How To Fix Your Seasonal Allergies

By Donna Schwenk / April 28, 2018

I have had seasonal allergies since I was twelve or thirteen years old. For months in the springtime, I locked myself inside the house and turned to drugs and steroids that harmed my immune system. This seemed to be what everybody did and I did the same because I had nowhere else to look. . .

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Episode 30: Microbes – If you don’t feed them, they can eat you!

By Donna Schwenk / April 24, 2018

Find out how important it is to feed your microbes. If your trillions of microbes don’t get what they need, they can start to eat the mucosal lining of the gut, leading to leaky gut, IBS, and more. Find out how to keep them happy and fed. […]

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What to Do With Your Cultures While You’re on Vacation

By Donna Schwenk / April 21, 2018

Your cultures (kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and water kefir) are all living organisms and need to be cared for just like a pet. I love them like family, and have found ways to take care of them when I go on vacation. . .

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Episode 29: Probiotic Foods for Depression and Anxiety

By Donna Schwenk / April 17, 2018

The new buzz, probiotics in place of antidepressants. Leading edge psychiatrists are healing people’s minds via their digestive systems.
Learn why the gut is called the second brain and why many Psychiatrists are trading in drugs for probiotics. . .

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Is Kefir the Answer for Acid Reflux?

By Donna Schwenk / April 14, 2018

One of the first things I noticed when we started drinking kefir was the help my husband received with eliminating his acid reflux. It was quite surprising to me since he popped antacids like they were candy. . .

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Episode 28: Seasonal Allergies and the Vitamin You Need

By Donna Schwenk / April 10, 2018

Seasonal allergies are caused by your immune system overreacting to something that it thinks is harmful but is actually not. There are many ways to support your immune system, and this one nutrient can change the way you feel in 30 minutes. Tune in to find out what it is and why you should have it too. . .

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Learn How To Make Water Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / April 7, 2018

Water kefir grains, or we call them kefir crystals, are unlike milk kefir grains as they thrive on sugars and not lactose. These special probiotic yeasts and beneficial bacteria in the water kefir crystals consume the sugar in the sugar water, and they produce probiotics, new enzymes, vitamins, and help repopulate your gut flora. . .

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Episode 27: The Only Bread I Eat. The Bread Made with Culture.

By Donna Schwenk / April 3, 2018

Our bread is made so differently than in years gone by, and it’s wreaking havoc on our bodies. Understand the science of why this is, and how bacteria can change your bread into something healthy. Walk in the footsteps of those who made bread for thousands of years and called it the staff of life. . .

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The Tale of the Disappearing Kefir Grains

By Donna Schwenk / March 31, 2018

We make a lot of kefir. We drink it every day along with making kefir cheese and kefir sodas, so we make it daily. As usual, my husband and kids were helping me make kefir on April 1st, 2014. As I poured out the jugs into the strainer, no kefir grains appeared. . .

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Episode 26: Your Microbes Love Coffee!

By Donna Schwenk / March 27, 2018

If you love coffee, you’re not the only one. Microbes love the microscopic fibers in coffee too. Learn more about microbes and coffee and how they can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes, obesity, and more! […]

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The Probiotic That Inhibits Candida and Toxins

By Donna Schwenk / March 24, 2018

I love kombucha and not just because it tastes fantastic but because it has a special probiotic called Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii). It is an incredible probiotic and when you make kombucha you can get lots of this powerful probiotic yeast. . .

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Episode 25: The Many Reasons My Family Eats Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / March 20, 2018

Everybody I know leads busy lives, but did you know there is always help for you? My family had a lot of big changes this past year, but a constant through it all was the way each member of my family uses and eats cultured foods. Maybe this could be the answer for you too. . .

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43 Ways to Use Kefir Cheese

By Donna Schwenk / March 17, 2018

I make a lot of kefir cheese. I use kefir cheese in place of any recipe that calls for cream cheese, sour cream, or Greek yogurt. It’s very versatile, and the length of time you strain it will determine how thick it becomes. . .

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Episode 24: Sleep Problems? Check Your Gut

By Donna Schwenk / March 13, 2018

If you’re having trouble sleeping, fixing your gut can be the answer. Join me to learn about new research on sleep and the world of the micro-biome and cultured foods. Sleeping is so important to feeling good each day, and cultured foods can help. . .

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Overnight Sourdough Bread

By Donna Schwenk / March 10, 2018

I think fermentation is essential to bread making. If you don’t use the help of microbes to make the bread, you won’t get the nutrients out of the bread and gluten will become a problem. I’ve made a lot of sourdough bread and I have a new method that is working spectacularly. . .

