You’ve probably seen those expensive bottles of kombucha tea at the health food store, but did you know you can make it for pennies? Of course, if you don’t like it, you don’t give a crap. Most people seem to either love or hate it. Not too many falling to the indifferent spot in the middle. If you hate the smell or taste of vinegar, than you might as well move along now. This will not interest you.

A few weeks ago, I got a scoby from Steph and started up my own batch. Here is my second batch fermenting away:

That’s the one I’m currently drinking. Batch three is about to be bottled. The basic recipe is 3 quarts filtered water, 1 cup sugar and 3 green tea bags. I have not added any additional flavors although some people do. For the third batch I backed off the sugar by about 1/8 cup as it seemed just a bit too sweet.

Here’s my main scoby resting while I wash out his house and bottle up the finished tea:

Looks pretty weird, right?

And here it is all bottled up ready to go in the fridge.

I haven’t really noticed any benefits, I just enjoy it. And I’m using it to replace evil Coke Zero in my life.

So, I guess I’m now officially a dirty hippy.

Mmmm cherry juice

I’ve always loved cherries. My favorite pie is cherry. Love tart cherry jam. If I can get a hold of a vegan chocolate covered cherry, yum! Too bad fresh ones are so expensive even when in season. So when Cheribundi emailed me asking if I wanted to try their cherry juice it wasn’t a hard sell.

Cheribundi has three varieties, Tru, Skinny and Whey. I just asked that they not send me any whey since it’s not vegan. They nicely followed directions and the Tru and Skinny juices arrived. Of the two, I definitely like the Tru Cherry best. While you save 40 calories with the Skinny variety, the Tru Cherry has a more intense cherry flavor.

What great recipes did I make with the cherry juice? Well, I didn’t cook with it at all. I just drank it. Oh, I did make a cocktail. It took a while to find a cocktail that used cherry juice that I had all the other ingredients for. Which cocktail did that turn out to be? Why, the Louisiana Leg Spreader! And it ended up being sweeter than I like. But at least I did something other than guzzle this stuff out of the bottle, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I’m not sure what part of the country you can get this stuff though. According to the find a retailer function of their site, Cheribundi isn’t in any stores within 250  miles of me. As I’ve said before though, I’m more of a fruit eater than drinker.

POM Smoothie

Since we got back from our gorgefest in NYC in November, I switched to a smoothie for breakfast instead of cereal. And I guess it’s a habit now because I’m still doing it. That’s a couple more fruit servings a day than I was getting before. Yay me!

The folks at POM Wonderful offered to send me some more pomegranate juice. Thinking of my morning smoothies I said “hell yeah, gimme!” Or something similar. I may have tried one smoothie when they sent a past batch of juice, but now I have that whole thing down and can get into it more.

pomegranate juice smoothie

POM Smoothie

1 banana
1/4 cup frozen blueberries or strawberries
1/2 tsp chia seeds
1 scoop Sun Warrior rice protein powder, natural
1 tsp agave nectar
1/2 cup POM 100% pomegranate juice
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla rice milk

Throw into a blender. Blend. Drink.

The blueberry variation was the first I tried. Mainly because I’m lazy. This is my normal go to smoothie with some pomegranate juice subbed for some of the rice milk. The chia seeds are a fairly recent addition. They seem to give it that little extra needed to carry me through to lunch without wanting to attack snacks. Too much. While this version was perfectly tasty, trading the blueberries for strawberries was even better. The pomegranate and strawberries seem to boost the flavor of each. Gives you an extra fruity punch.

Since I haven’t been cooking much lately, the rest of the juice will probably end up in smoothies. I’m considering substituting pineapple for the berries. Hopefully that won’t be gross.

POM Wonderful POM Tea

When someone emails me and says “hey, can we send you free stuff?” my answer tends to be “hells yeah!” This never happens of course. Except for the POM Wonderful people. They sent me some juice a while back that I used in various ways. This time they wanted to send me POM teas. Sure!

Four teas arrived: Pomegranate Lychee Green, Pomegranate Hibiscus Green, Pomegranate Wildberry White and Pomegranate Blackberry Tea. I usually drink my tea unsweetened or lightly sweetened so I gravitated towards the two light teas, the hibiscus and wildberry. I liked the sweetness level of those but my overall favorite was the lychee. Since lychees are sort of a perfumed, floral experience, no one will be surprised by this given my love of rosewater, lavender, etc. in food. I can see myself craving that one from time to time. The non-light teas weren’t hideously sweet. I just don’t need as much sugar as they provide. And to me 140 calories is a lot to blow on a beverage. Yeah, the bottle is supposed to be two servings. But seriously, who drinks half?