Ever tried the fermented drink, Kombucha, before? You may have heard about it in the press recently. It's lightly sparkling and tastes delicious. It's also full of probiotics, organic acids, enzymes, amino acids and anti-oxidants .... and it's really easy to brew your own. Melanie Millin from 'Love Kombucha' reveals all in her new book.

So hands up, who's had Kombucha before? I first tried it at the Love Kombucha stand at a Health Unplugged conference a few years ago and I LOVED it.

I'm not a fizzy drinks fan thankfully, they are just too ... ummm ... fizzy for me(!). When I started on my Paleo journey, I realised that a lot of drinks were off the table and as much as I like water, a bit of variety can be a good thing. So stumbling across Kombucha was fantastic.

Kombucha is lightly sparkling, is Paleo-friendly and has a really pleasant taste (made even more amazing with natural flavour additions such as blueberry and ginger). It also tastes 'grown-up' (yes, that's a thing!) and makes an ideal replacement to alcohol.

Like a lot of things in the Paleo world, I tried it, then I bought a few bottles and I loved it ... but then wondered how it gets made!

Kombucha had a lot of positive press this last week in BBC's Trust Me I'm a Doctor (which you can catch on iPlayer for a limited time) about the beneficial effect on your gut - it's an important watch to understand how a drink like Kombucha can play a massive part in gut health ... as long as it's not heat treated or pasteurised which often happens with commercial offerings (not Love Kombucha though, they brew it the traditional way for maximum health benefits).

How is Kombucha made?

Kombucha is made by mixing tea with organic sugar and a live culture. 'Whoa whoa whoa' I hear you cry, 'sugar?!?!'. Fret not, almost all the sugar (and the tea) is consumed by the culture, leaving behind probiotics, beneficial acids, vitamins, enzymes and carbon dioxide (hence the slight fizz).

It's been around as a drink for over 2,000 years, thought to have originated in China - so this isn't a new kid on the block.

So is the book any good?

Kombucha is no different to a lot of products in the paleo arena, it is actually really easy to make ... once you know how.

Enter Melanie Millin's book. Melanie is the founder of Love Kombucha (and is therefore responsible for my addiction to kombucha, ha!) and wanted to share her knowledge and help her customers who wanted to have a go and had questions about the process.

The book is lovely to look at and use, lovely visuals, not too text heavy - my kind of book in my time-starved world!

You learn about the history of Kombucha and the many purported health benefits (including improving inflammatory diseases, improved energy and reduced IBS symptoms). For me, it's the probiotic hit that appeals to help keep my gut happy.

The instructions on how to make kombucha are wonderfully detailed from what equipment you need, to understanding the live culture you use to the different methods of brewing and flavouring kombucha.

But that's not all, you also get lots of help with flavour combinations (there's absolutely loads to suit all tastes!) and ideas for using it in cocktails and other uses - it seems the possibilities are endless?!

Overall, I really enjoyed the book, it was an easy read and it's definitely inspired me to try to make my own and get the kids involved too!

Where can I get my hands on a copy?

You can buy the book on the Love Kombucha website for £9.99 and also take a look at the awesome kombucha that they brew and sell. 

Even better, you can get 10% OFF the book and kombucha by using the code 'Fitter10' at the checkout - dive in! :-)

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