Have you ever wondered what you can do with that kombucha that was forgotten in the back corner of your pantry until you found it months later and now it tastes like straight vinegar? The good news is it really is vinegar! Which means you can use it in basically any recipe that uses apple cider vinegar. It is a little milder than apple cider vinegar, which means you get to use a little more! Here are my top 5 uses for kombucha vinegar. Stay tuned, the best one ( in my opinion) comes at the end.
1. Use it in recipes that call for apple cider vinegar
I love using my excess kombucha vinegar when I'm cooking. I always add a splash to the water I use for boiling hard boiled eggs. Most soups ( except creamy, milk based ones) taste better when you add just a little acid, whether it's in the form of tomatoes, lemon, or vinegar. I like to keep a bottle of kombucha vinegar in the cupboard next to the stove where I also keep my spices. This way it's handy whenever I have a recipe that calls for some apple cider vinegar and I don't have to go to scoop some out of a jar of kombucha that has been sitting around for too long. I used to have to pick up the jar off the bottom shelf in my pantry where it was always stashed behind a ton of other jars full of stuff that never got used often. I'd then remove the cloth cover and try to pour off some kombucha vinegar with a dozen scobys all competing to escape the jar at the same time and make a huge mess! It's just so much easier to have it ready to go when ever I need it. I don't know about you, but if something is convenient for me, I'll be more likely to make use of it even if it's something that I know I need to be doing. So make it easy for yourself and just keep it ready all the time!
2. Make Flavored Vinegars
An easy way to dress up that plain vinegar is by adding some fresh or dried herbs, crushed pepper, or berries (raspberry vinegar is great). Let the herbs infuse in the vinegar for at least 6 weeks, then use it in your favorite salad dressing recipe or drizzle a little over a grilled steak. Find a great kombucha salad dressing recipe here. A fancy bottle of flavored vinegar would make a wonderful hostess gift as well!
3. Use it in your daily ( or weekly) cleaning routine
One of the most common ingredients in many DIY household cleaners is white vinegar. Kombucha vinegar is a great substitution for this and works well in shining up your stove, toilet, sink and bathtub. I like to use a vinegar based window cleaner as well. Add some citrus essential oils for an extra boost and to give a fresh clean scent.
4. Make homemade insect repellent and fly spray
Early this spring my dad, sister and I took a week long trip to Texas. We camped several nights and the first night we actually stayed at an equestrian horse campground in Tennessee. We found the perfect spot to pitch our tent and got all set up for the night then started cooking up some grub for supper. For some reason, we missed bringing along the bug spray. A very bad thing, since this campground had swarms of these awful little black bugs that would land on us and bite us, leaving huge welts. My sister's legs were covered in these welts an hour after we arrived! We didn't know what to do since we were no where near any stores and couldn't go get any bug spray. I had a little bottle of essential oils in my purse but it was one that made me break out in a rash and the only oil we had to dilute it was the lard we brought along to cook our food with! Not happening. Suddenly it dawned on me that we also had a bottle of kombucha vinegar along. Never having tried it before as a bug deterrent, I was a little nervous about slathering something all over our skin that normally attracts fruit flies by the droves. We decided we had nothing to lose so we splashed the kombucha vinegar on our bodies. It's a good thing we weren't going anywhere that night because we stank like we had fallen in a barrel of vinegar! But, it worked like a charm! The bugs left us alone and by the next morning all of our welts were gone.
I have also used kombucha vinegar on my horse instead of fly spray. Here's the recipe I like to use. Just sub kombucha vinegar for the ACV. It works very well, but only lasts about 24 hours. If you are going to be riding, spray your horse before you saddle up. You may want to take a bottle along if you'll be going on a long trail ride since bugs in the woods can be pretty bad.
You can find a few more tips on keeping flies at bay along with vinegar based fly repellent recipes here. Just substitute kombucha vinegar for any type of vinegar used in these recipes.
5. Use it as a hair tonic or rinse
Last but not least, my favorite way to use kombucha vinegar is on my hair. Since I have added a kombucha vinegar rinse to to my regular hair washing routine, I have noticed my hair is softer and healthier and definitely less tangely. I have a special recipe that incorporates some amazing herbs and essential oils into it but you can also just use plain kombucha vinegar and dilute in a a 1 part vinegar 4 parts water ratio. After you shampoo and rinse, just pour over your scalp making sure all of your hair get covered in the rinse and then squeeze out the excess. No need to rinse afterwards! Don't worry the vinegar smell leaves once it dries.You can buy my pre made herbal kombucha vinegar hair rinse here if you don't want to bother with your own.
So there is no need to worry about wasting any of your home made kombucha even if it turns into vinegar. This is by no means a complete list of ways to use your extra kombucha. I may update this post sometime with additional ways. But these are my favorite uses for it that I use regularly. What are some of your favorite uses for kombucha vinegar?