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Episode 23: 7 Reasons I Eat Cultured Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / March 6, 2018

Cultured vegetables have special powers that go far beyond regular vegetables. They can be powerful food – like medicine – and here’s why you should have a jar in your fridge, and a fun recipe to try […]

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Probiotic Foods for Food Poisoning and Stomach Virus

By Donna Schwenk / March 3, 2018

Of all the health ailments cultured foods can help with, the one I hear the most about is either food poisoning or stomach virus (Gastroenteritis). I’ve seen it work personally on my family many times […]

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Episode 22: Colds and Flus and How to Beat them With Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / February 27, 2018

Your body is designed to fight colds and the flu and keep your immune system running strong. Learn how to strengthen your body’s inner reserves and find yourself sailing through cold and flu season. If you have any gastro trouble, cultured foods work for that too. I and many others have found nothing more effective. […]

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Make Your Condiments – Probiotic!

By Donna Schwenk / February 24, 2018

We all eat condiments. They are easy to make, but most people just buy them. Why don’t you let me help you make them in as little as five minutes? They will have billions of probiotics and are perfectly preserved for months. . .

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Episode 21: The Mineral That Saved My Life

By Donna Schwenk / February 20, 2018

Our bodies can’t produce all of the nutrients that we need to function properly, so we have to eat them. One specific mineral saved my life. […]

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Your Kidneys Might Need Some Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / February 17, 2018

I’ve received several emails from people who have been greatly helped by cultured foods in regards to kidney health. More and more medical research is showing great benefits to using probiotics for kidney health […]

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Episode 20: How To Keep Your Gut Healthy if You Have To take an Antibiotic

By Donna Schwenk / February 13, 2018

If you have to take antibiotics we have good news! Let me show you how to keep your healthy bacteria alive and thriving, even when you must take antibiotics. It’s really important that you help your good gut flora thrive. This can prevent you from ever needing to take antibiotics again. Your body knows how to keep you well! […]

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I Stopped Eating Cultured Foods ~ Here’s What Happened!

By Donna Schwenk / February 10, 2018

I’ve been eating cultured foods for almost sixteen years. I eat them most every day with very few exceptions. When I first started eating cultured foods, I had diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain, and felt discouraged and depressed […]

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Episode 19: 3 Foods That Can Change Your Life ~ The Trilogy

By Donna Schwenk / February 6, 2018

Three foods that provide different good bacteria and yeasts that enhance the trillions of bacteria in the body and allow them to thrive, grow, and multiply. This allows you, the host, the opportunity to heal disease, remove pathogens, enhance digestion, make serotonin, and experience a multitude of other opportunities for healing that otherwise would not have been possible. This is what I call ~ The Trilogy […]

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I Am Having Difficulty Straining My Kefir 📹

By Donna Schwenk / February 3, 2018

I love kefir that is thick like yogurt. However, it can sometimes be difficult to strain out the kefir grains. There is a super easy remedy for this. Enjoy the benefits of kefir and find an easy and quick way to strain it. Check out the video for tips. […]

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Episode 18: The Flu Shot in a Jar

By Donna Schwenk / January 30, 2018

Find out how to avoid the flu/cold this year. This is what I use for my family, and myself and is an all-natural flu/cold remedies that work to keep you healthy for years on end! Listen in as I tell what happened to me when I stopped eating cultured foods for a month and a half. I did an experiment on myself and the results were shocking […]

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7 Reasons to Make Goat Milk Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / January 27, 2018

Goat milk was a godsend for my tiny daughter, Holli. She was born eight weeks premature and this little one rocked my world. I became a woman on a mission to help her be well. Nursing this tiny infant was a challenge […]

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Episode 17: 12 Reasons You Should Drink Pickle Juice

By Donna Schwenk / January 23, 2018

Find out why the juice from pickles and fermented vegetables can change your gut for good! If you don’t like fermented vegetables then drink the juice, the benefits are huge! If you listen I will convince you, just you wait and see! […]

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What’s This On My Cultured Vegetables?

By Donna Schwenk / January 21, 2018

Cultured vegetables are so easy to make 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. […]

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Winter Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / January 20, 2018

I love winter kefir! It’s often creamier and thicker than summer kefir. Kefir acts differently in the winter than in the warmer months of the year, due to cooler temperatures that make it ferment more slowly. […]

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Episode 16: What Probiotics Do You Need for Different Ailments

By Donna Schwenk / January 16, 2018

Open minded health providers are starting to prescribe probiotics for different health ailments. Learn which probiotics they’re prescribing and how you can heal yourself by eating probiotic cultured foods. […]

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How to Make Bubbly Fruit Flavored Kombucha

By Donna Schwenk / January 13, 2018

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. Many years ago, a friend of mine was in a bad car wreck. He actually broke the steering wheel off with his chest. […]

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Episode 15: Autoimmune Diseases and Your Gut

By Donna Schwenk / January 8, 2018

Are autoimmune diseases the result of an imbalanced gut/immune system? Find out why Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” I will discuss how healing your microbiome can also help heal autoimmune disorders. […]

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Buffalo Kraut ~ You Simply Must Try ☺

By Donna Schwenk / January 6, 2018

I’m always trying to find ways to help you eat more cultured foods. Taste is important as well as ease, and this recipe captures both. You will love this Buffalo Kraut created by my daughter Maci. It’s crazy good and just a spoonful is going to give you billions of probiotics. […]

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Episode 14: 5 Foods That Can Change Your Life

By Donna Schwenk / January 2, 2018

These five foods are a must for me. It’s how I stay healthy. Check out the five foods that I keep in my diet and the ones that have made the biggest changes in my life. Find out how you can add them to your diet too. […]

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Best of Cultured Food Life 2017: Our Top Articles and Videos!

