Cranberry juice and lemon verbena kombucha

Cran Bam…. Thank you, ma’am! 

A Quick and Easy Recipe

If you are looking for a breezy, straightforward homemade kombucha recipe, you’ll love my Cran Bam Kombucha recipe! 

Featured Flavors

Cranberry juice is good for immunity, full of antioxidants, and is a reliable player in the flavoring process. I typically keep a handful of shelf-stable jars on hand to use when I’ve had a long week and weekend and don’t want to fuss with cutting fresh fruit or have the time to thaw frozen fruit.

Lemon verbena compliments cranberry juice nicely, offering a natural, citrusy taste. I source my lemon verbena fresh from a garden pot during my growing season. Look for fresh bunches at farmers’ markets and local co-ops. Dried lemon verbena also works very well, and can usually be found at natural food stores and co-ops.  

Kombucha home-brewers ????

Follow the recipe below during the flavoring step and enjoy the sweet, citrus tang of Cran Bam!

Cran Bam Kombucha Recipe

*for one 12-16 ounce bottle

  • Cranberry juice – one tablespoon
  • Lemon verbena – three fresh leaves (six leaves if dried)

Store-bought juices often contain lots of sugar and often rapidly ferment. Check on your bottles after flavoring – they will likely need a burp. Check out my post on burping bottles ????

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Coffee filters and rubber band around a kombucha brewing vessel.

Coffee Filters: the best cover for kombucha brewing vessels

Do you want the most effective cover for homemade kombucha during the fermentation process? Look no further than ordinary coffee filters.

Effective layer

Double up with two layers and wrap a strong rubber band around your glass brewing vessel for ultra protection to ensure optimal kombucha brews.

coffee filters and rubber bands

What about the other options?

Sure, there are other options homebrewers will use: kitchen towels, cheesecloth, washcloths, old t-shirts… Because of the visible holes that I can see through with the naked eye, I just can’t recommend anything other than coffee filters. 

Coffee filters are inexpensive, and typically something that’s already in your pantry. The best thing about coffee filters is they offer a really effective layer and impenetrable surface for environmental contaminants and pesky fruit flies, which lead to scoby mold. Coffee filters hold up well, consistently for years, in my experience.

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May Flowers Kombucha Recipe

May Flowers: Springtime Kombucha Recipe

Springtime in Wisconsin is such a special time of year. Bulbs and our spirits lift up after a cold winter. Where I live in Southern Wisconsin, early and hearty bloomers, like violets and pansies, bring a smile even on the early gray spring days. And, these special flowers are completely edible if they are grown properly!

Let’s flavor some homemade kombucha with Violets and some Tart Cherry!

Harvesting Violets and Pansies

Harvesting wildflowers like violets and pansies is an easy task and adds a special flair and flavor to homemade kombucha. You can use the fresh flowers in salads and desserts. Dried flowers can be used in teas. Both can be used to flavor homemade kombucha.

Simply snip off the flower (the stems are edible, too!), and place in a colander.

Pick your loot and wash off, then lay flat to dry.

Please ensure any foraged edible flowers, like pansies and violets, are collected from a yard or separate garden pot free from chemical pesticides. 

Tart Cherry

Two ingredients make my May Flowers a super simple and nutritious recipe. You can find organic tart cherry concentrate in the organic section of many grocery stores or at your favorite local co-op. 

I enjoy keeping a small jar of Tart Cherry in the fridge for kombucha flavoring when I’ve forgotten to thaw frozen fruit. Tart cherry is a tarty and sweet juice full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce muscle pain. Perfect for gardening season.

May Flowers Kombucha Recipe

*for one 12-16 ounce bottle

  • Violet Flowers – dried (1-3 full flowers)
  • Organic Tart Cherry Concentrate – one tablespoon

No Tart Cherry? No sweat! Substitute your favorite thawed frozen fruit, cranberry juice, or even some dried elderberries. Maybe even a dash of lemon juice and a squirt of honey…

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The Booch Witch holds a green smoothie

Smart Smoothies: DIY & Save

Sipping on a fruity, nutritious smoothie can be a quick and filling meal. I prefer to make affordable versions at home. Not only does it save me a ton of money, I know EXACTLY what I’m putting in my body.

If you make kombucha at home, you probably have most of the essential smoothie ingredients on hand ????

