After you’ve been brewing kombucha for a while you will eventually start to produce way more scoby than you need. So, what can we do with all the extra scoby? Well, instead of throwing it out you may want to consider using it for alternative means. For example, you may want to try eating it!
Can you really eat scoby?
The answer is yes! Scoby is perfectly fine to eat. As it turns out, it’s actually very healthy for you (surprise, surprise.) They are packed full of the same nutrients you’ll find in kombucha – just in a more concentrated dose. If prepared correctly, they make a tasty snack. You can even chop them up and throw them in your morning smoothie. The only limit to what you can do with your scoby is your imagination.
I’ve done a bunch of research on the different ways you can prepare scoby to hopefully peak your interest. I’ve covered the sweat to the savory to the smoothie. There should be something for everyone.
Seriously Though, Can You Really Eat Scoby?
I know kombucha cultures look and feel so gross that it’s hard to imagine it tasting good. But I find that most people are pleasantly surprised when they try it for the first time. The only thing you have to get over is the chewy texture (we’ll talk about how to prevent this below.)
Some people have describe the texture as something along the lines of calamari and the taste something like a pickled pear. But eating it raw isn’t all that common. Rather, people are finding creative ways to use their spare scoby in a number of different forms.
When I tell people about eating scoby, their first question is usually why?
This is usually where I bring up all of the health benefits you can get from eating the kombucha mushroom.
The Health Benefits Of Eating Scoby
It turns out there are a lot of health reasons to eat kombucha culture. Firstly, it’s made primarily of cellulose. This is the same organic structure that acts as the fiber in vegetables.
Humans are unable to digest cellulose, so it passes straight through our digestive tract taking along unwanted waste along the way. Think of it as scrubbing the walls of your intestine clean.
The western diet is notoriously lacking in the fiber department. What better way to supplement your fiber intake then with a few bites of scoby?
Some of the other benefits of this insoluble fiber are:
- Because it moves through your digestive tract unchanged, it helps move waste through your digestive track – preventing constipation
- Removes metabolic waste excreted from your bile
- Lowers cholesterol levels by absorbing excess cholesterol from the digestive tract
- Helps lower high blood sugar levels by binding with excess sugar in the digestive system
- A high-fiber diet can improve heart and colon health and aid in weight loss
But fiber isn’t the only health benefit of eating scoby.
The scoby culture is full of the same bacteria and yeast that provides the nutritional content in kombucha. In other words, it’s full of beneficial probiotics and antioxidants. Some people have reported their inflammation decreasing and their overall bowel function improving.
The only caveat here is that eating scoby isn’t always as simple as people make it out to be.
The Best Way To Prepare Your Scoby For Eating
If you try and eat scoby straight out of your kombucha brew you may find it difficult. The dense cellulose networks makes it unbearably chewy. So much so that you may find it impossible to eat in the first place.
Does this mean everything you’ve read so far is an absolute lie?
Not really. There are a few ways we need to prepare the scoby to get around the chewiness.
1.Choose Your Scoby Wisely
The best tasting scoby comes from a freshly made culture that is about 1/4 of an inch thick. You may have to peel this youngster off from its mother before you use it. It should be nice and white in color.
The thinner the better here. This means the scoby’s cellulose is less developed compared to the more mature scoby. This is the best chance you have of actually being able to bit through the scoby.
2. Soak Your Scoby
The best way to prepare your scoby is by soaking it in a covered bowl of water for around 60 minutes. It’s also a good idea to chop the scoby into small pieces before you soak.
Soaking it this way also helps remove some of the acidic flavor, making it more pallable for most people. If you like your food to be on the tangy side you can always substitute milk for water.
5 Different Ways You Can Eat Your Scoby
If the thought of chewing on a raw piece of scoby is still a little much for you I’ve gathered 5 different ways you can eat your scoby. This way you can still get the health benefits without having to chew on a pickled pear flavored piece of calamari!
1.Blend Them Into Your Smoothies
Adding your scoby into your smoothie is the easiest way to make use of your extra scoby. Once you’ve soaked them, it’s as simple as adding them to your regular smoothie ingredients.
The blending takes care of the chewy texture and the flavor impact is usually fairly mimimal. I find they work the best with fruit flavored smoothy, but that’s just my personal preference.
If you’re looking for more of a punch from your kombucha bits skip the soaking step I mentioned above. This helps the scoby retain more of the acids and tannins that give it is flavor.
2. Scoby Puree
This is another simple way to add your scoby to many different types of food. First, place your cut up and soaked scoby into a blender. It’s a good idea to add a little bit of kombucha into this mix in order to prevent motor burnout.