By Donna Schwenk / December 30, 2017

I hope 2017 was a wonderful year for you. I hope you incorporated cultured foods into your life and saw the difference they can make. I’ve been making and eating these foods for over fifteen years and they never cease to amaze and teach me. […]

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🎄 Twas the Night They Made Kefir — 📹 Video 🎄 🥛

By Donna Schwenk / December 23, 2017

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
no creature was stirring not even a mouse. When out from the kitchen there came such a clatter, a bubbling, and hissing . . . and even a splatter. […]

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Cultured Foods for the Cholesterol Conscious

By Donna Schwenk / December 16, 2017

One of my good friends told me her cholesterol had gone up since drinking kefir, and then she said, “That’s my good cholesterol! It went through the roof and my doctor is very pleased.” I got a few emails this week from people expressing to me that since they’ve been consuming kefir […]

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Episode 13: Try Probiotic Foods for a Healthier Holiday

By Donna Schwenk / December 12, 2017

There are certain times of the year when you need to strengthen your inner micro-biome and the holidays is one of those times. Find out how in this upcoming show. ‘Tis the season to be happy! It’s easy, fun, and delicious! […]

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The Power of Peppermint That Changed a Holiday

By Donna Schwenk / December 9, 2017

It was gloomy outside, and I was gloomy inside. I was having my own personal pity party, feeling overwhelmed, and discouraged. I decided I was going to take my daughter Christmas shopping and break the gloom that was following me around. […]

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Episode 12: Have A Love Affair with Almond Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / December 5, 2017

Almond Kefir is special. It has wonderful properties that have huge health benefits. Let me tell you how to make the best almond kefir and explore all the benefits it affords. You’ll get addicted to it and won’t want to stop making it. I’m crazy for almond kefir. […]

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Microbes That Change Your Home in 24 Hours

By Donna Schwenk / December 2, 2017

When you and I find the courage and strength to be better in any regard we help everyone around us. This goes for every area of our lives and even what we eat – and it includes our bacteria. You have trillions of hitchhikers that live in and on you, and they play a huge role in keeping you healthy. […]

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Episode 11: 7 Reasons to Drink Kombucha

By Donna Schwenk / November 28, 2017

Kombucha is an amazing drink. It has done a lot for me and I love it, especially around the holidays. It’s also a wonderful replacement for soda pop! Here are a few reasons I drink it every day. […]

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Autism and Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / November 25, 2017

Her name was Mary and she changed my life the day I met her. It was the very beginning of my journey with cultured foods, and I was in hiding with my newfound knowledge. People didn’t understand what I was doing, and the thought of letting food ferment on your counter […]

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Jicama if You’re Sicka-ma! 📹 Video

By Donna Schwenk / November 18, 2017

If you are looking for an easy cultured veggie that your family will love, then you have to try Jicama if You’re Sicka-ma. […]

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Episode 10: Cancer and the Power of Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / November 13, 2017

There are powerful reasons to eat cultured foods if you have cancer. In fact, new research says it can make all the difference, especially if you’re going through chemo. I’ll explore the research and will have a special guest to talk more about the benefits of eating cultured foods while battling cancer. […]

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Probiotic Foods and Cancer

By Donna Schwenk / November 11, 2017

In 2010, I had just started my blog and Facebook page, and the second person to post on my page was a man named Chris asking me How to Make Kombucha. He was a friend of my older kids and what I didn’t know at the time was Chris had just been diagnosed with […]

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Episode 9: Swap Yogurt for Kefir and Watch What Happens

By Donna Schwenk / November 7, 2017

Kefir convinced me, it made me a believer, it changed my body and my life. The results were in and I never looked back. 15 years later no one can convince me otherwise. Food is powerful and so is knowledge, it can change everything. Listen — so it can change you too. […]

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Kefir and Diabetes

By Donna Schwenk / November 4, 2017

I remember that day quite vividly. It was over fifteen years ago. It was February and bitter cold outside. I made myself a breakfast that I thought was healthy – high-fiber cereal and skim milk. Thirty minutes later a terrible feeling came over me […]

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Episode 8: Sneaky Sugar Wears a Costume

By Donna Schwenk / October 31, 2017

Sugar is a tricky thing in the body, and it can drop your immune system by 75%. It’s mistaken for a vitamin that your body desperately needs to keep your immune system running strong. Before you eat all that Halloween candy, have a listen to my podcast. […]

