Coconut water kefir is a naturally refreshing beverage with a boost of beneficial bacteria and yeast. Often found at health food stores, coconut water kefir can be quite expensive. Yet many people pay handsomely because it is a wonderful sugar-free substitute for sodas, energy drinks and juices. Making coconut water kefir at home is an affordable way to create a delicious supply.
For some people with sugar issues, making their own coconut water kefir at home is the only healthful fermented beverage option. But most people make it because it’s delicious and fun! It’s easy to brew and can be flavored to appeal to all kinds of taste buds.
The coconut is a seed of the coconut palm tree. Inside it is filled with sweet, white, creamy meat and tasty coconut water. Over time the water transforms into the meat. This means that younger coconuts have more of the water used to make coconut water kefir. Older coconuts have more flesh making them a better choice for eating or making coconut milk.
One of our favorite other uses for Kombucha tea or SCOBYs is as a body and hair care aid. You can find some of our Kombucha Spa beauty care recipes here or in The Big Book of Kombucha. To this day, Alex uses Kombucha Hair Tonic in place of shampoo. Hannah often makes SCOBY and mud masks. And we both swear by Homemade Kombucha Soap. You can buy it at the link, or if you’re the crafty type, this Kombucha Soap recipe is just the fun project you didn’t know you were looking for!
Skin is the largest organ of the human body and anything you apply will absorb directly. This means all types of beauty products such as makeup, deodorant and cleansers also impact the health of the body. As we became aware of the chemicals in beauty care products, we found healthier options. Sometimes this meant a dramatic increase in cost, but other times we learned to make things for a fraction of the cost. Enter Kombucha SCOBY and vinegar, both of which are used in this Kombucha Soap recipe too!
Kombucha on My Face?
Though long known for its internal uses, Kombucha does have a wide range of external uses as well. We have used pieces of SCOBY to soothe burns, cuts and other surface wounds. We keep a jar of 30 day+ old Kombucha in the medicine cabinet for use as skin toner. Not to mention homemade Kombucha face cream! It is a natural acid peel without any harmful chemicals and this promotes circulation to the skin’s surface which regenerates the cells.
Kombucha is an acetic acid ferment, like vinegar, but with a weaker acetic acid solution (less than 1%). This mild vinegar is a natural exfoliator as the acid is strong enough to break the bonds of dead skin but not so strong that it leaves skin feeling dry or flaky. To the contrary, it leaves skin feel soft and smooth. Kombucha also produces trace amounts of beauty acids such a hyaluronic, lactic, and malic which are often found in pricier cosmetic applications and help fight age lines, spots and wrinkles. So when we happened across a Kombucha soap recipe nearly a decade ago, we needed to find some!
Soon after, we connected with Rand Hill Naturals from our friend Randie, and she’s been our exclusive supplier ever since. Feedback from friends and customers has been great! Many find that her Kombucha soap recipe does not irritate even the most sensitive skin. Or they find that it can also double as a great shampoo bar, especially for hair that tends to dry out easily.
Having grown up in the Midwest and being of German and Dutch descent, I LOVE all things bread. Unfortunately most types of commercially available baked goodies can leave me with excess phlegm build up – a biofeedback signal from my body that some ingredient is not quite jiving with my physiology. So for the most part, Alex and I avoid consuming commercially produced bread and pasta. But from time to time, I just have to whip up a batch of these lovely milk kefir pancakes to feed the carbo-craving beast that lurks in my DNA!
“Oladi” (Оладьи), as they are known to Russians, are nearly identical to buttermilk pancakes except with milk kefir. These days its easier for most people to whip up freshly fermented milk kefir than it is to find authentic buttermilk. While seemingly convenient, the store bought cartons often contain unnecessary ingredients and honestly, by the time I want the pancakes, I’ve already forgotten to buy the buttermilk and the kefir is right here in the cupboard! True confession: I’m a bit of a lazy cook and an even lazier baker; so to execute any recipe I have to a) really love it and b) it has to be easy. Thankfully, this recipe is both.
