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We love traditions in our family. Every Christmas my mom always made a Christmas braid which was a giant concoction of cinnamon, nuts, and bread topped with a creamy frosting. I kind of changed the recipe with my family and made it from sprouted grains, and this year I decided to break with tradition and…(Read More)

“An I had but one penny in the world, thou shouldst have it to buy gingerbread.” ~ William Shakespeare Ginger Better Than Ibuprofen Food as medicine is the way that I live my life. Cultured foods are front and center, but there are many other things I turn to when we need extra help and…(Read More)

Cranberries are usually eaten only around the holidays. It’s really a shame we don’t eat them all year long as they are powerful foods that can work like preventative medicine. I got all emotional when I discovered all the things cranberries can do for us. Don’t you think it’s a divine…(Read More)

I was taking my daughter to acting class this week, and I got a text from one of my team members. He told me to get a box of kleenex and to read the email. I stopped the car to read the email, and with tears streaming down my cheeks I was reminded once again…(Read More)

A lot of suffering in this world comes from the fear of discomfort. In my own personal life, pain has come to teach me things and get me to change. I resisted it, fought it, and finally changed when I could do nothing else. When it came in a health crisis in 2001 and I…(Read More)

 Pumpkin smoothies are eggnog for morning people. I love, love pumpkin. It has many wonderfully healthy qualities and a creamy consistency that makes it a wonderful treat, especially around the holiday season. I use pumpkin in multiple ways, but some of my favorites recipes are ones I make with kefir. Fermenting pumpkin is a way…(Read More)

When you’re brewing kombucha, you need to feed the microbes so they can make probiotics. Sugar is the fuel source for these hungry critters. Always remember that the sugar is for those little microbes and not for you. They consume the sugar and then make probiotics and naturally occurring carbonation through the process of…(Read More)

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits. Kombucha vinegar is very similar and has many of the same properties.  This recipe uses the convenience of  kombucha to speed up the process of making vinegar and uses apple scraps to give it that tangy apple taste. Apple cider vinegars are made with crushed apples that are…(Read More)

The “ginger bug” has grown in popularity over the years and is a fantastic way to make soda for your family. You don’t need a starter culture or even kefir whey.  A ginger bug is a mixture of sugar, ginger, and water that captures wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria. Let it ferment for a…(Read More)

I love to eat and make kefir as well as yogurt. I’ve been having lots of fun making different types of yogurts made famous in different parts of the world. High number of centenarians I have discovered that in certain parts of the world, yogurt and kefir have been strongly linked with an unusually…(Read More)

Kefir Ice Creams +10

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I am pretty sure that owning a frozen ice cream machine has solved 90% of all my problems. I’m always looking for ways to enjoy my kefir, and kefir ice cream can be enjoyed anytime – even for breakfast! If you don’t have an ice cream maker that sits on the counter, you may…(Read More)

Several years ago I found myself with much to do. With my daughter getting married and a deadline for my new book looming, not to mention the fact that both my husband and I have our own businesses . . . it was intense at our house. I started feeling the pressure and found myself…(Read More)

So, you all keep asking . . . What do I do with all these SCOBYs?! If you are anything like me, you have a pile of SCOBYs in a massive SCOBY hotel just waiting . . . It feels somehow wrong to throw them away when you have taken care of them and watched…(Read More)

A few years back, a woman named Shelley came to my cultured food class. I couldn’t stop staring at her while I spoke, and I told my daughter that I thought I saw a light over her and was trying to figure out where it was coming from. She had been very sick when…(Read More)

Trilogy is a set of three works of art that are connected, and that can be seen either as a single work or as three individual works. Fermentation is an art form and each individual cultured food is, in and of itself, unique. The three foods of The Trilogy each provide different good bacteria and…(Read More)

 65,000,000+ probiotics There is a cultured Green Tomato dish on the market, made by Bubbies pickles, that is fermented. They had it analyzed for probiotics and they sent the results (65,000,000+) to me when I asked. They don’t use added cultures like Cutting Edge Cultures as I do, which means…(Read More)

Jun! The Champagne of Kombucha! For some of you, this culture is old news . . . for others, you may have never heard of it. Jun is a cultured food similar to kombucha but supposedly its own separate thing. It is brewed with a SCOBY culture that is light in color and is made…(Read More)

A recent study, published in the journal PNAS, suggested that bacteria in the gut may play a role in alcohol addiction and the risk of relapsing after rehab. The study was done on 60 alcohol-dependent individuals. They tested their intestinal bacteria composition and found that 26 out of the 60 alcohol-dependent subjects suffered…(Read More)

