3 GREAT KOMBUCHA SECOND BREW RECIPES AND TIPS

so you’ve brewed your batch of kombucha, but now it’s time for the second fermentation. this is the fun part of brewing kombucha. this is when you take your brew and make it delicious, customize it to be whatever you want. there are so many flavor options, and I love getting creative here. you can also use the second brew to make it more or less effervescent, something I love to get to control because I prefer mine a little mild in that area (otherwise it will give me a stomach ache!).

so I am here to share my personal favorite recipes for kombucha, my go to’s! along with some tips on the process of the second brew.

how to second brew:

once your brew passes the taste test, take out the SCOBY and about a cup or so of the kombucha to use for your next batch. using a metal funnel (I use mine form the kombucha shop that has a strainer inside it) pour into long neck glass bottles.  you can also reuse store bought kombucha bottles.

now they are ready to be flavored and stored for the second brew.

recipe #1 adaptogenic berry booch

mix the following into each individual bottle of kombucha

1/2 t maca powder

2 T mixed berries (my favorite combo is blackberries and blueberries or raspberries)

*best used with the raspberry tea!

recipe #2 super-food booch

mix the following into each individual bottle of kombucha

1 t spirulina

1/2 t wheatgrass

1/4 t chaga mushroom powder

*best made with black tea or a combination of black and green teas

recipe #3 lemon ginger berry booch

1 t fresh sliced ginger

1 t fresh lemon juice

2 T blueberries

*best made with black tea r a blend of black and green teas

tips on second brew

  • use long neck, swing top bottles for more carbonation
  • store flavored booch bottles in a warm dark place for 2-3 days before moving to the fridge
  • test the pH and flavor by a taste test to know when the booch is good!
  • clean your bottles with a bottle brush warm water and vinegar
  • do not leave your bottles too long or in heat higher than 78 degrees- it is uncommon, but they could explode!
  • use 2-3 T of fruit, herbs, and veggies

the second ferment is pretty simple and fun! get creative with herbs, veggies and fruits! use #naturallychelsrecipe on Instagram if you try these recipes, tips, or if you have any more questions for me!

SOAKING & SPROUTING

beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds (also grains!) can be hard on your digestive system. this is why I love to soak and sprout mine before cooking and consuming. I have been doing this since last year, and notice a huge difference in how my body as well as my kids bodies handle these foods.

I have talked before on my Instagram about sprouting, and I got so many questions about the topic. many of you were also concerned with how difficult the process might be. and I am here to tell you, it is not as hard as it may initially seem. I hope that this simple guide will help! but first I want to take some time to answer the most asked questions I got regarding soaking and sprouting.

Q: can you sprout any bean, lentil, seed or grain?

A: you can soak any of them, and by doing this you will “unlock” nutrients making them easier to digest and nutrient dense. af. some will not sprout because they aren’t truly raw all the time when we buy them, making it so they won’t sprout. but soaking will still be beneficial. also, some types just don’t sprout, see the form below to see what foods are better for soaking only and not sprouting (a lot of seeds and nuts)!

Q: do I need a bunch of equipment or products?

A: not at all! there are bean sprouter’s  that make sprouting really simple, but you can also use a mason jar with cheese cloth, or a colander.

Q: what are the benefits of sprouting?

A: soaking and sprouting increases the nutrients, makes them easier to digest, decreases anti-nutrients, increases protein and fiber, and breaks down gluten. all of these things make the food easier on your digestive system and makes them more nutrient dense.

how to soak and sprout

soak dry, raw item for the necessary time.

drain and rinse with filtered water until water runs clear.

place soaked food in bean sprouter, colander, or jar. if using a colander, place a towel under it and cover top with cheesecloth. if using a mason jar, cover with cheesecloth and prop it inside a bowl so that it can be upside down at an angle.

give allotted time to sprout. if your food does not sprout in the time given, that is okay. as mentioned above some items won’t truly be raw and will not sprout. still use them! the soaking will still be helpful.

trufflecheesecake

make sure you keep your stuff in the fridge, especially after sprouting. I also want to mention this article about sprouts and food safety. my family eats sprouted beans and nuts all the time, and I feel safe with my process. if you do not feel like sprouts are safe, that is okay too!

BREWING KOMBUCHA GUIDE

Kombucha is one of my absolute favorite beverages and something I’ve been brewing myself for four years. I use the deluxe brewing kit from The Kombucha Shop and love it. I’ve used this same brand the whole time I’ve been brewing kombucha. It makes home brew simple and easy which I love.

I know a lot of you feel intimidated when it comes to brewing your own kombucha, because fermented foods can get tricky. I promise you kombucha is fairly simple to brew.