Did you know? Buttermilk, the bacteria rich “milk” leftover after butter churning, was once a staple in every home. Buttermilk creates light and airy baked goods due to the chemical reaction between the acids from the buttermilk and the bases in the baking powder providing fantastic lift to otherwise limp biscuits (or pancakes in this case!). ~ Hannah
So while buttermilk may not be lurking in most fridges, if you are fermenting milk kefir, it can serve as a bacteria & yeast rich substitute with spectacular results. Especially if it’s a little old and perhaps not as palatable to drink, the healthy acids and tangy flavor give rise to a batter that yields fluffy “light as air” pancakes FROM SCRATCH in only 30 minutes!
WHY SOURDOUGH & FERMENTED BREADS ARE EASIER TO DIGEST
Soooooo – I went to research this question thinking I had a simple answer and just needed some additional resources but when I scratched the surface, I found all kinds of contradictory information regarding whole grains, phytic acid and phytase. When that happens, I just have to refer back to our “Trust YOUR gut” philosophy. For me, when I eat these pancakes, I don’t get the typical phlegmy biofeedback that I get when I consume commercially prepared grain products. Is that due to the fermentation? Is it due to the lack of other commercially added preservatives or ingredients? I honestly don’t know for sure. What I do know is that these milk kefir pancakes taste great and I don’t feel crappy after eating them.Let us know your biofeedback in the comments below!
Who loves bubbles in their beverage? We do! In fact, most Kombucha homebrewers desire more fizz in their brew. Any why not? It’s fun, adds texture and flavor, looks cool in the glass and reminds many people of good times. How exciting when a new Booch is opened, bubbles rush madly upward, increasing exponentially, frothing to the top of the bottle and spilling forth gently!
There may even be a secret reason we crave those carbonated quaffs…could it be nutrition? Natural fizz – the kind found when bottling Kombucha,JUN and Kefir homebrews – indicates the presence of living yeast, which contain B-vitamins that the body can use in bioavailable form.
Usually, if carbonation is a problem, the issue is not enough bubbles (See Carbonation Techniques Basic & Carbonation Techniques Advanced for more help with those issues). However too much of a good thing can transform pleasantly bubbly Booch to messy geyser or even bottle bomb under the wrong combination of conditions. Signs of over-fermentation when bottling Kombucha, Jun or kefir include bubbles leaking from the top, hissing sounds as CO2 tries to escape any which way, and stressed or bulging caps.
The good news is that it’s pretty easy to avoid a mess when bottling Kombucha or any fermented drink at most times of the year, especially cooler seasons when carbonation can be a fickle friend. But as temperatures rise, the yeast become more active, and coupled with sugar in the form of fruit or flavorings (especially pureed fruit – see below), the excessive pressure produced by this dynamic duo is the issue to be on the lookout for. … Continue Reading
We are thrilled to introduce Trish Carty, who is not only an amazing holistic chef, nutritional therapist and a whole foods advocate but also a great friend. We first met a few years ago at the Freestone Fermentation Festival and have been exchanging health tips and advice ever since. I really love her enthusiastic nature and gentle approach. If you have a question for Trish, leave it in the comments! ~ Hannah
In part 2 of the detoxification series, we will cover an in-depth study of the body as it relates to detoxification. How do the systems within your body operate optimally? What are the 5 foundations that are considered top priority when addressing detoxification? What happens when the body is overloaded with toxins? What are the modern day toxins we need to be aware of? How do we remove them from our surrounding environment?
In this five part series, we are going to discuss all aspects of detoxification.
PART 1: We will start with: what, why, and how to start a detoxification process for your body.
PART 2: What are the 5 major factors that impact your body? What are the modern day toxicants to be aware of and how to remove them from the surrounding environment?
PART 3: Herbal remedies, foods and ancient methods to enhance the detox process.
PART 4: A 21 day challenge- How to properly clear the toxins out of your detox pathways.
PART 5: Reintroduction of foods and how to maintain a constant natural chelating process.
How Do The Systems Within
The Body Operate Optimally?