Save Food, Save Money

Do you ever have a bag of spinach that you just can’t finish? Before it turns slimy and you throw it out, toss it in your freezer. The same goes for kale. Fresh, dark greens like these keep well in the freezer for a few months in a plastic storage bag.

As a gardener, I freeze plenty of the kale and spinach harvest throughout the summer and enjoy it all year long, especially in the winter. Plus, it helps me maintain my crop throughout the summer months. A rewarding tip, as frozen, leftover spinach and kale are perfect protein-packed additions to a homemade smoothie. 

Ingredients

Use up leftover ingredients around your home. Just like flavoring kombucha, flavoring and adding nutrients to your smoothies is best when personalized. 

The personal recipe shared below promotes a few areas for my custom benefit. For example, collagen to help retain my youth as I bid farewell to my 30s. Matcha powder for a caffeine kick. Wheatgrass for its nutritional value. Spinach for protein and iron.  Yogurt provides me with calcium.

Kiwi is a really powerful fruit. And, it is typically a very affordable fruit. One study states the benefits of eating one kiwi a day rival an aspirin in consideration with heart health benefits!

Yogurt and fresh ice thicken out my smoothies well. Bananas always do, too. Use oatmilk, soymilk, and other alternatives as your diet and preferences permit.

Green With Envy

  • One full kiwi
  • Fresh wheatgrass
  • ⅓ cup frozen spinach
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1 teaspoon collagen peptides
  • 3 ice cubes

Cut the kiwi in half, then scoop both sides with a spoon into the blender. Add the remainder of the ingredients. Blend and enjoy!

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pom pom kombucha

Pom Pom: A Naturally Sweet Recipe

Pomegranate season in the USA is typically October – January when consumers find nature’s most laborious fruit in grocery stores. Pomegranates are nutritious, unique fruit. While time-consuming to unfurl, the seeds are full of benefits. 

Pomegranates have a bounty of antioxidants and Vitamin C, which help keep us healthy. Quality, store-bought pomegranate juice is also ripe with high levels of antioxidants. 

De-seeding a fresh pomegranate

A typical pomegranate contains between 200 and 1,400 seeds, also known as arils. Manually de-seeding arils can take several minutes but is well worth the investment.

I savor about 15 minutes per fruit. Find a quiet, meditative time for this task and bask in it – you’ll come to look forward to the ritual!

Important Crown Cut

As illustrated, take a sharp, serrated knife and puncture the pomegranate’s crown.

Be careful not to cut too deeply; we are looking just to cut the fruit’s flesh and avoid piercing any seeds.

Pull up the crown.

Place your pomegranate fruit in a large bowl. Rip sides of skin off and gently remove seeds, letting them fall into the bowl below you. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Clean off the pith (white, fleshy attachments) as best as you can, and voila! You just seeded a pomegranate while saving a boatload of money in the process, thanks to doing it yourself.

Kombucha home-brewers, follow the recipe below during the flavoring step and enjoy the results of your hard work.

Pom Pom Kombucha Recipe

*for one 12-16 ounce bottle

  • Pomegranate seeds – fresh (6-10 per bottle; use your lucky number)
  • Pomegranate juice – one tablespoon

Two ingredients; that’s it! I especially enjoy eating the seeds while drinking the booch. The seeds hold a special fizz that pops in your mouth ????

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Too Fizzy Kombucha

Fizzy Enough for `Ya?

Homebrewers of kombucha will experience occasional bottles and recipes that are just TOO fizzy. Have you opened a bottle like mine? I’m happy to share some tips for reigning in extra-bold kombucha fizz.

Adjust Fruit and Sugar

Most too-fizzy kombuchas are the result of too much fruit and/or sugar in the flavoring process. Next attempt, cut your fruit flavor in half. I’ve found raspberries and mangoes to be the most fizz-producing fruit additions. Also re-consider how much sugar goes into your fresh sweetened tea.

Check Temperatures

If your kombucha is in too warm of an environment, it may accelerate fermentation. For me, it means that my summer kombuchas are typically fizzier than my winter brews. I adjust by reducing the amount of time during the second fermentation, or flavoring step. You may also physically re-locate your kombucha to a cooler area of your home.

Fermentation Time

Sometimes, high pressure in kombucha can build up very quickly. Ensure you aren’t flavoring kombucha for more than 7 days before refrigeration. Try reducing the days of your second fermentation to control fizz.

