Strawberry Banana Kombucha Frostie

by Gena on June 6, 2012

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Glad you all liked the kombucha sangria recipe! I can’t wait to make it again, with different flavor combinations.

While we were on the topic of kombucha, a reader asked what kombucha is, and why it’s so good for you, after all? For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, kombucha is a fermented tea. It’s fizzy, a little sweet, and it’s associated with all sorts of incredible health claims, from the most intuitive (healthy bacteria in the tea can help with digestion) to the more dubious (the tea will "detoxify" your body) to the highly questionable (kombucha can prevent and reverse cancer). Published studies on kombucha’s health benefits are rather scarce, though there’s at least some evidence that the acid and the healthy bacteria in the tea can aid with digestive function. But if you’re not looking to improve anything in particular, fear not: kombucha is still worth drinking because it’s very tasty, and because, if you don’t often drink beverages of the alcoholic kind, kombucha is a lovely thing to bring to parties, potlucks, or to sip at other social gatherings.

Kombucha is made from adding a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (also known as a SCOBY) to a tea base. You can prepare your own SCOBY at home rather easily; there are tons of online tutorials, including this one, this one, and this one. I highly recommend Sayward’s excellent and easy-to-follow post on brewing homemade kombucha, and Averie also has easy DIY instructions.

I don’t brew my own at home, but if you do find yourself developing a steady kombucha habit, you should consider it! Kombucha is incredibly pricey (GT kombucha, which is the most popular and easy to locate brand, costs between $3.99 and $4.99 per bottle), and adds up quickly. As anyone who brews kombucha will tell you, it’s not hard to get a rhythm going. I liken brewing kombucha at home to sprouting (or many other raw food techniques): you need to take the first step, but once you start, all you have to do is occasionally check in.

That said, if you only drink kombucha on occasion, it’s totally OK to forgo the brewing process and purchase the storebought stuff; there are a bunch of brands on the market now, and some of them are less pricey than the GT stuff. It’s also a lot of fun to explore local, independent kombucha brewers; there are a bunch of purveyors in Brooklyn, and I recently tried and loved Buddha’s Brew, which hails from Austin, TX.

I personally don’t drink kombucha all that often because carbonated beverages tend to unsettle my stomach. But I do love a glass now and then, and I often drink it at cocktail parties. Until very recently, it had never occurred to me to mix kombucha with anything else. Then I read Doug McNish’s new book, Eat Raw, Eat Well, and encountered his recipe for a blueberry banana kombucha smoothie. Kombucha smoothie, you say?! Genius. I’ve used coconut water for a base, so why not?

I tried Doug’s recipe and loved it, and since then, I’ve been experimenting with my own blends. So far, my favorites have been simple mixtures of fruit and kombucha, or fruit, kombucha, and avocado. They’re incredibly refreshing for summertime, and they add a nice dose of healthy bacteria to a typical smoothie concoction. Because they’re so light, I tend to think of these drinks as “frosties,” rather than smoothies.

The following blend is my current favorite. It’s as simple as can be: strawberry, banana, synergy kombucha, and a touch of lime. It couldn’t possibly be more refreshing, or more perfect for the season!

Strawberry Banana Kombucha Frosty

Serves 1

1 small frozen banana
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1 cup GT synergy kombucha (or your own brew)
1 tbsp lime juice

Blend all ingredients, and serve!

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A couple of fun variations:

Mint strawberry banana frosty: Add 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint before blending.
Creamy strawberry banana frosty: Add 1/4 large or 1/2 small avocado before blending.
Purple strawberry banana frosty: Add 1/4 cup blueberries before blending.

Yum!

I hope you all enjoy this extraordinarily refreshing treat soon! It’s uncharacteristically cool in DC right now, but that won’t last for long. And I’ll be all over these drinks when the temperatures rise.

Are you a kombucha fan? What’s your favorite flavor? Do you brew your own, and do you have any tips for us?

See you back here tomorrow!

xo

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

laura June 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Oh yum! I love the idea of a frosty. This one reminds me a little bit of a raspberry lime rickey in frosty form!

I honestly don’t drink kombucha that often, but I have to try this!

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Amanda June 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I’m a big kombucha fan, although I’ve yet to try it in a smoothie (your recipes sound fantastic!). I recently started brewing my own and have a couple of tutorials on my blog. Originally, I grew my own SCOBY using a bottle of plain GT kombucha, but someone contacted me to let me know that the resulting tea can be a little off because the stuff at the grocery store was reformulated to contain less alcohol. I’ve since been experimenting with a SCOBY I purchased online, and I have to say – I do notice a difference (stronger flavor, less yeast, more carbonation). Just something to keep in mind for anyone looking to brew their own. The process is super simple though and totally worthwhile if you drink it regularly! :)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks June 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm

WOW this looks amazing, Gena! The flavors, the title, it’s screaming summer to me and it’s a gorgeous day and warm-ish here. It would hit the spot! I need to make this with some of my kombucha. Thanks for linking up my DIY post, too :)

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity June 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

This looks very inviting! I’d also love to freeze them into icey poles for a hot day.
Kombucha hasn’t completely taken off in Australia yet but I have just started seeing some marketing so hopefully people will become aware of the benefits.
Do you find many store bought bottles contain alot of added sugars?
Lisa X

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janet @ the taste space June 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Looks great, Gena! I started brewing my own Kombucha but can’t seem to get it as fizzy as the bottled stuff. I’ve put my scoby to rest for the meantime. I should probably go check to make sure it is still alive!

