Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Kombucha’

My post from April 9,  Fabulously Frugal, Sprouted Lentils, reminded me that I have been wanting to share another fabulous way to save money on natural, gluten-free, and organic foods. A few months back I began actively seeking coupons, weekly sales, and special discounts for items that we regularly purchase from stores. At first I was skeptical – I though that there wouldn’t be coupons and sales for natural and organic foods – yet over the last few months I have found several ways to make these types of small savings add up – all without compromising on buying mostly local, fairly traded, and organic food! This week I’ll share my strategies for gluten-free, organic, and natural foods couponing.

Initially, I was inspired to investigate the possibilities of natural foods coupons by the Chinook Book. The book costs $20, but can be found on sale for $15 (we bought one at the Better Living Show for $10). It is filled with coupons for discounts on natural foods and at natural foods stores (and for many other green-ish businesses). In my household the Chinook Book quickly pays for itself. For example, for each of Portland’s Co-Op’s (People’s, Food Front, and Alberta Street) there are coupons for 5 dollars off a purchase of 25 dollars. That’s 25% off our groceries!

Click here to view a list of the natural grocery coupons in the Chinook Book.

Click here to view a list of the local grocery store coupons in the Chinook Book.

Keep an eye out for coupon books in your favorite grocery stores. New Season’s and Whole Foods each have in-store coupon books. (Whole Foods coupons are also available online.) People’s, Food Front, and Alberta Street Co-Ops (and other co-ops) share the bi-monthly Co-Op Advantage coupon book, though not all of the products are available at every store. Free, bi-monthly publications like Remedies for Life, Taste for Life, and Delicous Living frequently contain coupons, I pick them up at Food Front in Hillsdale. Other print publications frequently contain coupons, I like to scan neighborhood and weekly newspapers, as well as my favorite print magazines devoted to healthy lifestlyes. (Living Without and Whole Living frequently contain natural foods coupons.)

I’ve found a few coupon websites devoted to natural foods. Mambo Sprouts Coupons is affiliated with the coupon giant Coupons.com and is regularly updated with new coupons. Coupons.com, like the Sunday paper coupon inserts, is mostly for conventional foods, however, there are occasionally natural products coupons to be found on/in both. HealthESavers.com is also dedicated to natural foods, but it is updated only occasionally Whole Foods coupons are updated bi-monthly, but (of course) they are only good at Whole Foods.

Click here to view Mambo Sprouts coupons

Click here to view Coupons.com coupons.

Click here to view HealthESavers coupons.

Click here to view Whole Foods coupons.

Some natural foods companies offer coupons to people who sign up for their mailing lists or become their Facebook fans. Look for mailing lists and facebook pages that offer specific coupons when you sign-up or ‘like’ the company. I’ve had repeated success with directly contacting companies and requesting coupons. I send quick e-mail note telling the company what at I appreciate about them, which products I buy, and I request coupons. (Some even send samples!) I encourage you to contact some of these exciting companies.

Columbia Gorge Organics

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (they make coconut oil too),

Food For Life (sprouted and gluten-free breads)

Nancy’s Cultured Dairy & Soy

(These links provide you with the contact page, but you must make the request.)

All of this may seem exciting and overwhelming, so here are three things that I do to keep couponing helpful and under-control.

#1. My own rule has become that coupons must be for something I would normally purchase (even without the coupon) or for special treats on special occasions. (They’re for saving money not spending more!)

#2. Organization is key. I keep a small 3-ring binder with clear pockets to organize all of my coupons. It’s cute, tidy, and fits easily into my purse or shopping basket. I’m sure to keep it with me and I’ve seen other shoppers eyeing it enviously!

#3. Combining coupons and sales is always best, so next week I’ll share how I keep track of sales.

Do you have any tips for gluten-free, organic, or natural-foods couponing? I’d love to hear any suggestions in the comments below.

Read Full Post »

Flower Power Kombucha

Makes 2 ½  quarts

This combination of fragrant, uplifting, and naturally sweet flowers is the perfect tonic for spring. Rose petals soothe and relax; St. John’s Wort is detoxifies the liver; red clover purifies the blood; and chrysanthemum is anti-inflammatory and aids digestion. (See cooks notes for contraindications for these herbs.)

