Health Food Experiments: Kombucha and Spiralizer


Yesterday, K and I had an epic playdate with some friends (gotta keep the kiddos entertained), and I was introduced to homemade kombucha. Have you ever had kombucha? The fermented tea can be easily made at home if you have a starter SCOBY, which is an acronym for “symbiotic ‘colony’ of bacteria and yeast”. My friend has been brewing up a batch regularly and kindly sent me home with my own jug to ferment. I had a sampling to taste, and it has the tang of apple cider vinegar with more sweetness. I really liked it and am curious to see if it’ll help with gut health. It seems to be the big new thing with the microbiome rage that’s going on. The SCOBY (shown below) I received isn’t the prettiest thing, but my friend assured me that in a couple of weeks, this black tea concoction will transform into kombucha.


In the spirit of healthy food experimentation, I also remembered that I purchased a spiralizer recently. It had been sitting in the box all but forgotten, but I gave it a test run after we got home from the playdate.


So pretty! The spiralizer is a small one but it comes with three blades, and is very easy to operate and clean. Though I’d seen similar contraptions online, I’d been mystified by how they actually work — now I know that it’s actually a lot of fun! I happened to come upon this model at my local store, but this one looks even easier to clean.


Basically, you stick a vegetable cut to about 2″ in height on the “post” which looks like the end of a small metal pipe sticking up, and a pronged surface holds the veggie in place while you crank the handle for slicing. What you see above is the ribbon blade in action. This is what the noodle looks like (you can also see how the cucumber “core” remains — it’s mimicking the apple coring concept):


The third option, “coily cut”, is slightly thicker than the noodle and would be great for curly fries. Alas, my coily cut cucumber didn’t turn out so photogenic so I don’t have a visual to share. Here’s another shot of the ribbon cucumber though — I just love the way it looks.  I’m going to be making a lot of ribbon cucumber salad, I can already tell.

kombucha-spiralizer4 kombucha-spiralizer5

I bought a bunch of zucchini and plan on making zucchini “pasta” tomorrow and will be utilizing that left blade up there. I’m so excited! And I am so going to make sweet potato curly fries. Yum.


As for the black tea kombucha, I’ll have to wait until August 16th to see if it fermented properly. Since my friend did all the prep work, I don’t know exactly how to make it (yet), but if I can manage to keep the SCOBY alive, a green tea kombucha would be lovely for the next round.

Have any of you tried kombucha-making or spiralizing? You know that I’m always looking for recipe recommendations. Which reminds me, thank you for all the light and summer-y recipe tips here!

P.S. Furoku members, #17 is headed your way in a couple of days!

8 thoughts on “Health Food Experiments: Kombucha and Spiralizer

  1. Oh! Actually, I just started brewing kombucha about a month ago! I found that when it starts bubbling, the flavors all meld together. Since your Scobi is so small, you should be able to see the bubbles underneath. The bigger the Scobi, the faster it brews, but it took only about a week for my batch. I wouldn’t drink a ton of it right away. I spontaneously increased my dosage and suffered a healing crisis. Mainly I was incredible lethargic for a day, but it was still no fun.

    1. Good to know, Nikki! I’ll keep my eye out for the bubbles, and thanks for the advice on dosage. I can see myself getting too enthusiastic and trying to guzzle the whole thing! 🙂

  2. I have never heard of kombucha, so I am eagerly awaiting the photo of the drink in the next update. It is such a beautiful colour. I like spiral zucchini too ,but I did not know that is what a spiralizing machine looks like eiher. I imagined something like a pencil sharpener. Today, your blog has been very educational. And I do like to see the attractive pictures of food.

    1. I’m eagerly awaiting the fermented tea too, Max, I hope I don’t kill the SCOBY! I’m happy that you found this post informative :-).

  3. Take the lid off – the SCOBY needs access to air to do it’s thing. I cover mine with a cut-to-size old tea towel held on with an elastic band to keep the fruit flies out. Kombucha is good stuff – and easy to make.

    1. Gah! I’d forgotten about that part, thank you so much Jeannette! The SCOBY is now aired, and I hope I haven’t murdered it already 😐

  4. I first tried kombucha about six years ago when I was on a visit to NYC, and at first I thought there was something wrong with it and tried to return it, telling the person at the counter “There must be something wrong with this. It tastes disgusting and sour!” She laughed and said that was how it was supposed to taste. I had been expecting some kind of fancy Japanese tea, so joke was on me, I guess! I’ve been too afraid to try it since, but maybe it’s time to give it another go?

    1. Ha! The ones I’ve tried at cafes and from health food stores have tasted pretty awful too (I also tried an alcoholic version that made me gag). The one that my friend made was a lot sweeter, though you still taste the sourness. Sort of like sweetened umeboshi. We’ll see how my batch turns out — I’m not a convert yet :-). Thanks, Emi!

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