Random Collection of Tea Blends

Blending your own teas can save money and make for a higher quality tea, especially if you grow some of the plants yourself. Here are some of my random combinations. Adjust the ratios to your own personal tastes. The order below is from most to least: Peppermint-Spearmint-Tarragon Other ingredients include: Blackberry leaves: bitter tea Chamomile […]

Kombucha for Beginners

This week, I made my first batch of kombucha thanks to a friend who gave me her homegrown SCOBY. SCOBY stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Basically, it’s a gelatinous mass of bacteria and yeast that produce a palatable sour taste. Essentially, the colony converts ethanol alcohol into acetic acid, the same process and acid we find in natural vinegars. The SCOBY is like the mother of vinegar. Kombucha and other fermented drinks and food are on the rise for a couple of reasons. One, there’s a growth in anecdotal evidence in the new science around gut flora. Considering we have more foreign organisms by weight in our bodies than our own cells, assisting the symbiotic organisms in our own body may help it work better. Studies are ongoing about the benefits of consuming probiotics, but we know that transplants into the gut have helped rodents and people defeat obesity and gut illnesses. We know that people who have an imbalance of brewers yeast in their gut can get drunk just by eating carbs. We know that the gut produces the majority of hormones like seratonin and dopamine that affect mood. We know that there’s some sort of connection between gut health and inflammation. The addition of acid may improve the environment for probiotics to operate in the gut. Of course, I’m no doctor or scientist, so take all of this anecdotal evidence with a large grain of salt. Secondly, fermentation releases a lot of bioavailable nutrients. Yeast are high in vitamin B, for instance. Thirdly, people are looking for flavourful, carbonated drinks that aren’t full of calories and refined sugars that can spike hormones like insulin. I’m very familiar with the smell of kombucha fermenting since I inadvertently made apple cider vinegar once by leaving my cider unsealed for too long, allowing organisms in the environment to convert the alcohol into vinegar. Equipment A pot that holds 3L of water […]

Springtime for Dandelions! Embrace the Abundance

The dandelion is a much maligned plant that is both nutritious and delicious. Dandelion leaves have more fiber, protein, carbs, vitamins (A, C, K) and calories than the superfood spinach. Even the name dent-de-lion is colourful. People around the world still eat what is generally considered a weed in North America, despite the flower being […]