There is no way I could get through the summer months in Texas without refreshing, healthy drinks. Kombucha, a fermented tea and sugar concoction, is one of my favorites. The good news is that Kombucha also happens to be a super nutritious thyroid and autoimmune elixir — it’s full of B vitamins, vitamin C, enzymes for digestion, acids to boost the immune system, and gut-healing probiotics.
I recently was given a Jun kombucha culture and decided to replicate the flavor of one of the most popular store brands: GT Synergy’s Trilogy flavor, a combination of raspberry, ginger, and lemon. The result was a nutritious, refreshing, and super cheap healing drink!
Note that one of the questions I receive on a regular basis is, “Is kombucha safe for people dealing with thyroid disease, Hashimoto’s, candida overgrowth, or other autoimmune diseases?” The answer is: yes and no. If you know (or suspect) you are dealing with a real SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), or candida/yeast overgrowth, kombucha MAY make the problem worse. This is due to the presence of wild yeasts in the culture (called a SCOBY) as well add the minimal alcohol that is a result of fermentation. If you are at the height of your yeast problem, avoid kombucha until you start detoxing and releasing the yeast in your body. However, if you don’t feel like yeast could be a real problem for you, try drinking 1/3 or so of a store-bought plain (ie: no sugar or flavor added) kombucha and see how your body handles it by tracking any symptoms. Also note that properly fermented drinks should contain little to no sweetener because the bacteria will convert it into sour lactic acid. So in general, kombucha is a healthy, healing drink but for some people with massive yeast or SIBO issues, it should be avoided until further gut-healing is done.
Also note that, because this is made with a Jun SCOBY, and uses green tea, it may be better for the immune system of those dealing with Hashimoto’s, over black tea.
“Trilogy” kombucha (with Jun SCOBY)
Ingredients (to make approx. 1 gallon of liquid):
1 SCOBY culture (I used a Jun which likes green tea and honey, but you could also use a traditional black tea and sugar SCOBY)
1 cup raw honey
1 gallon of filtered water
4 bags organic green tea
Approx. 1/1.5 cup (give or take) of leftover/reserved kombucha from last batch (use a store-bought unflavored kombucha if you do not have any leftover liquid from a previous batch)
6 T frozen organic raspberries
3 t chopped organic ginger
6 t organic fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Large plastic spoon (do not use metal with your SCOBY, it could kill or damage it)
Large glass jar (large enough to hold a little over approximately one gallon of liquid)
Approximately 3-4 glass jars for bottling to flavor kombucha (I like large grolsch-style jars)
1. Brew tea bags in filtered water, allowing to steep to full strength. Cool to room temperature.
2. Add tea to large glass jar (large enough to hold approximately one gallon of liquid), add honey and stir until well combined. Add leftover kombucha liquid and SCOBY to jar as well.
3. Cover and secure with kitchen towel to allow air to escape but keep out pests and dust.
4. Ferment on countertop for 3-10 days, depending on the temperature of your home and how quickly the SCOBY sours the liquid. Taste and smell to determine if the liquid is sour.
5. After 3-10 days, pour fermented kombucha from large gallon jar into smaller grolsch jars using funnel. Leave about 2 inches of space at top of jars to allow for expansion.
6. To flavor, add 2 T frozen raspberries, 1 t ginger, and 2 t lemon juice to each bottle, respectively.
7. Allow to ferment for another 1-4 days to flavor and carbonate the kombucha (or more, depending on your preference and the temperature of your home; the longer you ferment/flavor it, the more sour it will be).
8. Refrigerate, pour into a glass or over ice and enjoy!
Other flavor ideas:
Blueberry and ginger
Strawberry (would be yummy with lime)
Mango juice or puree
Cantaloupe (with mint would be yummy!)
Watermelon (mint would be great here too!)
Orange (this is a great use for leftover orange peel that would normally get thrown away)
Orange juice (fresh squeezed)
Lemonade (made with extra lemon juice)
Grapefruit and basil