In serval corners of my house there are jars or bottles of things fermenting and bubbling. Visitors will often be offered a taste of these amazing (in my opinion) substances, they often find them tangy or sour, but I love them.
It all started approximately a year ago with Milk Kefir. Milk Kefir grains are a mix of yeast and bacteria. The grains culture the milk to produce a probiotic drink, which has billions of healthy bacteria, and different vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
The kefir grains are put in whole, organic milk and left in a warm place, out of sunlight, for 24-48 hours with a muslin over the top. The grains are removed and started again.
When I could no longer have dairy I stopped having kefir. I’ve recently discovered water kefir, which is just as great but dairy free. I have it brewing in my cupboard, as it likes to be somewhere dark and warm.
Then one day I walked into our local health food shop to find this probiotic drink, claiming to be great tasting and good for you. Kombucha! I loved it, so I wanted to make my own. After some research I found a Scoby was required to make the drink. A Scoby, which looks like an alien, is a symbiotic relationship between yeast and bacteria, it’s living and makes the black, sweet tea you feed it into a probiotic drink. It feeds off the sugar, so there is barely any left. I headed to another health food shop that I knew made their own Kombucha. If you don’t ask you don’t get, so I asked if they had a Scoby I could buy. I couldn’t believe my luck when they gave me one for free. After my first brew I mixed it with my ginger bug and boom, what a brew! I can leave it for 7-30 days to ferment, so there’s no pressure about when to do it. The best bit is, like Kefir, it’s filled with great microorganisms, lots of good vitamins, minerals and is great for joint pain, immune support, digestion and it boosts energy.
I am very lucky that when I started my interest, or obsession, with fermenting foods, drinks and microorganisms, so did a friend. We are constantly talking about it, sharing new ideas and tips. She introduced me to the ginger bug. This is great for using as a starter for fermenting breads or ginger drinks. Start by grating 2 tbsp. ginger and mixing it with 1 tbsp sugar and water for 5 days. Adding the same each day and leaving it to capture the wild yeast and bacteria around. It starts to bubble and come alive. I put a tablespoon or two in both the kids’ drinks every day.
The reason that I am doing all of this is to mend the children’s guts, by giving them lots of beneficial microorganisms. Microorganisms are everywhere, we can’t see them but they are there. They are on us, in us, 90% of our bodies are microorganisms. We are more microorganisms than human. They are bacteria, fungi and much more, so many variations. They help our digestion, decay food, fermentation, and fight bad bacteria, the list is endless. As someone with OCD, antibacterial anything is amazing, I’ve used and loved it for years, but now I know it is not the friend of my lovely microorganisms. It kills the bad ones but also the good ones. So I try my hardest not to use them unless it is completely necessary.I have been filling my children with these microorganisms, and mixed with good moisturising cream and allergy control, it seems to be doing some good. Ladybird’s skin looks amazing, the best it has ever been, but we still have some flare ups. Monkey is now able to eat chickpeas, but his allergy to hazelnuts has got worse. So who knows……
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