How to Brew Kombucha at Home

Brewing Kombucha at Home

Makes approx. 1 gallon

You will need…

  • 3 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 cup of sugar (regular white “table” sugar is fine)
  • 8 bags black tea (or 2 tablespoons loose tea)
  • 2 cups of starter tea from last batch of kombucha or from a friend
  • 1 SCOBY for each jar (a SCOBY is NOT a must – the starter tea IS!)
  • Stovetop pot to make the tea
  • 1-gallon glass jar (I use old 1 gallon pickle jars…wash them well and let them air out for about a week before)
  • Tightly woven cloth (like clean cloth napkins or towels), coffee filters, or paper towels to cover the jar (I use a rubber band to keep my coffee filters/paper towels in place)
  • Bottles for the “booch” when it is done brewing – I use wide mouth Mason Jars (for everything!) I normally use (3) one-quart jars (you’ll need to save 2 cups for the next batch)
  • Small funnel (optional, good is you use smaller neck bottles)
  • Large stainless steel strainer (optional – I strain my kombucha when I bottle it and when I pour a glass!)

 

Instructions

*** Avoid contact between #allthingsmetal and your kombucha during and after brewing. It could affect the flavor of your kombucha.


How to make the tea…      
**(if you are a southerner, you already know how to do this!)

Bring the water to a boil. Take the water off the heat and add the sugar, stir until it dissolves. Drop in the tea (bags or loose) and allow it to steep until the water cools. When the tea has cooled off, remove the tea bags or strain the loose tea from the pot, pour the sweet tea in your gallon jar, and then stir in the starter tea – be sure to use a wooden spoon (plastic will work but I prefer wooden when stirring Kombucha😉 )

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Adding the SCOBY: Pick up the SCOBY (use CLEAN hands to avoid any bad bacteria getting in your tea – yeah…it’s slimy too so don’t drop it!) and gently slide it into the jar. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of tightly-woven cloth, coffee filters, or paper towels and secure it with a rubber band. I have found that coffee filters work best – especially when I write the start date of the brew on the filter!

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Fermentation time!

Keep the jar at room temperature (in the winter time you can buy flat heat strips or use a small string of non-LED clear lights – it needs to stay between 70-80 degrees), out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get bumped.  Let it ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the taste daily starting about day 6 (you can lift the “lid” and sneak a straw under the SCOBY and pull out a little “booch” in the straw to taste it)

 

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It’s not unusual for the SCOBY to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways during fermentation. A new transparent looking layer of SCOBY should start forming on the surface of the Kombucha in a few days. It usually attaches itself to the old SCOBY, but if it doesn’t it’s ok!!! You may also see brown stringy “tentacles” floating under the SCOBY, or some collecting at the bottom of your jar, and bubbles collecting around the SCOBY. These are all signs that the fermentation is happening and it’s perfectly normal.

 

Bottling Time!

Wash your hands thoroughly and then lift the SCOBY out of the kombucha and put it on a clean plate. If it is getting too thick, you can pull the bottom layer (or two) off.

 

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Using a glass measuring cup, pour 2 cups of kombucha into glass bowl or Mason Jar to save for your next batch.  The rest of the “booch” you can strain (you don’t have to if you don’t mind the “sediment”) into glass bottles or jars for storage (again, I use wide mouth mason jars).  **Note:  never use plastic bottles to brew or store your Kombucha!

 

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Putting your Kombucha in the fridge at this point stops any more fermentation.  You should have a little bit of fizz from this 1st fermentation and if you are going to flavor and do a second fermentation, do not refrigerate! Your bottled and refrigerated Kombucha is good for about a month or so in the fridge.

With your reserved starter tea, start the process all over again to you’re your next batch of Kombucha Tea!!!!

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And there you have it…Home Brewed Kombucha!  Enjoy !!!

 

Until next time…

Blessings,

~ Heather

 

 

 

 

Diets, oh my!!!!

I truly think that diets are the new craze!  There are TONS of diets floating around out there – which one do we choose?  Are any of them the “right” diet?

I don’t think that these “new” diets are really dieting…they are more of an eating habit than a diet, which in itself is a good thing!  We could all probably stand to change our eating habits to a healthier lifestyle!  Check out some of the “eating lifestyles” we have to choose from today…

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There is seriously a “Hay Diet”???  And what in the world would you eat on a Prison Loaf diet?  Or do I really want to know?

