Kombucha 101 – Fermented Sweet Tea

If you have found my Kombucha 101 page, you may have heard me talking about the concept of making fermented sweet tea with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast).  Kombucha tends to come up in many of my conversations with my friends, because I am excited about it!  Most people do not ferment their beverages anymore.  However, for centuries, traditional cultures have fermented their drinks and their food in order to increase the nutritive value and to protect the food from the wrong bacteria and yeast.

 

If you have plenty of the right bacteria and yeast, you decrease the chances of your food having the wrong kinds of bacteria and yeast.

Kombucha 101

How I Started my Kombucha Obsession

I have now been making kombucha for four going on five years.  My first SCOBY was given to me by a sweet friend (at the time, barely acquaintance) Claude while I was living in Italy.  I took the slick round mass of bacteria and yeast that she gave me and made up a batch of sweet tea.  I laid the SCOBY on top and waited!  It was fantastic being able to make my own fermented tea.

Why I Continue My Kombucha Obsession

If it was all about making some slightly vinegary tasting tea, then I would not have continued drinking or making fermented sweet tea.  Kombucha is so much more than a simple enjoyable drink.  Check out the amazing benefits below:

  • Immune boosting –> Jam packed with anti-oxidants
  • Contains glucaric acid –> Very important for healing common malformations of cells
  • Detoxes the body while supporting the liver
  • Filled with glucosamines –> Important for joints and arthritis
  • Contains gut healing probiotics

All sorts of fermented drinks have […]

Elderberry Tea Recipe – Reusing Elderberry Syrup Berries

Do you love elderberry syrup, but hate throwing away the used elderberries?  This this elderberry tea recipe is for you!

Elderberry Tea

Waste not, want not.  Why waste all those beautiful elderberries after you make your elderberry syrup?  Use them again by enjoying elderberry tea.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons organic elderberries
  • 8 ounces filtered water

Instructions

  1. Boil 8 ounces of water.

  2. Place 2 teaspoons of the organic elderberries into the water.

  3. Let sit 4-15 minutes depending on desired strength, add more elderberries if you'd like it stronger.

Recipe Notes

Since this will only use two teaspoons of your wet elderberries at a time, you can dry the used elderberries to keep using them as tea.  You have two options for drying your berries.

Drying Your Elderberries

Take the elderberries and place them in a dehydrator and dehydrate them until dry.

OR

Spread the berries across a jelly roll pan (the type with short edges) and turn your oven to its lowest setting.  Heat the elderberries until they are fully dry and store in a mason jar.

Supplies

Organic Elderberries - Check out Vitacost for better prices.
Dehydrator - if you purchase this, don't tell me . . . it will make me jealous
Mason Jars

 

I’m so I saved you from throwing out your elderberries!  That was a close call 😉  If you love me every so much more for saving you from this terrible deed, let me know!  Comment below or come over and visit me on my –> Facebook page.

Brooke Shambley
THE Boholistic Mom

Affiliate Disclosure

I am an Amazon Affiliate and the links included in this post (including some of the pictures) will take […]

DIY Elderberry Syrup Recipe – Home Remedies

Have you been thinking about trying your hand at making elderberry syrup?  Then this will be a great recipe to help you through your first attempt!  I tried a few other recipes and I was so frustrated with the instructions, my hope is that this recipe will make it all clear and help you get it right the first time!  Enjoy!

DIY Elderberry Syrup

Elderberries have been used through the ages to help people who are sick and need a boost.  Elderberry tonic, wine, and syrup have their place in history . . . and in our cupboards.  Use the recipe below to help you and your family build up their immunity and fight off any unwelcome visitors!

  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1.5 cups organic elderberries
  • 2 teaspoons dried ginger ((or 2 tablespoons fresh))
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon ((or you can add in a cinnamon stick))
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
  • 1 cup raw honey ((local raw organic is best; organic is next best))
  1. Fill pot with 4 cups of filtered water and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Note: Do NOT add raw honey at this point.

