Gut Check: Consumers Get Good Bacteria When Cooking with Kombucha

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  • Consumer fascination with kombucha has created the likes of ‘bucha beer, teahouses with kombucha on tap, and kombucha brewing at home. But it appears that the kombucha saturation point has not yet been reached. Creative home cooks are now finding ways to work kombucha into their everyday recipes (NourishedKitchen.com, 13 March 2014).
  • Whether store-bought or homemade, the fermented beverage is a perfect substitute for apple cider vinegar in soups and salad dressings. It can also serve as the starter for sourdough bread or pancakes.
  • Home cooks also extol the virtues of kombucha as a flavorful meat marinade, effectively infusing flavor and tenderness into chicken and pork in particular.
  • Aside from the double-duty flavoring that kombucha offers, health-focused home cooks appreciate the dose of good bacteria that they can incorporate into their most oft-eaten foods.

BalancedHealthy POV:

  • While health foods have had very robust growth, healthy beverages have come along a bit slower. We saw the astronomical growth of juicing and cold-pressed juices, and now kombucha is following right behind. While still a bit niche, the usage of kombucha in cooking may help to spur further growth through expanded usage and trial. Use in cooking provides a more accessible, albeit unique, way of incorporating the product so that the consumers can still reap the health benefits.
  • Consumer usage and curiosity with kombucha has been on the rise for a few years now. As more evidence has mounted about the negative effects of soda and sugar consumption, along with artificial ingredients in general, consumers have started reevaluating their food and beverage behaviors and have started to seek out more simple, natural and wholesome alternatives.
  • With a slight carbonation from the fermentation, kombucha tea is poised to be a satisfying solution to getting that carbonation fix, while also having the added benefit of containing probiotics (i.e. good bacteria) that aid in digestion.  However, people aren’t necessarily scooping it up for its flavor. Its taste has been described as somewhere between vinegar soda and carbonated apple cider. This is why incorporating it into cooking may be a good trial for this product, as it lessens the severity of the pungent sour flavoring.
  • We’re definitely going to keep our eye on this trend. Even if it may not have the muster to go mainstream, it’s definitely making some companies pucker at the thought of consumers abandoning their products in favor of this tart-tastic alternative.

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