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Blaukraut Recipe

 

 

Blaukraut Recipe

Let’s ferment some deliciousness, shall we. We are talking blaukraut recipes here people. This batch of fermented veggies came out much more mild than my last batch that had more onion flavor. This recipe calls for caraway seeds, which I had never experienced before. They are very interesting little seeds. They give the kraut a minty, spicy weird taste. There were times that I was like, “wooo okay, I can dig it.” Then there were times where I was like, “damn it, why are there so many?” If you have not figured it out by now, we are honest here, people. Take it or leave it. We still gobbled down two jars of this stuff, well because it was delicious and good for our bellies. So give it a try and let me know what you think, caraway seeds just might be your new favorite flavor. Anyway, let’s get on with it.

You can serve this with any dish as a side. You can put it in your sandwich for a nice crunch or you can top it with blue cheese crumbles and walnuts and have it as a salad. I didn’t have blue cheese but I had feta and Mmm it was tasty. Onward.

 

Blaukraut Recipe

Ingredients: 

1 head red cabbage

3 honey crisp apples

1 onion

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Directions:

1. Rinse cabbage and peel the outer layers of leaves that look run down. Save one or two leaves and set aside. Thinly shred cabbage and put in a big bowl.

2. Rinse, core and peel apples. Quarter apples and again thinly slice apples into little sticks. Add to bowl of cabbage.

3. Thinly slice onion and place in bowl with apples and cabbage

Blaukraut Recipe

 

4. Weigh your bowl to make sure you have about 2 lbs of mass.

5. Now add your salt and caraway seeds and begin to massage your veggies.

Now I must stress that massaging with your hands is truly the best way to work your brine out of your veggies. My first few batches I used my plunger from  my VitaMix blender and all it did was make way more work for me. The liquid took FOREVER to draw out and it just frustrated me. Then I started massaging it and BAM, liquid all over the place. The salt needs to be worked agains the walls of the veggies to draw out the liquid.

 

Fermenting Cabbage for BlaukrautFermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

6. Massage for about 5 minute and then cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let sit for about 30-40 minutes. When you come back to it you should see a little liquid in your bowl. Massage for another 15-20 minutes. When you squeeze the veggies in your hand and liquid pours out, you are about done.

7. Pack veggies in vessel of choice. You can use a crock, Fido jars, or a mason jar with airlocks. I went with mason jars with airlocks on them. I have been very pleased with this system. You can fit about 2lbs of mass in two quart size jars. Make sure you are pressing the veggies all the way down so that the brine (liquid) is covering over the veggies. This is what creates the anaerobic environment you are looking for. 

Fermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

Fermenting Cabbage for BlaukrautFermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

8. Remember that cabbage leaf I had you save, take one and place on top of your veggies. This is your primary weight. Now take a small jar and place it on top of the leaf, this is your secondary weight. Make sure to push down all the veggies so that the liquid rises. Your secondary weight can be a boiled rock, small jar, a plastic baggie filled with brine, whatever gets your veggies to stay under the liquid. 

Fermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

 

9. Place your lid with the airlock on it, the lid to your crock or your Fido jar lid and place in your pantry for a week to whatever tickles your fancy. This batch, since I had two jars, I took one out at a week and put it in the fridge. Then I let the other one sit for about three. We dug how tart the three week old batch tasted. This is all experimentation. Try different lengths of time, try different veggies, just try.

Fermenting Cabbage for Blaukraut

That’s it my friends. Delicious fermented veggies that do amazing stuff for your bellies.

If you are interested in more information on fermentation read my post “What is fermentation?” And I have another fermented veggie recipe for you!

 

I am still on my experimenting journey. So share any secrets you have, I would love to hear them. Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Happy Red Cabbage Fermenting!

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase a product I suggest through the links I provide, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

 

 

 

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Kombucha Series 3: Brewing Up Some Kombucha Yo

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So you made yourself a SCOBY and your thinking, how in the world do I brew a batch of Kombucha to drink? I got you covered homie, I got you covered. See now aren’t you glad you hit the follow button and received an email updating you that this post was available? I thought so. Ok carrying on. This is the third post to this three part Kombucha series. If you missed the first two be sure to read, WTF is Kombucha and Growing a Kombucha SCOBY. Let’s Kombucha it up yo.

