I brew homemade kombucha, share as many kombucha mothers as I can, but still cannot bring myself to actually dispose of the extras I have. My SCOBYs are living communities of organisms and to put my mamas in the trash just feels wrong, heartless even. Go ahead, call me sensitive.
Last year, I was making a new batch of kombucha and I finally faced the fact that I had to figure out something because my brewing vessels were about 80% filled with SCOBY mothers and 20% tea, and for the sake of counter space, I was not going to add another jar to my ”fermentation station” table.
So, I came up with a recipe for sweet, zingy Apple Pie Kombucha Mother Candy—aka “Sugar Mamas”—and now, it’s time to share how to make some spicy, savory Kombucha SCOBY jerky out of your extra mamas too.
Hold on a minute—is it safe to eat?
If you brew the tea responsibly and successfully, and drink the tea, you can eat the SCOBY. It’s simply a probiotic-rich by-product of the fermentation process—bacteria, yeasts and cellulose (an insoluble substance that is the main constituent of plant cell walls and of vegetable fibers).
Glass baking dish
Large glass bowl
Whisk or spoon
You can prepare this candy in a dehydrator—which will maintain the most probiotic benefit—or in the oven. Note that the oven will diminish probiotic activity a bit—the heat kills some of the probiotics, but not the flavor.
2 kombucha SCOBY mothers (here’s how to get some)
1/4 cup vegan worcestershire
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or any hot sauce)*
1/4 coconut aminos (can sub soy sauce, gluten-free tamari or nama shoyu)
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp Sucanat (or any sweetener you like: honey, coconut palm sugar, etc.)
2 tbsp shallot, minced
* Optional and if you like loads of heat by all means, add more
Let’s get started.
1. Wash hands very well. Using a clean cutting board and very sharp knife (or kitchen scissors), slice kombucha SCOBY into thin strips…
… or cubes—Chef’s choice. Repeat with second SCOBY and then transfer them to the glass baking dish and spread out evenly.
2. In a bowl, toss all marinade ingredients and whisk or stir together.
Pour over SCOBY and toss so all pieces are covered well and evenly distributed across bottom of dish.
3. Place baking dish on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 95°F for 8–12 hours, or until dried out and chewy. If you are using the oven, dry candies at the lowest temp possible: 170°F for 8–12 hours, or until dry and chewy.
4. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a year.
Psst: Kombucha SCOBY jerky makes a unique holiday gift.
What else can be done with extra SCOBYs?
1. Feed them to your pets.
2. Add pieces to your smoothies.
3. Blend and apply as a natural enzyme-peel face mask.
4. Compost them.
Listen to my interview with fermentation revivalist and author Sandor Katz—I ask him loads of questions about fermentation, safety and more:
I want to hear from YU—I’m SO curious what YU all think of this recipe, so please leave me a comment below.
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