TTM’s vibrant nutrition planners, Kathy Campbell and Pat Osimo, hosted last night’s potluck dinner and interactive workshop of making kombucha and fermenting vegetables. These healthful foods restore beneficial flora to our systems that have been lost through today’s western diets. Pat and Kathy’s table center piece included a dozen glass jar display of fermented items for our musing. Throughout the evening we enjoyed a range of new and interesting items: fermented cheese, a fermented meat salami, sprouted wheat berries, organic fermented vegetables of various brand names and the lovely and gelatinous Chia Seed kombucha.
Our western culture has put fermenting aside, largely replacing it with pickling. Both processes share preservation and vinegar as their common thread, but the health benefits of fermenting are not developed by pickling. All other cultures eat a small amount of fermented foods with every meal: – either a beverage, a condiment or a side dish. It is the stated goal of Kathy Campbell to offer TTM Reskilling Fermenting workshops until everyone of us is eating fermented foods every day to restore our missing healthy flora! This is what we mean by our Working Group’s mission: to practice and teach household and community necessities. This is how we can practice nutritional development easily, cheaply, locally and, together, having fun.
Pat and Kathy served samples of kombucha while we watched “Cultures for Health”, a commercial product video demonstration of kombucha culture. Through Nourishing Traditions, a book by Sally Fallon, we learned that traditional cultures of long-lived people share the common trait of fermenting food.
To make kombucha, begin with SCOBY a clear disk which, when young and fresh, resembles a smooth flat jelly fish. What is SCOBY and what does it stand for? That would be a: Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. Among its health benefits are B – and other – vitamins. The process involves mixing cane sugar and black or green tea and, when cooled with room temperature water, mixing in an already formed SCOBY and some of the liquid from the last kombucha batch. In this way of using a starter mix kombucha is like working with sourdough bread, which is also a naturally fermented item.
Each ingredient is integral: the sugar feeds the SCOBY colony, the tea provides the needed acid environment. Over a 5 to 30 day period your SCOBY will grow new SCOBY disks which you can separate for your next batch. You may drink up to 16 ounces of your kombucha daily. To make your own, check out the “Cultures for Health” video on YouTube – and come to our next TTM Reskilling Working Group’s: “Making Kombucha and Fermenting Vegetables” workshop and BYOB potluck dinner party, coming soon to a dinner table near you