Before you make herbal kombucha set aside a mother mushroom that has not been in contact with herbal brew. The addition of herbs may change the composition of bacteria and yeast in the s.c.o.b.y.. Discard any mother or daughter mushrooms that have been in herbal teas or use them to culture future batches of herbal brews (but not regular brews (see cooks note)). If you are making kombucha to maximize the specific health benefits that are associated with the tea please follow the recipe for 5-Step Kombucha.

3 quarts clean water (well, spring, or filtered)

1 cup evaporated cane juice (preferably organic and fairly traded)

3 tablespoons organic rose petals

1 tablespoon St. John’s Wort blossoms and leaves

1 tablespoon red clover blossoms, about 3 large

1 tablespoon chrysanthemum blossoms, about 3 large

1 tablespoon organic green tea

½ cup finished kombucha or ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 kombucha mushroom (s.c.o.b.y.)

1.            Bring one quart of the water to a boil. Pour the water into a one-gallon heat safe glass bowl or jar. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the herbs and tea to a muslin spice bag, or oversized tea bag. Steep the mixture for as little as 15 minutes, or until the tea is cool. Remove the tea bag. Add the remaining 2 quarts of water.

2.            Add ½ cup kombucha from a previous batch or ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (this acidifies the tea and prevents contamination from other microorganisms). Place the mushroom dark side down in the liquid.

3.            If you are using a bowl cross several strips of masking tape over the top (to keep the cover from falling into the liquid). Cover with a cloth or paper towel. Secure the cover tightly with a string or rubber band (insects may be attracted and must be kept out!). Label with the date made. Store in a warm, well-ventilated place, out of direct sunlight.

4.            Depending upon the room temperature, the kombucha will be ready after 6-12 days. Kombucha is ready to drink when it looks relatively translucent and a ‘baby’ kombucha mushroom has formed above the mother. It will cease tasting of tea. Most people prefer kombucha sweet to pleasingly tart. After it has fermented about one week taste it daily. When the flavor suits your taste, bottle the tea.

5.            To bottle kombucha, remove the mother and the baby mushroom from the brew. Use a funnel and glass jars or bottles with tightly fitting lids (or flip-top bottles). Fill the jars to the top. Place a sheet of wax paper underneath the lid. (The paper prevents the acidic kombucha from contacting the lid.) Store in the refrigerator.

To restore effervescence to chilled kombucha, remove from the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Strain the tea just before serving.

Cooks note:

The mother and baby mushroom can be separated and used to make additional batches of flower power or other herbal kombuchas. Don’t use them for regular kombucha because the balance of bacteria and yeast within the s.c.o.b.y. may be altered.

Don’t use rose petals if you are pregnant. Don’t use chrysanthemum if you have a known allergy to ragweed. Don’t use St. John’s Wort if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you take any of the following medications: cyclosporine, tacrolimus, irinotecan, and imatinib mesylate, protease inhibitors, or nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Don’t use red clover if you are pregnant or nursing, taking oral contraception, estrogen or progesterone therapies.

This post was shared at Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday, Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday, and Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise platter Thursday blog hop.

Read Full Post »

When:

Tuesday April 10th, 2012; 6-7:30 p.m.

What:

Flavored Kombucha: How to Make your Favorites at Home

Join me  for an evening of discussion, demonstrations, and samples! Learn the basics of brewing delicious kombucha tea. Plus, learn how to add your favorite juices, fruits, and herbs.

Enter to win a kombucha starter kit complete with everything needed to get started brewing. (The kit includes a one-gallon jar, cloth cover, funnel, strainer, organic tea, organic sugar, and a starter culture.)

The class fee includes: recipe packet; kombucha samples; gluten-free, vegan snacks; your own kombucha starter; and entry to win the kit. Bring a half-pint mason jar (or similar container) with a tightly fitting lid to transport the culture.

Class space is limited. Please contact Dori at DoriOliver@gmail.com to register (or if you have questions about the class).


Where:

People’s Food Co-Op – In the Community Room

Everyone is Welcome!

