This trending sparkling beverage, filled with gut friendly probiotics, kombucha is popping up all over the place.
It is showing up in different flavours, from different companies and with that, at several different price points.
And sometimes, those seem a little steep!
So if you have taken the budget friendly approach and are choosing to make your own kombucha, you may soon find yourself with lots of scobies, lots of fermented beverage, and not enough time to drink it all!
Instead, use it for these things:
- Vinegar – You may have found yourself making this accidentally when you let your kombucha ferment for too long. If you aren’t familiar with the procedure of making kombucha, it is a fermented beverage that is produced by using a scoby (the culture), sugar and brewed tea. When you combine the three together, they create a symbiotic relationship whereby the scoby eats the sugar, causing a fermented beverage as a result. The beverage is loaded with probiotics and does wonders for gut health, but if you carry on with the fermentation for too long, the kombucha eventually turns into vinegar. It’s great if you do it on purpose - but a little less so if you take a big gulp, thinking it is kombucha!
- Cocktails – Using kombucha in cocktails is a great way to feel like you are having a special drink without the alcohol – or the hangover! You can make a mojito using mint flavoured kombucha, sparkling water, some fresh mint and some lime; or make a Caesar using plain kombucha, or chili flavoured kombucha (yes it has a great kick to it!), and then adding tomato juice and a nice stalk of celery. You can also simply mix kombucha with sparkling water and you will have a delightful fizzy drink to enjoy, and no one will even know it is non-alcoholic!
- Vinaigrette – Take the vinegar you made at the beginning and turn it into delicious dressings, sauces and vinaigrettes. For example, you can use ginger flavoured kombucha and combine it with some hemp oil, miso and tahini to make a dressing that is great for salads or to pour over roasted veggies. Use a raspberry flavoured kombucha vinegar, combining it with lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon mustard and pretty soon, you’ll have a delightful raspberry vinaigrette!
- Soda Bread - The ubiquitous no yeast, no knead bread, this dinner favourite is typically made with buttermilk to give it a soured taste and to react with the soda to help it to rise. Instead of buying buttermilk, simply use whatever milk you have on hand (plant-based or dairy) and combine it with kombucha to make your own buttermilk! Stir together a combination of about 2:1 of milk and kombucha, and let them sit. After 10 or so minutes, the kombucha should have soured the milk, and you can proceed with your soda bread recipe as usual. Perfect when you are out of buttermilk – or to use up extra kombucha.
If you thought you were going to have to start giving away kombucha by the tub, think again! Instead you just have to get creative with it, and start using it for more than just drinking. Enjoy!
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH – Viand Nutrition