Lets talk about ingredients for a second.

Teas:

When it comes to choosing which tea is the best, you really want to stick with black at first and allow your SCOBY to grow and mature. When using green tea, you want to be sure your SCOBY has at least four batches under its belt. It takes a bit more strength to get green tea fermented. You can use white but again your SCOBY needs to be mature. I’ve heard of some people using Rooibos tea, which has great antioxidants properties to it, with no problem. So really, there is room to experience the with. After you have done a few batches with  black and your SCOBY is strong, take a baby off of it and brew up a couple batches with different teas.

Let’s talk caffeine for a second

Kombucha contains about a third of the caffeine compared to a normal brew of tea. The longer the Kombucha brews the less caffeine it has. Do not use decaf tea, as it is treated with a chemical, leaving filled with toxins that can harm the SCOBY. You can brew your Kombucha with a mix of green and white tea, which contain less caffeine then black. It is suggested that every fourth brew you use black though to keep your SCOBY strong.

Sugars:

I’m sure the thought of adding so much white sugar made you cringe a little bit. I get it but you have to rememebr that sugar is what the SCOBY feeds off of. So when you start with a batch of sweet tea, you are not ending with sweet tea.  Organic white cane sugar allows for consistent results each time. Sweeteners such as honey, agave, maple syrup can give inconsistent results. There is also some debate about honey since it is an antimicrobial and what we got growing here is pure microbes but some use it with no problem. So again experimenting is the best thing to do to answer those kinds of questions. So far, I have only used cane sugar.

Alright let’s get a brewing.

Ratios:

Half Gallon                                                                                         Gallon

1 cup starter tea or white distilled vinegar                              2 cups starter tea or vinegar

1/2 cup white sugar                                                                       1 cup white sugar

7 cups of water                                                                               14 cups of water

4 tea bags.                                                                                         8 tea bags

1 cup starter tea                                                                              2 cups starter tea

Directions:

Before you get started, you want to make sure everything is clean, dry and ready to go. Remember when handling your SCOBY you want to keep everything really clean. DO NOT use antibacterial soap when washing your hands before handling the SCOBY. Again, we are harboring good bacteria in the SCOBY so we don’t want to kill off any bacteria when handling it. 

1. Boil up your desired amount of water.

2. Once boiled add your sugar and allow to dissolve.

3. Add your desired amount of tea bag and take your pot off the heat. I put it on a pot holder on the counter to allow it to cool faster.

 

 

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4. Allow your tea to cool to 95 degrees or lower with the tea bag in it.

5. Take the tea bags out and compost them.

6 Pour your cool tea into the jar that has your SCOBY.

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7. Cover with a paper towel, thin muslin fabric, or doubled up cheese cloth.

There are chances with all covers for gnats to get into your tea and lay eggs in your SCOBY. So making sure you have a big enough covering and a tight enough rubber band is key here. This just happened to me. I’ll post how to take care of your SCOBY after gnats soon. 

8. Put in a cool dark place for 7-14 days.

You are going to want to check the taste weekly. Each week it becomes more and more vinegary. So when it reaches desired taste then it’s ready to pour and put in the fridge or go for a second ferment.

I have my tea fermenting in a glass jug with a pour spout. One tip I found is that when using this kind of jar you never really have to touch your SCOBY and your starter tea is always available. When your Kombucha is ready to pour then just pour it out into another jug or into air tight bottles if doing a second ferment.

A little side note

Your SCOBY will take the shape of any jar you use. Before I learned about using a glass container with a pour spout, I had my SCOBY in a square container. When I transferred it to the large round container, it formed an entire new layer. The SCOBY acts as a seal, to not let oxygen into the tea. So even if you transfer your SCOBY to a bigger vessel, magic still happens. Pretty amazing.

On the left is my original SCOBY On the right, you can see my original SCOBY on the bottom left under the newly forming SCOBY? Is that not just incredible.

