Fizzy drinks do more than make you BURP! by Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD

Drink this for more intelligence!

This past week was Fruit and Veggie Week. International Splurge Day was June 18th which is the same day as International Panic Day. If you splurged on fruit and veggies this week, then you have no need to panic. If you splurged on less “healthful” options, then hopefully you recognized World Sauntering Day, June 19th, and contemplated your “splurges” while sauntering about town.

On the 20th, give a shout out and enjoy an ice cream soda to balance your overindulgence of produce this past week. June 20th is Ice Cream Soda Day and National Hollerin’ Contest Day. Then on the 21st you can celebrate Finally Summer Day while acknowledging the first day of summer as you skate along the Santa Monica boardwalk and commemorate Go Skate Day, yay!

It seems we have a day to celebrate everything imaginable. But I have yet to find an observance day for Kombucha—a beverage I love so much that it really should have a day all to itself.

I was hoping to make June 22nd Kombucha day but due to a slew of research I have yet to uncover, I am not yet able to declare an official day.

Literally for centuries, kombucha, a tea fermented with friendly bacteria, has been touted as an aid to alleviate many common health problems such as: poor digestion, lack of energy, acid reflux and excess weight. Until recently, very few of these problems have been scientifically evaluated. Hopefully, after reviewing the literature, I will be able to tell you what kombucha might do for you, how it works and how you might even make your own.

In the meantime, if you’ve never tried it. Please pick up a bottle of Synergy kombucha, take a few sips and tell me exactly how you feel.

I have been drinking kombucha a few times a month for about five years. I tend to crave it when my stomach is upset. It calms any nausea or indigestion. I also crave it when I feel run down. It does not give me more energy, per se, but it makes me feel more even keeled.

One theory about kombucha is that it may act as a detox agent for the liver. Since holidays tend to induce excess alcohol consumption and given the fact that alcohol is metabolized by the liver, I’m thinking that the day after any big holiday should be declared kombucha day.

While you wait to hear more about kombucha, please enjoy the following recipes. Each one has a nutritional attribute sure to bring balance to any event. You may even wish to retrospectively celebrate Ice Cream Soda Day by adding my Oedipal Ice Cream to your smart soda. (see blog entry on Valentine’s weekend for ice cream recipe)

Smart Soda

32 ounce Air tight jar with rubber gasket (Nextag.com)
OR Mason Jar with lid
1 quart filtered water (32 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cups Rapidura sugar
(or white sugar)
3 lemons, juiced
3 limes, juiced
1/4 cup liquid whey (the liquid you find at the top of the yogurt when it is first opened)
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves, chopped
(Adapted from Craig Lane, Macrobiotic chef)

Bring water to a boil in a sauce pot. Turn off heat. Add rosemary. Cover with a lid and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain water to remove rosemary. Return warm water to sauce pot and dissolve sea salt and sugar. Allow liquid to cool, about one hour. Pour liquid into jar. Add lemon and lime juice and liquid whey. Seal jar. Allow to culture for two days in a warm place. Enjoy on ice with a slice of lemon or lime. Alternatively you could add the same ingredients to sparkling water. Use 1/2 cup agave nectar in place of Rapidura and omit salt. No need to heat.

Berry Kanten (natural gelatin)
8 cups apple juice
4 cups fresh berries,
blue, black, raspberries, your choice
3/4 cup agar agar
(Kanten) found with other sea vegetables in the Asian section of the grocery store

Put all ingredients into a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer one minute stirring constantly. Poor into individual cups and refrigerate to solidify.

Cashew Cream
1 1/2 cups cashews, raw, soaked overnight in water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Soak the nuts at least 4 hours and drain. Put nuts in food processor of blender. Add OJ and vanilla and blend until creamy. Add more water as needed to create a creamy texture. Use to top Berry Kanten and garnish with chopped fresh mint. YUM!

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