  2. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.  The liquid will reduce by half.  Note:  Do NOT cover.

  3. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.

  4. Pour the elderberry juice through a colander or strainer into a bowl.

  5. Save the elderberries!*

  6. Let the liquid cool almost completely to keep the raw honey from being heated.

  7. Mix the honey into the elderberry juice stirring until fully combined.

  8. Pour the mixture into mason jars or glass bottles.

  9. Store your DIY Elderberry Syrup in the refrigerator.

Adults can take one teaspoon daily for wellness and children 1/2 to a teaspoon. Increase […]

Baked Oatmeal Recipe with Black Currants and Walnuts

The BEST Baked Oatmeal Recipe

Today, I made something wonderful.  I made the BEST baked oatmeal recipe that I have ever eaten.  As if that wasn’t great in itself, this recipe has no gluten, no sugar, and no dairy.  I’m ecstatic!

First let me tell you where I found my starting recipe.  Martha Stewart shared a baked oatmeal recipe on her website that she originally found from the cookbook Super Natural Every Day by Hedi Swanson.  My new recipe isn’t really like the original anymore!  When we cook we take our medium and we paint a different picture.  Today, I’m going to tell you about the baked oatmeal recipe that came out of my coloring outside the lines!

The Best Baked Oatmeal Recipe Ever

First, gather these ingredients or feel free to do your own coloring outside of the lines.  Recipes are made to be reinvented and you should always feel free to add your own personal touch.

3 tablespoons of ghee, melted if needed (I make my own, but if I don’t I buy –> this) – Ghee has the milk proteins removed from the fat, so this is not considered dairy to most dieters. However, if you have a milk allergy, substitute with coconut oil/butter or olive oil.

2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats (I use –> these)

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped or just broken

1 teaspoon of baking powder (I use this brand without aluminum –> here)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I buy –> this salt)

1 cup coconut milk (You want to find a coconut milk with the least amount of extras, I buy them […]

Roasting a Pumpkin – a fall tradition

Roasting a Pumpkin | Boholistic Mom

Roasting a Pumpkin

Can I just say that there are a million different ways to cook a pumpkin?  So while it may seem like cooking a pie pumpkin is a radical activity, it really isn’t.  In fact, it is more rewarding and financially smart than buying those cans of pureed pumpkin.

The benefits?

Roasting pumpkin in the fall gives you a ton of raw material for recipes, is extremely affordable, and is memorable.  A pumpkin is a spacious item.  In that one pie pumpkin, you get tons of pumpkin for recipes.  You can freeze it, you can can it, you can use it as a soup bowl, and you can use it right away in a recipe.  It’s amazingly versatile.

I mentioned that it is extremely affordable.  I just bought 5 pie pumpkins for $5 at Kroger.  Can we say DEAL?!  These puppies are at least two pounds each and will serve me for many recipes.  I think I might go back and get more . . . what other vegetable can you get at the store for 50 cents a pound?  Remember, sticking with the seasonal vegetables will always save you money.

Okay, this may seem silly, but cooking real pumpkins is memorable.  You feel like you are nurturing your family, breathing in the fall season, and creating new traditions all at one time.  Why do we revere traditions so much?  Because our American society has become so amalgamated that we no longer hold to the beautiful traditions of our past cultures.  It is important for each family to build traditions.  This builds unity that is vital for the survival of the family unit.  The pumpkin is […]

Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

DIY sunscreen - Boholistic Mom

Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

I made my first homemade sunscreen last year and loved it.  It was great to slather on a non-toxic mix of oils and know that I was keeping away the toxic mess that sunscreens have become.  Still, I wanted to provide my blog readers with more than just a little recipe that I whipped up.  I like to really research the options!

Note: Remember, that no matter how much sunscreen (whether natural or not) you use, you still need to work up to staying outside for hours.  This will help to protect your skin, but a healthy diet and regular sun exposure will really help to protect your body and help your body cope with the sun.

Let me provide you with the facts and finish with options.  You have more than one option when it comes to protecting you and your family from the sun and from modern sunscreens.