Yesterday my daughter Holli came running into the room and burst into tears. She cried and said, “Help me! My stomach hurts so bad.” And then she ran to the bathroom and started throwing up. She had spent the night with a friend who had just had the same thing, so I’m pretty sure…(Read More)

Here are just a few of my favorite prebiotic foods and supplements. Acacia, often called acacia gum, contains 86% prebiotic content. It is used as a food stabilizer and has a substantial amount of fiber and is essential for strengthening the population of good bacteria in your gut. One place to find this prebiotic is…(Read More)

Lots of articles are popping up about reasons you should have kefir, but few of the people writing the articles have actually drunk kefir every day for 14 years. This post is specifically talking about milk kefir and not water kefir.  My reasons for drinking kefir are very personal and specific to me. But here…(Read More)

First time I heard about the power of the cultured vegetable kimchi was during the bird flu epidemic. It was a scary epidemic that hit Asia in 2005 – about 60% of those infected with this virus died. Scientists were searching frantically for ways to protect humans and poultry from this deadly virus. Koreans have…(Read More)

It astonishes me that everybody doesn’t know about Cultured Veggies – they are such powerful little scrub brushes for the colon and deliver such powerful anti-virus abilities. Over and over again I have seen these veggies knock out colds and flu and even work magic on food poisoning. The thing that most surprised me…(Read More)

Coconut water is my favorite water kefir. I love how it tastes, how easy it is to make, and how it makes me feel. In the early days of making cultured foods, coconut kefir was a huge part of my daughter Maci’s recovery from food allergies and IBS. It was something she really liked…(Read More)

The legend goes . . . in China, 2727 BC, the Emperor Shen Nong, who was known as “the divine healer,” was boiling his water to clean out impurities. The pot was underneath a tea bush and several leaves fell into the pot. The pot had such a wonderful fragrance, color, and taste that the…(Read More)

Somebody asked me the other day how I come up with recipes for cultured foods. Many times they come suddenly into my brain.  This will often make me miss my exits while driving on the highway because I am thinking about the specifics of how to make it. Another way they come is through a…(Read More)

I have seen many people benefit from kefir, and this includes non-dairy kefir. So many people need a dairy-free version, so we created just about every kind of non-dairy kefir we could think of. The only one we tried and didn’t like was hemp milk. It came out with a really…(Read More)

2015 has been a busy year at Cultured Food Life. We launched many new products in our store and shipped four tons of products last year. I started a weekly radio show on Hay House Radio. My new book came out: Cultured Food for Health and we expanded our Biotic Pro membership site with many…(Read More)

The holidays are coming to a close and a new year is starting. Do you want to set a new intention to eat better but always feel like you fall short?  Why is it so hard to change? Neurons and microbes You’re redefining who you are through your choices every day, and the hardest…(Read More)

   A sourdough starter has only two ingredients: flour and water. Combined with unseen organisms of bacteria and yeasts and its mysterious ability to transform food, you’ll have a universe of possibilities. It’s Tuesday night and I usually make bread on Wednesdays. I take my sourdough starter out of the fridge to feed…(Read More)

I love almonds and they make wonderful kefir. Some people call almonds the healthiest food in all the world and they have tons of health benefits. But I know a thing or two  about almonds that perhaps you do not know. Happiness is having friends who feed you. Here is a recipe describing how to…(Read More)

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I felt off, kind of loopy in the head and couldn’t think straight, and not myself. I was tired and wanting to rest a lot and didn’t want to exercise. This was not like me, and it scared me. Then I got a…(Read More)

I was struggling and I called my editor to say, “I’m having a really hard time writing this chapter in my book. I hate writing about sickness and disease. I so believe in wellness that writing about this is really hard for me and I’m having a hard time finishing it.” Laura, my…(Read More)

My grandparents knew. They knew the grandkids were eating badly. They fussed at our parents but nobody listened, because the foods we were eating were so addictive. We reasoned that they were the older generation and they were just being cranky. They didn’t like it when we ate sugar-laden cereals for breakfast or…(Read More)

My daughter Maci moved to Mission Viejo, California, in April and I went to visit  a few months later. I was blown away with all the healthy food choices and health food stores on every corner. We would get up at 6 a.m. and spend our days going to the beach, farmers markets, and…(Read More)

For years I’ve been trying to find something to naturally thicken kefir without heating it and adding gelatin. I wanted to make it thick like pudding, and adding chia seeds seemed to work well; but there was a better answer and it was a probiotic’s best friend.  The prebiotic psyllium husk makes the…(Read More)

