If you are anything like us, you struggle with deciphering between which health food trends are worth bandwagon-ing, and which are phony. The truth is, we are all just looking for a quick-slim fix that makes us feel like we are on top of our health game—right? But we can’t all be a part of LA’s elite with the nicest juicers and dietitians. Budget is the name and frugal is the game, so when we caught wind of Target’s new line of Organic Simply Balanced kombucha, we figured we might be onto something.
Before we jump into the checkout line, let’s get to the bottom of what kombucha is and what the hype is all about. The drink may be all the rage among millennials, but the combination of bacteria, black tea, and sugar actually stems from ancient China. The home-made fermented drink was used to relieve fatigue, stress, acne, headaches, constipation, and hypertension.
Studies show kombucha is great for your heart, skin, and nails as well as your metabolism and energy. Since kombucha contains probiotics and enzymes, it is all-around good for the digestive system as well as high in vitamin B, which is great for the pancreas and liver.
We found that people love kombucha as a healthy alternative to soda. Although the drink is made with lots of sugar, a good amount is digested by the bacteria during the fermentation process. (Sounds like a good loop-hole to us.) According to Nutriliving, the average 12-ounce can of soda contains 39 grams of sugar, and Organic Simply Balanced kombucha is between 13-17 grams.
Although kombucha is relatively easy to make at home, we suggest sticking to buying the bottled brands. You want to make sure that you are following a reliable recipe properly to ensure that what you are drinking is safe.
As a result of natural fermentation, kombucha does contain close to .5% alcohol depending on the brand. We highly suggest speaking with your physician before consuming while pregnant or breastfeeding.
All-around kombucha sounds like the real deal, so is Target’s Organic Simply Balanced the drink for us? We tasted two out of the four flavors—blueberry grape and ginger. You can also pick from mango or the raspberry, lemon, ginger flavor. Both the ginger and blueberry flavors were vivacious and effervescent—while the blueberry grape reigned true to its very sweet origins, the ginger resembles the semi-spicy and peppery, lemony, slightly sweet but pungent flavoring you would expect.
The 15.2 fl oz bottle ranges in calorie count depending on the flavor: ginger with 60 calories, blueberry grape with 70 calories. Each bottle contains 19mg of caffeine—an appreciated added boost of energy you will feel.
Compared to other well-known kombucha brands sold at Whole Foods for around $5—Target’s exclusive line with Simply Balanced is $2.79 a bottle. We can’t promise its recipe is the healthiest around, but it seems to us that you can’t really go wrong here!