Haven’t gotten on the Kombucha train yet? Well it’s time to hop on.
Kombucha is a fermented tea-based fizzy drink. It starts as regular tea, but is then infused with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) & a little sugar, for the SCOBY to feed from. Once it has fermented for long enough, the SCOBY is removed ✨ Ta Da ✨ you now have yourself a healthy probiotic gut healing soda!
It may sound creepy &even a little gross, but it’s delicious & the health benefits are undeniable.
Fun fact: It’s a similar process to that of making Champagne.. Less gross now huh!
Kombucha is a source of natural probiotics so it keeps your gut happy by helping your beneficial gut bacteria flourish whilst fighting off harmful gut bacteria.
Kombucha is also anti-microbial, detoxifying, anti-ageing, immune boosting, blood sugar stabilising & helps to fight sugar cravings.
What about the sugar?! Well – it’s added at the start to feed the SCOBY, as without sugar it wouldn’t survive. By the end of the fermentation process all the sugar has been eaten up & turned into amazing health benefits. But watch out, some store bought brands add extra sugar for sweetness.
For my Aussie babes, stick with Remedy Kombucha – delicious and super low in sugar!
1/2 cup pre-made Kombucha – can be from a previous batch or a store bought one, such as Remedy Kombucha
1 Litre Filtered Water – make sure not to use tap water as the chlorine content (and other potential nasties) can kill the SCOBY.
1/4 cup of Rice Malt Syrup
2 organic bags of black tea
*note: make sure to sterilize your jars with boiling water to remove all bacteria that could be present as they will damage the SCOBY
The yeasts & bacteria in your SCOBY uses glucose as their main source of food. During fermentation, most of this glucose is converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide (CO2). The bacteria then take this ethanol and remaining glucose and transform them into probiotics, organic acids, and nutrients (such as vitamin B6). The longer we leave the kombucha to ferment, the longer the SCOBY has to use up all of the glucose.
So this means that there are two ways to reduce the sugar in kombucha – use glucose as your source of sugar & leave it to ferment for as long as possible. See below for a closer look.
Although sucrose does break down into 50% glucose and 50% fructose, the SCOBY prefers to use the glucose for energy, whilst the fructose is used for fermentation. The majority of the residual sugar will end up being fructose. Because of this, choosing a sweetener with more glucose than fructose will lead to less residual sugar left over. Here are a couple of higher glucose/ lower fructose sugar alternatives to sucrose:
- Regular corn syrup (not high-fructose) – 100% glucose
- Barley malt syrup – 70% maltose & 20% glucose
- Rice syrup – 50% glucose & 50% maltotroise (form of glucose)
- Molasses sugar – has a nutritional boost and less sugar than simple white sugar
Many choose to mix these sweeteners with organic cane sugar (or other sweetener with fructose) for easy fermentation.
* looking to learn more about types of sugars and how they affect your health? Check out my Lighten Up program.
The longer you ferment the more sour (& less sweet) the kombucha becomes. I like to ferment for two weeks.
To reduce sugar content even more you can:
- Do a longer primary ferment
- Do a longer secondary ferment
- Do a longer primary ferment & secondary ferment
Personally I think for the best taste with the least final sugar content, I like doing a longer second ferment.