You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.Barbara Sher

orangeade kraut copy It’s almost summer and that means it’s almost “Delicious Cultured Veggies” season. People ask me all the time what I use and how I culture my veggies.

DO YOU NEED A STARTER CULTURE TO MAKE CULTURED VEGGIES?

No, you do not need a starter culture to make cultured veggies. However, by using a starter you will receive more probiotics and a lot of other benefits. Let me explain your options and you can better choose which is the best method for you. I have tried all the methods below and these are the things I have learned in my years of experience and through trial and error, which is a great teacher. I only sell things in my store that I like and use and I will always shoot straight with you about everything that I personally do.

Make these veggies any way you can and you will receive some of these benefits.

  • Ideal for appetite and weight control
  • Ideal for pregnant women
  • Ideal for children with Autism and ADD
  • Curbs cravings for bread, sweets, and dairy
  • Great food poisoning remedy
  • Resists viruses and infections
  • Enhances digestion

Here are the options for methods used to make cultured veggies.

caldwellCaldwell’s Starter Culture: This is, hands down, my favorite. This culture is now dairy free and it is the culture I use on all my veggies. They specially designed this culture to make the good bacteria stay at a higher level for a longer period of time. When you make cultured veggies they’re at their strongest after the first few days they are made. This is because the cultures are rapidly consuming the food in the veggies and making probiotics, but as they run out of food they start to diminish. This will happen more quickly when you don’t use a culture. At first I thought this was just a lot of hype, but after using this starter in my veggies for years it convinced me. The veggies stay more active even after months in the fridge and they don’t seem to lose their power to help with colds and flu – and especially when it comes to food poisoning, they will knock it out fast. This also makes these veggies really strong and powerful; so I caution you to be careful because they will start to clean the world inside of you when you eat them, removing pathogens and candida and you will often feel the effects if you consume too much and aren’t used to them.

Kefir whey

Kefir whey

Kefir whey : This is a great resource when you don’t have a starter culture, but there are a few things that I want to mention. First of all, if you make milk kefir a lot you will always have access to kefir whey, which is handy. You should always use fresh whey within a few days of making your kefir. Kefir whey that sits  a long time, even in your fridge, loses a lot of its probiotics because it is separated from the milk which is its food source. When culturing with kefir whey, it is best to culture in small batches and eat it quickly because it can get a strong taste that I don’t like over time. There are a lot of kefir strains of bacteria that will ferment your veggies in different ways, so your veggies will taste different and you will get different bacteria benefits than you would with the bacteria in powdered veggie starter cultures.

body-Ecology-300x300 copyBody Ecology Veggie Starter: This is also a great starter and is the one I use if Caldwell’s is out of stock. Body Ecology offers a lot of benefits, but I have found that Caldwell’s consistently works better and so I always choose it unless I don’t have the option.

No starter: This is a fun and easy way to make cultured veggies and great if you are limited on resources. Submerging veggies under water will cause acidifying bacteria to make their own good bacteria Lactobacilli. It is naturally designed this way and the vitamin C is increased (all cultured veggies will have this) and probiotics are made from your cultured veggies. Over the course of a few weeks, these probiotics diminish quickly as they run out of food which is another reason I recommend using a starter culture to keep the probiotics at higher levels longer. Still, this is a fabulous way to have cultured veggies and it is also fun to make and super easy. (See a recipe below)

These are a couple of my favorite recipes.

spinach and blueberries Blueberry Spinach Kraut – click here

  orangeade

Orangeade Kraut – click here This recipe does not require a starter.