Share the spoils and make your own Fruity Kombucha

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This article is brought to you with the idea of sharing… and asking you to get involved! Regular readers will know I’m keen to make the most of food – it’s what I do at work and try to practise at home. With surplus food and waste a growing concern, Transition Surplus Food Project has started the Pembrokeshire-wide ‘Make a Meal of It’ outreach project.

One solution to surplus food is Community Fridges, which are popping up across the country. A simple concept; food is donated and everyone in the community is welcome to take what they want. Food may come from food businesses, allotments gluts or households. Volunteers monitor the stock daily and ensure it is all fit and safe to eat with any waste being responsibly disposed of.

Inspirational environmental charity Hubbub are supporting a network of Community Fridges, and we could set one up in Narberth. The benefit would be ensuring good food is shared and eaten with the happy side-effect of saving money too. Would you like to volunteer to establish and run a Narberth Community Fridge, or know of a business that could donate food? Please email me if you’re interested: projectstbg [at] gmail.com

Fruity Kombucha

Kombucha is fermented tea, it’s refreshing and can be lightly effervescent, especially if you flavour it. To make your own kombucha you’ll need a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria & Yeast), aka a ‘mother’, to ferment the tea.

I’ve been making kombucha for a while and have SCOBY to share as more is created every time a new batch brews. If you’d like some SCOBY to make your own kombucha get in touch through the Olio app or email me (see above)

Kombucha sm web

You will need:

A large jug with lid/tea towel to cover or Kilner-style drinks dispenser (to hold 5 litres)

4 x 750ml bottles with lids/swing tops

Ingredients:

Kombucha SCOBY and about 200ml of the previous batch of kombucha

4 regular tea bags/4 tblsp loose tea

4 tblsp sugar

1 litre boiling water + extra cold water

Optional flavourings: 200g fruit, finely diced/mashed (berries, apples, rhubarb, ginger, etc, you can mix and match) or 4 large elderflowers/rose petals/edible fragrant petals

Method:

– Brew the tea bags and sugar in the boiling water.

– When cool, remove the tea bags/loose tea and pour into your jug/drinks dispenser. Add the SCOBY and kombucha, top up with cold water so your container is about three-quarters full, cover.

– The kombucha will take 3-10 days to ferment, depending on the room temperature and dilution of the tea. A new SCOBY will form on the surface. Taste your kombucha every day until it is to your liking – it starts off quite sweet, becoming more acidic/vinegary over time (and very slightly increasing in alcohol, up to about 1%).

– When it is to your taste siphon the kombucha into bottles, you can drink it as it is, refrigerate to preserve and slow further fermentation.

OR

– Flavour it during a second fermentation. Add 50g fruit to each bottle, or flower petals, and top with kombucha then secure the lid. Leave to steep at room temperature for about 4 days. Refrigerate to preserve and slow further fermentation. Take care when opening as it can be lively (as my kitchen ceiling can attest!)

– Repeat the process with a fresh brew of sweet tea. Share your excess SCOBY or put on a compost heap/plants or dispose of with your food waste.

This article first appeared in Narberth Breeze magazine.

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