A Better Option

I saw a guy asking for money at an intersection near my house. I don’t feel right about giving  out money…not sure what it will be used for. I would also like to give them something reasonably healthy, AND I would love an opportunity to pray for them. Problems: hard to control the use of funds, and no time to pray when I’m in a line of cars at a stoplight. So…I decided to build bags to give out to people who are asking for money. My first examples will contain:

  1. Can of Light Spam with pull-top (I know, not super healthy, but has calories and protein);
  2. Pre-packaged granola bars;
  3. box of raisins;
  4. bottle of water;
  5. spoon (for the Spam);
  6. napkins; and
  7. a prayer card.

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I may make some changes to the included items over time. I have made four, and will keep them in my car. I’ll keep you posted.

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Homemade Kombucha

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Hello all! This is our first post, and today we will be talking about kombucha. For those that may not be familiar with it, kombucha is simply fermented tea that contains lots of great probiotics that help heal your gut and regulate the pH of your body. There are lots of other benefits to this wonderful beverages, and kombuchakamp.com is a great resource to look at!

I have been brewing my own kombucha for about 6 months now. I have a continuous brew at home that we (my husband and I) are able to drink on a more consistent basis. But before I started having a continuous brew, my friend and I experimented by making single batch brews.

If you are interested in starting your own kombucha at home, here are directions to doing a single batch brew!

SUPPLIES
– SCOBY*
– 1/2 cup of finished kombucha
– Glass gallon jar
– 1 cup sugar
– 6-8 tea bags
– 1 coffee filter
– rubber bands
*A SCOBY is a symbiotic culture of bacterial yeast. You can order these online (I recommend ordering from kombuchakamp.com), or find a friend who brews kombucha at home. Each batch you make you create a new SCOBY! So they continually replicate.
DIRECTIONS
1. Wash out gallon glass jar really really well. Needs to be very clean!
2. Fill up the jar with water so that the water goes to the top of the curved part of the top of the jar.
3. Pour all of the water into a big stock pot to make the tea.
4. Boil the water, add the tea bags, let boil for a couple minutes, turn off burner.
5. Let bags sit in the water for a couple minutes then remove from tea.
6. Add one cup of sugar (ratio is one cup per gallon)
7. Stir the sugar into the tea
8. Cool the tea completely – this is a hard part because it takes so long for it to cool… I typically make the tea at night and put a thin towel over it and let it cool during the night. You can also put it in a ice bath in your sink. I do not recommend putting it in the fridge because it will change the temp of your fridge and heat up your food.
9. Once the tea is completely cooled, pour the tea into the gallon glass jar.
10. Add 1/2 cup of finished kombucha (you can use some from a store bought kombucha – best if it is original flavor)
11. Put the SCOBY into the jar. It will probably float on top, but don’t worry if it sinks.
12. Cover the top of the jar with the coffee filter (you can also use a thin towel too) and secure tightly with rubber bands.
FIRST FERMENT
13. Set jar in a warmer place. The warmer the kombucha is the faster it will ferment. Ideal temperature is 70-75 degrees. If your house is cooler than that and you want to keep it inside, it will still definitely work, it might just take a little bit longer.
14. Wait about 7 days – 2 weeks. (My first batch took around 3 weeks.) If you are not sure whether it is done, scoop out some liquid and taste it. If it still tastes like sweet tea, it isn’t done. If it tastes more vinegary, then it is done! You can drink it now, ORRR…
SECOND FERMENT
15. If you would like to add some flavor to your kombucha, this is where that happens. Collect some glass bottles (preferably ones that have been used for kombucha and that have plastic lids – kombucha doesn’t like metal.)
16. Using a funnel, pour the first ferment kombucha into the different jars. You want to fill them so there is just a couple inches at the top.
17. Add whatever you would like to your kombucha – ginger, berries, basil, mint, mango, anything you want! The sky is the limit.
18. Once you’ve added what you want to the bottle, screw the lid on tight and store someone with an environment similar to before. Wait 1-2 days. After one day, burp the lid (unscrew the lid a little bit to let out some of the gases). The kombucha is feeding on the sugars in the fruit you added. This is causing it to become fizzy like the ones you get at the store.
19. Once you feel like its done, put it in the fridge! This stops the fermentation process. The kombucha can stay in the fridge for a long time!
If you have any questions, comment below and I would be happy to answer them for you!
-Caroline

Our New Blog

We are Mary Anne and Caroline and this blog is about health, nutrition, fitness, and sustainable living. We will post recipes, ways we are helping our world and environment to be a better place. We hope you will join us on this journey of clean living.