While the rest of the world came down with a serious case of sourdough fever, I remained immune. In San Francisco, of all places, where starter was almost literally growing on trees, nothing could convince me to try taming the wild yeast once again. Multiple attempts have proven that I’m just the neglectful sort of child that would repeatedly kill their own mother, and the last thing I needed was more heartbreak. Watching bakers boast of plump, golden loaves all across the internet, I was impressed, but remained unmoved. The only living organism I wanted to tend to was my beloved fur baby, and maybe myself, I suppose, on my better days.
Then, out of the blue, a kind neighbor offered extra kombucha scobys for free. Far less demanding dough-mestic responsibilities, all you need to do is brew a big pot of tea, plop in a disc of fungus, and forget about it for a few weeks. I could do that!
More accurately, a scoby is not a mushroom, but a “Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast,” thus the acronym. Touted for its powerful probiotic quotient, the yeast is what converts sugars into CO2 and ethanol, and the bacteria then convert the ethanol into amino acids, trace minerals and vitamins. Though the resulting flavors are quite complex, the procedure is not. The most important ingredient is time, which was the only thing I had in abundance at the beginning of quarantine. After 2 – 4 weeks, you have a refreshing brew to quench your thirst, and a brand new scoby to do it all again.
After a few batches, of course, the scobys start to stack up. It’s wise to keep backups in a scoby hotel if everything should go awry, but even with robust reserves, there’s bound to be excess eventually. There’s no such thing as a useless scoby, however! I may not kill my mothers anymore, but sometimes, I will confess to eating them.
Yes, you can eat your scobys! They look like disgusting sheets of phlegm, but trust me, their culinary value far outshines their initial appearance. (Notice I did not include a photo of my scobys. I just can’t make that look appetizing.)
Puree any amount to seamlessly weave it into your daily diet, particularly in:
- Blended Soups (especially chilled soups, like gazpacho)
- Fruit Leather
- Baking (Use 1/4 cup scoby puree to replace 1 large egg)
- Creamy Dressings or Vinaigrette (Use 1/4 cup scoby puree to replace 1/4 cup oil)
- Dog Food or Treats
While brainstorming new ideas for using up this bounty, it’s most useful when I think about it like yogurt. Once blended, it’s thick and somewhat creamy, sour and tangy, and works well as a binder. Given its origins, I typically pair it with tea or coffee flavors by default, which is how this verdant verrine came about.
A fresh batch of green tea booch inspired this simple layered snack. Excess scoby is blended into the matcha base along with non-dairy milk for a creamy, pleasantly bitter, subtly sweet start. Set with agar like conventional Japanese kanten, a second stripe of translucent kombucha gel rests on top, almost like an adult Jello cup. Since each component is only lightly cooked, brought to the brink of a boil just to properly hydrate the agar, you’ll get the greatest benefits from all those live probiotics, and the freshest flavor from the tea.
There are some things in life you can never have to much of: love, fresh air, chocolate… And now, I’d like to add kombucha scobys to that list. Before you start cooking, don’t forget to spread the joy with your neighbors. You can cut a scoby into pieces and each fragment remains as potent as the whole for kick-starting a new brew. If you’re nearby in the area, hit me up for a scoby fix to dive into this fuzzy ferment yourself! Otherwise, it’s just as simple to start from scratch with store-bought culture. I promise, it’s much easier than sourdough, and the results are just as gratifying.
- 2.5 Ounces Kombucha Scoby
- 1 Cup Plain Non-Dairy Milk
- 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Matcha Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Agar Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Green Tea Kombucha
- 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Agar Powder
- Pull out three 6 - 8 ounce dessert glasses and set aside.
- Begin by placing the kombucha scoby, non-dairy milk, sugar, matcha, and agar in your blender. Puree on high speed until completely smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and set over medium heat on the stove. Whisk frequently until bubbles just begin to break on the surface, and immediately remove from the heat. Incorporate the vanilla.
- Distribute the mixture equally between your three glasses (1/3 cup in each) and let cool to room temperature. Careful move the glasses into the fridge to rest until chilled and firmly set; 30 - 45 minutes.
- Once the bottom layer has solidified, prepare the kombucha layer by whisking together the kombucha, sugar, lemon juice, and agar in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and whisk frequently until it just begins to boil. Quickly remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the dessert glasses (1/3 cup each.) It may seem really thin and watery, but never fear; it will set once chilled.
- Once again, let the parfaits cool to room temperature before stashing them in the fridge to chill and set; 30 - 45 minutes.
- Serve cold, with a handful of fresh berries, a dollop of whipped coconut cream, or a sprinkle of granola on top, if desired.
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Fermentaholics Organic Kombucha SCOBY with Twelve Ounces of Starter Tea - Live Starter Culture
Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder - USDA Organic, Authentic Japanese Origin - Classic Culinary Grade (Smoothies, Lattes, Baking, Recipes) - Antioxidants, Energy [1 Ounce (30 Gram) Starter Size]
NOW Foods, Agar Pure Powder
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 124Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 4g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.