How To Make Kombucha

 

How to make kombucha loulanatural

How To; Make Kombucha

I have been making Kombucha for years now. I love it so much. I even wrote a book about it so you could learn all about it and have it in your own life. Read here for my 5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha to find out why it is so great!

Kombucha is a fermented Tea. It is described as a ‘delicious sour tonic beverage’ slightly sparking and a little like apple cider. The drink is made with a SCOBY( symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Also known as “The Mother” just like with Apple Cider Vinegar. It is a bit like a disc which floats on the surface as it ferments.

Magic Kombucha

Kombucha is an aerobic process so it has to float as its where the oxygen is- if it is not floating after a few days or generate a new film- sadly it may have died. Although sometimes it will sink then rise. It is best to use a wide glass vessel (no metal) that is partially filled. Your SCOBY will generate a film that is the same size and shape as your vessel. As you make more the SCOBY will get thicker and generally grow in layers that you can peel off and use to generate other batches and to share (babies!) As they have no added benefit by being thicker you can share or why not puree it into a paste and use it for a facial?!

This is how you can make it at home

Each SCOBY and brew will be different, much like Kefir. Some will be more robust than others and some may be able to brew herbal teas and adapt to other sugars. Some people have even used fruit juice. It is best to start with a more fail safe ‘tea leaf’ brew; black, green or white tea.  Then play with the herbal teas in the second fermentation.

All you need is Tea, sugar and an acidic environment. The amount of sugar is dependent on your taste. It is possible to brew a strong tea as a concentrate and then water down (also to cool it). The tea can be sweetened while still hot (as it is easier to get the sugar to dissolve) but can also be done when cold

What you will need:

Wide glass jar (I use 1.6 litre Jar)
1 litre Cooled, strong brewed tea (blackgreen or white tea
1⁄2 cup sugar (I use coconut)
Acid (either 100mls brewed Kombucha saved from last batch or 2 tbs of any vinegar) Plastic tongs (to transport the mother)
Piece of cotton or muslin/rubber band to secure)
Plastic Funnel and Glass bottle to store for drinking
Glass Jar to keep mother in (with some reserved tea)

Directions

The tea needs to be at body temperature (no hotter) mix in the sugar.
Then add 100mls Kombucha about (5-10 percent so for a litre about 50-100mls)or  2 tbs of vinegar (any kind) if you have no matured Kombucha.

Add the Mother (SCOBY)

Always cover the vessel with a light porous cloth that allows air circulation but protects from bugs and dust. Kitchen towel works well too.

Leave Vessel in a warm spot away from direct sunlight.
The length of fermentation will depend on how warm it is and how acidic you want your drink to be. Taste it every few days to see if you like it, but on average it is between 7-14 days (can be months-  when it’s really cold)

When it is to taste, take the mother out and place in a bowl to separate the layers or the ‘babies’

Reserve in some of the tea to store in the fridge (cool temp stop fermentation). Have another batch of tea ready to start again and drink tea (bottle as is either in tight sealed bottle or open bottle and store in the fridge) or bottle with fruit for the second fermentation. 

culture your life kefir:kombucha

How to make Kombucha loulanatural pin 

Coconut

Nutrient Fact File coconut Loula Natural

Coconuts are one of my favourite foods on the planet. They contain all of the nutrients required to grow and develop new life. Plus they taste so delicious! Known as a functional food- the health properties far outweigh their nutritional constituents. Not surprising it is referred to as “The Tree of Life”, a little like eggs, I like to refer to them as one of nature’s perfect packages. 

Coconut oil,

coconut flour,

coconut milk,

coconut yoghurt,

coconut water (fresh) 

Coconut water and coconut milk Kefir,

coconut ice-cream and

desiccated coconut are always in stock in my house!!

Charcoal is made from the husk 

Palm oil is made from the leaves

I love to add coconut to everything; here’s why;

coconut

The coconut palm grows throughout the tropics. The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and prefers areas with ample sunlight and rainfall. They also need a daily temperature of around 20 degrees celsius.  The benefits of the coconuts meat and water contents span all the different varieties of the fruit that they yield. Most cultures where they grow use the products from the coconut to heal most ailments, and have done so for generations. Since they are always in season and grow all year round, they are one of the most incredible natural medicines. They are also easy and cheap to buy. Once you know how, they are also easy to open.

