white sugar. Just don’t use honey.

Bring your water to a rolling boil. Add sugar and tea. Let sit for 30 minutes. Remove tea bags.  Place tea in large jar until completely cool. Once completely cool ( I cannot stress this enough, you will kill your SCOBY if your tea is warm), place kombucha and SCOBY in your jar. Cover with cheese cloth for anywhere from one to two weeks in a dark place in your house, and depending on the temperature of your house, (I have no A/C so it’s about a week in the summer, two in the winter when I place in next to my wood stove), you’ll see your tea form a new SCOBY and have lots of bubbles, that is how you know it is brewing. However if you see mold, something went wrong and try again.

This is a SCOBY. The newer one is on top. You separate the two and use the new one to start a new brew.

This is a SCOBY. The newer one is on top. You separate the two and use the new one to start a new brew.

Once your to this point you can drink your Kombucha or you can tune back next week and learn how to infuse fruit and bottle this stuff (I highly recommend you do).

Brewing kombucha.

Brewing kombucha.

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Microwaves Kill! Or Do They?

One of the many reasons I love Facebook is it is a great forum for people to talk about their beliefs: religion, political, food choices. Granted during election years, this is arguably a good thing? lol.

According to Natural News - http://www.naturalnews.com/031929_microwaved_water_plants.html

According to Natural News – http://www.naturalnews.com/031929_microwaved_water_plants.html

Anyway, I have a lot of friends that society would brand “alternative”. That is they don’t believe in vaccinating their kids, they maybe are vegan/vegetarian, will only eat organic food, things like that. I enjoy these friends to no end, just because they are different and they make me think about issues or sides of issues I normally wouldn’t and that gives me a better understanding of, well, life.

I love these veggies! I hope they grow!

I love these veggies! I hope they grow!

Every few months it seems like there is a new issue upsetting my “alternative” friends about mainstream society. For example there was the fast food won’t rot flurry and memes. GMO food has been a pretty major issue in California for the last few months, but now that the election is over that is quieting down. It seems like the new hot topic is microwaves. Yes, microwaves.

My microwaved water. I made sure it was cool before I used it (hence the thermometer)

My microwaved water. I made sure it was cool before I used it (hence the thermometer)

I’ve seen several postings about how bad the microwave is for our health, how it destroys nutrients, and puts out deadly radiation. I mean, I’m kinda a huge skeptic when fear is used to promote a belief, but this even started scaring me, I mean, until I stopped and did some research.

My labels

My labels


I decided to do an experiment. I had read where water that had been microwaved will kill plants. So I thought how better to test this hypothesis out than start some spring seeds using microwaved water?
Seed ready for soil and water!

Seed ready for soil and water!

Last Sunday, I started brussel sprouts and peas. One tray I used regular well water from my tap, and the other tray I used tap water I had heated in the microwave. Since its only been 3 days the seeds have not geminated yet, but I am awfully excited to see how this turns out! Are you? Stay tuned!

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