Sunday, September 16, 2018

Vegan Month of Food 2018 Day 15: Harboring a Fugitive, Truth Bombs and a bit about GAPS

I'm starting this post minutes PAST midnight on the 15th, past deadline for "today's" topic, which now is actually yesterday's post. Considering the time of day (night) and how my day went, plans are to keep this short.

Our topic "today" (yesterday...) is anything "free from" to close out free from week. Read on.

Minutes ago I walked in the door from dropping truth bombs for a few hours on Duval Street, Key West. Yes, it was another "Cube of Truth" event organized by Anonymous for the Voiceless: Florida Keys. Cubes I feel are some of the best activism I've done in my life, but I won't lie, they take a toll on my emotions.

After I walked in, I snapped a picture of my topic for tonight (scroll down) and was walking over to the computer to do this post when the other happy vegan stumbled out of bed and says to me "did you see the kitten?"




At present, we are harboring a fugitive. I've learned we have a kitten who showed up a few days ago at one of the feral feeding sites. No idea where she came from, but she was fairly friendly meaning she wouldn't run when we put the food down. And, she chummed up with one of the regulars. Two days ago, she had an injury or something. With the help of another angel for the ferals, an agreement as made if he or we catch her, we will get her to the vet for necessary care. I guess tonight was the night. She is in the area where we used to feed all you wonderful people the epic breakfasts over the years. She's hiding. Who can blame her.

There. So far, I've covered truth bombs and fugitives. On to the topic.

One of my first years here, I had a guest come in adhering to something called the SCD diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet). I had barely dealt with any special food needs. I remember researching this SCD thing on the Internet, and getting ready to cry. It's super unvegan-friendly. I did my best, one of the hardest I've ever worked for a guest. Fast forward to know, and we have something called GAPS diet which is something that is either like SCD or a hybrid of SCD. Regardless it is just as unvegan-friendly. I did a little reading earlier this week, and learned about the steps for GAPS and it's goals. It's very restrictive, and embraces things like bone broth, meat, eggs, fermented dairy.... and the steps progress. I'm not here to debate the merits of GAPS. All I'll say is I know it exists. I did make a raw cake years ago for someone on GAPS, it complied with the restrictions, was vegan, and although it was easy to make, it took quite a bit of research on my part. Mission accomplished at least. So, there are ways around this non-vegan nightmare it would seem. I even found a vegetable broth to make from scratch which according to my reading is GAPS compliant.

My contribution for today is Kombucha. It's fermented. And, it's compliant for full GAPS, not the early stages. Don't worry about the stages unless you're going for it, right? I'm not going to explain them. It's irrelevant for this post. I'm here to tell you how I brew my own Kombucha.

Considering I was up to a 2 bottle a day habit, things had to stop retail-wise, ya know? I bought a jar from the fancy site Cultures for Health, a SCOBY and whatever else I needed. Guess what, the jar is broken (defective upon purchase and now I'm stuck trying to get my $60 back) the SCOBY molded over (now I realize it's because the jar was broken) and I've got all that crap I'm not even using. A friend gave me a healthy SCOBY with a cup of starter, and I got a jar at the thrift for $4. Here's my current brew, yes it looks freaky, but this is normal! That is NOT mold! SCOBYs freak people out, but they really just want to be loved...

This is my Kombucha.
That is not mold. That's a healthy SCOBY.
The jar looks frosted because of the lighting.

Here's my Kombucha recipe:

1.5-2.0 gallons water
About 1.5 cups sugar (sugar, not liquid stuff, not fake sugar, not Stevia)
Black tea of choice (about 10 bags)

Boil the water, add sugar til dissolved, turn off heat, then add the tea bags. Remove tea bags after brewing (about 10 minutes or so) cool completely, do not refrigerate!

Use a large vessel (a Kombucha jar with a spigot is my jam considering I'm doing continuous brew), pour in your sugar/tea mixture, add in your starter plus SCOBY (which you get from a friend... you NEED this and my suggestion is don't waste a penny of your hard earned $ on a dehydrated SCOBY or any other shit from Cultures for Health, they do not stand behind their products at all!) put the lid on your jar, cover it with a lovely piece of fabric to darken and then sit it on the counter. Mark your date for about 7 days to taste. Here, I'm bottling my Kombucha in 8 days. It's fermenting so fast with the heat, even wtih AC on in the house. Sometimes you may choose to go up to 14 days. It will get very sour almost like vinegar, that's not really  your goal. The SCOBY eats the sugar, that's how she survives. So your final product is not sweet. You can either drink it plain when you taste it (bottle it and get another batch going, leaving some in as starter and your pretty little SCOBY friend) and just keep going and going and going.

I do a second fermentation using grapefruit. That's pretty much NOT GAPS compliant. But, damn if my first brew at 7 days isn't delicious as it is!

You can look on line and lose your mind with Kombucha videos. I was terrified on my first batch. And, when it failed, I thought I just sucked at it. Nope, it's the SCOBY. A $4 jar and the price of tea and sugar I'm brewing about 8 bottles at a clip. It's so delicious. And GAPS compliant unflavored.

This isn't a meal, but it's good for almost any of us. Fermented foods are good for gut health, easier to digest and delicious. Choose the vegan ones, I mean geez I make non-dairy yogurt at least once every 2 weeks no need for all that dairy.

Please don't let my time on Duval Street be in vain. Go vegan, you don't need a Cube of Truth to tell you what we all already know. Vegan is love.

There, I'm done.


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