Young meat is jelly like and really sweet and more mature meat is whiter, firmer and less sweet. The water creates the flesh in layers, so the more flesh you have in your coconut the less water and vice versa. The flesh and the water have an amazing mixture of beneficial saturated fats, electrolytes (minerals ), vitamins (A, B’s and E) and amino acids (protein). See the full list here. Plus both have an intricate and balanced bacterial environment. All of this combined gives the coconut its wide range of benefits and health giving properties. A full list of all the claims for coconuts is found here and Bruce Fife’s book Coconut Cures is excellent.

coconut cures

Coconut can be eaten and the water can be drunk during pregnancy. Both are  repudiated to nourish mother and baby and may help even help with a ‘quick delivery’. The oil when rubbed into the skin can help prevent and heal stretch marks. It can also be applied direct to nipples to soothe chafing and heal wounds whilst breastfeeding.

The oil is also a safe and effective sunscreen for children and adults alike. The fat acts as a barrier, the bacterial elements are protective and balancing and the other nutrients in the oil can help to repair any damage the sun might have on the skin cells

When dehydrated in the hot summer months coconut water can help. Containing all the necessary electrolytes it can help get you back to balance. Combined with the bacterial properties to be able to absorb those nutrients, coconut water can also help with some digestive ailments and is a great drink to use whilst working out. However the pasteurization process the packaged water goes through kills off the bacteria. This makes the drink no better than any other pasteurized juice. I only advocate fresh coconut water, or consumption of coconut water that has been fermented- like kefir.

Lychee, Coconut Water Kefir

Coconut water also contains antimicrobial properties. It may be better to think of the bacteria as balanced in the body, after consuming fresh coconut. Therefore it is also great when suffering from bacterial imbalance (runny tummy!). It also helps to rehydrate after vomiting or diarrhea. 

The sugar and nectar from the flowers are also full of necessary nutrients to process the sugar (improving blood sugar levels and create energy). See my post on refined sugar to understand how this is beneficial. The fat and protein aspect of coconuts can also help slow down the digestion of sugars and therefore can help to balance sugar levels. The body is looking for fats in the diet to trigger satiety (feeling full). Coconut in recipes can help you to feel fuller for longer whilst having nutrients to nourish, repair and satisfy. 1 tbs Coconut flour can be added to baked goods to raise their nutrient profile. The fibre in coconut also helps to feed our internal bacterial environment– which further strengthens our essential internal bacterial balance.

More and more people are beginning to understand how important the coconut is to stabilizing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, balancing hormones and generally healing. Because of its amazing natural sugar, fatty acids, amino acids combined with all the other nutrients in perfect ratios it is even used in some countries to replace blood plasma in an emergency and after operations.

oil pulling with coconut oil Loula Natural

Coconuts have been seen to help a diverse range of conditions, mostly due to their Medium Chain fatty acids.  Coconuts packs an eye-opening amount of calories and so many grams of fat (90% saturated). However when people advise you to avoid the product for these reasons their advice is misguided. People who include coconut products daily in their diet actually show a greater weight loss than those who don’t, they also report better skin health, muscle tone, energy levels, hormone balance and better moods. Here is my post on how amazing fats are- try to re-educate yourself  about what are a healthy fats and which ones are unhealthy. Coconut oil also plays a huge role in changing your body shape.

The fatty acids contained in coconut have a positive effect on the body as they are easily absorbed, have anti-microbial properties, can boost metabolism , enhance thyroid activity, reduces pain and swelling, improve digestion, boost immune system and improve skin, hair teeth and nails. Is there anything a coconut can’t help? 

