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Posts by Donna Schwenk

What’s This On My Cultured Vegetables?

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

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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How to Make Bubbly Fruit Flavored Kombucha

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

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 ☺

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

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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Cultured Foods for the Cholesterol Conscious

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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The Power of Peppermint That Changed a Holiday

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

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

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

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

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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Episode 10: Cancer and the Power of Cultured Foods

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Kefir Blueberry Pecan Pancakes

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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Spanish Kimchi

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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Mr. Picky and Cultured Foods

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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I Want to Get Cultured —Where Do I Start?

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

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

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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Can You Make Happiness in Your Gut?

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

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 📻

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”!

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

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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Kefir is Your Ally Against Toenail Fungus

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

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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The Real Reason Men Need Cultured Foods

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?

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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Eight Days With Kombucha

Day 1 (side view)

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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7 Reasons I Eat Cultured Vegetables

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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Carrot Cake in a Jar – Culture Your Carrots! 🥕

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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Your Microbes Love Coffee Just As Much As You Do

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

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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6 Ginger Sodas That Can Do Amazing Things

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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Kiss Me ~ I’m Cultured 💋

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

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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I Was Lost, Until I Did This . . .

“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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Best of Cultured Food Life 2016: Our Top Articles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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The Many Ways Cultured Foods Detoxify Your Body

I love my microbes and all they do for me. Not a week goes by that I don’t discover something new that my 100 trillion microbes are doing just for me. I used to think that my liver was mostly responsible for filtering and removing compounds from within my body including hundreds of toxic chemicals and extra hormones (like estrogen) that can damage cells and weaken my immune system, but this is only half of the story. […]

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Living Longer on Yogurt and Kefir

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

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

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!

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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My Favorite Cultured Vegetable Recipe

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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Coconut Oil Is Incredible!

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

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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Six Reasons (and Recipes) to Eat Fermented Pickles

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?

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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The Must-Have Food Medicine – in Your Fridge

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

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

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

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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How I Fought Viruses With Cultured Foods

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. […]

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A Love Affair With Coconut Water Kefir

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?

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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Probiotic Pets!

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?

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

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

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

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!

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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Too Much Sourdough Starter? I Can Help

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

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

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

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?

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

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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The Healing Crisis and Cultured Foods

A “healing crisis” is something that happens when the body starts a detoxification process which is really a program of natural healing. This is a common occurrence among some individuals who start consuming cultured foods. When you start consuming cultured foods, your body is flooded with good bacteria. […]

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Kombucha Treats For Your Dogs

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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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How Many Cultured Foods Do I Eat In a Day?

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. […]

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Your Microbes Want This Coffee

When we were healing my daughter’s Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) many years ago, I didn’t realize that, along with cultured foods, we were including a powerful addition that made a huge difference in her recovery. I actually discovered many years after she healed, and it has opened an entirely new world for me. […]

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Non-Dairy Kefir Wants a Date

Kefir grains love to eat the sugars (lactose) in milk. These sugars are the primary food for this culture. Fresh milk kefir is only 1% sugar and live kefir grains contain over 50 different types of yeast and bacteria existing in a symbiotic relationship. […]

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How to Care For Your Sourdough Starter

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 uniquely your own. […]

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The Jury Case and Carpal Tunnel

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. […]

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5 Minute Sourdough Bread

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. […]

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Video: How to Make Kefir

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 a better place. I am convinced of this. […]

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My New Love – Probiotic Soup!

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. […]

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It’s Not the SCOBY That Makes Kombucha

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 naturally-occurring carbonation. You don’t get tons of sugar because the bacteria eat it […]

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Cashew Kefir

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 used in all kinds of health food dishes – and for good reason. They’re delicious and good for you. […]

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Video: Is Your Kefir Separating?

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 or remove some of the grains. It also might be warm in your home and this will make it separate faster as well. […]

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The Most Powerful Cultured Veggies

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 and flu season, so I kept making them and giving them to my family. […]

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Wisdom Kraut

Many of you write to me and ask how you can encourage friends and family to eat these foods. Like you, I notice how sick our loved ones are and want to help them but they don’t always want to listen. […]

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Fizzy Blender “Juiced” Apple Kombucha

My daughter Maci got married and moved to a farm with her husband. She has a couple of apple trees and she’s making tons of recipes with apples in them. Before her husband, the love of her life was kombucha. She has been making gallons of super fizzy apple kombucha and discovered something special. […]

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Sweet Pickle Relish

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. […]

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Donna and the Three Bears

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. […]

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Kefir Made Easy

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? […]

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Claire’s Cultured Squash

One of my favorite things about summertime is the farmer’s markets and fresh veggies. Turing fresh produce into perfectly preserved cultured veggies makes me so happy, but it wasn’t always that way. […]

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Fermentize This 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 salad many, many times made with vinegar but it was never fermented. […]

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Make Cultured Veggies – But in What Kind of Jar?

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 […]

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Do Cultured Veggies Need a Starter?

You do not need a starter culture to make cultured veggies. However, by using a starter you will receive more probiotics and a lot of other benefits. Let me explain your options and you can better choose which is the best method for you. […]

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Your Body Was Designed to Heal You

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. I begged for help. […]

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How to Travel With Kefir and Be a Pioneer

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. […]

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The Thick and Thin of Kefir

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. […]

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Scary Delicious Seaweed Dip

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). My great grandpa, Captain Horatio Brannen, was a sea captain and built the home there. […]

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Kombucha Always Brewing Method

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. […]

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The Fairest Salad in the Land

I have been making this salad a lot lately. A while back 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 more and tell me how good it was. […]

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Should Babies and Children Have Cultured Foods?

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 life and hers. […]

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Walnut Kefir & Chocolate Fig Pudding

Have you tried making your own nut milks? Walnut milk is delicious and easy to make. I have been trying a lot of different recipes 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. […]

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My Kefir Is Too Sour!!!

Perhaps you’ve seen this happen, and it even happens to me from time to time: My kefir will get really sour. This can happen 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. […]

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Sauerkraut Without a Culture

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. […]

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Don’t Rinse Your Kefir Grains!

If you like this, then please share! The Dog That Kefir Saved Sauerkraut Without a Culture Don’t Rinse Your Kefir Grains! Kefir Grains Never Rinse Them in Water 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…

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The Dog That Kefir Saved

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. […]

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Second Ferment Your Kefir – Your Taste Buds Will Thank You

Many years ago I discovered a way to make kefir not only taste better but also increase the nutrients in it. It is the only way that I make my kefir now because it is so delicious. The process is called second-fermenting. I have to admit that the reason I second fermented my kefir is that it tasted so much better. […]

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The Christmas Pickle

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. […]

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