I get an overabundance of kombucha SCOBYs (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). Every time you make a pot of kombucha you get another SCOBY. So what to do with them?  I usually just put them in my garden. The plants love the B vitamins in the kombucha SCOBYs and they seem to nurture the…(Read More)

We have a cherry tree in our backyard. My husband is constantly telling me to get all the cherries before the birds do, but I seldom do. In the early hours of the mornings I hear the birds singing a sweeter song than normal as I watch them eat the cherries.  People ask me all…(Read More)

Do you want to get started eating cultured foods? Then you need to try a smoothie.  Do you think that cultured foods are hard to make? Then you need to make a smoothie. Do you want to change your health and start craving healthier foods? Then you need to drink a smoothie. Many years ago…(Read More)

Captain Cook was one of the first people to make cultured sauerkraut a healing modality. When he took his first vessel and crew on a long voyage in 1768, a violent storm arose. The waves tossed the ship about violently, and many crewmen were injured. To save the men from gangrene, the ship’s doctor…(Read More)

When I was growing up, my mom had a huge garden. She grew lots of broccoli and we would pick it for her. Even though broccoli is one of the plants least affected by pests, it is not uncommon to find worms on broccoli heads. Without a doubt, I was always the one to find…(Read More)

I am very excited about the new veggie starter culture, Cutting Edge Cultures. I decided to make a video about it and share a fun recipe. Making cultured vegetables is easy and fun. People can be intimidated by making cultured veggies and are afraid they will do it wrong and get sick. This is the…(Read More)

This is a guest blog by – Shelley Hanna. Shelley came to one of my classes and found tremendous help from cultured foods. She has become one of my dearest friends and greatest supporters. She strongly encouraged me to write my first book when I didn’t think I could, made the graphic pots you see…(Read More)

Here is one of the very first videos I ever made. The first half of the video explains why I started drinking kombucha and how much it helped my family and me. The second half shows the process of how to actually make kombucha. I hope you enjoy the video and you will learn not…(Read More)

Last year on my thirtieth wedding anniversary we took a cruise to the Caribbean and stopped in Cozumel, Mexico. We took a Salsa Salsa class where we made lots of salsa, guacamole, and Margaritas. We had so much fun and since I don’t really drink, but loved the taste of Margaritas, I wanted a…(Read More)

  People have the mistaken idea that I only eat cultured foods all day long. Although there are a lot of days that I do eat only cultured foods, this is not the norm. I mostly eat them because they’re easy for me to prepare and are what I call healthy fast food. You…(Read More)

×Kefir Grains Here’s a list of the different types of good bacteria and yeast in kefir grains: Bacteria Species Lactobacillus Lb. acidophilus Lb. brevis Lb. casei subsp. casei Lb. casei subsp. rhamnosus Lb. paracasei subsp. paracasei Lb. fermentum Lb. cellobiosus Lb. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus Lb. delbrueckii subsp. lactis Lb. fructivorans Lb. helveticus subsp. lactis…(Read More)

Ginger is powerful medicine! I have been consuming ginger every day and found it to be very effective in helping with any kind of inflammation – especially hay fever in the springtime. Ginger is anti-viral and anti-inflammatory as well as being a powerful antiseptic and antihistamine. They say it works powerfully on allergies to…(Read More)

I usually make sourdough bread once or twice a week. I make sourdough more than sprouted bread as my family likes it better and I enjoy making it so much. There is nothing as special as having a sourdough starter that has your own unique yeasts from your kitchen and hometown – that makes it…(Read More)

  The greatest medicine of all is to teach people how not to need it. Have you heard of Dr. Max Gerson, the health pioneer ? His story is something straight out of a movie, but his treatment for disease is pretty impressive. Max Gerson (1881-1959) was a  German physician who fled to the United…(Read More)

My husband was called for jury duty this week and found himself in jury selection for a case involving a very popular restaurant. The complainant was a woman who said she got carpal tunnel syndrome on the job, was treated, and then six months later was fired. My husband was picked as Juror Number Two…(Read More)

This is the bread I make at least two or three times a week. As my business has been growing and I found myself with less time, this bread recipe has become the bread I make most often. It only has four ingredients and takes about 5 minutes to throw together. Then I let it…(Read More)

A few weeks ago I had a dream about kefir. I was watching TV in my dream and heard a newscaster say that kefir had swept the world and there was now kefir in every kitchen. I woke up and carried that dream with me for weeks. If everybody drank kefir, the world would be…(Read More)

Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe. My husband is used to my crazy new ideas and has become accustomed to my enthusiasm for whatever happens to be my latest discovery. He goes along for the ride but never jumps in with both feet until coaxed. Kombucha…(Read More)

It’s January and it’s cold here in the Midwest. All I want is hot tea and soup. It’s hard for me to want a cold smoothie when I am craving warmth and comfort, but high heat kills the probiotics in my cultured foods. Well, not all is lost because I have found…(Read More)

The 12 Days of Kefir

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I made a series of videos for my Biotic Pro Members called The 12 Days of Kefir. These 12 videos are all about making holiday Christmas recipes with kefir. It was super fun (and crazy) trying to film it all in a couple of days. It was so intense filming these videos that my video…(Read More)

Peppermint frosting

18 Holiday Recipes

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These are recipes that I make and create during the holidays. Eat probiotic foods during the holiday and they will help you stay in balance. Remember – the probiotics in cultured foods eat the sugars in the food. Then they eat them in you when you consume them. This creates more balance in the body…(Read More)

Several years ago I taught a Cultured Food Christmas Class where we had all kinds of cultured food Christmas dishes. One of them was Coconut Kefir Eggnog. We had tons of samples, but when we passed around the samples of Coconut Kefir Eggnog people began to moan and ask for more. Eggnog was an early…(Read More)

Dear past, thank you for all the lessons. Dear future, I am ready. ~Donna I was twelve years old and taking a school field trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the largest battle of the American Civil War as well as the largest battle ever fought in North America, took place. Little did I know that…(Read More)

Cashew Kefir

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The tallest tree in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground. This is a cashew apple tree. Cashew nuts are actually the kidney-shaped seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple grown mostly in Brazil. Interesting, isn’t it? Cashews are all the rage these days and…(Read More)

Try to understand your kefir. If you pay really close attention, the billions of organisms will transform your food and then transform you. Is your kefir separating into whey and curds? Is your kefir thin and runny? Most of the time this is because it is over fermenting and you need to add more milk…(Read More)

All the forces in the world are not so powerful as wisdom that has been discovered by someone who needs it. I had no idea just exactly what I was making when I created this recipe several years ago. I just thought the combination tasted good and seemed to give me spectacular results during cold…(Read More)

The bubbly kombucha wasn’t opened yet. But there was an audience to watch I assure you. This is the process at my house. My daughter Maci got married and moved to a farm with her husband. She has a couple apple trees and she’s making tons of recipes with apples in them. Before…(Read More)

  Meet the new Superfoods that can heal you when nothing else works. I am excited to be going back to New York to teach – The Trilogy, three foods that changed my life and can change yours too. This will be the most extensive class I have ever taught. This is a crucial time…(Read More)

Sweet Pickle Relish

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Every year I plant my garden, anxious for my fruits and veggies. But each year I don’t plant cucumbers because each year they come back anyway. They will sprout in different places in my garden, always in a place where they can have lots of room. It just makes me laugh and excites me…(Read More)

Once upon a time, there was a young girl named Donna. She lived at the edge of the Cultured Food Forest with her family. One morning, Donna went deep into the forest to gather berries for her Kefir Breakfast Pudding. It wasn’t long before she lost her way. Donna wasn’t scared though, and…(Read More)

Many years ago I was addicted to diet cola. I know, I know. It is terrible for you. But still, I couldn’t stop drinking it. I had drunk it for years and when I first started eating cultured foods they made me want to conquer my addiction.  But try as I might, I couldn…(Read More)

Happiness often sneaks in a door you did not think was open. One of my favorite things about summertime is the farmers markets and fresh veggies. Turing fresh produce into perfectly preserved cultured veggies makes me so happy, but it wasn’t always that way. When I was growing up, every summer my mom and…(Read More)

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. This is a favorite summertime salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions that are abundant in the summertime. The taste is so light and fresh that I can eat gallons of this salad. I have had this…(Read More)

I often make fermented vegetables using a canning jar with a lid, but there are many methods and vessels you can use to make cultured vegetables. Some say you should only use an airlock jar to culture vegetables. They claim that the canning jar method doesn’t seal well enough to remove the oxygen (removing…(Read More)

How did I get here?  I was a new mother at 41 years old, falling apart, and paralyzed with fear. I was sick with diabetes and suffered from high blood pressure. I also had a brand new premature baby girl in my lap. I knew that I was in trouble and I desperately needed help…(Read More)