A few rules to keep in mine when brewing kombucha

There are a couple big rules you need to know when making your kombucha.

1. Don’t use metal containers or spoons when preparing your kombucha to ferment. Metal can damage your scoby.

2. Don’t use antibacterial soap or harsh cleaners to wash any of your kombucha brewing supplies. Warm water and vinegar are all you need!

How to do the first ferment

Okay so you’re ready to ferment some tea!

1. Start by boiling 4 cups of water. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons organic black, oolong or green tea (or any of these delicious blends!) to the cloth bag that comes in the brewing kit and steep for 7 minutes. If you do not have the brewing kit or a cloth tea bag, use 6-8 tea bags instead.

2. Remove tea and add one cup organic sugar. NOTE: kombucha in the first ferment is very low in sugar. That is because the SCOBY feeds off the sugar.

3. Add tea to your large jar for brewing, then add 8 cups cold filtered water. Check the temperature, it should be between 68-86 degrees.

4. Gently add in your SCOBY and starter tea. This will come with your brew kit, if you do not have a kit, you can make your own scoby, get one from a friend, or buy one. Gently stir once.

5. Test the pH of your kombucha. It should be 4.5 or below. If it’s too high, add a teaspoon of white vinegar and test again.

6. Cover your jar with the cotton cloth and secure with rubber band. Ferment for 7-9 days.

7. Do a taste test at day 7 to see if the batch is ready. You may even notice a new SCOBY growing on top! That’s really good!

How to choose the best place in your home for fermenting your kombucha

The place where your kombucha can ferment needs to have all these requirements:

  1. no direct sun light
  2. low traffic
  3. warm
  4. airflow

Do not choose a cabinet or small closet. At our new house, I chose to leave mine in our master closet. There is no window, its really big with no door, so airflow is great. Plus, it is really warm. It isn’t low traffic, but we have a shelf up so close to the ceiling (as you may have been in my stories!) that I feel like it’s okay. The new house is so bright with soo much natural light, that this was the only real option that didn’t have direct sun light all day!

How can I tell if my booch is ready?

Start doing a taste test at day 7 and then every few days after. If the booch is too sweet, you still have a few days to go. If it is tart/tangy it’s all done! If it’s sour af, it fermented too long and try a shorter time next time.

I do not have and cannot buy the kit from the kombucha shop, what do I need?

I definitely recommend buying the kit. The basic kit is $48, but I do understand that many can’t do that. Here is a list of the basic items you need to brew:

brewing jar

organic tea

organic granulated sugar

SCOBY with starter tea

breathable cotton cloth and rubber band

pH test strips

I also recommend using simple mason jars, or saving old kombucha bottles for the second ferment and drinking your kombucha. That saves a bit of money too and is a great use for those store bought bottles.

In a couple weeks, I will be sharing all about the second fermentation so stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have any questions on kombucha, message me on Instagram!

*product was gifted to me by the kombucha Shop, a company I have been investing in and loving for four years.

GRAIN-FREE ROLLS

I’ve currently been loving to bake with almond flour. It has quickly become my favorite grain free flour. It has the perfect texture and these grain-free rolls have made me miss wheat bread a whole lot less. Instead, I’ve been missing them!

These rolls are soft and flakey, easy to make, simple ingredients, and great for any meal. They pair perfectly with a hearty soup, or drizzle on some raw honey and enjoy with a cup of hot tea. I would say take my word for it, but you just have to make these for yourself because they’re so delicious!

GRAIN-FREE ROLLS

1 c tapioca flour

1 1/2 c almond flour

1 t pink salt

1/3 c melted coconut oil (I’ve tested olive and avocado oil and both work well but I prefer coconut oil!)

1/2 filtered water

1 egg

Mix all ingredients together. The dough will be a little sticky, but that’s good! Roll into 12-14 balls and bake at 350 for 25 minutes until tops harden slightly.

Okay now I’m craving these as I drink my hot tea! I hope you guys try these because they’re so good. My whole family gets excited when they see me baking these and they never make it through one night! Please be sure to use #naturallychelsrecipe so I can see!

2018 INTENTIONS AND GOALS

Happy new year friends! 2017 brought many amazing things. This blog, this community, taking our kids to Disneyland, and moving into our new home. I have some big plans and big ideas for 2018, and I can’t wait to see how the year unfolds.

As many of you know, I write monthly intentions. This was something I started just last year and followed each month. I truly loved it and will continue to do monthly intentions this year.

My plan for this years monthly intentions is to have a majority of them be focused on achieving my yearly intentions and goals.

I want to share these here to hold myself more accountable. When you share your goals and intentions with others it makes them so much more real and makes you so much more accountable. I would love for you guys to share your intentions here or on instagram with me!