You can make your own coconut water, kefirmilk, creamyoghurt , butter and vinegar very easily. I also do oil pulling, use it in my body scrubs (here and here), amazing used directly on the skin from birth (the oil can be absorbed through the skin) I use it in many cosmetics including hair masks, after swimming and sunscreen

Here are my recipes that include coconut; (how to open a coconut)

Oil Pulling

Coconut Milk

Coconut Cream/ Yoghurt

Lychee Coconut water kefir

Coconut Ginger Cookies

Coconut Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Mint chocolate chip coconut ice-cream

Choco-coco milkshake

Coco-berry milkshake

Bulletproof Smoothie

Choco-coco ice pudding

Sunshine shot

Almond and coconut flour kefir pancakes

Bounty bars

Homemade chocolate

Vanilla butter fudge

Chocolate fudge

Cinnamon salty sweet popcorn

Coconut- oil popcorn

Banoffee Toffee

Real food icing sugar

Spicy Chai tea Concentrate

Beetroot brownies

Chicken and coconut soup

Body Scrubs

The ultimate kefir body scrub/bath salts

Pineapple and Ginger kefir-kolada

Coconut and carrotseed oil natural sunscreen

Indeed all of my Kefir and Kombucha is made from coconut sugar as seen in Culture Your Life

Also all of my recipes contain either coconut oil, flour or sugar. I also use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and sell Cocobono sugar and oil here in Hong Kong.

Nutrient Fact File coconut Loula Natural Pin

Cinnamon Salty Sweet Popcorn

 Cinnamon Salty Sweet Popcorn Loula Natural

 My lovely friend Gemma shared her kid’s favourite snack in my Mama Up-Front Chambers’ Mama. Since then I have been making popcorn for me and the kids. We like ours with a little twist- Cinnamon!

I love Cinnamon because it helps the body to process sugar by helping cells to recognise Insulin when it knocks on the door. This is called insulin sensitivity. You may have heard Insulin resistance surrounding tummy weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon is a nutrient that can reverse this. Naturally sweet in itself it can help you to reduce how much sugar you use. It then makes cells more insulin sensitive meaning that the sugar will actually be used rather then allowing it to be re-circulating which increases blood sugar levels. Whenever I use sugar you will almost always see me adding cinnamon.

Cinnamon also boosts the immune system and is a natural bacteria balancer as it also feeds bacteria we need in our body. As an anti-inflammatory it can also help heal some of the potential chronic inflammation which may be present in the body. It is nice and warming and the flavour of cinnamon also helps the palate and taste buds to be satisfied which helps us feel satiated (full up) quicker- thus playing another role in weight balance.

It is also totally delicious! Total winner! It adds a really nice flavour dimension to the popcorn too.

We also love a salty sweet popcorn so I add some pink salt right at the end. This also helps balance the palate and provides some nice nutrients necessary to digest and absorb sugar and the popcorn itself.

It is so important to use organic corn kernels as such a huge portion of corn production is GMO. These foods hugely increase inflammation, especially in the digestive system and have a huge impact on the immune system. Not food in my humble opinion! So definitely not going to nourish my children.

Cinnamon Salty Sweet Popcorn
Salty sweet cinnamon coconut sugar popcorn. Great snack and really delicious.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  2. 1/2 cup organic popcorn
  3. 2 tbs coconut sugar
  4. 1tsp cinnamon
  5. Pinch himylayan pink salt
Instructions
  1. Add the coconut and popcorn in a saucepan with a lid.
  2. When the coconut oil starts to sizzle add the coconut sugar and cinnamon
  3. Keep swirling the kernels until they start popping.
  4. When they stop, pour out into a big bowl and add salt to taste.
  5. Eat!
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight container until you want to consume. Will last a couple of days
  2. Great in Lunch boxes!
Adapted from Chamber's Mama Popcorn
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
If you are searching for ingredients in Hong Kong iDetox has a great selection (they sell Cocobono) at good prices- otherwise iherb is the general consensus. Use code WJZ679 for $10USD off your first order, Cocobono Coconut Sugar and Coconut Oil is my favourite source of coconut products (Only available in Hong Kong)

Popcorn Collage Loula Natural

Kids lunch box approved

Other Popcorn recipes;

 

Cinnamon Salty Sweet Popcorn Loula Natural pin

Real Food Banoffee Pie

Real Food Banoffee Pie Loula Natural

Real Food Banoffee Pie

I have made Banoffee Pie several times. Every time I have made it with Dulce Leche that I have bought. This time I was committed to making my own toffee- without condensed milk (which I do not count as a real food!). See my post on refined sugar for why I love coconut sugar. It is also gluten free packed with healthy fats and proteins to balance the sugar!

