Make Your Own Kombucha p. 3: Alternate Kombucha Flavors

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One of my favorite parts about making kombucha (and all fermented foods) is the experimental aspect. You can try whatever you want and if it doesn’t work, well, better luck next time? Kombucha lends itself especially well to experimentation because you’ve got all those extra SCOBYs to use up. 

As I am an Official Experimental Kombucha Making Veteran (not really, but roll with it), I present three kombucha variations that have worked out really well for me. Give it a try! 

Mushroom Log: King Oysters

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Mushrooms occupy a strange place in our palates. Neither part of the plant or the animal kingdom, they are an oft-feared addition to any meal. Yet the little decomposers beneath our feet have tremendous health benefits for our bodies and for our planet. In the spirit of reviving the good name of mushrooms everywhere, Dear Food presents an in-depth look at the good, the bad, and the just plain weird of the mushroom world.

Latin name: Pleurotus eryngii

Other names: king trumpet, French horn, king brown, trumpet royale

I found some of these the other day whilst urban mushroom hunting in Portland (read: I bought them at an Asian market) and got really excited. Because mushrooms.

Concerning Homemade Almond Milk and the Byproducts Thereof: Almond Pulp Cookies!

Pictured: four out of eight cookies (I ate the rest...)

Pictured: four out of eight cookies (I ate the rest…)

When I need milk I make my own almond milk because, as I’m sure that most people know by now, adult humans really shouldn’t be drinking milk. Store bought dairy-free milks aren’t really an option either because they normally have an emulsifier and thickener called carrageenan, which likely causes such wonderful effects as “inflammation, gut irritation, and even cancer.” 

The problem with almond milk is once you go through the process of grinding up the almonds in a blender and filtering out the liquid (here is a recipe if you’d like to know more), you wind up with a ton of leftover almond pulp that you have to either toss or dry out and store somehow and hope it doesn’t get moldy.

Or you could use it as an excuse to make cookies!

Mushroom Log: Ode to Turkey Tails

Turkey Tails. On my deck.

Turkey Tails. On my deck.

Mushrooms occupy a strange place in our palates. Neither part of the plant or the animal kingdom, they are an oft-feared addition to any meal. Yet the little decomposers beneath our feet have tremendous health benefits for our bodies and for our planet. In the spirit of reviving the good name of mushrooms everywhere, Dear Food presents an in-depth look at the good, the bad, and the just plain weird of the mushroom world.

Latin name: Travetes versicolor

Other names: Many-Colored Polypore

Spring is upon us, which means that mushroom pickings are scarce in my area. All the little mushrooms are sleeping in the ground until next fall when the temperature cools down and the rain picks up. 

That is, all but the good ol’ Turkey Tails. 

Make Your Own Kombucha For Cheap

Image via Omar de Armas

Kombucha fermenting. Image via Omar de Armas

This is a golden age of kombucha. It seems that every time I go to the supermarket, a new brand of kombucha has cropped up. It’s a wonder people can keep coming up with clever names for their brands!

Unfortunately, at around $3 a pop, kombucha can be expensive if you drink it regularly. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying kombucha–it’s easy (and cheap!) to make yourself. 

Mushroom Log: Oyster Mushrooms

Oysters courtesy of a.bower

Land… oysters.. ? Courtesy of a.bower

Mushrooms occupy a strange place in our palates. Neither part of the plant or the animal kingdom, they are an oft-feared addition to any meal. Yet the little decomposers beneath our feet have tremendous health benefits for our bodies and for our planet. In the spirit of reviving the good name of mushrooms everywhere, Dear Food presents an in-depth look at the good, the bad, and the just plain weird of the mushroom world.

Latin name: the genus Pleurotus

Other names: tree oyster, tree mushroom

Just the other day, I was walking to the supermarket and came across a recently-felled log in somebody’s front yard that had a big ol’ growth of oyster mushrooms on the side of it. As one of the perks of eating mushrooms is most people don’t know what they have right in their front lawn, I didn’t think the owners of the log would mind if I got rid of the unsightly blemishes for them. 

Er… if I want to keep that up, maybe I should stop writing a column about mushrooms…

Cold Brewed Ginger-Turmeric Tea

It, er, tastes better than it looks.

It, er, tastes better than it looks.

A while ago, I came across this recipe for ginger-turmeric tea. As it was winter, it involved ginger and tumeric (spices I love), and was a recipe for a fancy-pants drink, I was immediately on board. While I did like it and basically drank it all winter, I was not happy with the fact that most of the powdered spices congealed into a gritty goo in the bottom of the mug. 

So, as I am wont to do, I decided to try cold brewing it.