Intention #1:

read one book a month

I love to read. Reading for me is so therapeutic (no matter what tripe of book) as long as it’s an actual book. This is a form of self care I need and want to focus on this year. Reading also pulls me away from the screen at night which is always a good thing!

Intention #2:

complete the novel I’ve been writing

Something you may not know about me is that aside from a love of reading books, I also have a love for writing them. I’ve wrote some short stories and started tons of novels that I always get so close to completing and then I give up on them. It’s always disappointing when I do that. I get so afraid of finishing a book for so many reasons.

I’ve been writing on and off the same novel for a couple years now and I decided this is the year I let go of my fears and finish it.

Intention #3:

push myself to do things outside of my comfort zone or to face my fears (fears holding me back from living my life to the fullest).

For me this means a few things. This means that after I finish my novel (because I will have that thing completed by my goal completion date!) I will set out to get it published which is something I’m mortified of doing.

This also means I will try new things that make me nervous but I really want to do. The things I always say “yeah, I can’t do that” to or “I’m way too blank for that.” Insert negative self talk in that blank space.

This means speaking up about things when I don’t want to but know it’s the best for me. Letting go of things even when it’s hard, and so on.

I want 2018 to be a year of self love, enjoyment, fulfillment, and pure happiness. I’m so honored I get to share that journey with this community!

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN PERFECT CINNAMON ROLLS

If you are looking for a delicious, yet simple recipe for brunch, look no further! These cinnamon rolls are the perfect addition, and everyone will keep coming back for more. I made these as a part of our Christmas morning breakfast, and they were just perfect. They are soft and flakey, perfectly sweet, and gluten free + vegan making them great for almost everyone.

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These pair wonderfully with hot tea or coffee, and are topped with a vegan cream cheese that is free from refined-sugars and so simple to make.

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perfect cinnamon rolls

GLUTEN-FREE | VEGAN |

wet ingredients:

3/4 c cashew milk

1 T coconut oil

2 T coconut sugar

1 packet dry activated yeast

1 flax egg (1 T flax meal to 3 T filtered water)

2 t vanilla

dry ingredients:

1 1/4 c gluten-free flour mix

1 1/4 c almond flour

1 1/5 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

3/4 t pink salt

4 T coconut oil

filling:

3 T coconut oil

1/3 c coconut sugar

1 T cinnamon

1 t cardamom

frosting:

8 oz vegan cream cheese (I like Kite Hill)

3-4 T maple syrup

a pinch of cinnamon

Preheat over to 350 and oil a large pie or cake dish.

In a small sauce pan, warm the milk and coconut oil. Do not let it get hot! Remove from heat and add in the remaining wet ingredients. Whisk together, and let it rest about 5 minutes to activate the yeast. The mixture will get slightly frothy.

While your yeast is activating, add all dry ingredients to a bowl. Using a whisk or pastry cutter, cut the coconut oil into the flour. Add in wet ingredients and let rest over a warm stove for 5-10 minutes.

Roll out dough out on a silicone baking mat (or plastic wrap) into a large rectangle and coat with melted coconut oil (filling ingredients) and sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Gently roll into a large rolled loaf. Slice into about 15 rolls and place in the pan. Let rise over a warm oven for 40-45 minutes. Bake for 25 minutes until tops start to brown.

For the frosting: using a stand mixer, whisk together all ingredients and spread across cooled rolls. Store in the fridge.

I hope you love these! They’re some of the easiest cinnamon rolls I have ever made and they’re so delicious!

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GLUTEN-FREE HEALTHIER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

It’s baking season, which means… COOKIES! But honestly, it’s baking season for me all year. Who else loves to bake?!

Well, even if you don’t love it, you have to try these cookies. They’re really easy to make and so delicious, they will be worth it. Trust me, you’ll regret not making them!

These would make a great neighbor gift or treat to bring to any gatherings this weekend and over the following week for the holidays!

These cookies are chocolatey, perfectly sweet, chewy, soft, and so so delicious. You will keep coming back for more!

GLUTEN FREE HEALTHIER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

GLUTEN-FREE | VEGAN | REFINED SUGAR FREE
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup gluten free flour blend

1 1/4 cup almond flour

1 t baking soda

1 1/2 c Brown coconut sugar

2 flax eggs (or chicken eggs if desired)

8 T melted coconut oil

1 t pink salt

1/4 c peanut butter or almond butter

2 t vanilla

1/4 c plant based milk (I like MALK)

1/2-2/3 c semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine all dry ingredients in stand mixer. Make two flax eggs by adding two tablespoons flax meal and six tablespoons filtered water, place in fridge until thickens up.

Add all wet ingredients in with the dry and mix to fork a dough. Add chocolate in last.

