What Is Kombucha? And Why Should I Drink It?

Kombucha originated in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, and this beverage is a super food with tremendous health benefits extending to your heart, your brain and (especially) your gut.

Because it is fermented, it contains a large number of living healthy bacteria known as probiotics. These bacteria line your digestive tract and support your immune system, as they absorb nutrients and fight infection and illness. Since 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, and the digestive system is the second largest part of your neurological system, it’s no surprise that the gut is considered the “second brain.”

I still have a lot to learn about kombucha, and making it at home, but I want to share what I do know. I hope to inspire you to just start where you are and release your inner wild child to make your own batch of kombucha.

The Quick Story of Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented beverage consisting of black tea and sugar that’s used as a functional, probiotic food. It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that is responsible for initiating the fermentation process, once combined with sugar.

Following fermentation kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid. The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast commonly known as a SCOBY, which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.”

So what does kombucha taste like? There are a number of different flavors available, but it’s generally fizzy, tart and slightly sweet. Some people find it a healthier substitute for sodas, which can help satisfy that craving for a fizzy drink.

Kombucha is great way to get the benefits of fermentation, and it is delicious. If you enjoy carbonated drinks such as Lacroix or Waterloo, or if you have a coke habit you would like to kick, kombucha might be something to try. While you can buy it in most stores, it is something really fun to brew at home. And, you can make sure only the purest ingredients are included. I love to brew kombucha in the summer when I can use the fruits and veggies from my garden for flavor. It doesn’t get any more organic than that.

Why Should You Should Drink It

Kombucha is Full Of Antioxidants

Kombucha contains a ton of antioxidants that will help to detoxify the body and can help protect your body against disease. Those anti-oxidants can help reduce inflammation, and inflammation is a big precursor for many chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. While normal black tea does contain antioxidants, research shows that the fermentation process of kombucha creates antioxidants that are not naturally found in black tea.

Your Gut Needs It

Kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics, amino acids, and enzymes, which are so important to the health of your gut. And it contains good bacteria, known as probiotics, which are critical to everything from immune function to mental health and nutrient absorption. By balancing out the digestive system, kombucha is aiding so many other systems in your body as well.

It Is Anti-Bacterial

In our guts we have both good and bad bacteria. We see bad things happen when the bad bacteria overpowers and outnumbers the good bacteria. While it may seem weird to drink bacteria to get rid of bacteria, that is exactly what happens. The bacteria in our digestive systems are like an army, working around the clock to defeat the bad bacteria. The more good bacteria you have, the easier it is to eliminate the bad like staph, E. coli, and salmonella.

Every Wednesday in June, I will post a video to the Wild Child Farms Facebook page, sharing the process of making my own kombucha. I will be sharing a step each week, and by the end of June we will have our own home brewed kombucha to enjoy. I hope to inspire you to make your own as well. It is so good and so good for you, and it is fun to make. Join me on Wednesdays and get to brewing your own. This is one way to release your inner wild child right where you are. Using fruits, veggies, and herbs from the garden in your home brewed kombucha is as organic as it gets. I hope you are inspired to stay well by being wild.

Louisiana Gumbo

In Louisiana, nothing says “FALL” like a big ole pot of gumbo! Let a cool snap come through and it seems that it is the first thing on everyone’s mind. We love our gumbo. This recipe is so near and dear to my heart. My husband will eat it every night of the week, I make it in my mom’s giant Magnalite pot, and it is the gumbo we ate at my grandparent’s house my entire childhood. I want to share it with you in hopes that you will make a pot this season. It is not nearly as difficult as some folks would like for you to believe. The recipe is below! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flour
2 onions
1 bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 lb link smoked sausage, sliced
1 whole chicken and liquid reserved
2 32oz. bags of frozen okra, sliced
salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning to taste
water
1/2 stick of butter
rice

Directions:

Ahead of time: In a large pot, put whole chicken and enough water to come up about half way up the chicken, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and cook covered on 325 for 2-3 hours. Once chicken is cool, debone it and set aside. Reserve the liquid. Do not throw it away. You will use it for the gumbo.