You’ll want to avoid using a food processor as this usually results in a more stringy puree.
You’ll want to use about 1/4 cup of kombucha per cup of cut up scoby. Blend this mixture on high until a creamy texture forms. If it’s too thick, just add in a little more kombucha.
This puree can now be easily added into anything where you need a bit of extra tang!
3. Scoby candy
This is one of the most creative ways to use extra scoby. It’s usually done by creating a syrup to coat cut up scoby out of maple syrup and different kinds of fruit. The scoby pieces are then covered with this syrup and then baked.
The only downside to this method is it kills off most of the probiotics. An alternative method involves covering the scoby pieces in sugar and then dehydrating them. The downside to this method is it requires you to already own a dehyrator.
The culture will also continue to ferement the sugar after it’s dehyrdated so you won’t want to leaves these for too long.
Either way, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the end result.
4. Scoby Jerky
Scoby jerky may seem a little out there, but it’s actually a very delicious was to eat your scoby. There are two popular ways this is done. The first way involves cutting the scoby into strips and dehydrating them. The second uses the puree method I outlined in number 2 (I’ll discuss this method below.)
Using the strip method, the scoby is cut into bite sized pieces. You don’t want pieces that are too big due to the chewiness of the scoby. The pieces are then marinated for 12-24 hours. You’ll want to use about 1/2 cup of marinade per 1 cup of cut up scoby.
The easiest way to dehydrate the jerky is obviously in a dehydrator, but you can also use your oven in necessary. Place the cut up scoby on a baking sheet and place in your oven on the lowest setting. It’s a good idea to keep the oven door slightly ajar so that the jerky doesn’t become too tough.
It should only take a couple of hours for the scoby to dehydrate if you are using the oven method. Be sure to check on the scoby every half hour until you get the consistency you’re looking for.
5. Scoby Fruit Leather
This is another fan favorite. If you’re looking for a treat but don’t want the extra sugar from the scoby candy then I highly recommend you give scoby fruit leather a shot. It can be great for craving those after dinner sugar cravings.
It’s also a great dish to bring to a small get-together. People are usually very impressed when they find out it was made from kombucha scoby.
It uses the same dehydrating methods as jerky but uses a mixture of scoby puree, diced fruit, and a little bit of sugar. use about 2 cups of pureed scoby mixed with equal amounts of diced fruit. Adding in 1/4 cup of sugar will help balance out any tart flavors from the scoby.
Lay strips of the mixture onto parchment paper on a backing sheet and dehydrate at the lowest setting for at least 12 hours. Test the strips after 12 hours to check the consistency. You can usually dehydrate them for up to 36 hours before they start to become too tough.
Similar to the jerky above, you can always use your oven if you don’t own a dehydrator. Just make sure you keep the door propped open to ensure they don’t become too chewy.
Scoby – The New White Meat
If you are looking for a new way to cut meat out of your diet you can spice things up with a little bit of savory scoby. While I’ll be the first one to admit, scoby isn’t going to be able to replace the nutritional content it can still be a fun way to cut back.
Just be aware that scoby doesn’t contain much protein or calories (this can be a good thing, depending on your situation.) It’s main nutrional content comes from the fiber and probiotics.
Another thing to consider is scoby can be very fussy to cook with. Don’t get discouraged if your first recipe doesn’t work out. As I mentioned before, it can be very chewy to start off with – so if you leave it cooking unattended you’re just going to make things worse.
With that being said, here are a few ideas for you to play around with.
- Scoby Stir Fry – prepare your scoby in the exact same way you’d use squid. I recommend trying a teriyaki flavored stir-fry with this once. It’s best if you can marinate the pieces of scoby for at least 24 hours to allow them to suck up the flavoring. Be sure to only cook your scoby pieces for 3 minutes max!
- Scoby Sashimi – this is probably the easiest way to prepare your scoby. The trick here is to gently boil the scoby pieces for 2 minutes. This will soften the cellulose making them much more tender. Serve with a sauce of your choosing.
- Scoby Sushi – use scoby as a replacement for any squid or eel sushi recipe. Prepare the scoby the same was as outlined in the sashimi section above. You can even boil the scoby in vinegar and seaweed to give it an extra kick of flavoring. Just remember to never cook for longer than 3 minutes. As soon as the scoby changes color it’s cooked.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to use your extra scoby. Now there is no excuse for throwing out new scoby to make room in your hotel!
Have you found interesting ways to eat scoby? Tell me more about it the comment section below!