Lets talk about the second ferment:

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This is where you build carbonation and add flavoring. You can add flavoring and not do a second ferment but it is just so much tastier all bubbly. So pour your tea in air tight glass amber bottles. Choose flavoring of your choice. The sky’s the limit here.

Ginger- slice up pieces of ginger and place in bottle.

Lemon- thinly slice pieces of lemon and place in bottle.

Strawberry- purée a handful of strawberries and pour about an inch in each bottle.

Blueberry pomegranate- pop a handful of blueberries and pomegranates in each bottle.

Mango- either slice or purée mango and place in bottle.

Leave a good amount of head space in each bottle. I stop right at the neck of the bottle. Carbon dioxide is being created when using an air tight lid so you want to make sure you leave some room. You also want to remember to burp your bottles everyday to lower the risk of the bottles bursting. 

Allow bottles to sit for about a week. I did three days and it seemed bubbly but not super carbonated so my next batch is going for a week. I’ll keep you posted. Again, its all about experimenting. Once they reach desired bubbly action, place in fridge and enjoy.

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Or you can pour Kombucha through a jelly strainer and strain out all the fruit or purée. It is nice to be able to drink it without chewing on stuff. It’s kind of an extra step in the process but I think it’s worth it. Your choice.

Don’t forget to save tea from your batch to keep as your starter tea before you do your second ferment. 

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You are done my friends. Now brew yourself another batch of sweet tea and get another round brewing. If you do not want to brew another batch or you’re going out of town. Make a SCOBY hotel. What in the world is a SCOBY hotel? Hang on. I think a fourth post to our Kombucha series was just added to the list.

Tell me about your favorite flavor of Kombucha in the comments below. 

If you want to learn how to make a proper SCOBY hotel, hit the follow button. That way, when it posts you receive an email notification.

Happy Kombucha brewing!!

This posts contains affiliate links. When you buy a product I suggest by clicking on the link I provide, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support homies.

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Kombucha Series 2: Growing A Kombucha SCOBY


Ingredients for a homemade Kombucha Scoby.

Let’s make a mutha Fing SCOBY shall we.

If you have not already read the first part of this three part series: WTF is Kombucha, I suggest you check it out. This post is going straight to the point and discussing how to grow yourself a SCOBY.

Let’s do this thang.

Things you’ll need:

A bottle of store bought raw organic unflavored Kombucha

A glass half gallon or gallon size jar

1/2 cup organic white cane sugar

4 organic black or green tea bags

7 cups filtered water

Thermometer

Cheesecloth

Directions:

1. Boil your water. It’s important that it is filtered water. The SCOBY has trouble forming or surviving in tap water, due to high amounts of chlorine.

2. Add your sugar and allow to dissolve.

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3. Place tea bag in water and turn off heat. Allow tea to cool to a temperature of 95 degrees or lower. Any hotter then that and it will kill the tiny strains of SCOBY that you’ll be adding from your bottle. Even when you have a full grown SCOBY, the temp still needs to be 95 degrees or lower.

Side note about this thermometer, it’s amazing. At first I was like, holy crap why did I spend $40 on this thing but it really does come in handy. 

Kombucha Scoby Recipe

4. Once tea is cooled remove the tea bags, don’t forget to compost yo. Pour your tea in your jar and then pour your store bought Kombucha bottle in.

Those little weird slimy things in your store bought bottle of Kombucha is actually little pieces of SCOBY. That is all it takes for a full mother to form. See that little tiny piece of SCOBY on the left, that’s all it takes.

How to make a Kombucha Scoby

5. Cover the top with a piece of cheese cloth folded a couple of times. That way it’s  thick but will still allow the tea to breath. Hold it down with a rubber band.

Place that sucker in a cool dark place and allow the magic to happen. This whole fermenting thing blows my mind. Over the next two weeks you will see this weird foam start to form. Then that foam will form a layer of film on top. That film will start to get thicker and thicker and then BAM, you got yourself a muther Fing SCOBY. I’m telling you, it will blow your mind.