What do we do with all of this indecisive diet planning – do I eat meat or do I not eat meat?  Do I eat fat, or not eat fat?  Do I eat lots of protein, or just a little protein?  Do I…you get my drift.

So, I have come up with the Oily Homestead Diet!  Our meals “normally” consist of healthier foods – no fried food, minimal salt, good fats, veggies, tuna (hubby doesn’t like fish but I could eat fish daily!), organic/free range chicken, grassfed/organic beef on occasion, and fruits, especially the berry family fruits – although I have been “addicted” to oranges recently!

We have cut back on the amount of gluten and sugar we eat because I do believe that gut health determines your overall physical and emotional wellness!  Gluten and sugar are not “gut friendly” so therefore we (we in this case means more “I” than “we”) try to stay away from both as much as possible.  My dear hubby is diabetic so he already eats a {mostly} sugar free diet.

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Basically, we try to eat healthy foods.  Foods that are low in “bad” fats, low in sugar, minimal gluten, and mostly lean protein.  We don’t drink milk {we just don’t like it} but we do eat yogurt, cottage cheese, and a lot of “real” cheese, so we are obviously not “dairy free”! That’s pretty much our “diet”!  Personally, I honestly believe that we need to take care of the temple God gave us, but being obsessed about what goes IN to our body is, in my opinion, unhealthy.  We need “treats” sometimes, we need to be able to eat that piece of cake at a birthday party and not beat ourselves up about it for days, we should be able to splurge now and then by getting dessert on date night.  We need to actually enjoy life while we are here, while at the same time, eating healthy foods so we can hang out here a little longer than if we didn’t eat those healthy foods!  Does that make sense?

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For a little extra gut boost, we take a really good probiotic, I drink kombucha first thing in the morning before anything else goes in my gut (fermented foods are an excellent natural probiotic !), we stay away from taking any antibiotics unless it’s a life threatening necessity!  We do also eat prebotic foods like onions, garlic, and oatmeal, apples and  bananas.

I’d love to hear about YOUR eating plan!!!  I’m always up for new and better ideas!

Until next time…

~ Blessings

Heather

 

Why are Plant-based Cleaners the Best?

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Here are 5 reasons that Plant-based Cleaners are Best for Your Family…

Safety

Have you read the label on the back of a commercial cleaner? Warning! Flammable! Do not ingest! Keep out of reach of children! Many chemicals used in household cleaners have not been tested for safety. Household cleaning supplies are one of the top five substance classes accounting for calls to the National Poison Control Center. Many commercial cleaners contain ingredients that are endocrine disrupting chemicals, carcinogens, or neurotoxins. Kids, babies, and pets are even more vulnerable to chemical exposure because they are smaller and cannot get rid of toxins as easily as adults. It is definitely worth ditching harsh chemicals for a cleaner with plant- and mineral-based ingredients.

Air Quality

Did you know that indoor air is 5–7 times more polluted than outdoor air? Most cleaning products contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which have been associated with many health problems, including damage to the liver, kidneys, and the central nervous system. They have also been shown to harm our lungs and cause throat irritations and headaches. VOCs are released when products are used and can linger in the air long after we clean. When we breathe, we inhale the air—as well as whatever is in the air.

Environmental Impact

Harsh chemicals found in cleaners are not only harmful to our bodies, but they also have a major impact on the environment and are huge contributors to environmental pollution. Some conventional cleaning products contain ingredients that are toxic, non-biodegradable, and from non-renewable resources like petroleum, so they harm the Earth’s ecosystems. Harsh chemicals may contaminate the water through rivers, streams, and lakes, which affects wildlife, plants, trees, and us! Plus, there are thousands of chemicals that are in cleaning products that have never been tested for safety.

Convenience

It’s much easier to clean with a few products that take care of all your cleaning needs, rather than a having whole arsenal of toxic products under your sink and in your bathrooms. With Thieves® Household Cleaner, you can tackle multiple cleaning jobs in your home without switching products as you clean! It cleans countertops, windows, mirrors, floors, toilets, showers, and pretty much everything else. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting bleach stains on your clothes or accidentally mixing dangerous chemicals together. It’s worth a try for the convenience alone.

Cost

The cost of buying cleaners is expensive, especially if you have to buy multiple different cleaners. Thieves Household Cleaner is very cost effective, and it comes in a concentrated form. There are approximately 60 capfuls of the cleaner in a 14.4-ounce bottle. Using the medium degreasing ratio, you can get about 29 16-ounce cleaners. That’s less than $1 a bottle!