Remember to Burp

It is easy to forget how beneficial a good burp is. Read more about burping kombucha to control pressure in my blog post.

Bag & BoWl TRick

Have an ultra-fizzy kombucha that you just want to drink? Put your bottle in a bowl and cover with a plastic bag, as shown in this video.

Quick, Fast, Cheap, and Easy Kombucha

Strapped for time? Feeling lazy? Brew cycle sneak up on your week? Need a kombucha flavor — quick?!! Read on for my quick, fast, cheap, and easy kombucha recipe, and use regular items stocked in your kitchen pantry.

My secret weapon?

A small can of Dole pineapple juice.

You know the small cans you can purchase in six-packs? Yup – those!

And, while I don’t make a habit of adding extra sugar like this to kombucha, the amount of juice used per bottle is really minimal. And plus, pineapple juice is a vibrant and satisfying source of Vitamin C. 

You can also use orange juice, cranberry juice, cherry juice, etc… See what I mean? Super easy.

For each 12-16 oz bottle, add one (1) tbsp. juice during the flavoring process.

What else do you have on hand?

Of course, just a splash of pineapple juice in a kombucha bottle can be enough for a flavor. But, if you want to give yourself a deeper experience — and try something new — take a look at your spice rack for a few seconds.

Dried herbs, seasonings, and powders will compliment a pineapple kombucha while allowing you to still try something new quickly. And, maybe also get rid of stuff.

items you might have in your cupboard, too ????

Chili powder – use a tiny bit – ¼ tsp per bottle

Dried sage – one small leaf or ¼ tsp

Powdered ginger: ½ tsp 

Whole, dried clove: just one clove per bottle, or ¼ tsp powdered clove

Star anise: one arm of the tiny star, or seed pod

Dried, ground turmeric: ½ tsp (add ½ tsp powdered ginger – inspired by my cheery friend Julie ????)

Green Tea matcha powder: ½ tsp 

High Vitamin C Kombucha

Porange: A Very Vitamin-C Recipe

I was recently blessed with a large bag of fresh Florida oranges, direct from my loving parents. While I enjoy eating oranges fresh, the fruit is also one I really love to implement in kombucha flavoring.

Oranges are packed full of vitamin C, a nutrient we need year-round to stay healthy. Cut-up orange segments hold kombucha’s fizz in a fun way and taste quite good when paired with other fruits like cherries and mangoes.

This week, fresh whole pineapples were on sale at my local grocery store. I asked my dear husband to pick one up so I could share my special Porange recipe. Pineapples add a naturally sweet pizazz to kombucha — fresh, frozen, juice, dehydrated, etc… a little goes a long way ???? Plus, pineapples are fulllll of vitamin C.

Hibiscus is one of my very favorite things. A warm cup of hibiscus tea is a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Plus, it is full of vitamin C, other antioxidants and helps lower blood pressure. Anyone who knows me knows I love throwing hibiscus petals in my booch. They bring out a tart sweetness to kombucha, which is nice when you want to balance out another strong flavor.

Porange Kombucha ????????

High Vitamin C Kombucha

Flavoring for one (1) 16 ounce bottle of homemade kombucha

Fresh orange – peeled (3 sections cut into small bottle-size pieces, about 2 tbsp.)

Fresh pineapple – peeled and cut into matchsticks (1 tbsp.)

Hibiscus petals – dried (three petals, yes just 3)

*want a caffeine kick? add 1/2 tsp. matcha ????

Thanks, Mom & Dad! ???????? Love you!

How to Burp Kombucha

How to Burp Kombucha Bottles

Why “Burp” homemade kombucha?

Burping homemade kombucha bottles is essential to prevent excessive carbonation buildup, which could lead to exploding bottles or overly fizzy kombucha. During fermentation, the beneficial bacteria and yeast consume sugars and produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct. If this gas is trapped in the bottle without release, pressure builds up, potentially causing the bottle to burst.

Watch the Booch Witch’s step-by-step video for instructions on how to burp your home-brew kombucha.

By burping the bottles, you release some of the built-up carbon dioxide, regulating the pressure inside.

I use this technique on brews known to me as fizzier (mango, raspberry). This process helps control the level of carbonation in kombucha, ensuring it’s safe to drink and doesn’t pose a risk of explosion.

Burping also allows you to monitor the fermentation progress and adjust the flavor and carbonation level to your preference.