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SCOBY at 1 week
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SCOBY at 2 week
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SCOBY at 1 week
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SCOBY at 2 week

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Your SCOBY should be ready to go after two weeks. If it needs another week, give it another week. If you feels it’s thick enough then congratulations you now have a beautiful Kombucha SCOBY that will last forever as long as you feed it. The incredible thing about a SCOBY is that it will continue to grow with each batch you make. You will start to see this little layer laying on top of the mother. The mother is the main SCOBY. Feel free to start sharing your baby SCOBYs after about batch number four. After four batches you have got yourself a strong SCOBY. So share the love.

The tea that was used to create the SCOBY is good to drink as well. So don’t let that go to waste. It’s going to be pretty strong so make sure to taste it. Flavor it up if you want or if you’re a bad ass, drink it straight.

Rememebr, your SCOBY is a living thing. So if your not up for making another batch, that’s cool, just make sure you place your SCOBY in a “hotel.” Make some sweet tea and place your SCOBY in it and you can allow it to sit for up to two weeks. If you need it to go longer just add another cup of sweet tea on top. Your SCOBY needs the sugar to feed off of to stay alive.

I do believe that’s it my friends. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, wait how do I brew an actual batch of Kombucha? I gotcha homie, I gotcha but patience is key.

Happy Growing a SCOBY!

Share your SCOBY making adventure with me and leave a comment. Don’t forget to hit the follow button to receive an email when there is an awesome post waiting for you to read, like the third part to this series, Brewing up a batch of Kombucha.

This post contains affiliate links. If you happen to purchase a product that I suggest by clicking on my link, I get a few cents here and there at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting. 

 

 

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Kombucha Series 1: WTF is Kombucha

Kombucha 101

Kombucha…

We discovered Kombucha while I was pregnant. I started researching what it was and I discovered that it is an amazing fermented tea filled with probiotics, that has the ability to reverse a ton of diseases. I was so excited about it. I started learning how to make it. All the possibilities with flavors. A whole new world was about to open up. And then…

BAM, warning DO NOT DRINK WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING. Wtf?!

I was so bummed. I did some more digging and what I found was that Kombucha is an incredible detox for toxins within the body. So if your body is not used to that purification process before you got pregnant or breastfeeding, those toxins would be passed through the placenta or breastmilk.

Kombucha also contains trace amounts of alcohol, giving it another reason why you want to wait unless your body is already accustomed to it. Everyone may have a different opinion, I would suggest you do some digging yourself to be well rounded.
So needless to say, I am at a point where I’m Kombucha-ing it up yo! For the last two years I’ve sat back and watched my husband indulge in the weird deliciousness that is Kombucha. Now we get to enjoy it together, which is so much more fun then drinking it by yourself. By now you might be agreeing with me, or you might be wondering what is Kombucha? 

WTF is Kombucha exactly you ask?

The short answer is, fermented tea.

The long answer is….

Kombucha is a fermented black or green tea. It is fermented by a SCOBY, which is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. What this colony does, is creates an anaerobic environment, meaning lack of oxygen present, within the tea so that nothing but good bacteria and yeast can thrive and bad bacteria won’t survive. The SCOBY almost creates a seal that does not allow oxygen to enter.

Kombucha tea is one of the first instances discovered having not only a nitrogen-fixing strain of bacteria referred to as RG1t but also having a cellulose-producing strain referred to as RG3t. (1)

What these bacterias do is, they go into your body and put up protective covers over your cells. Keeping them safe from harmful toxins like free radicals. 

Let’s talk gut health for a second…

Your gut is about 70% of your entire immune system and about 80% plasma cells. (2) That is a huge percentage of your overall health sitting right in your gut. And let’s think about this for a second, your gut is the only part of your internal body that comes into direct contact with the outside environment. Everything you eat and breathe in goes through your gut.

Our daily lives strip away the good bacteria within our gut, allowing the bad bacteria to take over. What the bad bacteria does to your gut is it creates these holes within your intestines creating what’s called Leaky Gut. Leaky Guy allows all those nasty toxins in your body, which should be released daily by using the bathroom. Get where I’m going with that, ah I’m just going to say it, by pooping ok. Well those holes that the bad bacteria create, release those toxins into your blood stream, causing nasty diseases and other common alignments.