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Gluten Pain: The Best Teacher

By Donna Schwenk / October 28, 2017

I have met hundreds of people who are now on gluten-free diets. My daughter used to be one of them. Gluten pain can make life difficult and become a heavy load to bear. How can this grain that has been around since time began suddenly wreak such havoc on […]

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Episode 7: 7 Reasons I Have Kefir Every Day

By Donna Schwenk / October 24, 2017

Lots of people write articles about kefir, but few of those people have drunk and made kefir for 15 years. I am a believer that kefir is not just a food but a healer. Find out 7 ways it can help you too. […]

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Life Changing – 20 Second Kombucha Mayo

By Donna Schwenk / October 21, 2017

Mayonnaise is a common condiment that so many of us use regularly. Mayo was said to be the invention of one of the great chefs of France. Marie-Antoine Carême was the personal chef of the Duke de Richelieu in 1756. […]

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Episode 6: Kefir Soda – The New Probiotic Pop

By Donna Schwenk / October 17, 2017

I can teach you three different ways to make a delicious, bubbly, probiotic soda. Find out the good things, and the things you need to be careful about when deciding if this is the cultured drink for you. […]

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Kefir Blueberry Pecan Pancakes

By Donna Schwenk / October 14, 2017

We love pancakes at our house. I mostly make sourdough pancakes, but I made a new pancake recipe this week, and switched out my sourdough starter (which I love) and replaced it with kefir. Oh my, they were wonderful, fluffy pancakes. […]

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Episode 5: When hormones go #!%& crazy, check your gut!

By Donna Schwenk / October 9, 2017

Hormones can rule the day! Help your hormones out when things get out of whack by keeping your gut in check. Learn how to keep things in balance with the help of your microbes. […]

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Spanish Kimchi

By Donna Schwenk / October 7, 2017

You really must eat kimchi. Kimchi has a special probiotic that can keep a virus at bay. It can also help with any kind of stomach distress. Just ask the thousands of people in Korea how kimchi protected them from the bird flu epidemic. […]

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Episode 4: The Food-Like Medicine in Your Fridge!

By Donna Schwenk / October 2, 2017

Food is the most magical thing in the world. It makes the cells of our bodies and it holds powers that few understand. If you take food and ferment it, then those foods get super powers. […]

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Mr. Picky and Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / September 30, 2017

Do you have picky eaters at your house? Do your friends and family scoff at eating cultured foods? Well, let me tell you about Mister Picky Eater, my husband. When I married him (30 years ago) he ate nothing green. […]

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Episode 3: Do Microbes Control Your Food Cravings?

By Donna Schwenk / September 18, 2017

Do you crave junk food and can’t stop eating it? You can manipulate your gut microbes and start craving foods that love you back. […]

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I Want to Get Cultured —Where Do I Start?

By Donna Schwenk / September 16, 2017

Do you want to change your life and feel better? Here’s the truth. I have tons of resources to help you. You can find everything you need on my site to get started, and that information is free. I have other resources that I sell to expand and help you grow […]

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Episode 2: Bird Flu, Babies, and Bacteria

By Donna Schwenk / September 11, 2017

Cultured vegetables are getting more and more recognition for all they can do. They’ve been busy saving thousands of lives and keeping whole countries free of deadly disease. Find out how these powerful vegetables can help you too! […]

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Cultured Veggies ~ Saving Lives

By Donna Schwenk / September 9, 2017

Forget everything you think you know about vegetables and let me tell you what happens when you culture them. Grow your own probiotics in a jar of vegetables, and you’ll be shocked and amazed at all they can do. […]

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Episode 1: Kombucha Healed My Addiction

By Donna Schwenk / September 5, 2017

Addictions —many of us have them, especially when it comes to unhealthy food or beverages. However, I found something to help! Check out the show to discover how to set yourself free. […]

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Can You Make Happiness in Your Gut?

By Donna Schwenk / September 2, 2017

Emotions are my best friends. They help me not only understand my present state but also how my body is doing. Researchers are discovering that an imbalance in your gut can cause mental symptoms. They call the gut the second brain, and boy are they right. […]

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How to Share Good Bacteria with Your Friends

By Donna Schwenk / August 26, 2017

It was the summer of 2003. A friend came into my kitchen and asked what was on my counters. I excitedly told her about my beloved cultures and I watched her face change expressions. “These jars have been brewing for days on your counters?” […]

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Podcast Introduction 📻

By Donna Schwenk / August 26, 2017

Hi friends! I’m Donna and this is my Cultured Food Life podcast. I love to talk about health, wellness, and how to harness the power of your 100 trillion microbes. Talking about the food that makes the cells of your body is exciting, interesting, and life-changing. […]

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My New Book “Cultured Food in a Jar”!

By Donna Schwenk / August 22, 2017

Cookbooks — I have a lot of them, 229 to be exact, and as you can see from the picture of the bookcase in my living room, I have quite a collection. My daughter Maci said to me, “I have a lot of cookbooks too, but you know which one I use the most?” […]

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Nut Milk Kefir That Looks and Tastes Like Thick Yogurt

By Donna Schwenk / August 12, 2017

We went to a nut farm this weekend and found just about every kind of nut you could imagine. Nuts are prebiotic foods and your gut loves them. I love my kefir, but nut milks don’t always make thick and creamy kefir as much as cow’s milk — until now. […]

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Never Give Up ~ Do Great Things ~ Eat Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / July 29, 2017

I was 41 when I first found cultured foods. I felt old, discouraged, and sick. I remember resting on the couch and watching documentaries about people who had changed their lives and done extraordinary things. […]

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Kefir is Your Ally Against Toenail Fungus

By Donna Schwenk / July 15, 2017

So, do you want to know why you have certain persistent problems with things like ringworm, toenail fungus, and athlete’s foot? All of these are caused by a fungus that can spread and grow like crazy and last for years and years. […]

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Candida and Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / July 4, 2017

I get hundreds of emails about the subject of Candida, and a lot of them are asking me why so many health care practitioners don’t recommend the consumption of fermented foods if you have Candida. […]

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You’ll Never Think of Fruit Salad the Same Way Again 🍓🍎

By Donna Schwenk / July 1, 2017

It was a warm summer day and I needed a salad, and a fruit salad was just the ticket. When I said I needed a salad this is not just because I think that it’s good for me, but rather because I needed certain nutrients that only these special foods could provide. […]

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19 Ways To Use Fermented Garlic!

By Maci / June 24, 2017

There are certainly many ways to enjoy garlic, but having a jar of fermented garlic in your fridge is easy and convenient to use. You can use this in so many ways, and it is even great to hand on hand for heated recipes. […]

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The Real Reason Men Need Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / June 14, 2017

My husband was the last one in my family to try cultured foods. I experimented on my children first. My kids were sick and I wanted them to be well, so we all ate cultured food; and much to my surprise, everybody got better. […]

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Does Your Body Need a Miracle?

By Donna Schwenk / June 10, 2017

Do you believe that healing requires a miracle, or do you believe that our trillions of cells govern themselves and create the bodies that we have? So how does the eye know how to focus or the muscle know how much energy it will need during your walk today? […]

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The Probiotic Superstar in Cultured Veggies

By Donna Schwenk / June 3, 2017

I have been getting a lot of letters asking if you can ferment vegetables with water kefir or kombucha. You can ferment vegetables with these two different cultures, but the vegetables tend to get mushy and don’t last very long. […]

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9 Ways to Use Extra Kefir Whey!

By Maci / May 27, 2017

If you’re making kefir, and especially kefir cheese, you’re going to wind up with a lot of whey. Whey has been called liquid gold, and it has been used throughout history to help with many diseases. In fact, Hippocrates and Galen, two founding fathers of medicine, frequently recommended whey to their patients to heal them. […]

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Day 1 (side view)

Eight Days With Kombucha

By Donna Schwenk / May 20, 2017

Watching tea turn into kombucha is quite a thing to behold. You give it the ingredients and let it work its magic. Billions of microbes and yeasts transform the tea into a bubbly probiotic tea that you will love. […]

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Don’t Be Afraid of Your Ferments — They Know How to Do This

By Donna Schwenk / May 2, 2017

Every day I receive many emails from people who are new to fermenting and want to do a good job. They are afraid they are going to do it wrong, mess it up, or make themselves sick. I know from their letters how hard they are trying. […]

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7 Reasons I Eat Cultured Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / April 29, 2017

Cultured vegetables have special powers that go far beyond regular vegetables. I love them and reach for them day after day and in times of special need. They can be powerful food – like medicine – and so I always have several jars in my refrigerator. […]

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Time-Lapse Video – Kombucha SCOBY Forming

By Donna Schwenk / April 22, 2017

This is a time-lapse video I did to show you how a SCOBY forms in your kombucha. It’s quite a beautiful thing to behold with all the bacteria and yeasts dancing around in the jar. I hope you enjoy it. […]

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Carrot Cake in a Jar – Culture Your Carrots! 🥕

By Donna Schwenk / April 15, 2017

I have glass jars everywhere in my house, and I have lots of cultured foods in many of them. I’m always looking for new recipes and jars to make my cultured foods in. This is an unusual recipe as it combines fruit and veggies in my favorite jar that looks like a pot. […]

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What Are Cultured Foods? Restorative Foods for the Body

By Maci / April 8, 2017

Cultured Foods and LACTO-Fermented Foods are the same thing. The “lacto” in “lacto-fermentation” comes from the bacteria “lactobacillus.” Many strains of lacto-bacteria and yeasts are involved in culturing or fermenting foods. […]

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Why I Drink Kombucha Every Day

By Donna Schwenk / April 1, 2017

Kombucha is an amazing drink. Sales have grown to be over 600 million dollars, and this was all done strictly by word of mouth. […]

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Six Easy Ways To Store Your Cultured Foods

By Maci / March 25, 2017

Having lots of fermented foods in your fridge is the same as having a medicine cabinet stocked with natural remedies. We reach for these foods not only to keep us healthy and disease free but also when we find ourselves struggling with a virus, stomach ache, or any other kind of ailment that requires extra body support. […]

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When Are My Kefir, Kombucha, and Veggies Done Culturing?

By Donna Schwenk / March 18, 2017

Do you wonder when your kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables are done fermenting? I have a few tips to help you understand how and when they’re at the perfect place with lots of probiotics and will taste the best. […]

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Your Microbes Love Coffee Just As Much As You Do

By Donna Schwenk / March 11, 2017

I love coffee, and I drink a cup every day. Some believe it’s not good for you, but I’ve gotten so many benefits from it that I just knew this couldn’t possibly be true. I have a philosophy about the foods I eat. If I eat or drink something that I know is bad for me, I can never get a positive result from it. […]

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Tips That Nobody Else Talks About

By Donna Schwenk / March 4, 2017

Years ago when I was young and raising my kids, I was often influenced by well-meaning friends and family. They scared me to death with the latest news they had heard and would say, “Don’t eat this and don’t let your kids do this and did you read that story about how bad this is for you?” […]

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10 Ways to Use Your Over-Fermented Kombucha!

By Maci / February 25, 2017

Kombucha is a wonder drink. This fermented tea has been around for centuries and is legend in many countries such as China, Russia, and Korea. There are even stories that Genghis Khan drank it often and gave it to the men in his armies. […]

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6 Ginger Sodas That Can Do Amazing Things

By Donna Schwenk / February 18, 2017

Pain touches everyone in some way; and when this happens, all of us reach for something that we believe will help us. The older I get, the more I find that every ounce of pain is here to teach me something. […]

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Can I Eat Probiotic Foods While Taking Antibiotics?

By Donna Schwenk / February 11, 2017

I routinely talk about each member of The Trilogy (Kefir, Kombucha, and Cultured Vegetables) and how each member has specific things your body needs to help you change your life. But here is even more good news about this trio. […]

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Kiss Me ~ I’m Cultured 💋

By Donna Schwenk / February 4, 2017

Flashing back to 2001 and my first few months of making kefir, my husband was really leery of it. “Milk sitting on a counter for 24 hours . . . are you sure about this?” he said. He always tries my crazy creations, but it takes him a little bit to wrap his head around it and this one was no exception. […]

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Probiotic Soup Secrets

By Donna Schwenk / January 28, 2017

Soup can not only comfort your mind and your gut, but soup also has secret healing modalities that perhaps you’re not aware of. I think combining soups with cultured foods can help cure what ails you in a myriad of ways, but soup can stand on its own as a powerful kitchen medicine. […]

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10 Ways and Reasons to Use Your Cultured Veggie Brine!

By Maci / January 21, 2017

Cultured vegetables are super powerful, but so is the brine they are made in. The powerful bacteria in cultured vegetables called Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) is a powerful weapon against pathogens that can invade your body and try to make you their host. […]

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I Was Lost, Until I Did This . . .

By Donna Schwenk / January 14, 2017

“How do I apply all this cultured food stuff to my life? Where and how do I get started?” This is something that I hear quite often. People want to change their life and feel better but don’t know where to start. […]

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Making Winter Kombucha . . .

By Maci / January 7, 2017

Kombucha is a wonderful probiotic drink and something you should really consider drinking daily during cold and flu season. The special probiotic yeast in kombucha (Saccharomyces boulardii, which cannot be killed by antibiotics) can help you stay healthy when viruses are all around you. […]

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Best of Cultured Food Life 2016: Our Top Articles

By Donna Schwenk / December 31, 2016

As we close out 2016, I hope you will look to this next year as a chance to find the you that you were always meant to be – healthy and happy. This is our top content of the year that you may have missed. Below you’ll find some of our most popular blogs of the year. […]

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I Fed My Microbes on Christmas Day

By Donna Schwenk / December 24, 2016

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 make something new. […]

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Help for Food Allergies, Viruses, and Your Immune System

By Donna Schwenk / December 10, 2016

One morning I woke up hearing voices in the hall. It was my husband and daughter Holli, and I could hear Holli crying. She was throwing up and having diarrhea and was very upset about it. In our family, we are so accustomed to wellness that when someone gets sick, it feels like the world is coming to an end. Holli was pale and holding her stomach and saying it was cramping and begging me to fix it. […]

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Gingerbread is Healthy and Historical

By Donna Schwenk / December 3, 2016

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 one of the most important is ginger. […]

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Cranberries Have Healing Powers + 8 Cultured Recipes

By Donna Schwenk / November 25, 2016

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. […]

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Cultured Classes in Your Kitchen

By Donna Schwenk / November 19, 2016

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 how thankful I am for all the struggles that have brought me here. […]

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The Foods That Made Me Change My Life

By Donna Schwenk / November 13, 2016

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. […]

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Nine Recipes and Reasons to Eat Cultured Pumpkin

By Donna Schwenk / October 22, 2016

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. […]

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What Kind of Sugars Can I Use in Kombucha?

By Maci / October 15, 2016

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. […]

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Kombucha Apple Scrap Vinegar!

By Maci / October 8, 2016

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. […]

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How to Make Ginger Soda – Delicious Medicine for Your Body

By Maci / September 24, 2016

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. […]

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Living Longer on Yogurt and Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / September 17, 2016

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. I have discovered that in certain parts of the world, yogurt and kefir have been strongly linked with an unusually high number of centenarians. […]

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Ten Kefir Ice Creams

By Donna Schwenk / September 10, 2016

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 want to consider owning one as they are a great investment. […]

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Whey – The Liquid Gold in Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / September 3, 2016

Don’t throw out your kefir if it separates into whey and curds. Your whey, although less appealing to many individuals, is a superfood which contains a lot of healing properties. There is something known as “The Whey Cure” which was used throughout history. In fact, Hippocrates and Galen, two founding fathers of medicine, frequently recommended whey to their patients to heal them. This whey was often referred to as “liquid gold.” […]

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Get Dirty – Get Microbes – Be Happy!

By Donna Schwenk / August 28, 2016

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 in tears a lot and feeling completely overwhelmed. […]

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20 Smart Ways To Use Your Kombucha SCOBYs!

By Maci / August 27, 2016

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 them grow! […]

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My Favorite Cultured Vegetable Recipe

By Donna Schwenk / August 20, 2016

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. […]

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Starter Cultures ~ The Science Experiment

By Maci / August 13, 2016

So, let’s talk about starter cultures! I would like to clear up some confusion involving starter cultures and ratios. In my first book, Cultured Food For Life, the recipe for kefir called for 1 cup of milk to 1 tablespoon of kefir grains. […]

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Coconut Oil Is Incredible!

By Donna Schwenk / August 7, 2016

I love, love, coconut oil for a myriad of reasons that relate to many different aspects of my health and wellness. First of all, coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid. This is a saturated fat that’s found in coconut and in mother’s milk. […]

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Three Foods That Can Change Your Life ~ The Trilogy

By Donna Schwenk / July 30, 2016

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 yeasts that enhance the trillions of bacteria in the body and allow them to thrive, grow, and multiply. […]

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Place your scoby in the tea

Help! My SCOBY Is UGLY and Other Common Issues

By Maci / July 16, 2016

There are a lot of common misbeliefs when it comes to SCOBYs – the wonderful SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeasts) that makes our wonderful kombucha! Here are some of the issues I get asked about the most. […]

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Will Eating Probiotic Foods Make Any Difference?

By Donna Schwenk / July 10, 2016

Most of you don’t know what processes are actually happening inside of you every day. There are microorganisms everywhere and you can’t see them, but they are inhabiting you and everything else. […]

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Jun! New Culture or Honey Kombucha Hybrid?

By Maci / July 3, 2016

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 using green tea and honey. […]

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Six Reasons (and Recipes) to Eat Fermented Pickles

By Donna Schwenk / June 26, 2016

My 23-year-old son, DJ, called me from his home. He was very sick with a stomach flu and was in a considerable amount of pain with stomach cramps throughout the night. With a half cup of pickle juice in hand, I went over to his home. I went into his room which was dark with no lights. […]

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Can Cultured Foods Hurt Me?

By Donna Schwenk / June 19, 2016

I get a lot of people writing me letters indicating that they are afraid they are going to get sick from eating cultured foods. They don’t understand cultured foods and how they work; preconceived ideas and the media have created fear, a lot of fear. […]

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Probiotic Mocktails! Kefir, Kombucha, and More!

By Maci / June 5, 2016

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. […]

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The Must-Have Food Medicine – in Your Fridge

By Donna Schwenk / May 29, 2016

One day 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 she picked it up from her. […]

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Prebiotics – As Important as Probiotics

By Donna Schwenk / May 22, 2016

In the last few years, I have been researching and ingesting a lot of prebiotics; and what I have discovered is that prebiotics are just as important as probiotics. What is a prebiotic and why is this so important? Prebiotics are certain indigestible fibers that nourish the good bacteria in the large bowel or colon. […]

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7 Reasons I Have Kefir Every Day

By Donna Schwenk / May 8, 2016

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. […]

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Why The Whole World Should Eat Kimchi Every Day

By Donna Schwenk / April 24, 2016

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. […]

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A Love Affair With Coconut Water Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / April 10, 2016

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 and she would have a glass with a slice of fresh lime. […]

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What Kind of Tea Can I Use to Make Kombucha?