Refrigerate for one hour. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Enjoy! And happy holidays to you all.

PB SALTED CARAMEL COOKIES

Cookies have a special place in my heart. They’re one of my favorite treats and I love baking them. I love how versatile they are! They’re my favorite Christmas treat to make, too. They make amazing gifts for neighbors or coworkers, and there is a flavor for everyone.

These cookies are one of my new favorites. The flavors are so good and they’re easy to make!

PEANUT BUTTER SALTED CARAMEL COOKIES

GRAIN-FREE | VEGAN OPTION

1/2 c creamy peanut butter

2 eggs or flax eggs

1/3 c melted coconut oil

1 t vanilla

1/2 t pink salt

1/2 c coconut sugar

1 1/3 c Namaste Foods quinoa flour

7 Cocomel salted caramels

Mix together all ingredients except flour and caramels. Add in flour and mix well. Roll into one inch balls and top with small slice of caramel and extra salt if desired. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes.

Makes about 18 cookies.

I hope you guys enjoy these gems as much as we do! Be sure to use #naturallychelsrecipe on Instagram so I can see!

VANILLA CARDAMOM SCONES

Since going gluten-free, I have been working so hard on some good recipes. I have always loved baking, but baking gluten-free was so different from what I knew. I am finally feeling like a got this gluten-free baking thing down, and am ready to start sharing more of my creations!

I teased these delicious scones on my Instagram the other day, and I am so excited to be sharing them with you guys now.

These scones are:

simple to make

delicious

gluten-free

sugar-free (they do have honey)

paired perfectly with tea or coffee

They would be a great neighbor and coworker gift, or a great addition to your Christmas breakfast! I hope you guys love them as much as we do!

vanilla cardamom scones

GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE

1 c. organic quinoa flour by Namaste Foods

1 c. organic gluten-free perfect flour blend by Namaste Foods

1/3 c. avocado oil 

1/3 c. plant based milk

2 organic eggs

1 t. vanilla 

3 T. raw honey

1 1/2 t.  cardamom

1 t. cinnamon 

1/2 t. pink salt

In a mixing bowl whisk together eggs, milk, avocado oil, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, and salt. Using a rubber spatula, add in flours. Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes. These make about 10 small scones and 7 larger scones.

Top with Coconut Cult, raw honey, almond butter, coconut whipped cream, or any other delicious topping! There are so good, I have them baking in the oven as I write this, and can’t wait to devour them.

I hope you guys try this recipe out! Be sure to use #naturallychelsrecipe on Instagram so I can see them!

*this post is sponsored by Namaste Foods. I have been buying their organic flours since I went gluten free, and have loved them!

GIFT GUIDE FOR THE ORGANIC GIRL (gifts for all budgets!)

It’s Christmas shopping season and I know that comes with a lot of stress. In an effort to help everyone cut down on that stress (because we all know that stress is the enemy!) Here is a quick and easy guide for gifts of all sizes and prices!

FOR THE BOOK LOVER

YOU ARE A BADASS- $7

THE TAO OF PARENTING- $9

MINDFULNESS DAY BY DAY- $15

TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR FERTILITY- $17

WOMAN CODE- $20

FOR THE FOODIE

VITAMIX- $400

NATURALLY CHELS RECIPES (my ecookbook!)- $3.99

FOR THE TECH LOVER

DEFENDERPAD- $98

DEFENDER SHIELD WALLET PHONE CASE

FOR THE BEVERAGE LOVER

HEALTHY HUMAN LIFE TUMBLER- $20

KOMBUCHA HOME BREWING KIT- $49

MATCHA POWDER- $40

MATCHA WHISK SET- $11

VITAL PROTEINS COLLAGEN PEPTIDES- $43

FOR THE NON-TOXIC LOVER

THE DIVA CUP- $26-30

BIG BERKEY- $288

SALT LAMP (2 PACK)- $24

ORGANIC IS THE NEW BLACK TEE- $26  plus free shipping!

KOSMATOLOGY HAND SOAPS- $9.99

SAVVY REST KAPOK PILLOW- $109-139

FOR THE BEAUTY LOVER

COCOKIND CHLOROPHYLL MASK- $18

JADE BEAUTY ROLLER- $27 (on sale from $35!)

COCOKIND COLLECTIVE- $35

ANY KOSMATOLOGY GIFT SET

PLUME LASH COLLECTION- $95

PLUME BROW COLLECTION- $133

ANYTHING FROM THE CHOOSY CHICK

There are tons of great ideas out there big and small! I hope this little list helps you with your gift giving this year!

What are your favorite wholesome, organic, or non-toxic gifts to give?

*this post contains affiliate links