Archive for Author Rebecca Coleman

5 Uses for Kombucha (other than drinking)

A few months back, I embarked on a challenge. You see, I don’t like kombucha. I don’t like it one bit. But I wanted to try to learn to like it because it’s good for you.

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink (yeah, I realize that sounds gross) that’s actually pretty good for you. It has probiotics in it, which can help with things like digestion and they also support your immune system (not to be underrated as we move into cold and flu season).

5 Uses for Kombucha

Sure, there are other forms of probiotics, like other fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, sourdough and miso. But kombucha is a pretty convenient source of drinkable probiotics.

Lots of people love it. I have many friends that like it as a kind of substitute for drinking wine. But for me, I have a hard time with it. It has a kind of vinegary taste to it that I find (literally) hard to swallow.

A few months back, I decided I’d try to see if I could learn to like it. The beginning of that process was learning to make my own. First I learned how to grow a SCOBY (which is the “mother” or the thing that ferments the tea. Once you have a SCOBY, it’s a snap (although it takes a week to ferment) to make your own kombucha. Here’s how:


The idea for me, with making my own, was that it would be easier to make it to my own taste. I discovered that green tea makes it a lot more palatable than black tea, and also that doing a second ferment with some fruit and mint leaves went a long way.

So, my learning curve with kombucha is… curving. But I still don’t love it. I am, however, discovering other ways of integrating it into my diet without drinking it.

5 Uses for Kombucha

Vegan Kombucha Pretzel Knots: in this case, kombucha makes a great leavener for these home-made pretzels.

Kombucha Salad Dressing: Sub out the vinegar in your fave vinagrette recipe with kombucha. It works great! Here’s a recipe.

Fruit fly traps: It’s not so bad now that the weather is cooling a little, but this summer (and most summers) fruit fly infestations in my kitchen are something I really hate! To be safe, I move my compost outside, and I also make sure I store my fruit in the fridge instead of on the counter. But kombucha makes a great fruit fly trap. I use a small glass, and pour some kombucha into the bottom, maybe about 1″ worth. Then I cover it with a piece of plastic wrap and pull it down tight. Finally, using a skewer, I poke holes in the top of the plastic wrap. The fruit flies are attracted to the sweetness and the fermentation of the kombucha (better that than my wine!) and crawl in through the holes and either can’t get out or drown.

Cocktails! Okay, now we’re talking!! Here’s the thing: kombucha is brewed and fermented just like a lot of your favorite alcholic bevvies. It does have a very tiny amount of naturally occurring alcohol in it, about 1%. Kombucha goes great in mixed drinks, especially with cocktails like a Moscow Mule, which uses something a lot like kombucha called Ginger Beer. Here are some to try.

In the garden: Kombcuha has properties that help acidify, and it can be useful for everything from spraying on plants to deter pests, to using to water your garden, to burying leftover SCOBYs in your soil.

What’s your favorite way to use Kombucha (other than drinking it)? Share in the comments below.




Pumpkin-Spiced Brownies {Vegan}

It’s Thanksgiving this weekend, and you know what that means… Tofurky for all! Okay, so not really… I’m not the hugest Tofurkey fan, but I am grateful for all the great vegetarian versions of holiday feasts out there that give me an alternative to the turkey the rest of my family will be eating at our dinner on Monday night.

I will say this, though: my omni family has zero problems with my vegan desserts. A couple months back, we got together for a family birthday, and I supplied a vegan chocolate cake. The result was a platter that was completely licked clean, and not one complaint heard.

Pumpkin Spiced Brownies Vegan

It usually falls to me to contribute some kind of sweet dessert thing to our holiday family dinners. Pie, obviously, is a default dessert, but I’ve also done things like Pumpkin Creme Brulees (catch my entire collection of Pumpkin recipes here)

It looks like this year’s dessert will be these pumpkin brownies.

Now, you might be thinking “chocolate?? and pumpkin??” with some skepticism, but I love them together. The pumpkin makes for a more moist brownie, and let’s face it, nobody wants a dry brownie. Add in some pumpkin pie spices on top of that, bam! You’ve got yourself a winner.

I adapted this recipe from Green & Blacks. The original was almost vegan (it had eggs but no butter or milk), so I simply swapped out the eggs for some aquafaba, and veganized it.

Dark chocolate, by the way, is nearly always vegan. Anything above about 70% usually has no milk added. Check the label just to be certain, of course, but you should be good. For me, the bonus of using dark chocolate is that it intensifies and deepens the flavor.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Brownies

Pumpkin-Spiced Brownies {Vegan}


  • 4 ounces Dark Chocolate (I used about 1 & 1/4 bars) Green & Black’s Organic 85%)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1-1/2 cups vegan (unrefined) sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (OR 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp each ground ginger and nutmeg, and a pinch each of ground cloves & allspice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt the Chocolate and the coconut oil together, stirring regularly.
  2. Once melted, stir in the sugar and pumpkin puree, then aquafaba and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and sea salt. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and fold in without over mixing.
  4. Pour the brownie batter into a parchment-lined 8″x8″ pan, prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes.


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