High Point Kombucha is excited to be back at the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market for its second year serving delicious, local and organic kombucha.
Laura Valasakos first became interested in kombucha after reading about the benefits of a clean diet with fermented foods.
Kombucha is a beverage made by fermenting sweetened tea with a starter culture called SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It might sound unorthodox compared to what we more commonly put in our bodies, but the finished product contains live cultures and boasts many healthy qualities including probiotics, organic acids, enzymes and antioxidants.
Valasakos decided to try to start brewing her own batches of kombucha at home shortly after discovering the drink.
“It was turning out better than anything I could get in the store, and I saw that many brands in the store were not even real kombucha,” she said.
In fact, many of the store brands were pasteurized and contained artificial ingredients and preservatives. Many also contained too much sugar and fizz.
“I clearly saw the link between processed and mass-produced food with my declining health, as well as the poor health of many people around me,” Valasakos said. “Why make food so complicated and gross?”
Valasakos found herself constantly thinking about starting a brewery. After plenty of research and five years of homebrewing, she decided to start a commercial brewery in April of 2019. She set up shop in the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center in Allentown, and High Point Kombucha was born.
“The name High Point is a nod to my love for hiking, as well as an attempt to sum up how it feels to get to the top,” Valasakos said. “When you can see things from a new perspective you can really feel the gravity of nature and how small we really are.”
Standard kombucha is made from a simple list of ingredients including filtered water, loose leaf black or white tea, cane sugar and the SCOBY. Valasakos flavors the finished kombucha with whole fruits and herbs to create one of the 10 different flavors she currently brews. Some of the flavors are available year-round, while others are seasonal.
For Valasakos, using local and organic ingredients is paramount when brewing High Point Kombucha.
“I source many of my ingredients locally and continue to make relationships with local farmers to showcase local seasonal harvests,” she said. “I also source organic ingredients if I cannot obtain it locally.”
As a fermented food, kombucha provides a long list of health benefits. Fermented foods are a natural source of probiotics, which aid in digestion, repair cell membranes, improve immunity and keep your gut healthy. They are also believed to potentially aid in weight loss, improve mood and brain function, reduce inflammation and help fight off infections.
“Many serious and chronic illnesses are believed to stem from poor diets and the poor gut environments that develop as a result,” Valasakos said.
Kombucha works to counteract this effect by helping the body absorb nutrients from the food it consumes, which cuts down on the need for supplements and vitamins.
Kombucha, like all fermented foods, is most beneficial when consumed regularly. However, Valasakos recommends anyone new to fermented foods to start small, with just a few ounces daily, and work their way up.
“Nature is a complex system that we don’t completely understand, and nature will always know best,” Valasakos said. “What we eat should be aligned with this too.”
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bottling lots and lots for you today! I've also added an extra appearance at @trexlertownfarmersmarket and will be there this Saturday. visit www.highpointkombucha.com to pre-order your favorite flavors! #lehighvalley #allentown #pennsylvania #kombucha #bottlingday #lotsoffun
The Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market is open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. next to the Hellertown Area Library at 409 Constitution Ave., Hellertown. The first hour of the day is reserved for senior shoppers and those considered at high risk due to COVID-19. For more information about the market, visit their website.
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