Kombucha has really exploded in popularity over the last few years. You can find it in just about any grocery store now. If you are a health conscious shopper, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Kombucha has a number of reported health benefits for the gut, inflammation, and heart.
If you are on keto then drinking kombucha is going to pose a challenge. It is known to contain a fair amount of sugar. Fortunately for us, there are ways to deal with this. In today’s article, I am going to show you how you can enjoy kombucha even if you are on the ketogenic diet.
Kombucha Reported Health Benefits
Let’s start with the whole reason why we drink kombucha in the first place. I’ll be honest, to this point, most of the reported health claims on kombucha don’t have scientific backing. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t true. While more research has been done in the last couple of years, there’s still not much there in way of proof. [*] [*]
But, many health experts agree that fermented foods are one of the best ways to restore your gut microbiome. Kombucha definitely meets that classification.
Common Observed Benefits from Drinking Kombucha. [*]
- Improved Immune System Function
- Improved Digestive System Function
- Reduced Inflammation
- Improved Resistance to Cancer
- Improved Resistance to Cardiovascular Disease
So, what are the ways we can enjoy kombucha when it comes to keto?
Well, we’ve got two primary options. We can either buy it from the store or we can brew it at home.
Option 1. Buying Kombucha Off The Shelf for Keto
You aren’t necessarily going to find a keto friendly kombucha brand at the health food store/grocery store… At least not right now. Major brands vary in their sugar amounts. Most are somewhere between 6g and 12g of total carbohydrate per 8oz serving.
The bad news is that drinking a whole 16oz bottle of kombucha is likely to take you out of ketosis.
4oz is all you need…That’s the good news. You don’t need to drink a whole bottle to get the benefit of the probiotics inside. You can enjoy a half serving (4oz) which is a common daily recommendation. That may only end up being 3g of carbs. Not bad!
This way, you’re really getting the best of both worlds. You’re saving money on kombucha and still getting a beneficial dose of probiotics.
Option 2. Brewing Your Own Kombucha for Keto
Brewing your own kombucha does come with its own risks. But, if you do it correctly, you can basically create a sugar-free batch of kombucha. The trick is with the brew time. The longer the better in our case for keto. Typically, this means you need at least 25–30 days of fermentation. [*]
You’ll end up with a batch that has 4g or less of sugar per liter. Taste your batch. It should be very acidic at this point. Almost completely vinegar tasting.
Sweetening Home Made Kombucha for Keto
You don’t need to do a second fermentation. We do not want the extra sugar it adds. If you do, then use berries, not raw sugar.
After your 25–30 day fermentation, you are ready to go. By this point it may be hard to drink, but here’s what you can do to make it more flavorful. Slightly dilute your kombucha in another container before bottling. Then, add stevia and ginger to taste.
This gives you a much more palatable drink without the sugar.
Recipe coming for this in the future!
Home Brewing Kombucha Notes
- Kombucha brewing temp should be between 68 – 78 degrees.
- Temperature affects brew speed. Taste batch as you go.
- A ph meter can be used to check the acidity of kombucha. (Aim for at least 2.5 ph).
Alternatives to Kombucha for Probiotics
Fermented foods are great for the gut and digestive system. Kombucha is only one of many options if you are looking for probiotics. Consider these options as well.
- Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
- Kimchi (Korean fermented vegetables)
- Homemade Yogurt
- Kefir (milk fermented with kefir culture)