This last month my husband and I had our 30th wedding anniversary. Ron and I and our three kids are a tribe and we’ve always done everything together. This was the first vacation we have had alone since our honeymoon which we spent on a houseboat in Lake Powell, Utah. So it seemed only…(Read More)

Are you ready to master kefir and eat it every day? Most diseases begin in your digestive system, including physical and mental disease. Once you heal your gut, your digestive system will begin to work properly again and disease symptoms will begin to resolve. Kefir is a great place to start. I have had my…(Read More)

My family has a history of high blood pressure. I struggled with high blood pressure on and off for years and was told to just expect to take medication for it. This made me fighting mad, and I didn’t want to accept it as predetermined destiny that I had no choice over. I wanted…(Read More)

As a kid I spent many summer vacations in Nova Scotia on a small island (Cape Sable) where my grandparents lived. Their home was right on the water and it was over 100 years old (see pictures above). My great grandpa, Captain Horatio Brannen, was a sea captain and built the home there. He was…(Read More)

So, what is the difference between kefir and yogurt? Which is better? Kefir is far superior, but yogurt has its benefits too. I read once that yogurt is like wine and kefir is more like champagne. It has more pizazz! To state it simply, yogurt felt like the first learning step in my cultured food…(Read More)

Fairest and best adorned is the salad whose dressing is cultured. I have been making this salad a lot lately. Last week I had my nephew, his girlfriend, and my older kids spend a few days with me due to a snow storm.  I watched these five young people devour this salad and ask for…(Read More)

Have you heard of the fermented probiotic drink called Rejuvelac? The first time I heard of it I was just beginning with all things fermented and this drink intrigued me. I was fermenting so many things and I wanted to try this drink that so many raved about. What is Rejuvelac? A drink made from…(Read More)

“As the crust of a sourdough boule protects the tenderness within, so it is with the artisanal baker” Sourdough was one of the last cultured foods I tried. I found it had more of a learning curve than the other cultured foods but wasn’t hard, just new. I didn’t have anyone to help…(Read More)

Having babies is a big event. For me it was life threatening and life changing. My third pregnancy was actually the catalyst for this blog, my website, and my books. My pregnancy was a scary event – things quickly went from bad to worse and they delivered my baby 7.5 weeks early to save my…(Read More)

I get asked a lot about dairy-free kefir options. I have seen some amazing results with kefir made from coconut, almond or walnut milk. I highly recommend these non-dairy milk kefirs if you want all of the benefits of kefir without the dairy. Of these non-dairy milk kefirs, I have noticed…(Read More)

We shot a video at “Casa Somerset,” a bed & breakfast nestled in the middle of Kansas that had the feel of a real Italian villa. This was a special evening with fermenting friends. Most of the foods were cultured and oh-so-good for you. It’s really quite simple to include cultured foods…(Read More)

The Strip Run

“Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” ~Stephen R. Covey, best-selling author and speaker. Would you like to feel better? How about fantastic? Well you can! It is really…(Read More)

Looking for something that’s a treat and super fast? This is something I made on Christmas Eve last year. I wanted something little that had portion control but would be super chocolatey and good for me. This is what I came up with and everybody loved it. I have been making it ever since…(Read More)

In the early days of making kombucha I would often let my kombucha go to long and it would lose it’s bubbliness.There was a few times, it turned so sour that it made me squint and gasp. I honestly thought I had killed my uvula. You know that little thing that hangs down…(Read More)

How to Make Kefir

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Kefir, how do you make it? It is quite simple and a lot of fun to make your own kefir. You can make kefir with a variety of milks – dairy and non-dairy milk. There are two ways to make kefir. One with grains that reproduce and will last a lifetime (if you don’t…(Read More)

   Learn to make probiotic foods in your home.   Over 60 recipes and 50+ color pictures on how to make Kefir, Kombucha, Cultured Vegetables and Sprouted flour. Question and answers about each of these, and my story of how my family healed. Click Here To Order Available in Soft Cover or E- Book &nbsp…(Read More)

“I’ll make you feed on berries and on roots, And feed on curds and whey, and suck the goat, And cabin in a cave, and bring you up To be a warrior, and command a camp. ~William Shakespeare (1564-1616) ‘Titus Andronicus’ Act IV Scene II One of the things I hope to accomplish…(Read More)

The Christmas Pickle

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The Christmas pickle is not really a pickle at all. It is a pickle-shaped ornament that is the last one hung on the tree on Christmas Eve. The story goes something like this… Two Spanish boys were traveling home from boarding school to spend time with their families over the holidays. They stopped over…(Read More)

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