To make gumbo: Add oil and flour to large pot. You can substitute all or some of the oil with butter or bacon grease. Cook oil and flour on medium heat, constantly stirring until your roux develops and is the color of peanut butter. Add diced onions, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until onions are clear. Continue stirring. Once onions are clear, add sausage and continue stirring and simmer for about 15 minutes. The roux will continue to darken. Add frozen okra and cook for 5 minutes to thaw it. Add the liquid broth reserved from baking the chicken to pot and stir to incorporate all ingredients well. Add water to bring level to about 1” from the top of the pot. Turn heat to a rolling boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add chicken and let it cook for about 5 more minutes. Season accordingly with salt, pepper, and Tony’s. Once your seasons are where you want them, add a half a stick of butter to the pot, put the lid on it and make your rice. Cut fire to low and serve when the rice is ready!!

Serves: 10-15 or more

If you would like video instruction for this gumbo to see consistency and roux coloring, I have a highlight on my Instagram feed called “Cooking” It is the first video on the highlight. You can find me on Instagram @wild_child_farms.

The Best Iced Coffee

It feels like a life time ago when I met Pioneer Woman. We met in blog land when she still signed all of her posts “P-Dub” and had not even thought about a Food Network tv show. She had a couple thousand followers, and in the early 2000’s that might as well have been a couple million. I loved her then, and I loved her now. She posted about this iced coffee recipe, and I had never heard of such. I had certainly never made any. But, I hung on her every word, so I made a batch. Over the years, I have tweaked it to make it just right, and I am sharing with you a recipe that is mostly hers and some my own. Once you make some, you will never be in a Starbucks line for iced coffee again! I promise!!

Ingredients:

✨12 – 16oz. bag of your favorite coffee
✨2 gallons of water
✨1 can condensed milk
✨1 can evaporated milk
✨ice

Directions:

Pour a pound of your favorite coffee into 2 gallons of water and leave it on the counter overnight. (I use large pitchers and pour half of the coffee in each one.)
Mix a can of evaporated milk with a can of condensed milk and pour into a mason jar and refrigerate. The next day strain the steeped coffee through your coffee filter basket back into your container and refrigerate. When you’re ready for a glass, just pour the coffee over ice and add as much of the milk mixture as you like. 

It is an amazing summer afternoon treat that we drink regularly around here. I hope you love it too!!

So easy and so delicious! ENJOY!! 💕 Now rain rain go away, we’ve got work to do!

Summer Pasta Salad

This pasta salad can be made days ahead, and it should be refrigerated for a few hours before serving, making it the perfect supper to make in the morning, getting all of the work out of the way.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box spiral pasta noodles
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup diced purple onion
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Italian dressing

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions and drain. Add all remaining ingredients and pasta to a large bowl, preferably with a lid, and stir well to incorporate all ingredients. You may need to add a little more dressing or cheese, depending on the texture you like. After mixing it together really well, refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving. You can serve it alone for a light supper, or add grilled chicken or shrimp right before serving. I also love this pasta salad as a side dish for steaks or kabobs in the summer months. It is really good. Enjoy!

Homemade Ice Cream

This ice cream recipe has been in my family for years. It is a Paula Deen recipe that my mom found when she first started coming on tv. We have been using it ever since, and I can make it in my sleep, ya’ll. We eat this constantly all summer long, and we have some great memories waiting for the ice cream machine to stop churning. It just screams summer to me. I hope you will try this with your family this summer. The kids will love it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk 
  • 2 (12-oz) cans evaporated milk 
  • 2 cups white sugar 
  • 4 farm fresh eggs 
  • whole milk, about a half gallon
  • 1 box rock salt 
  • 1 bag of ice 

Directions:

Cream eggs and sugar in the ice cream churn with a whisk. Add evaporated milk, condensed milk, and vanilla. Mix well. Add whole milk to fill line. Insert dasher. Pack cooler 1/3 full with ice. Add a layer of rock salt. Repeat layering with ice and salt until full. Note: be careful not to overfill, spilling salt into the churn. When machine shuts off, remove the dasher and drain water. Fill with more ice and salt. Cover with a towel and let harden. Makes about 1 gallon. Serve it with some chocolate syrup! You can freeze any that is left, but in my experience that never happens. Enjoy!