This time I am making it for my husband so we made a couple of compromises! He loves real cream so since it is his birthday I have used dairy cream. However I have also included ways to make this dish dairy free. He was happy!

Happy Birthday boy slice

However- I couldn’t do it all by myself. I had some expert help. Especially since it was for Daddy’s birthday!

I did have a little help Loula Natural

Real Food Banoffee Pie
A real food banoffee pie. Nut and date cruse, coconut sugar and cream toffee, banana's and fresh double cream with cinnamon
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Ingredients
  1. For the Base
  2. 1 cup almonds/cashews
  3. 1 cup pecans
  4. 1 tbs coconut oil
  5. 1 tbs ghee (or nut butter)
  6. 1/2 tsp pink salt
  7. 5 medjool dates (pitted)
  8. For the Toffee
  9. 200g coconut sugar
  10. 200mls coconut cream
  11. 100g butter (I used raw but you can also use coconut oil)
  12. 1 tsp pink salt
  13. banana essence (optional)
  14. Dash of filtered water
  15. For the rest
  16. 2 large banana's (sliced thinly)
  17. 200g double cream
  18. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  19. 2 Chocolate fudge pieces (grated)
Instructions
  1. To make the base
  2. Add all the ingredients to the food processor and blitz until it is looking a little sticky. Turn out contents into a greased pan or spring form pan (for ease of removing later)
  3. Press the mixture out to rise up the sides of the pan. You want it to be at least 0.5 cm thick.
  4. Place base in the freezer
  5. To make caramel
  6. Place coconut sugar in a saucepan and dash of filtered water.
  7. On a low heat mix sugar with a wooden spoon. It will quickly turn to liquid caramel. Slowly stir in coconut cream and salt and stir until dissolved.
  8. I am using raw butter so to keep the enzymes alive I want the toffee to then cool until you can easily hold your finger in it (be careful it may be hot to begin with so use common sense when using finger!)
  9. When cooled add butter/coconut oil and stir to melt and dissolve.
  10. Add banana essence if desired
  11. Pour into a jar and keep in the fridge (bonus- you will probably only use half for the pie- the rest you will have to ration yourself!)
  12. Whip cream with the cinnamon until stiff
  13. Slice banana's
  14. See below pictures for how to layer. Pour Toffee, add banana, then cream and top with grated chocolate. Store in fridge.
Notes
  1. You can make everything in advance but leave off slicing/adding the banana and whipping the cream until just before serving.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Here is the picture to help you assemble the Banoffee pie

Banoffee assembly Loula Natural

I hope you enjoy it!

Real Food Banoffee Pie Loula Natural Pin

Come and find my other favourite Gluten Free Sweet Treats on Pinterest

Follow Loula Natural’s board Gluten free sweet treats on Pinterest.

Slow Cooked Apple, Rhubarb and Ginger Porridge

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Last week I tried this delicious recipe from Sarah at Real Food Outlaws

http://realfoodoutlaws.com/pumpkin-pie-overnight-crock-pot-oatmeal-soaked-gluten-free/

I had been meaning to try porridge in my slow cooker and this really helped me to get addicted! I used my pumpkin spice and I added Kefir to the cooking pot as it was on a low temperature. Its was delicious so with my recent crop of apple sauce and cooked rhubarb– it would have been silly not to go again!

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1 cup Soaked Oats (using apple cider vinegar)

1/2 cup soaked buckwheat groats (optional but highly nutritious)

2 tbs Apple Sauce

2tbs Rhubarb and Ginger

1 Cup Kefir (I used 1/2 cup coconut water and 1/2 cup of Almond Milk Kefir)

1 Cup water

pinch of Salt

I let this cook for overnight but set the timer for 4 hours on low and it kept warm till morning. I then had it with a dollup of Coconut yoghurt and sweetened with some coconut sugar- so yum I was glad there was loads left over for the next two days and was still nice when cold too! I am hooked! What flavour do you like?

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