Kombucha Fruit Leather
I use a continuous brew method when I make my ‘booch and I am running into the issue of always having a superfluous amount of scoby. Because of this, my starter tea is becoming rather vinegary and this could potentially compromise my batches (loss of flavor, not as robust, or a weak brew). I’m giving away a couple more scobys this weekend to some friends but I still seem to have a lot. In all seriousness, I could probably give to 30 more people and still have enough for myself (yikes!). I would compost them in my vermicompost bin but I’m afraid it will disrupt the pH and kill off my worms and I live in an apartment with no actual yard so I can’t compost outside. So, I decided to do the most natural next thing. Make my scobys edible.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Who in their right mind would put one of those slimy things in their mouth?!” because I certainly thought that, too. Honestly, there are various ways to use your extra scoby and trust me, some of the ways to use them are far weirder than others. Google scoby clothing and you’ll understand. Don’t even get me started on scoby squid sashimi. I settled for something a little more palatable. If Bon Appetit wrote up an article about it, then we’re totally good, right?
I’ve adapted this recipe from Wellness Mama and I gotta say, it was actually pretty tasty! The recipe says to leave your oven on at its lowest temperature setting for 8-12 hours with the door propped open. Mine only took 3 hours with the door shut. I didn’t have a dehydrator and my oven’s lowest temperature was rather high compared to most conventional ovens so I ended up with more scoby fruit chips than scoby fruit leather. Both were very good! They reminded me of when my grandma used to make fruit leather but mine were slightly tangier and more tart. I must warn you, though: Instead of a sweet and fruity aroma, my entire apartment smelled like I had doused kombucha at every corner. Of course, I didn’t mind it. Those with sensitive sniffers, beware. Let’s get to it!
- 2 cups diced fruit such as strawberries, peaches, or pears
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 cups pureed SCOBY
- 1–2 tsp spices or herbs such as basil, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, or thyme (optional)
- Combine the fruit and sugar in a medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the fruit and sugar are thoroughly broken down and combined, about 10 minutes.
- Add the fruit mixture and scoby puree to a blender, along with the spices if using, and pulse until the mixture has the texture of applesauce and all the ingredients are combined.
- Spread the mixture onto wax paper, parchment paper, or silicone dehydrator sheets in a layer about ¼ inch thick.
- Dehydrate for 12 to 36 hours. If you’re using a dehydrator, use the lowest setting (95–110°F or 35– 43° C). If you’re dehydrating in an oven, set it to its lowest temperature and prop the door open.
- Once the mixture is dried and no longer sticky, gently remove from the wax paper. If the leather is difficult to remove from the wax paper, stick it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes; then peel off.
- Cut the leather into strips. These can be rolled up or cut into bite-size pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature; they will keep indefinitely but might dry out over time.
That's it! Best wishes on your exciting scoby recycling.