Hello there wonderful blog readers! I know it has been awhile – I apologize for the extended hiatus. It was completely unintended, but a series of life and health events have kept me from sitting down at a computer to share with you more from my world of food. Don’t worry – nothing too serious happened! As much as I wanted to continue on with the blog throughout the summer, it really was in my best interest to take some time away. I hope you all understand, and are willing to continue on with me now. I have so many cookbooks, recipes, and other foodie tidbits that have piled up that I want to share!
Fortunately, I’ve had this little dude to keep me company!
I’m going to start with a post that kind of ties in to my absence. You see, I recently had a sinus infection, resulting in antibiotic treatment that left my system all out of sorts. Antibiotics are great for getting rid of what ails you (when appropriate), but they also tend to get rid of all the good stuff as well. That’s where probiotics and fermented foods – like kombucha – come in to save the day!
Way back last summer I shared with you the beginnings of my kombucha making experiences, and they have been going strong since then. I have even managed to keep my SCOBY alive and healthy all this time, which I consider a small miracle, given the yearly fruit fly infestation that always seems to happen in my kitchen. I’ve tried out countless flavour combinations, utilizing whatever seasonal fruits I might have kicking around the flavour my tart tea. I’ve mainly stuck to using green tea as my tea of choice, but one day had the bright idea of branching out into my tea collection.
I’ve always liked iced hibiscus tea, and thought hey, why not make a hibiscus kombucha. I considered using only the herbal tea, but was unsure if it would keep the SCOBY happy, so I went with a blend of green tea and hibiscus. Not only did it turn out a lively shade of magenta, it tasted just how I wanted it – a little tart, a little floral, and very refreshing. I enjoyed it plain, and also with some lemon slices thrown in. I tried to save a batch that I over fermented with some oranges and strawberries, but it was a futile effort. I still think that would be a nice flavour combo though!
I love the way it looks as the hibiscus tea slowly steeps in the sun!
One thing to keep in mind if you do use something like hibiscus with your SCOBY – it will take on some of that pink colour. I don’t see this as a big issue for further fermentations with green tea again, but you could always put a piece aside if you are worried.
makes approximately 1 gallon (4L)
Jazz up your regular old kombucha with some hibiscus tea. Not only does it taste great, but it’s pretty too!
- 4 green tea bags (or 1 tbsp loose leaf)
- 4 hibsicus tea bags (or 1 tbsp loose leaf)
- 1 cup sugar
- 13 cups hot water (from the tap is fine – doesn’t need to be boiling)
- 2 cups kombucha (from your last batch, commercial bottle, or a friend)
- 1 SCOBY
- 1 gallon glass jar (like the one pictured above)
1. Combine sugar and water in your jar, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Place the tea bags or tea (preferably in a mesh steeper) into the jar, and allow to steep at least 10 minutes, longer if you want stronger flavour. Remove tea, removing any errant leaves, and allow to cool until room temperature.
2. Add the kombucha and SCOBY to the cooled tea. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth tightly – it needs to be able to breathe, but you want to keep dirt and fruit flies out. Place in a warm spot, out of direct sunlight (I put mine on top of my fridge). Allow to ferment 7 – 10 days for a sweeter tea, 14 – 30 days for more fizz and a more acidic flavour.
3. Once your desired fermentation has been reached, remove the SCOBY, as well as 2 cups of kombucha, and either start a new batch, or store in a glass jar in the fridge until you want to brew again. Your SCOBY will now have new growth layers – you can share some with a friend, or just discard the excess.
4. If desired, flavour with fruit, juice, or herbs. You can allow it to sit out and ferment more, or put it in the fridge. Enjoy!
Again, I apologize for my silent absence, but know that it really was helpful for my mental health and wellbeing. Bear with me as get back into the swing of things (especially since I’m also in the midst of a move). I’m excited to blog again, and to hopefully bring you some new and exciting things as move through to 2016.