Why worry about all the what if’s? Be empowered and take charge of your chores by using a cleaner with plant-based ingredients.
**  These 5 reasons to use plant based cleaners was too go not to share…I got this straight from Young Living’s Training and Education Facebook page!!!!  Yep…I borrowed it 😉  Check it out here.

I would LOVE to help you clean up your house (pun totally intended) of all those toxic cleaners!  Contact me for all the deets or check out my “official” oily website here for tons of great info!

Until next time…

Blessings,

~Heather

 

Dump The Chemicals!

I don’t “advertise” much here on the blog…but I am sooo excited that Young Living has put two new oils AND is now offering the Desert Mist Diffuser in the Premium Starter Kit!!!  Yep, that’s right!!!  The much loved Desert Mist !!!!

But first, let me tell you about my additional Thank You Gift this month!  The Premium Starter Kit (PSK) comes with a $25 CASH BACK offer only through the end of March!!!  This is my personal Thank You gift to you after you order a “PSK” with me!

You will also get an entire community of oily friends that will be cheering you on as you start your oily journey!

So….read on and you see why you need to grab your Premium Starter Kit today!

THE POWER OF THIEVES!

If you have small children in your home, you’re probably no stranger to child safety locks on your cabinet doors.

And the reason is simple… think of all the harmful, toxic, dangerous chemicals hiding in plastic containers behind those doors. They’re used to clean toilets, scrub sinks, and dissolve that disgusting glob of gunk that’s been hiding behind the trash can for 3 weeks now.

But there’s a better way.  Instead of stocking your home with unpronounceable toxic chemicals, you can use NATURAL essential oils for cleaning!

With the power that cleaning chemicals wield, we of course want to protect the precious little-ones in our lives from letting their curiosity lead them to a dangerous – and potentially fatal – accident.

*To be sure, you must always use essential oils with safety, according to the label, and in the correct amounts.

Getting Started
You can use essential oils for household chores alongside other natural products like bicarbonate of soda, Castile soap, and vinegar. Oils provide not only an amazingly-fresh aroma, but also put the elbow-grease behind the cleaning with their naturally derived, plant-based ingredients.

Some great oils for cleaning include Lemon, Lime, Tea Tree, Lavender, Pine, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Orange, Rosemary, Peppermint, and the essential oil blends – Thieves® and Purification®.

All have cleansing properties and the bonus is that these oils have multiple purposes, so you can use them in all sorts of ways to support your health and wellness!

Cleaning Around The House
Here are a few ways to use essential oils in household cleaning…

Floors: Pop a few drops of essential oils into your mop bucket with hot water and a splash of vinegar. You’ll get those floors sparkling clean.

 Toilet: A few drops of eucalyptus oil with some bicarbonate of soda in the toilet bowl will clean it, remove odors, and keep your bathroom smelling fresh.

Shower: Lemon oil + vinegar in the shower removes hard water stains and unsightly mildew. Soak shower heads for a sparkling shine.

Your Whole House: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner and 2–3 cups water. This all-purpose cleaner can be used on any surface in your home for dusting, spot cleaning, scrubbing, or any other cleaning need.

Now you can actually ditch overpowering and harsh chemical-based products and keep your home smelling fresh and clean, using all-natural ingredients!

How’s that for the power of mother nature?

 Here is what you get in the Premium Starter Kit….

  • Lavender 5-ml
  • Peppermint Vitality™ 5-ml
  • Lemon Vitality™ 5-ml
  • Copaiba Vitality™ 5-ml
  • Frankincense 5-ml
  • Thieves® Vitality™ 5-ml
  • Citrus Fresh™ 5-ml
  • Raven™ 5-ml
  • DiGize™ Vitality™ 5-ml
  • PanAway™ 5-ml

YOU ALSO RECEIVE:

  • Stress Away™ 5-ml
  • AromaGlide™ Roller Fitment
  • Thieves Household Cleaner 1-oz. sample
  • 10 Love It? Share It! Sample Business Cards
  • 10 Love It? Share It! Sample Oil Bottles
  • 2 NingXia Red™ 2-oz. samples
  • Product Guide and Product Price List
  • Essential Oil Magazine
  • Essential Edge
  • Member Resources
  • Your wholesale membership, with product discounts
  • Access to our exclusive Oily Facebook Community

Click here to grab your Premium Starter Kit and then comment below so I can send your $25 CASH BACK as my Thank You for starting your essential oil wellness journey with me today!