3029 SE 21st Avenue

Portland, Oregon

Cost:

$ 12

Please contact Dori at DoriOliver@gmail.com   to register.

Links to some of the techniques & recipes featured in the class:

Flavored Kombucha: How to make Your Favorites at Home

Simple Secrets of Carbonated Kombucha

5-Step Kombucha Recipe 

View the original announcement here or join this event on facebook.


Read Full Post »

When:

Tuesday April 10th, 2012; 6-7:30 p.m.

What:

Flavored Kombucha: How to Make your Favorites at Home

Join me  for an evening of discussion, demonstrations, and samples! Learn the basics of brewing delicious kombucha tea. Plus, learn how to add your favorite juices, fruits, and herbs.

Enter to win a kombucha starter kit complete with everything needed to get started brewing. (The kit includes a one-gallon jar, cloth cover, funnel, strainer, organic tea, organic sugar, and a starter culture.)

The class fee includes: recipe packet; kombucha samples; gluten-free, vegan snacks; your own kombucha starter; and entry to win the kit. Bring a half-pint mason jar (or similar container) with a tightly fitting lid to transport the culture.

Class space is limited. Please contact Dori at DoriOliver@gmail.com to register (or if you have questions about the class).


Where:

People’s Food Co-Op – In the Community Room

Everyone is Welcome!

3029 SE 21st Avenue

Portland, Oregon

Cost:

$ 12

Please contact Dori at DoriOliver@gmail.com   to register.

Links to some of the techniques & recipes featured in the class:

Flavored Kombucha: How to make Your Favorites at Home

Simple Secrets of Carbonated Kombucha

5-Step Kombucha Recipe 

Gluten-Free Natural Levain Bread

Upcoming Free Events at People’s Co-Op:

Wednesday May 2,

6-7:30

Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking: How to Use Traditional Techniques with Gluten-Free Flours

Learn to make your own sourdough starter, maintain an ongoing starter culture, and use it to leaven breads, cakes, and more! (Bring a small jar with a lid to take home your own starter.)

Wednesday July 11, 6-7:30

Fermented Drinks: How to Make Refreshing, Probiotic Tonics

Beet Kvass

Learn to make kombucha tea, beet kvass, and a lacto-fermented fruit juice. These drinks are inexpensive, nutritious, and easy to make in your own kitchen!

Read Full Post »

Ginger - Honey, Mixed Berry Juice, Fresh Grape & Frozen Strawberry Kombucha

Today I’m bottling flavored kombucha for this weekend’s Hall Family Camp-Out in the gorge. Flavored kombucha is an easy (and crowd-pleasing) way to add variety to your basic kombucha recipe.  For my special Family Camp-Out ‘bucha I’m using a combination of two techniques. The first is bottle fermentation (or secondary fermentation) – which results in an especially fizzy brew. (I explain the details in Simple Secrets of Carbonated Kombucha.) The second is adding flavors. There’s no need to combine the two techniques. Adding your favorite juice alone produces a flavorful, fizzy, and  refreshing brew.

Fresh, frozen, or dried fruits are delicious additions to kombucha tea. So is fruit juice. Among my favorites are frozen strawberries and raspberries, dried elderberries and incan berries, and juices of cranberry and blueberry. Flavored kombucha is also a great way to use-up the liquid from canned fruits like peaches, pears, or pineapple. Furthermore, if you enjoy the sweet hot of fresh ginger juice, it is an especially health promoting addition.

To make flavored kombucha use your usual kombucha recipe or follow the 5-Step Kombucha Recipe, but only proceed to step 4. (In this step the tea is fully cultured and ready to drink.) Instead of proceeding to step 5 of the recipe (or bottling according to your recipe) proceed with these instructions for flavoring and bottling your kombucha.

Flavored Kombucha Recipe:

Remove the mother and the baby kombucha mushroom from the brew. Use a funnel and pint-sized jars with tightly fitting lids (or pint-sized flip top bottles).