What we don’t realize is that toxins are in the air at all times, in the form of free radicals. Free radicals are “molecule species capable of independent existence that contains an unpaired electron in an atomic orbital.” (3) What they do is, they go into your system and try to find a pair by removing a healthy electron. Which in turn makes that electron unpaired and turns it into a free radical. This continues and before you know it, there are more free radicals in your system than there should be. 

Bacteria strains like RG1t and RG3t that are present in Kombucha, go into your system and protect those cells that can be destroyed by free radicals. 

Let’s talk bacteria for a second…

Bacterias that are present in Kombucha is why we are here discussing this incredible natural source to health. They are the sole reason why Kombucha can help rebuild your gut that will in turn rebuild your entire immune system. 

 

There are two most dominate bacterias present in Kombucha, Acetobacter and Gluconacetobacter. These two bacterias produce acetic acid which is responsible for providing that vinegar taste in Kombucha. (4

Then we have lactic acid. Lactic acid is usually found in fermented milk products such as yogurt, cheese and kefir. But make up about 30% of the bacteria present in Kombucha.

And 90% of the bacteria present is actually a yeast called Zygosaccharomyces.

What these good bacterias do in your body is, they break down the bad bacteria and go straight to repairing the damage the bad bacteria has done. Without those good bacterias, our bodies don’t stand a chance at surviving. The good news is that good bacteria and yeasts are everywhere. They are in the soil, on fruits and vegetables, in the air, on your skin as you sit and read this post.

Why should I drink Kombucha?


Kombucha is filled with antioxidants, which help reduce free radicals in the body. Free radicals are atoms with odd numbers of electrons. When free radicals enter the body, they start to attack important cells within the body. Antioxidants are molecules that are able to safely interact with free radicals and eventually terminate them before they cause damage.
Kombucha helps with digestion. Again antioxidants play a huge role here. Like I mentioned above, antioxidants help repair damage cells. Gastrointestinal issues can derive from what is called leaky gut. Antioxidants help repair the damage that causes leaky gut.

Benefits of Kombucha.

Kombucha helps increase energy.

It helps fight cancer.

Can repair stomach ulcers.

Kombucha can support mental health. 

It can provide support to the liver. 

All these things are linked to your gut health. Once you repair your gut, many if not all aliments can be diminished.

And….

Not to mention it is just straight up delicious in the weirdest way.

How in the world do you drink it?

There is a weird mental block some of us have with drinking or eating fermented foods, I find that it freaks most people out. As I dive into the interesting world that is fermentation, I am just fascinated and can’t stop sharing. What I find is that people don’t trust their fermentation.

So, I am here to say, trust yourself and your nose. Kombucha is going to taste a little weird at first. It has a vinegar taste that needs some time to get use to. There are two ways you can drink it. One just like it is after your fermentation is done. Or you can do a second ferment. The second ferment is where you add your flavoring and create carbonation. This is most likely how you have had Kombucha, all sweet, delicious and bubbly. If your little belly cannot handle carbonation, don’t worry just add your flavoring after the first ferment and stick it in your fridge. Drink whenever you’d like.

What kind of tea do you use?


There is some debate out there about which teas you can use. Black is the safest tea to use. By safest, I mean, provides highly consistent results. Green tea is another great one but what I kept finding was that you must use a SCOBY that has been through at least 4 ferments. I came across one woman who used rooibos tea, she had great results.

The bottom line here is experiment. Every time you use your SCOBY, it grows a baby layer on top. That layer can be taken off and used to start another batch. So brew up some different teas and see what you get. Fermenting is really about finding what works and what doesn’t. So do it up yo.


Kombucha, along with other fermented foods can really make a difference in your life. With any natural avenue patience is key and remember sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. If Kombucha isn’t your thing,

Try… Sauerkraut, fermented veggies, kefir, sourdough bread…

Don’t just whimp out there are so many options for you.

Are you jonesin’ to read how you grow your own SCOBY or actually brew a batch of Kombucha? Or how to flavor your Kombucha? Or how to store your SCOBY when you want to take a break? I’ve got a whole series on Kombucha. I’ve got you covered my friend.


Happy Kombucha-ing!