You won’t regret it!!  We sure don’t!Image may contain: text

Thanks to Fyzzbee for the awesome subscription newsletter that provided all of this information!

Let’s Make Elderberry Syrup!

 

 

We have a regiment wellness routine – especially in the winter!  We use our arsenal of essential oils to maintain our immune system naturally and this year we have been learning all kinds of other home remedies that we hear are foolproof!!!!

Elderberry Syrup is one of them! According to Edible Wild Food,  Elderberries are “sometimes propagated as an ornamental shrub, the elderberry bush is a member of the honeysuckle family. It attracts birds and butterflies and can be pruned back every few years to keep it looking good in a landscaped garden. This deciduous shrub produces a fruit that, in recent years has become very popular. The white flowers transform into dark purple fruit late summer. Although the flowers and berries are edible all other parts of this bush are poisonous containing toxic calcium oxalate crystals. Sambucus canadensis is a very close cousin of Sambucus nigra (European Elderberry).”

WebMD says:

“Elderberry is used for “the flu” (influenza), H1N1 “swine” flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system. It is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) .

Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating.”

As mentioned above, this syrup can be used to help ward off the flu and colds and also is great on ice cream, pancakes or anything that needs great tasting syrup added!

The recipe is really easy peasy…dried elderberries, a couple of herbs, and honey – preferably local honey – make a yummy syrup to boost your immunity, ease allergies, can help to lower blood sugar levels, and has been looked at for its cancer fighting abilities.

Here is what you will need…

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Here’s what you do…

Put the water, elderberries, cinnamon, ginger root, and clove in a 3 quart saucepan – don’t add that honey just yet though!!!!

Let all of this come to a boil and let it simmer for at least 30-45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about half of the starting amount.

 

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Remove it from the heat and when it’s cool enough to work with, pour the liquid through a strainer into a glass bowl or directly into a quart size Ball Canning Jar. Then squeeze the berries that are still in the strainer to get out all the remaining juice– I use a spoon to squeeze them in the strainer but you can use cheesecloth instead if you want.

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Toss the elderberries and let the liquid cool off to a little warmer than room temperature and add the cup of honey and stir well until the honey is melted. Pour into a jar if you used a bowl to mix it.

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You are done! Wasn’t that easy?  And fun!  Elderberry syrup needs to live in your fridge, and you can take some each day!  The normal adult does is ½ – 1 Tbsp for adults and       ½ -1 tsp for kids – use your judgement according to age.

 

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If you do get the flu – take the normal dose every few hours until you start feeling better, but let’s pray that you don’t!

Love and Blessings ~

Heather

 

 

Journey into Wellness

A few things I have learned on our wellness journey…

 

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Clean eating is the ONLY way to eat! Processed foods were slowly killing us! We are on the beginning of a path to healthier eating – extremely limiting gluten with intentions to eliminate it all together, cutting out processed sugar, limiting dairy products, eating more fresh vegetables and no processed meats (like lunchmeat), and adding good fats like grass fed butter, salmon, coconut oil, and I am also going to be making some “bone broth” to add to our healthy gut diet. What you feed your body has a direct correlation to your emotional health!!! Your gut health and your brain health are connected!  An unhealthy gut may be a factor contributing to depression, ADHD, Anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and more!  Gut health and a healthy immune system should be our tops goals!

 

 

suppsAlways keep your body systems at their peak, especially your Immune System! Having an immune system that STAYS above the wellness line makes for a much healthier winter!  We have a daily wellness routine of all natural supplements and essential oils that hasn’t failed us in 4 years!

 

 

toxic chemicals

photo source: Natural Resource Defense Council

All the toxins!!! I never realized how many poisons we were putting in and on our bodies daily!  Shampoo, laundry detergent, make-up, skin care products, cleaning products and so much more are full of chemicals that are cancer causing!  We now use all natural products in place of all of these!

 

 

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Kombucha is a natural probiotic! There are so many health benefits you get from drinking fermented tea – a healthier gut is so important, so that is the main reason I have started brewing my own Kombucha!  I’ll be adding my recipe here soon!

 

 

There is so much more that I could add to this list but this is a great start!  I’m so thankful for the journey we are on – we are not spring chickens anymore and I am positive that these 5 things will allow us to hang out on this earth a little longer than we would have had we stayed on the unhealthy path we were following – God willing!