To make fruit flavored kombucha add to each jar: two tablespoons fruit juice, or 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen fruit (whole, sliced, or crushed); or one tablespoon unsulphured, unsweetened dried fruit. To make ginger-honey flavored kombucha use freshly grated organic ginger root. For each pint combine one tablespoon of the grated ginger with one tablespoon of raw honey and one tablespoon of water. Stir until combined. Strain the mixture into one pint-sized jar.

Fill the jars to the top with kombucha. Place a sheet of wax paper under each lid. (The paper prevents the acidic kombucha from contacting the lid.) Cap tightly. Store in the refrigerator.

To restore effervescence to chilled kombucha remove from the refrigerator about 15 minutes prior to serving. Flavored kombucha is especially prone to developing strands of culture in the bottle. Be sure to strain the tea just before serving.

This was shared on Real Food Wednesday and at the Probiotic Food Challenge .

Read Full Post »

When:

June 22, 2011 3:30-4:00 p.m.

What:

How to Make Kombucha: Demonstration & Starter Kit Giveaway

Come join the party! Learn to make delicious and inexpensive kombucha, taste samples & enter to win a starter kit – with everything needed to brew kombucha at home.

Where:

People’s Annual Summer Street Party ~ In the Music Tent

Everyone is Welcome!

3029 SE 21st Avenue

Portland, Oregon

Cost:

Free

This event is sponsored by the co-op.

5-Step Kombucha Recipe

Kombucha Crazy: We’re Wild About This Fizzy Fermented Health Tonic

Simple Secrets of Carbonated Kombucha

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

How do I make my homemade kombucha as fizzy as the store bought brands?

I pondered this question for years. Some of my batches bubbled over but others were relatively flat. Then I learned of a process called secondary fermentation (or bottle fermentation) that’s used when making sparkling wines. It is easily adapted for use with kombucha and yields a reliably carbonated brew.

A breathable cover is essential for brewing kombucha, but it allows the carbonation to escape. The solution is to culture the sweetened tea, but only allow it to partially ferment. The brew is then bottled and fermented for the remaining time. The natural yeasts become more active in the airless environment and the carbonation they produce is trapped. The result is a wonderfully fizzy kombucha tea.

Here’s what to do:

Brew the kombucha and store it to ferment as called for in the 5-Step Kombucha Recipe (go through step 3). Only allow the fermentation to continue until the new s.c.o.b.y. (also called a mushroom) becomes opaque, in 3-5 days, depending on room temperature. The kombucha should taste sweet, but should be entirely cultured. The fully formed new “baby” s.c.o.b.y. is a sign that the brew is ready to be bottled.

Remove the mother and baby s.c.o.b.y. from the brew. Use a wooden spoon to mix in the sediment in the bottom of the jar. The sediment contains yeasts that are important for carbonation.

Use bottles with tightly fitting lids. Fill the bottles full – leaving only ¼-inch of head space. This creates a nearly airless environment. Place a layer of wax paper under the lid.  The wax paper acts as a gasket to help trap the carbonation inside the bottle.

After the kombucha has been bottled the secondary fermentation process is already underway! Store the bottles in a warm (about 72 degree F) place. After 2-3 days test one bottle by unscrewing the cap. If there is a noticeable release of carbon as the lid is opened then move the bottles to the refrigerator. This may take up to 4 days depending on the room temperature.

Use caution and patience when opening bottle fermented kombucha. During warm weather (over 75 degrees F) the bottles are more likely to bubble over when quickly opened.  This is especially true if the brew is allowed to warm to room temperature before opening, just like our favorite store brands!

Six Steps to Carbonated Kombucha

  1. Brew kombucha according to the 5-Step Kombucha Recipe (through step 3).
  2. Only allow the brew to ferment until an opaque “baby” s.c.o.b.y.  forms.
  3. Remove mother and baby s.c.o.b.y. from the brew.  Stir the sediment in the bottom until it is evenly distributed.
  4. Bottle the kombucha in jars with tightly fitting lids. Use a sheet of wax paper under the lid.
  5. Store in a warm place until noticeable carbon releases when the bottle is opened, in  2-4 days.
  6. Move into the refrigerator. Strain before serving.

This was shared on Real Food Wednesday and the Probiotic Foods Challenge.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »