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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)

Kombucha, pronounced kôm-bo͞o-CHA, is a beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. The good bacteria and yeasts eat the sugar out of the tea and make probiotics and then produce a naturally-occurring carbonation. You don’t get tons of sugar because the bacteria eats…(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)

People often ask me about water kefir and milk kefir and which type of kefir I think is more beneficial. Water kefir is a nondairy kefir that is gaining in popularity. Many people start with this method of making kefir because it’s so easy and fun and they want a nondairy option. It…(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)

It was early 2002 and my sixteen year old daughter climbed out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen. “How do you feel this morning?” I asked. Her response broke me. “I never feel good anymore mom. I feel bad all the time. My stomach hurts after everything I eat.” What had happened to my…(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)

It was 12:30 am and once again I found myself wide awake. It is an interesting phenomenon that has been happening to me this summer. It seems that I am needing less and less sleep. The older I get, the younger I feel. “What is up with this?” I said to myself that particular…(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)

Lemon basil kefir

Do you feel alive each day? When your feet hit the ground in the morning are you pumped about the day? Do you feel appreciation and love for others? Do you have energy that will last all day? Did you know that you are supposed to feel this way? It is not something that is…(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)

It’s time to make Delicious Cultured Veggies! 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…(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)

My and my flying buddy Cal

My dad had his pilot’s license and would take me flying with him. I remember the very first time he took me flying. I was pretty little and as we took off to the skies I watched the houses and trees get smaller and smaller. I squealed and told my dad it looked like…(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)

Kombucha is growing in popularity and for good reason. The detoxifying  power of kombucha is enormous.  It has been recognized for its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity. As you drink kombucha, you will notice a flushing of toxins from your body as it filters toxins through the kidneys and the bowels. It purges you…(Read More)

Five Reasons to Eat Sprouted Flour. 1. Sprouting changes everything in the bread. It puts vitamin C, B, B2, B5, B6. and carotene, which are converted to vitamin A. The nutrients increases dramatically, sometimes eight-fold when the bread is sprouted. 2. It deactivates Phytic acid, which is a known mineral blocker that inhibits the…(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)

A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses. ~Hippocrates I found cultured veggies in the most unlikely way, but really it was the veggies who found me. They opened a door to a world that was made…(Read More)

A habit is something you may not know you are doing; but once you realize you are doing it, you can stop doing it or keep it going. So why don’t we stop doing things that bring negative consequences into our life when we do them? Perplexing, isn’t it? You just know somewhere…(Read More)

This is a guest blog by Annabelle, a California Country Gal with a great blog and yummy recipes. I love her recipes and her new book on Real Food Cupcakes made with whole real foods. She made a super easy cultured food recipe, and I’ve been making it several different ways. It’s…(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)

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” ~ Joseph Campbell The summer of 2012 I was sitting at home reading emails when I got a new one in my inbox. It looked like an ordinary email, but this particular email was one that…(Read More)

 “You say that the world doesn’t need a hero, yet every day I hear people crying out for one.” ~ Superman When I was a kid, I loved Superman comic books. Yes, I grew up in the days when comic books were very popular, and I am proud of that! At first, it was just…(Read More)

I have a lot of people who ask me about weight loss, so I thought I would share with you somebody who has made a big impact on my life and diet mentality. I love Jon Gabriel and his book The Gabriel Method. Jon is a biochemical researcher who lost 226 lbs and wrote an…(Read More)

Cultured Holiday Class in Pasadena California When: Sunday November 10th 2013 Time: 3:00 – 4:30 Where: Unity Church of Pasadena 3053 Del Mar Blvd Pasadena, CA 91107 http://www.unityofpasadena.org/ I am excited to be going to Pasadena, California, to teach a cultured food class. It will have a special holiday theme. Learn…(Read More)

“Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.  We give it orders which make no sense.”~ Henry Miller About ten years ago I went to a class on “How to Make Sourdough Bread.”  My daughter had gluten intolerance and we found that she could eat sprouted bread without the…(Read More)

Everyone needs reminders that the fact of their being on this earth is important and that each life changes everything. ~Marge Kennedy I get a lot of emails telling me how cultured foods have touched and changed people’s lives. Often, well almost always,  they will make me tear up as I read them. You…(Read More)

Cultured vegetables are so easy to make and almost foolproof with just a few exceptions. First of all, this is one of the safest ways to preserve your vegetables. It is scientifically impossible to get botulism from cultured vegetables. Here is a great video and post on this if you’d like further information. Fermenting…(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 am joining Mike and Christine Hursey at their Casa Somerset Villa for a fun class of making probiotic cultured vegetables.  These are super foods loaded with powerful probiotics and enzymes. They help you digest your food and remove pathogens, toxins and deliver more minerals and nutrients to your cells all in one spoonful of…(Read More)

If I had to choose only one cultured food, which would it be? If I were banished to a desert island, which one would I take to live with me, leaving the others behind? I really love them all, and it kills me to think about choosing just one. But if I had to choose…(Read More)

Some days I wish I had been a singer, or at the very least a songwriter. The process of creating recipes feels the same to me. I’m putting my thoughts of food to my own music.   Music was and is one of the most important things in my life. I was a music…(Read More)

I grew up in Laurel, Maryland, which is twenty one miles from  Washington, D.C. My dad loved all kinds of foods, so growing up, we always had food adventures.  On Sunday nights we went to a crab shack in Baltimore, Maryland, where we got crab cakes on club crackers with a pickle…(Read More)

 Cultured Vegetables Can cultured vegetables develop botulism? No. Botulism is reserved for canned goods because the heat used in canning kills all the good bacteria. When culturing foods, the healthy bacteria thrive and make it impossible for the bacteria that cause botulism to survive.   How long do I culture my vegetables on the kitchen…(Read More)

Kombucha   My SCOBY sank to the bottom when I made my kombucha. Is it okay? It is 100 percent okay if your SCOBY sinks. Sink or float—it makes no difference to your kombucha. It won’t affect the brew or taste.   My kombucha is still sweet. What did I do wrong? Your house is…(Read More)

 Kefir Why is my milk kefir starting to separate and curdle? It has cultured faster than expected. This is not a bad thing. It just means that your kefir is ready. Remove the grains, and shake or stir the kefir to mix it together again.   Why is my milk kefir culturing so fast and…(Read More)

How long should I let my grains sprout? The optimal amount of time to sprout your grains is 36 hours. You will see very tiny white stubs coming out of the end of the grains. Long sprouts on the grains are not desirable. A tiny sprout is best. When you sprout it longer, it alters…(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)

Canning jars and lids

Fermenting Tip: Kefir I’ve been making milk kefir for 13 years. That’s a lot of kefir day in and day out, so I know a lot about what works and what doesn’t. I always shoot straight with you and will never tell you to do something I don’t do or believe…(Read More)

A few years ago, I had a great plan to sell cultured veggies at a health food store and they were so good they sold out again and again. This all started when I was handing out samples at my cultured food class and people were raving about them. I thought,” I’m gonna sell…(Read More)

Berry Carrot Cookies

These Healthy Cookie Bars are chock-full of all kinds of good things. They are made with sprouted flour and six other healthy ingredients. I am always looking for things to pack in lunches and serve to people who come to my home. When you sprout grains and use the flour to make treats for…(Read More)

Salad in a jar

Salad in a Fermenting Jar. Travel Food with Culture. I spend almost all of my weekends in the spring and summer out of town at the lake. Because of this, I have to pack coolers and take food with us. I am always looking for things that are easy and ready to eat. Salad in…(Read More)

Walnut kefir

Have you tried making your own nut milks? Walnut milk is delicious and easy to make. I have been trying a lot of different recipe using different nut milks and I am really enjoying them. Kefir is easy and fun to make using nut milk, and is a great dairy free alternative to regular kefir…(Read More)

Have you tried a million different diet and life style plans? Well I have. I have stacks and stacks of books that I kept by my bed for 25 years that include every type of book on the planet. My husband would laugh at me because he said I could build a room of just…(Read More)

Perhaps you’ve seen this happen, and it even happens to me from time to time: My kefir will get really sour. This can happens for several reasons. During your first ferment you let your kefir ferment too long on your counter, or your house might be warmer than usual. Kefir will also ferment quicker…(Read More)

There are twelve inches of snow here in Kansas City and I have been housebound for three days. I’m starting to go a little nuts and have been working nonstop on edits for my new book. (Coming in October!) I decided I needed a break, so I made my little girl and me some…(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)

It was a winter afternoon eleven years ago and I was sitting in a chair, wondering how in the world I got to this place in my life. My life was filled with sickness and disease and I thought my body had betrayed me. Doctors were telling me this was normal with age. I had…(Read More)

Nothing is more important to me than having my kombucha be bubbly. When it is not.. well, it hurts my feelings. Seriously, it does. I need the fizz. It’s important to me. It also means that I have not given these microbes enough food to do their job. I have to do my part…(Read More)

  Upgrading Biotic Pro Membership 1. Log in on the upper right hand corner where it says log in. 2. Once logged in copy this link into your browser  https://www.culturedfoodlife.com/membership-details/ 3. Here there will be a link that says “upgrade” and you can click and choose a different package. Renewing…(Read More)

I really believe that these beautiful bodies we live in are always calling us to wellness. If we only knew what the body went through just to digest food and separate its contents, send the proper vitamins, minerals and nutrients for each cell that is calling out for it. Many people think of bacteria as…(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)

My dad’s (Don) birthday is coming up in a few days. Several years ago he died suddenly. Three months before he passed, my mind was filled with loving and joyful thoughts about my dad. He died suddenly so I had no idea at the time that in a few months he would be gone…(Read More)

This is something special to know about sauerkraut. You don’t actually need a culture to make it. The cabbage combined with salt will make its own good bacteria. These bacteria dominate and crowd out the harmful ones and preserve the food in a safe way. You can make sauerkraut with just salt. You must…(Read More)

I get so many emails from people, who in attempt to help their kefir grains, will rinse them in cool water. You should NEVER EVER EVER do this. It damages them and rinses off the protective bacteria that makes them thrive. So many times they will either die, or stop reproducing or not make kefir…(Read More)

I eat a lot of fermented garlic. My favorite is fermented garlic flowers from Wise Choice Market. They are sweet tasting and one of my favorite fermented foods. Yesterday I wound up eating a half a jar. I could not leave it alone. I actually had to restrict myself because I could make a meal…(Read More)

I posted a blog and asked for your questions on cultured foods. I am going to attempt to answer these questions in short videos and blog posts. Helping you have more success with cultured foods. If you have a question please post below and I will do my best to answer them each week. Remember…(Read More)

Learn how to make Probiotic Cultured Vegetables. These are super foods loaded with powerful probiotics and enzymes, they help you digest your food and remove pathogens, toxins and deliver more minerals and nutrients to your cells all in one spoonful of cultured veggies. Everybody knows that vegetables are good for you but when you ferment…(Read More)

I was a dental assistant in my twenties. This job fell into my lap. A very well known and successful dentist hired me because he wanted to train someone who knew nothing. He wanted to shape me by his own methods and not through a pre-programmed course. He taught me so much and I…(Read More)

Jamie Quinn at http://essentialeating.com/ says; “Sprouted flour does not go rancid like all other flours do, and is more shelf stable? When whole grains are sprouted properly the germ cell is consumed by the endosperm and is no longer in a state that can become rancid. When grain is sprouted, and dried it…(Read More)

Most recipes for root beer kombucha are overly complicated with hard to find ingredients. Since my husband loves the flavor of  root beer, and I often buy High Country wild root kombucha for him. I figured it was time to devise my own.  The only special ingredient you will need to buy is sassafras bark…(Read More)

This is a wonderful smoothie that can be made into kefir ice cream. This is probably one of the things I make at least once a week. I love it, and so does my family. Kids will never know that this has spinach in it. I have disguised this by saying,” this is a shamrock…(Read More)

The Super Bowl is coming up and we are going to a friend’s house to watch the game. I’m always trying to think of something new to make for the game. It is mostly for my husband Ron that I get extra creative. Many think that because we eat pretty healthy, we’ve…(Read More)

  Some of the best friends I have today came to me through cultured foods. I meet people who are looking to be well – they either come to one of my classes or they find me through friends to purchase kefir grains. Dionne is one of those people. I immediately liked her and felt…(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. You can make dairy with a variety of milks, dairy and non dairy. There are two ways to make kefir. One with grains that reproduce and will last a life time (if you don’t kill them with heat or…(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)

Need Crunchy Pickles?

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  “Sometimes questions are more important than the answers.” ~ Nancy Willard   I have been making lacto fermented pickles for years. They are delicious, but they were never quite as crunchy and crisp as I would have liked them. It kind of started bugging me . . . a lot. Why don’t they snap…(Read More)

There is a vegan ice cream shop in California that is serving kombucha floats. I was so intrigued by this idea, I devised my own kombucha float. This was about 4 days ago that I discovered this novelty. In those last 4 days, I have had a kombucha float as my lunch, for three of…(Read More)

Kefir whey

“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)

  I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process….It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance? Sourdough is my favorite bread to make in the fall and winter. It is loaded with Lactobacillus bacteria that transforms the wheat into incredible properties. It unlocks all the zinc and…(Read More)

Have you tried Bubbie’s pickles? They’re super good, fermented, and really good for you. I have eaten so many of these pickles that I decided to make my own version of them and came up with this recipe. They taste just like Bubbie’s pickles and I make jars and jars of these…(Read More)

 Try this cultured meal for your family. One of my favorite meals is a big bowl of sprouted pureed beans cooked with an onion topped with cheese, cultured salsa and my special guacamole. Throw all that on a sprouted homemade tortilla and I am in heaven. In the summer time when tomatoes taste like candy…(Read More)

There’s nothing better than bubbly fruit flavored kombucha. For those of you who don’t want to spend the money to buy it, you can make it. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine was in a bad car wreck. He actually broke the steering wheel off with his chest. He was…(Read More)

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