Love and Blessings ~

Heather

Newsletter!!!!

Wow!!!  We have been soooo busy around the homestead the last few months…preparing for colder weather, the holidays, and super busy with local holiday bazaars!

One thing that I am super excited about is our new oily newsletter!  If you want to know about #AllThingsOily then you will want to get this newsletter delivered to your email!

Head on over to our business website and check out the newsletter and  Essential Oil 101 email class sign up links here.  Stay awhile and you will get your learn on about EOs (essential oils).

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I really am going to try to be more present here on the blog in 2018…y’all pray with me!

See you soon ~

Heather

GERD – do you have it?

GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is no joke!!! Even so, I do LOVE my coffee in the mornings but I have got to cut it out !!! (I need to find something new to put in the {{awesome}} mug my oily friend Elizabeth at Living the Nourished Life gave me!!)

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Some of you may know that I had gastric bypass surgery (RNY) in 2004, and after this surgery it is highly recommended that caffeine (and a myriad of other things that can cause damage to the stomach lining) be avoided – so, my daily coffee has really affected my stomach negatively.  This is one of the things that I have had a hard time giving up – although I did cut out coffee and caffeine of all types about 3 years ago after a short stint in the caffeine world, but somehow this little culprit snuck back in within the last year !

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My GERD has gotten worse since my coffee binge, and it will have to go !!!  Having a “pouch” instead of a stomach with working acid pumps (I can just envision little pumps in my stomach!), make any irritating drink or food “off limits” for gastric bypass patients!  Check out this article on what foods and drinks to avoid if you have heartburn here.

After my gastric bypass surgery I was prescribed Prilosec for occasional GERD flare ups, and for many years I didn’t take it at all…I didn’t need to!  Since the coffee, I have had flare ups and have taken it occasionally, then daily fo

r awhile – but these 2 articles changed my thinking drastically!  The first one is from Science Daily and the second one from a Canadian Health website.

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Photo from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170705113546.htm

What a scary thought that a prescribed medication may actually do more harm than good!!!  But this is NOT unusual!  Another reason we started using essential oils for a healthier alternative!

The icing on the proverbial cake is that caffeine also decreases bone density!  I also have Osteopenia (pre-Osteoporosis) and caffeine is a HUGE no-no!  Read more about osteoporosis and  coffee in this article at WebMD.

 

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So, my diet and coffee intake MUST change y’all !!!   I have also started using my DiGize Essential Oil in a roll-on form over my abdomen, and it has helped soooo much (what took me so long to do this????  Hubby uses it daily!  Hello?)

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My next project is to get some help from my friend and followers to make a list of yummy (and healthy) smoothies to replace my coffee in the morning! Does anyone have any suggestions for me ???  Leave them in the comments!

 

 

Holy Time Batman…it has flown by!

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Geez….this has been a busy month for us and for our oily business !!  Young Living had their Convention this month and we have been teaching classes like crazy with the NEW Makeup and Baby lines coming out !!!

Please forgive me for hiding…I didn’t mean to, but it happened.

If you want a sneak peek at this awesome, all natural mineral makeup that has got me star crazy (I haven’t worn makeup in TWO years because I couldn’t find one that was safe and free of all sorts of yuk!!!), here it is…

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Have a little one?  We have something NEW for you too!!!  Check out the Seedlings product line…

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My friends, I promise that I will be around more consistently!! And I want to hear from you!  Are there any topics you want me to write about???  Any questions you might have?

I’m here for you!

FREE Essential Oil Class!

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Have you ever wondered what essential oils are all about? Would you like to go to class but just don’t know anyone that’s teaching one? I have a solution for you!

I have an awesome Intro to Essential Oils class and I’d be happy to  email you an MP3 file.  This is one of the best classes that I have ever heard! It’s recorded by Sara Harnisch, author of the book “Gameplan”. I just love listening to her speak, she was a radio host for many many years and has the best voice ever!

I learned so much about essential oils, listening to this class…why it DOES matter where you buy them, why the Seed to Seal guarantee is so important, and so much more!

If you’d like a Copy of this Essential Oil 101 class for free, go to our contact page and send us an email!! You can listen to it in your car, at work, or wherever you are – just download the MP3 file to your computer, phone, or iPod! 👍

For a little more info on these power packed bottles of oil, read more about them here.

#ListenWhileYouDrive #EssentialOil101 #IntroToEssentialOils #CleanLiving #NaturalWellness #DitchTheToxins