I admit that I score pretty high on the list of crunchy. I bike everywhere, hang dry my laundry, and run a fermentation website. However, the idea of turning kombucha SCOBYs into food was beyond me. So the credit for these SCOBY snacks goes out to my friend Mark.
Mark brought me a large jar of jerky… and it was… amazingly tasty! Even our kids, who were toddlers at the time, couldn’t get enough of it! So I decided to serve Kombucha SCOBY jerky to my not-so-crunchy book club, and everyone wondered what type of meat it was. They all assumed that the kombucha part of the jerky was in the sauce!
That makes this recipe a real winner!
Officially kombucha pellicles are mostly cellulose, so the jerky is basically flavor, probiotics, and fiber. So it doesn’t have any particular nutrient or caloric value. However, it’s a delicious way to use up extra kombucha pellicles!
Besides, who couldn’t use a bit of extra fiber in their diets?
The easiest way to harvest pellicles
This recipe works best with thin SCOBYs. Otherwise, the jerky is just too tough and chewy.
If you brew your own kombucha or vinegar, you probably have a few extra pellicles stashed somewhere at the back of your fridge. While it is possible to separate a thick SCOBY into thin layers… it’s also pretty time-consuming.
Here is the secret to getting nice thin pellicles:
- Harvest young pellicles off the top of your kombucha or vinegar.
- Depending on how often you brew, it could take a month or so to collect up enough pellicles.
- Don’t store the baby pellicles in a hotel or extra tea. Otherwise, they’ll start to thicken.
- Instead, collect them in a container in the freezer so you can make a large batch of SCOBY snacks all at once.
Kombucha SCOBY Snacks
Kombucha SCOBY snacks are chewy flavorful jerky that is made with extra pellicles. Not only is it delicious, but it is also full of probiotics and fiber! See the section above for details on how to harvest thin pellicles and the nutrition information for these snacks.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 hours
- Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6-8 1x
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Dehydrated
- Diet: Vegan
- 5–6 thin kombucha pellicles (SCOBYs), see the section above for harvesting recommendations
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (or Braggs)
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup (see notes for alternatives)
- 1 Tbsp finely diced garlic
- Optional 1 Tbsp peeled and grated ginger or finely diced chili pepper
- Cut the pellicles into thin strips.
- Grease your dehydrator trays and lay out the strips of pellicles.
- Dehydrate until most of the moisture is gone (about 1-2 hours at 105 F). My daughter likes her kombucha SCOBY snacks without any extra flavor. So try a few at this point, you might enjoy them as well!
- For maple jerky, mix up the soy sauce, maple syrup, and garlic into a marinade. Feel free to add ginger and hot pepper for a spicy jerky. Soak the dehydrated pellicles for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours.
- Grease your dehydrator trays again.
- Fully dehydrate the pellicles (about 105F for 6-8 hours).
- Store at room temperature in an airtight jar and consume within 1 month.
- Vinegar pellicles work equally well. The photographed batch was made with a mix of vinegar and kombucha pellicles. See the section above for details.
- Feel free to use your favorite liquid sweetener. We’ve tested the recipe with maple syrup and honey, but it would probably also work with brown rice syrup.
- Several readers recommend adding little liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Neither of these is in my pantry, so I haven’t tried it. But feel free to add whatever flavor you want to your jerky.
- If you don’t happen to have a dehydrator, you could use your oven set at the lowest temperature and leave the door propped open with a wooden spoon.
Keywords: probiotic, SCOBY, reuse, free, vegetarian, gluten free, summer, fall, spring