By Donna Schwenk / April 3, 2016

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 emperor quickly told everyone of his findings. […]

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Can You Reuse the Brine From Cultured Vegetables?

By Donna Schwenk / March 27, 2016

If you add a starter culture to your cultured vegetables, like Cutting Edge Cultures or another starter culture, then you’re going to have extra bacteria in your culture that are stronger than just using salt and no culture. […]

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Probiotic Pets!

By Donna Schwenk / March 20, 2016

This little guy in the picture is my puppy Scoby (pronounced like kombucha SCOBY) enjoying his kefir. Kefir is incredibly good for dogs and we hear many stories of how it helps them in so many ways. Did you know that your pets need probiotics, too? […]

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How Many Calories in Kefir?

By Donna Schwenk / March 6, 2016

Kefir can be made with many different kinds of milk, be it non-dairy or dairy milk. It differs in calories and nutritional differences depending on which type of milk you use. Kefir is far superior to regular milk. Fermentation is the alchemy of milk. […]

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Food Care is Health Care

By Donna Schwenk / February 28, 2016

It’s pretty crazy these days listening to all the talk about health care and what to do about it. It’s causing a lot of fear and one I am well acquainted with. Do you ever wonder why your life takes certain paths and contains certain challenges? I do, and I was contemplating that this week as I listened to people debating on TV about health care. […]

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The Secret According to Kefir Ice Cream

By Donna Schwenk / February 7, 2016

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. […]

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The Real Reasons Your Immune System Needs Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / January 24, 2016

Viruses, yuck . . . my family used to get them a lot. Colds, flus, you name it, we got it. But so did everybody else I knew. It’s normal, right? Well, it’s actually not. Every year at Christmas we would go to my mom’s in Virginia and somebody would inevitably get sick, and then it would spread down through the family. […]

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Carrots, Kombucha, and Eyes! Oh, My!

By Donna Schwenk / January 17, 2016

I was young, nine years old, and sitting in a classroom staring at my teacher’s desk. She had a thermos; and from it she poured a bright orange liquid and I would stare in wonder. I found myself obsessing about what she was drinking. I should have been working in my workbook, but I would watch her every time she went to take a drink. […]

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Dairy-Free Kefir- Every Kind You Can Imagine

By Donna Schwenk / January 10, 2016

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. […]

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Too Much Sourdough Starter? I Can Help

By Donna Schwenk / December 13, 2015

It’s Tuesday night and I usually make bread on Wednesdays. I take my sourdough starter out of the fridge to feed it. I check it. Does it still have bubbles? Is there hooch on top? If I see a layer of dark liquid (called “hooch”) and no bubbles, this means my starter is really hungry and needs to be fed. […]

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Reasons To Love Almond Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / November 22, 2015

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. […]

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Foolproof Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / November 15, 2015

I love kefir grains, but I didn’t start my journey making kefir using kefir grains. I started with the powder kefir and was very glad I did. I was pretty much a wreck at that time in my life and I needed something easy and foolproof or it wasn’t going to happen. […]

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Mercury Needs Wisdom

By Donna Schwenk / November 8, 2015

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 cold. […]

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Does Your Bacteria Whisper?

By Donna Schwenk / September 26, 2015

I had just started my blog in April of 2010 and was afraid that nobody would be interested in cultured foods. I decided to do it anyway. I believe we are all guided to do things but it comes in whispers, not loud sounding trumpets. One such whisper came from my daughter Maci. She told me I needed a Facebook page to help people find my blog and then quickly made me one before I could protest. […]

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My Grandparents Knew

By Donna Schwenk / August 30, 2015

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 soda pop with lunch and dinner. […]

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Kombucha Treats For Your Dogs

By Donna Schwenk / August 1, 2015

Scoby treats 2I 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 soil and keep the bugs away. […]

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Red, White, and Blue Smoothies

By Donna Schwenk / July 4, 2015

Many years ago, I was desperate to feel better. I had no one to help me get started with cultured foods. In fact, everybody I talked with told me I was crazy and not to consume them. But I had an overwhelming desire to figure it out. Little did I know they were calling me to wellness. […]

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Vitamin C-abbage

By Donna Schwenk / June 20, 2015

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. […]

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Culture Your Broccoli – It’s Better

By Donna Schwenk / June 13, 2015

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 those worms on my broccoli and often it was right before I put it in my mouth so I declared broccoli my least favorite vegetable. […]

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Video – How To Make Cultured Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / June 6, 2015

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 wonderful thing about cultured vegetables – they preserve the foods and make them safe with billions of good bacteria that dominate and keep the pathogens out. […]

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Video – How to Make Kombucha

By Donna Schwenk / May 17, 2015

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 only how to make kombucha, but why you should. It’s still my favorite beverage and I’ve been making and drinking it for 18 years. […]

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Kombucha Margarita and Strawberry Too!

By Donna Schwenk / May 10, 2015

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 kombucha recipe to enjoy instead of all the alcohol. […]

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