The Vibrant Health Podcast: Episode #38 – Kombucha 101

by lydia on September 27, 2016

Episode-38-YT

Today, Jessica and I welcome Hannah Crum to the show! Hannah is The Kombucha Mamma, founder of the Kombucha Kamp workshop which evolved into KombuchaKamp.com when she partnered with husband, Alex LaGory.

Kombucha Kamp’s mission is “changing the world, one gut at a time” which is accomplished through empowering others to safely brew Kombucha at home by providing quality information, quality supplies, and quality support. Along with partner Alex LaGory, Hannah is also an industry journalist and Master Brewer, directly mentoring thousands of new and experienced Kombucha brewers and providing consultation services for Kombucha start-ups since 2007.

In today’s episode, we talk about all things kombucha, from the very basics of what this fermented beverage is to the health benefits and history of this drink. We also go over some creative ways to use kombucha outside of just drinking it and discuss Hannah’s Kombucha Kamp and brand new book.

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Links From This Week’s Episode:

Listen to The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 38

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Download The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 38

Introducing The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 1 // deliciousobsessions.com

Read The Vibrant Health Podcast Show Notes :: Episode 38

Make sure you check out the Links from the Episode section for lots more information on today’s topic.

Today, Jessica and I welcome Hannah Crum to the show! Hannah is The Kombucha Mamma, founder of the Kombucha Kamp workshop which evolved into KombuchaKamp.com when she partnered with husband, Alex LaGory.

Kombucha Kamp’s mission is “changing the world, one gut at a time” which is accomplished through empowering others to safely brew Kombucha at home by providing quality information, quality supplies and quality support. Along with partner Alex LaGory, Hannah is also an industry journalist & Master Brewer, directly mentoring thousands of new and experienced Kombucha brewers and providing consultation services for Kombucha start-ups since 2007.

Together, Hannah and Alex also co-founded Kombucha Brewers International in 2014 to support the commercial Kombucha industry by promoting and protecting access to bottled Kombucha around the world where Hannah serves as President.

Their 400 page, full color “The Big Book of Kombucha” from Storey Publishing debuted in March of 2016 and has already garnered much acclaim. Hannah is also a leader and featured speaker in the Real Food movement, using the “Kombucha Lifestyle” as an introduction to other fermented foods, gut health, the human microbiome, “bacteriosapiens” and more.

This was an information-packed episode, far more than what we can cover in our basic show notes, so we hope you listen and enjoy!

Introduction to Kombucha

It seems like almost everyone has heard of kombucha nowadays with the fast growing popularity of this beverage. Even mainstream grocery stores have started carrying it over the last year or so, which is a great step forward for fermented foods.

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is created by using a culture called a SCOBY. That is actually an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeasts. This living culture helps ferment the tea and creates a healthy beverage that is a source of beneficial yeast and bacteria.

Making your own kombucha at home, safely, can save you a lot of money in the long run. It’s actually very easy once you know what you’re doing. See Jessica’s tutorials The Kombucha Batch Brewing Beginner’s Guide and How to Continuous Brew Kombucha.

Hannah also touches on the issue with getting quality scobys and how growing your own scoby from commercial formulations is not always the best idea.

A Little History and Health Benefits of Kombucha

When it comes to kombucha, the benefits can be many. This is a traditional beverage that has been consumed for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It is a tea-based ferment, so we assume that it comes from Asia and we do know that fermentation has been a practice of humans since the beginning of time.

It started gaining some fringe popularity in the 80s and has gained more and more popularity since then. It has now turned into a global industry and kombucha is being brewed all over the place, even in areas that you may have never thought of.

People are usually very loyal to their daily Kombucha consumption, and consider the drink healthy for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Contains living bacteria and yeast
  • Substituted for sugary sodas or multiple trips to the coffee pot
  • Acts as a snack or pre-meal hunger control
  • Alkalizes like vinegar or lemon juice – balances internal pH
  • Compounds in the drink may bond to and help excrete toxins from the liver – happy liver = happy mood
  • May speed metabolism
  • The acids present may improve digestion or alleviate constipation
  • Improved flexibility & fluidity of movement
  • Smooth energy from low levels of tea
  • Relieve headaches & migraines
  • Antioxidants & polyphenols from the tea are partially fermented and so more bioavailable
  • Kills h.pylori on contact
  • Certain acids present are considered candida-cides

Uses for Kombucha

The future of kombucha is bright and exciting. There is so much going on in the industry that we have no idea the cool creations that are around the corner.

NASA is even shooting SCOBYs into space in hope of them helping with developing new materials. People are creating fabrics and vegan leathers. People are also using SCOBYs for food as many animals love it!

You can even use kombucha as topical skin treatments or use the SCOBYs as bandages over skin conditions or cuts. Lydia has a specific story about how kombucha and SCOBYs have helped her eczema. You can use it to help treat sunburn or kitchen burns. Similar to how some people use vinegar to “pull the heat” out of the burn.

The beautiful thing about kombucha is that there are so many things you can do with it. You can use it in a ton of different recipes, like salad dressings, but one of the most popular uses is making fun and healthy cocktails.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to flavoring kombucha. Fruit and herbs are the most popular and also help create the fizziness that so many people enjoy. There is a growing trend to make fun cocktails and mocktails (alcohol-free) drinks out of kombuchas well. So, you can see that there really is something for everyone!

The Big Book of Kombucha and Kombucha Kamp

Hannah’s site, Kombucha Kamp, has been my go-to resource for all things booch for as long as I can remember. She has a ton of awesome information on her site, including recipes, FAQs, community discussion, tools and supplies, and more. You can find Kombucha Kamp here.

Hannah and her husband, Alex LaGory, also just published a new book called “The Big Book of Kombucha.” This book is simply amazing with the depth of knowledge and information shared, as well as beautiful photos and delicious recipes. This is one of those books that you will refer to over and over again, just because there is so much wisdom in there. You can find it on Amazon here.

 

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