This is a list of the natural ingredients that you can use in your homemade sunscreen recipe.

  • Almond Oil
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Avocado Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Coconut Oil (fractionated)
  • Shea Butter
  • Vitamin E Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Wheatgerm Oil
  • Macadamia Nut Oil
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Calendula Infused Oil
  • Diaper Rash Cream with Zinc Oxide
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Beeswax
  • Helichrysum Oil
  • Neem Oil
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Red Raspberry Seed Oil
  • Carrot Seed Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Peppermint Oil

Obviously, you don’t need all of these ingredients.  This list just provides you with options and even substitutes.  First off, let’s venture into the SPF of these ingredients.

I found multiple sources with quite a few SPF (Sun Protection Factor) numbers.  I will give you the comprehensive […]

Paleo Egg Bacon Muffins – Whole 30 Approved

 

Paleo Egg and Bacon Muffins

Whether you are paleo or doing a Whole 30, these Paleo Egg and Bacon Muffins definitely fit the bill for a quick and easy breakfast recipe.  Make this recipe with a 12 cup muffin pan and you have breakfast all week long.  What gets simpler than that?Paleo Egg and Bacon Muffin

Ingredients

12 pieces of bacon

12 eggs

4-6 mushrooms, sliced

1 sweet red bell pepper, diced (optional)

Process

Set your oven to 350 F.  Take the bacon and wrap each piece inside the edge of each of the twelve cups of the muffin pan.  The bacon will overlap a bit.  Then take the slices of mushrooms and lay each piece side by side to cover the bottom of the tin.  If you add in the bell peppers, sprinkle a little at the bottom of each cup.  Finally, break an egg into each cup.  Slide your muffin pan into the oven on the middle shelf for about 20 minutes or until firm.

Violá!  Beautiful Paleo Egg and Bacon Muffins!

Paleo Egg and Bacon Muffins

 

Mini Paleo Egg Muffins

Today, I was taking my paleo egg and bacon muffins to Classical Conversations, so I needed an alternative to making each muffin an egg a piece.  So here is my recipe that has the paleo egg muffins in a mini muffin tin pan.

Ingredients

square pieces of bacon (about 6 strips cut)

4-6 eggs, beaten and fluffy

coconut oil

Process

Set your oven to 350 F.  Use […]

Homemade Tooth Powder

Homemade Toothpaste - Boholistic Mom

Why Not to Buy Regular Toothpaste

Take a gander at the ingredients listed on the back of a tube of whitening toothpaste:

Sodium fluoride, Triclosan, water, hydrated silica, glycerin, sorbitol, PVM/MA, copolymer, sodium lauryl sulfate, flavor, cellulose gum, sodium hydroxide, propylene glycol, carrageenan, sodium saccharin, titanium dioxide

What are these things and why are they in our toothpaste?  Read below to find out what these chemicals are and how they may be affecting your health.

Sodium fluoride

Whatever you believe about Fluoride, whether we need it or we have no need for it, the fact is that we have fluorinated water, fluoride in our toothpaste, and fluoride at the dentist.  This is a lot of fluoride to be consuming when it is toxic in certain amounts.  Finally, consider this, why add fluoride when is it possible to prevent cavities through diet change?

Triclosan

Right here the FDA says animal studies of Triclosan “have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation” and “other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.”  Of course, as usual the FDA also states, “Triclosan is not currently known to be hazardous to humans.”  However, if it affects the hormones of animals, wouldn’t it also impact humans?

Sorbitol

Sorbitol is both an artificial sweetener and a laxative.  Why does toothpaste need to be sweet?  And why would anyone want a laxative in their toothpaste that they use regularly?

Sodium lauryl sulfate

In this article by Drugs.com, sodium lauryl suflate is considered acceptable besides an increased chance of canker sores.  Sodium lauryl sulfate can also aggravate atopic eczema when used in moisturizers.1 How the sodium lauryl sulfate is created and how it is used may change how skin reacts to this chemical.  It is a foaming agent […]