Kombucha scoby candy is a sweet chewy textured treat created from extra scoby "mushroom" cultures made by fermenting homemade kombucha tea.
Anyone of you who are avid kombucha makers know these round gelatinous disks can definitely build-up in your refrigerator.
Of course, you can always give them to family and friends to make their own gallon of kombucha, but another less known way to use them is to make "scoby candy." Yes, you can actually eat them!
But, if you'd ever tried to take a nibble from a kombucha scoby layer, you will have realized that it doesn't have a whole lot of flavor. It's bland, rubbery and not very pleasant to eat.
What we discovered, however, is that it can be marinated for a period of time in a sugary syrup made with natural sweeteners and dehydrated. This creates a chewy sweet candy-like treat that can be individually wrapped or stored in an airtight container in a pantry location.
At some point we decided to add freshly ground ginger powder to the mix
and came up with our own version of "ginger chews", a popular American
candy. While not quite as thick as commercial ginger chews, they are
just as tasty.
Keep in mind that these cubed kombucha scoby candy pieces contain a lot of sugar content. While they can be a good replacement for highly refined and processed candy, we do not recommend consuming them on a regular basis. And, absolutely avoid these treats if you have a low sugar tolerance or a candida infection. Kombucha drink, in general, should likewise be avoided under such circumstances.
In case you're wondering, the term SCOBY is an acronym for the words Symbiotic Colony of Yeasts and Bacteria. It is essentially the thick cellulose-based gelatinous mat that forms on the top of the kombucha tea liquid during the fermentation process.
It works in much the same way as other culture starters like kefir grains used to make kefir, koji used to make miso or the Rhizopus oligosporus spore cultures used to make tempeh. It is very similar to the Acetobacter aceti or "mother of vinegar" used when making vinegar.
While it is commonly called a "kombucha mushroom", it is not technically a mushroom species but a blend of bacteria and yeast strains. Not all scoby cultures, however, are made up of the same varieties or amounts of these microorganisms.
In the 2014 journal Food Microbiology multiple samples were tested for bacterial and yeasts. (*) Results indicated that most were made up of the following bacterial strains:
Because it is a "wild fermentation", it is important to use high quality mature kombucha scoby's that were developed in clean environments not exposed to heavy traffic, dust or debris. This will protect it from becoming contaminated with other unwanted species like candida.
When appropriately fermented, mature scoby should ultimately contain good amounts of beneficial Lactobacillus and other lactic acid-forming bacteria as well as yeast like Saccharomyces boulardii.
In our homemade kombucha scoby candy recipe we use very little heat, compared to other traditional recipes. This helps to ensure these live cultures are still present.
The most appropriate time to make use of your scoby rounds are when they are approximately 1/2 an inch (1.27 cm) thick. Sometimes they develop unevenly, with a thickness that may vary, but thinner pieces can still be used.
The three most common methods when making homemade kombucha scoby candy are:
For this homemade kombucha scoby candy recipe you will be marinating your cubes in a gingery blended syrup made from raw honey, dates, coconut sugar and stevia.
You can, of course, use fresh grated ginger root if preferred, but double the recipe proportions. Fresh ginger tends to give you more of a fibrous coating, so we usually dry our own root pieces and grind them down into a powder before use.
One half-gallon size scoby culture when chopped is roughly the equivalent to one cup. Here are the ingredient equivalents depending on how many extra scoby's you happen to have.
1C chopped scoby
2C chopped scoby
3C chopped scoby
After dehydrated they turn a darker caramel color. We like to individually wrap them and display in a decorative bowl as a side table snack.
In the end you should have a spiced, sweet chewy live cultured kombucha scoby candy to eat, share or give as gifts to fellow kombucha lovers.