Kombucha: [kômˈbo͞oCHə] Origin: Unknown
- What is it: Kombucha is a fermented tea made with a kombucha starter culture (mushroom, mother, scoby, etc.), tea prepared with sugar, vinegar and some kombucha tea from a previous batch (starter tea). Kombucha contains a number of vitamins, particularly B vitamins.
- Why to try it: Energy drink, substitute for alcohol dependency, aids in regrowth of good bacteria
- Taste: Kombucha tea has a rich, earthy flavor, which can vary greatly depending on the length of time it ferments, 7-30 days. For a mild flavor, brew the kombucha for a shorter time. For a bolder, more vinegary flavor, brew the kombucha for a longer time.
- History: Known to have been around for centuries, likely to have been around for millennia. Legends abound, filled the travel flasks of Ghengis Khan’s armies in and Japanese samurais in 414 AD, but it seems it can be traced back to China in 220BC during the Qin Dynasty for the Emperor Qinshi Huangdi.
- How to use it: As a stand-alone health drink, flavored as a tea drink, paired with alcohol (like this Bourbon cocktail), instead of vinegar in vinaigrettes
- Links: Cultures for health, Günther Frank
- Recipe: ??
Kimchi: [kim-chee] Origin: Korea
- What is it: The reddish fermented cabbage (and sometimes radish) dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, vinegar, chile peppers, and other spices—is served at every meal, either alone or mixed with rice or noodles. And it’s part of a high-fiber, low-fat diet that has kept obesity at bay in Korea.
- Why to try it: Kimchi is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit is the healthy bacteria called lactobacilli. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.
- What to do with it: You can wake up your morning by scrambling eggs with kimchi, diced tomatoes, and mushrooms. Use it as a wrap filling or to top a baked potato. Pair it with steamed rice and vegetables for a 10 minute stir-fry. Add it to egg drop soup.
- Taste: Varies. If you’re like us it with be spicy (with chilies) and astringent (with ginger)! Be wary of adding too much garlic — it will turn the batch bitter — and too much ginger (yes, there is such a thing)
- History: Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their pictures taken.
- How to use it: Kimchi also is used in everything from soups to pancakes, and as a topping on pizza and burgers.
Rejuvelac: Origin: USA
- Rejuvelac is a fermented drink originally made from sprouted wheat berries, although I always use quinoa to make my rejuvelac because it’s easily accessible and sprouts the fastest of all the berries. Rejuvelac can also be prepared using whole wheat, oats, rye, quinoa, barley, millet, buckwheat, rice and other types of grain. The fermentation extracts most of the nutrients from the berries for a delicious, fresh tasting drink. The leftover berries don’t have much nutritional value but you can place them in compost to feed your garden.
- What is it: Rejuvelac is a fermented beverage that is inexpensive, easy to make, refreshing to drink and FULL of wonderful nutrients for your body. Make from soaking grains, wheat, rye, and quinoa works the best. A healthy probiotic, it also has vitamins B, K and E, proteins, and enzymes. It is beneficial to your digestive system, promoting a healthy intestinal environment. It is also a great starter for raw nut cheese! A rich source of friendly bacteria to heal your digestive system.
Rejuvelac is a non-alcoholic fermented liquid made from sprouted grains. Because it is fermented, Rejuvelac contains beneficial bacteria and active enzymes, and thus it is reported to improve digestion of food. Rejuvelac can be drunk as a digestive aid or used as a starter culture for other fermented foods such as raw nut and seed yoghurts, cheeses, sauces and Essene Breads. . Rejuvelac is cloudy, with the colour of pale straw.
- B complex vitamins (including B12, which is often difficult for vegans and vegetarians to get)
- Vitamin C (good for skin and overall health)
- Vitamin E (an antioxidant)
- Taste: It has a flavour that is lemony, sharp and slightly tangy, with a mild earthy aroma. Rejuvelac should taste slightly sweet, grassy, subtle, a little tart (acidic), not too sour. yellowish, cloudy and slightly sweet and tart but not too sour. It will also be slightly carbonated, with a slight lemon taste.
- History: In the 1980s, holistic health nutritionist Ann Wigmore recognized the importance of enzymes and lacto-fermented food in the diet. She developed rejuvelac, which she made with wheat berries. She said, “Rejuvelac is actually so nutritious, it could be classified as a food by itself.” It’s a non-alcoholic, fermented liquid made from grains.
- How to use it: Drink it solo as a tonic, In morning smoothie, Sub for water in lemonade, Vegan cheeses..even if you aren’t vegan its much easier to justify a whole pan of mac and cheese when your brain tells you, but it’s made with cashews
- More links:
- ½ cup wheat berries
- 4 cups filtered water
- Use a quart jar or other sprouting container to sprout the wheat berries using this basic method until just the tail appears, approximately 2-3 days.
- Place the sprouted wheat berries and the filtered water in a jar.
- Leave in a warm place for 24-48 hours. The liquid should get a little fizzy and turn cloudy. The liquid should taste clean and fresh with a hint of citrus.
- Pour off the liquid to save and place in the refrigerator. It will keep up to a week.
- Reuse the berries for a second batch, if desired, but only for 24 hours
- Link to the vegan cheese book or pin for vegan cheese recipe
Kefir: [\ke-ˈfir] Origin: Russia
- What is it: Similar to yogurt, but milk kefir isn’t transient. This means it can stay in your intestines and colonize whereas yogurt cleans out the tract and feeds snacks to the beneficial bacteria that was already there. This is enormously helpful for people suffering from bad bacteria takeover. Milk kefir is a probiotic beverage made with either milk kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter culture. Milk Kefir Grains (once active) and Kefir Starter Culture can be used to culture dairy milk or coconut milk. Information about culturing sugar water, juice or coconut water can be found on the Water Kefir page. Kefir grains consist of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship. The term “kefir grains” describes the look of the culture only. Kefir grains contain no actual “grains” such as wheat, rye, etc. Water kefir contains fewer strains of bacteria and yeasts than milk kefir, but far more than other cultured products like yogurt or buttermilk.
- Why to try it:
- Taste: The taste of finished kefir varies greatly based on the type of milk used and the length of time it is cultured. Milk kefir can have a sour taste and an effervescent texture. If you have not tried kefir, we recommend purchasing kefir at the grocery store to try before purchasing a starter culture. Very similar in taste to plain greek yogurt but tangier.
- How to use it: In addition to being an amazing probiotic beverage, kefir is also very versatile and can usually be substituted for milk, yogurt, or buttermilk in recipes. Buy/make your own delectable ice cream treat. Pair with partially frozen berries, a sprinkle of granola, or broken bits of dark chocolate.
- More links: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/five-ways-to-use-kefir
- Similar to yogurt, but milk kefir isn’t transient. This means it can stay in your intestines and colonize whereas yogurt cleans out the tract and feeds snacks to the beneficial bacteria that was already there. This is enormously helpful for people suffering from bad bacteria takeover.Talk about bad bacteria gut takeover, you can’t eat anything. More and more things start to get crossed off your list and you’ll go mad trying to figure out what food allergy you have…because your body is shutting down! Buy/make your own delectable ice cream treat. Pair with partially frozen berries, a sprinkle of granola, or broken bits of dark chocolate.