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Ashley June 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Oooh, I have a lunch date with a friend tomorrow + will be making these!! :)

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the delicate place June 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm

i am a fan but i drink it sparingly. as in your case, carbonated beverages tend to send my guts in a spin! i don’t know how so many people ingest diet soda and function haha. my fave flavor is gingerade!

thanks for the info on the wine…to be honest even i was a bit grossed out by the ingredients! yikes. good to have the list though for reference! i have been chugging fruit smoothies lately as i have given up xanthan gum (i am much preferring thickening my shakes with avo or fruit and my stomach is thanking me as well!)

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

yum! this looks amazing! creamy and luscious:) i love a refreshing, frosty drink on a hot day! thanks for sharing!

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Mikaela June 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm

hurray for kombucha! I have been drinking less alcohol lately and I have found that bringing bottled kombucha to social gatherings where I know my favorite beers or wines will be served has made my transition much easier (water just left me thirsting for something more satisfying and I did not like drinking too many sugary sweet juice beverages). I also love to homebrew and was really surprised by how easy it is.

For anyone considering hombrewing kombucha
- There are many wonderfully instructive blogs out there, peruse many for different ideas. There are many different approaches to homebrewing kombucha! Some folks swear by certain kinds of teas, others by certain kinds of sugar, some sterilize the heck out of everything in their kitchen, others adopt a somewhat more relaxed approach. Find out what works for you.
- like Amanda, I recommend starting with a high quality SCOBY. I would recommend checking your local craigslist or freecycle because frequently kombucha enthusiasts find themselves with an abundance of SCOBY’s and its a great way to get to know another brewer in your area. You might be surprised to find other brewers even in rural areas. Otherwise, there are several companies that sell viable Kombucha cultures online.
- Do not be surprised if your homebrew comes out relatively flat and sourish at first. Again, peruse blogs to find different carbonation and sweetening options if that is what you are going for.

have fun!

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2sisters2cities June 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

This recipe seems really healthy and tasty! I am actually hosting a strawberryl linky party at http://www.2sisters2cities.com/2012/06/fresh-produce-tuesday-week-11-strawberry-recipes/ as part of our Fresh Produce Tuesday series. I would love if you submitted this recipe!

-m

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Lindsay Loves Veggies June 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I love kombucha! I typically buy GT’s because that’s the least expensive brand in the grocery store where I usually shop. I had a strawberry serenity yesterday, but my favorite would have to be the trilogy flavor.

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Lia June 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm

You know, I’ve been finding that the homemade Kombucha they sell at my yoga studio gives me acidity in my stomach. I’ve had the GT kind and that has never been an issue. Do you know why this might be?

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BroccoliHut June 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm

What a great idea! I love kombucha, but I never thought to enjoy it in any way other than straight-up. My favorite flavor these days is the Trilogy–love that raspberry juice!

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Ilana June 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Yesterday I purchased one of the re-released GT “classic” kombucha- you know, the more alcoholic one- and I got IDed! I knew that was coming but still it was the first time I’ve been asked to show ID for anything except to board a plane in a year. Shows how different my life is now…

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts June 6, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I love the sound of that mint variation – although any would be lovely I imagine. The colour is beautiful too!

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Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) June 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I love the idea of making my own kombucha, thanks for including the links! I’m always a little scared of lab projects in the kitchen, but it can’t be that hard, right? (Famous last words). I will let you know if I am successful!

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Ali June 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I certainly went through a Komutcha phase, and we even brewed our own! Now, I am like you, it tends to upset my stomach more than anything. It is still nice every once in a while though! COOL idea to make a smoothie out of it!!

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Elaine June 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I don’t brew kombucha but I’ve been making water kefir for a couple years and it would go very well with this recipe. It is far easier to brew than kombucha and I make a wonderful fizzy grape drink for the family and to satisify my granddaughter who loves it. Much better for you than soft drinks, of course.

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Food and Fashion June 7, 2012 at 2:59 am

Both smooth and sparkling, sounds like the perfect summer drink!

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Alicia @ Treble Tart June 7, 2012 at 7:11 am

I’ve just recently started getting interested in kombucha. I haven’t taken the plunge and tried any yet, but this looks like a great way to ease into it! Yum!!

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Bek June 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

Fascinating! I think I’m going to have to try that sometime. I love trying new teas, and summer seems like the perfect time to try it! Thank you!

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Heather @ For the Love of Kale June 7, 2012 at 9:00 am

This looks divine! I love kombucha and my favorite is GT’s guava goodness flavor. Definitely a special, once-in-a-blue-moon treat for myself. :-)

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Stefania @ Revitalize with Stefania June 7, 2012 at 11:38 am

looks so refreshing!

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Becky June 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I don’t know if I was the reader you referenced with the kombucha questions – but thanks for this very thorough explanation. I didn’t realize it was fizzy – that clinches it – I need to give it a try. I just hate to plunk down so much money on a drink that I might not like. (Or worse, a drink I end up LOVING and wanting to spend that much money on it!)

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Ashley June 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Made it. Obsessed. Thank you. :)

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amanda June 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

love this idea! I’ve never been able to acquire the taste for kombucha but need more ways to incorporate the good guys (bacteria) into my diet. AND I’m a smoothie nut! Definitely going to try this this weekend. Thanks!

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Catherine June 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm

The picture is great! I have been making my own Kombucha for a couple of months, and it worths trying : you save money and you can make it your style (I like it with pomegrenade green tea, ginger and coconut sugar). However, I always drinks it plain, so I will give a try in a smoothie with all the fresh field strawberries we have here! I wonder why some people says it upset the stomach, because I feel it actullay helps acidity problems.

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Steph June 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I hated kombucha until I tried Buddha’s Brew and Holy Kombucha. Now I’m a fan.

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Hannah June 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

There’s no kombucha in Canberra, but I tried it in Melbourne with Lisa and fell in love. So I’m fairly certain I’d like this muchly, even though fizzy drinks make my stomach gurgle too. In a charming ladylike way, of course.

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