Milk Kefir

Many of my friends have asked me to teach them how to make fermented foods, in fact, it is one of the reasons I started this blog. Kefir contains probiotics as well as many vitamins that are made bio-available by the fermentation process. Lacto-fermented foods are an inexpensive way to obtain probiotics. (Good quality probiotics can be expensive, especially if you have a large family). Kefir was the first fermented food I experimented with. I initially heard about it in a book called “The Four Hour Body“, by Tim Ferris. He mentioned consuming fermented foods to help lose weight and…

Kimchi

I finally bought some authentic Korean pepper flakes to make kimchi. It’s an overcast day, and my daughter is napping, so it’s a good time to try it out. (With the flu going around again, the timing is perfect). What does kimchi have to do with the flu? Well technically it’s just food, and according to the FDA it can not CURE disease. However, kimchi is loaded with beneficial bacteria which can strengthen your immune system. It is a great food to consume regularly to make sure the population of “good bacteria”, (probiotics), outnumber the pathogenic bacteria and viruses in your body….

Cultured Pineapple Salsa

Homemade salsa is something I have always wanted to try. I honestly don’t know what took me so long, it really isn’t difficult. Part of the problem was living in South Korea where limes and cilantro were hard to come by. A few weeks ago I finally did it, I made homemade salsa. But this wasn’t ordinary salsa, it was LACTO-FERMENTED salsa. (I am a strange person, I know). The first batch of lacto-fermented salsa I made turned out “O.K.”. I was inspired by this recipe which showed up in my facebook news feed one day. My version was “lacking” in flavor. Maybe I…

Dill Pickles

(The Old Fashioned Way) I think that kefir is the quickest and easiest fermented food to make, but lacto-fermented pickles is a close second. I am surprised how long it took me to try making pickles the “old fashioned way.” Once I did I was hooked, they taste so much better than the pickles that are preserved in vinegar. Ingredients: Glass jar Cucumbers Sea Salt (amount will vary, depending on the size of you jar). Filtered Water (I use the ZeroWater filtration system) 1-2 Tbsp fresh dill 1 tsp. mustard seeds 1 tsp. peppercorn Some sort of weight (I use a small…

Traditional Sauerkraut

When I was pregnant I read about the health benefits associated with the regular consumption of fermented food, especially during pregnancy. In South Korea, kimchi is available everywhere, so I ate it a lot. But I wanted some variety and I was terrified by the idea of “doing it myself “, (thoughts of food poisoning or botulism ran through my mind).  Then I thought about the situation logically. I had been consuming kimchi for a few years and I never got sick from it. I had absolutely no idea if the person who made the kimchi sterilized their utensils or made sure the cabbage…

Kombucha

This flavorful fizzy drink has become popular, even outside the small circle of “real foodies”. What is it? It is Kombucha. If you are trying to break the habit of drinking soda while improving your health this is a good choice for you. Though I made poor food and drink choices in my younger days, soda consumption was not one of them. Sure, I drank soda on occasion, but I never suffered from a soda addiction. (Gratefully). Honestly, it made me feel very bloated so I avoided it. Apparently, some people have a very difficult time breaking the habit of…

Homemade Yogurt

Kefir was my “gateway” ferment. Surprisingly yogurt was not the first “cultured food” I experimented with. A few of my friends make yogurt regularly, and I thought about trying it, but I was a little weirded out by the thought of leaving milk out of the refrigerator overnight. (This was before I made kefir). I also contemplated buying a yogurt maker, but I was not sure I would use it a lot, and I already had a lot of kitchen gadgets. After learning how to make kefir, I lost interest in making yogurt. Making kefir was ridiculously easy and it…

Ginger carrot sticks – with probiotics

Do you love the idea of introducing fermented foods to your child, but have no idea how to get him or her to eat them?  If the answer is yes, this recipe is for you. It only involves a few ingredients, one of which is a vegetable that even picky eaters can usually tolerate. Carrots. I love the idea of having pre-cut veggies in the fridge to grab as a quick snack or side dish for my toddler’s meal. Now that I have a newborn in the house, healthy meal and snacks preps will be part of a never ending…

Water Kefir – A healthy soda alternative

Soda addiction is very common. Though I am a recovering sugar addict, I have never been a fan of soda. But I know many people who have a soda addiction. I also know many parents who struggle to get their kids to drink something healthy or eat probiotic foods. Water kefir is a good alternative to juice and soda and it actually tastes good. I was first introduced to water kefir around four years ago. I could not drink milk kefir at the time because I eliminated dairy from my diet. So I heard about this drink called water kefir….

Easy Homemade Yogurt

I figured out how to make homemade yogurt, without a packet of starter culture or a yogurt maker. I am pretty excited because this is saving me money. Healthy food is expensive. I truly believe in paying the farmer instead of the doctor, but ouch, it can be hard on the wallet. I have grown vegetables, joined a CSA, and preserved food, but the food budget is still pretty high. Cultured foods, when store bought, can be pricey. (A 16 ounce jar of sauerkraut costs almost ten dollars). So I started to focus my efforts on making cultured foods, since…

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