Kombucha - a Probiotic Tea

What is that crazy drink? You may have seen it in health foods stores and wonder what it is and why should you drink it. There is not a lot of research done on it but it has been drank for over 2000 years. I started drinking it when I found out about the great detoxifying abilities. I does have a unique taste and I find that I like some brands better than others. It can range from a light vinegar taste to light alcohol taste. It started in Eastern Asia the Chinese called it the "Immortal Health Elixer" and the became popular in Germany in 1900's. According to the American Cancer Society, the resulting fermented tea contains acetic acid, a small amount of alcohol and a range of probiotics (beneficial bacteria.)

Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it's sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea. In fact kombucha is not a mushroom, the colony of bacteria and yeast that looks like a flat pancake that floats in it. Depending on the brewing time, the flavor of kombucha varies from slightly sweet and somewhat sour to a potent vinegar flavor.

Fermented foods, such as kombucha, contain probiotics. These beneficial bacteria live inside your digestive tract. According to Harvard Health, over 100 trillion microorganisms reside in a healthy gut. About 500 different varieties of the microflora exist, and most are beneficial. They help to fight off harmful microorganisms and pathogens, aid in digestion, help you absorb certain nutrients and promote a healthy immune function. Probiotics may also relieve symptoms of diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. In addition, they may be helpful in female problems such as yeast infections and urinary tract infections. Health benefits attributed to kombucha tea include stimulating the immune system, preventing cancer, and improving digestion and liver function. However, there's no scientific evidence to support these health claims.

Some health risks have been reported from people making their own kombucha

Source Mayo Clinic

Spring Clean your kitchen and your diet!

Spring Clean the kitchen and your diet

 

Spring time is here and it is time a great time to to  de-clutter and revitalize your kitchen.  If the goal of getting healthier is a constant, ongoing process at your house, a healthy kitchen makeover may be just what your family needs.  I know that I seem to accumulate 1/2 used bags of items in my pantry and don't find them till they are stale.  So now is a great time to re-organize the kitchen drawers and throw away old food and donate the extras  that are not past expatriation date to a local food pantry.

 

A healthy diet/ life styles begins with having only healthy and nutritious food in your house. So if you have found that you are having a problem sticking to your New Year’s resolution or you just want to eat better, now is a great time to Spring clean your pantry and start off with a fresh start. There are certain staples that you should have in your pantry so that you can make quick/ easy/ healthy meals. Many of the items are inexpensive and can be stocked up on when you find a great buy. Print out a list and start stocking your pantry with healthier meal options.

Step one

Start your pantry makeover by completely emptying it out.   Wash down the shelves and and containers that may have spills. Taking all the food out will not only help you identify the types of food that you have accumulated, but it will also help you eliminate  all the  unhealthy foods and clutter from the pantry. This is also a great time to  reorganize your pantry to make it more  user-friendly. Put items in clear containers.

Step Two

Put back on the shelves only foods that are healthier choices for you and your family.  Put the junk foods on a higher shelf.  Now take inventory of what you have and look at the list below and it is a good list of items to have on hand to stock a healthy pantry.

 

BEANS

Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, white beans, dried beans: great northern beans, Lima, lentil, split pea, black pinto

TOMATOES

Canned whole, crushed, chopped, paste

GARLIC

Fresh and minced

Olive oil, grape seed oil , Cooking spray

TUNA/SALMON Canned in water

WHOLE WHEAT PASTA / GLUTEN FREE PASTA

Couscous, barley, quinoa

BROWN RICE

OATMEAL

Old fashioned oatmeal

LOW- SODIUM BROTH

Beef, vegetable, and chicken

DRIED FRUIT

Raisins, apricots, cherries, cranberries, prunes, 

NUTS

Almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans

Butters: almond, peanut, and any other nut

Flax seed and Chia seeds

COFFEE / TEA

Coffee Beans, ground, instant

Green Tea, ginger, chamomile, mint

ONIONS

Red, yellow onions

Vinegar

Balsamic, white, red wine, rice

Sauces

Tabasco, low sodium soy (tamari)

SPICES AND BAKING INGREDIENTS

Salt and pepper

Dried herbs and spices: ground cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper, rosemary, thyme leaves, oregano, tarragon, ground cinnamon, ground ginger

Baking Powder, Baking Soda, corn starch

Flour: All-purpose flour, whole wheat, cake, bread

Gluten free alternatives: coconut flour, almond, brown rice four

Chocolate: unsweetened squares, coco powder, semi-sweet chocolate chips

Extracts; vanilla, lemon

Preserves/ sugar: jam, honey, agave nectar, Stevia, confectioner’s, brown sugar

Baking mix, gluten free 

Basics for your refrigerator

Organic cage free eggs, pasture raised

Milk

Cheese: sharp cheddar, feta, parmesan, mozzarella

Yogurt, Greek yogurt

butter

Greens for salad

Seasonal fruits and vegetables

Lemon and limes

Cauliflower, carrots, broccoli

Basics for your freezer

Frozen fruit: berries ( no sugar added)

Frozen vegetables: edamame, broccoli, pepper and onion mix, spinach, peas

Fish

Spring is also a great time to plant your own garden.  Fresh herbs are easy to grow in planters.  Kids love to watch the garden grow and eat their own hard work.

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