Brunch Life: Baddies in Bloordale

I think it was the Instagram-worthy pancakes that drew me in to this Aussie-inspired brunch locale in Bloordale and I’m thankful that they did.
Continue reading “Brunch Life: Baddies in Bloordale”

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15 Foods To Eat Your Way To Healthier Skin and a Longer Life

Miracle cures and that elusive fountain of youth… Keep Reading!

Why You Should Be Drinking Roasted Barley Tea

Once the aroma of freshly brewed roasted barley tea hits your senses, you’ll be drinking this intoxicating tea daily. Making a cup of roasted barley tea a part of your daily ritual not only smells great – you’ll get some added health benefits too! Keep Reading!

Beat the Dreaded Bloat With This SUPERPOWER Tea

There’s nothing worse than feeling bloated and uncomfortable amiright!? It’s often the cause of what we are eating and drinking along with lack of sleep. To get back on track and beat the dreaded bloat I’ve got just the trick!
Continue reading “Beat the Dreaded Bloat With This SUPERPOWER Tea”

Kombucha Homebrew

Via Facebook I acquired my first mother/scoby and am on my way to creating my very first batch of home-brewed Kombucha!  A scoby is actually an acronym for, Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (sounds pleasant, yeah!) The scoby/mother looks like a beige or white rubbery pancake.  It is placed in sweetened black or green tea and turns a bowl full of sweet tea into a biochemical powerhouse, brimming with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and health-giving organic acids!

Kombucha is a “safe” homebrew option because it produces a bacterial component which ferments the alcohol (produced by yeasts) into an acid that in turn, decreases the amount of alcohol in kombucha.  The acidity and mild alcohol content of kombucha typically resists contamination from most airborne molds and bacterial spores making it ideal to maintain.
I do suggest doing your fair-share of educating yourself on the process (much like canning, for those who are familiar) there are precise steps to follow and sterileness is key.

Homebrew, Kombucha

Why would one want to drink a tea made from fermented bacteria and yeasts?  Because it’s GOOD for you!  Kombucha has been brewed throughout China, Japan, Russia and Eastern Europe for at least two thousand years.  The yeasts and bacteria in kombucha are known for producing antimicrobial defense molecules, enhancing immunity.  The fermented tea is also referred to as an adaptogen which means, that it has a normalizing effect in living organisms.  Drinking kombucha can help metabolize and bring your body into balance without harmful effects.

The organic acids found in kombucha are helpful with different parts of our bodies.  Highlighting a few, glucuronic acid which also creates glucosamine is a great detoxifier aiding with allergies and liver cleanse.  Glucosamine supports cartilage, collagen and synovial fluids that lubricate our joints (arthritis.)  Another is lactic acid which helps to increase the body’s energy supply by increasing oxygen levels in the blood, supporting muscular activity.  It also encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which in turn, improves digestion and aids the body in breaking down nutrients.

It goes without saying, as young children we’ve been programmed to believe that things that are good for you, taste bad: spinach, cauliflower without cheese, brussels sprouts!  Kombucha may be an acquired taste for some, I describe it as a pleasantly effervescent taste on your tongue, a tickle to your taste-buds, similar to sparkling apple cider or champagne (fancy!)

If you are intrigued you can buy pre-made Kombucha at many health or convenience stores in all sorts of flavors like GT’s Gingerade (below)

or you can make or buy your own mother to brew your own!

Kombucha brewed with black tea

Kombucha Recipe
Jaimie Skriba

What you need:

Mother/Scoby
4-5 tea bags: Green or black tea (1 bag of fruit tea may be used)***stay away from herbal/spice teas, the oils are too strong and can affect the fermentation
1 Cup Sugar (refined works best) and when it is finished fermenting, the sugar is mostly used up anyways
12 Cups H20 (water)
Large stock pot
Large glass jar
Cloth
Rubberband

Boil water, add sugar + tea.  Turn off heat, let steep at least 10 minutes.  Remove tea bags and allow the mixture to cool ***completely, warm water can kill the mother/scoby.
Put in a big glass bowl or jar with a wide lid opening.  Only use glass!  Anything else may pose health risks.  Add the mother/scoby, it will float near the surface or sink a bit, both are fine.  Cover with a cloth + rubberband.
Wait 1 week to test and see if you like it.  Wait a few days longer for stronger tea.
Keep in an undisturbed place with neutral temperature.
Once brewed to your liking remove the mother/scoby and strain tea into another jar/growler to store in the refrigerator.

Note:  Kombucha mother/scoby with grow another mother/scoby on top of the original after 1 week.  Peel off the new mother/scoby and place it in a plastic bag or covered glass container with at least 1 cup of original fluid from it’s tea of origin.  Otherwise it will die.  Use it to make another batch or give to a friend!

PS There are some health risks posed when fermenting kombucha.  The Mayo Clinic + Western Medical sites claim there is no scientific research to support kombucha.  Clearly this is bullshit but I do advise you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions!

tur·mer·ic/ˈtərmərik/

Noun:
  1. A bright yellow aromatic powder obtained from the rhizome of a plant of the ginger family, used for flavoring and coloring in Asian…
  2. The Asian plant (Curcuma longa) from which this rhizome is obtained.

To me, turmeric is defined as:

Noun:
  1. A vibrant curry enhancer.
  2. An anti-inflammatory attacker!

As of late, I’ve been on the prowl for natural anti-inflammatory remedies and found that turmeric is a strong contender.  It’s benefits are slowly beginning to make their presence stateside but in the East the therapeutic prowess of turmeric is ancient news.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and has an aromatic taste, hinting of orange and ginger with a bitter, peppery finish.  The active ingredient is curcumin, responsible for turmeric’s vibrant orangish, yellow hue as well as it’s asset as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and an antiseptic.

Turmeric can help maintain health and wellness in pill form, as a powder or a root.  I like to add turmeric powder to curries and lentils, mustards and relishes.  To increase my daily intake I use turmeric to make a tea.  It’s super simple to make and tastes great hot or cold.
I genuinely enjoy the flavor of turmeric tea and would describe it as flowery, pungent and spicy.  I typically make large batches and store it in the fridge until ready for consumption.  For those who aren’t so keen on pungent spice, I would suggest adding honey for a hint of sweet.

I purchase actual turmeric root or fingers from my local Indian store, and grate it, but powdered form works just as well.  I’ve included two recipes for turmeric tea below.

The first, is the recipe I initially used by Dr. Weil (click the link for more information on the benefits of turmeric)

Turmeric Tea

  • Bring four cups of water to a boil.
  • Add one teaspoon of ground/grated turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste.

Some people like to add a teaspoon of ginger along with the turmeric. While ground versions are more convenient, it’s worthwhile to experiment with freshly grated turmeric for a more vibrant flavor. These distinctive, deep-orange roots are increasingly available in American grocery and natural food stores.

The second is for a creamier version involving coconut or almond milk from Mark’s Daily Apple

Servings: 1 cup of tea

Ingredients:

ingredients 27

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2-inch wide round slice of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon honey or other sweetener
  • Optional additions: a small pat of butter, cinnamon, cardamom

Instructions:

Gently warm the almond or coconut milk on the stove.

In a mug, combine the remaining ingredients.

Drizzle a teaspoon of the warmed milk into the mug and mix until the liquid is smooth with no lumps. Add the rest of the milk and mix well. You can leave the pieces of ginger in the tea, or strain it out before drinking.