Low-Carb Cultured Foods

Low carb and keto diets are very popular right now. I think we’re all different and what works for one doesn’t always work for another which is why I love cultured foods. They fit into any diet be it keto, vegan, low carb, vegetarian, paleo, or raw food diet. These foods can be mostly condiments; or some of these foods, such as a kefir smoothie, can be a whole meal. You can always find a way to add cultured foods to your diet and sometimes you only need a spoonful to flood your body with billions of probiotics that change your microbiome in a powerful way.

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Did Kombucha Heal My Husband’s Eyes?

My husband is used to my crazy new ideas and has become accustomed to my enthusiasm for whatever happens to be my latest discovery. He goes along for the ride but never jumps in with both feet until coaxed. Kombucha was the first food he really grasped on to, and here is why. […]

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Fermented Jalapenos and Sourdough Bread

It’s summertime and this is my sourdough starters favorite time of year. I love making bread in the summertime as my bread and sourdough starter will always rise higher due to the warmer temperatures. Even though many don’t like heating up their homes with the oven in the summertime, I have ways to do this that has minimal effects. […]

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Ginger Kombucha – The Anti-Inflammatory Drink

Ginger is powerful medicine! I have been consuming ginger every day and found it to be very effective in helping with any kind of inflammation – especially hay fever in the springtime. Ginger is anti-viral and anti-inflammatory as well as being a powerful antiseptic and antihistamine.

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Get Cultured at The Green Dragon 🐉

Spend a day and immerse yourself into the world of making and eating cultured foods. Donna combines an inspiring day of information with lessons on how to make our trio, The Trilogy: kefir, kombucha, cultured vegetables, and extra info on sourdough bread, and water kefir. You’ll receive a delicious lunch and you’ll be taking home your own jar of cultured vegetables that will give you a starter for many more vegetables to come. . .

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Need Crunchy Pickles?

Pickles are a huge part of my life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used them to help someone in need. If someone feels a bug coming on, I give them a pickle or a spoonful of pickle juice. […]

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The Mineral That Saved My Life

My family has a history of high blood pressure. I struggled with high blood pressure on and off for years and was told to just expect to take medication for it. This made me fighting mad, and I didn’t want to accept it as predetermined destiny that I had no choice over. I wanted to know why I had a tendency for this and what was happening inside of me that was causing all of this. […]

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Probiotic Tomatoes

I have a diverse group of people who subscribe and are members of my site. They have very different diets but all are adding cultured foods to enhance what they’re doing. I’ve discovered that consuming cultured foods is one of the keys to living an incredibly healthy life. Not only have I experienced this, but others are recognizing this as well. […]

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Fermented Vegetables Are Safer Than Raw Vegetables

Cultured foods have become an exciting frontier in health and wellness. We take so much for granted and just as this earth spins on its axis and hurls us through space, so does our body contain billions upon trillions of microbes that compose our bodies and were put there to help us live a fulfilling and healthy life. […]

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Are Fermented Vegetables Safer Than Raw Vegetables?

Cultured foods have become an exciting frontier in health and wellness. We take so much for granted, and just as this earth spins on its axis and hurls us through space so does our body contain billions upon trillions of microbes that compose our bodies and were designed to help us live a fulfilling and healthy life. […]

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How Microbes and Your Brain Work Together

A healthy body isn’t the only result of consuming good bacteria – having a healthy gut also leads to a healthier emotional state. Before I found cultured foods, I was a different person – physically and emotionally. As a young woman, and all the way into my late thirties, I would get upset easily. . .

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Thoughts and Habits That Changed Everything

In March 2010 I was turning fifty years old and facing down demons in my life. Our home was going on the auction block on my birthday. I was fighting fear and had two voices in my head. One was filled with hope, the other with panic and fear. Looking back on this time, I remember it so vividly. Months of fear slowly began to turn to hope and for no other reason than I stopped listening to the voice of fear and started to believe that no matter what, I was guided and loved and it would be ok. . .

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12 Reasons to Eat Cucumber Kimchi

I love cultured veggies, but mostly I love the bacteria that make these cultured veggies Super Veggies. Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) has been found in experiments to help you feel less anxiety and depression. It does this by working on the hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor. . .

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You Are What Your Bacteria Eat

You are what your bacteria eat. It sounds like a science fiction movie, that deep within our gut is an entire ecosystem which is affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want. . .

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How To Make Kefir Donut Holes

I’m always looking for recipes that give us healthy foods that are fun to eat and also help feed our good bacteria. It’s also important that the recipe be easy to make and not time-consuming. These donut holes are gluten-free and have lots of healthy fiber-rich ingredients. Not only do these treats have probiotics from the kefir, but they have lots of prebiotics too. You’ll be changing your microbiome with every bite. . .

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Sugar Drops Your Immune System By 75%

Boosting your immune system is one of my favorite things that cultured foods do. Your gut is responsible for 80 percent of your immune system. The more good bacteria you have, the better your immune system will function. Viruses run around looking for a human host to inhabit. When it finds one, your body has special helpers designed to seek and destroy this invader.

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UTIs, Yeast Infections, and Cultured Foods

We know that more than half of all women will experience the burning urgency of a urinary tract infection in their lifetime. Although men also suffer from these infections, the occurrence is much less frequent due to anatomical differences. If you experience discomfort when you urinate, you may have an infection. There are two types of infections that commonly affect these areas. . .

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Two Women Who Convinced Me to Make My Own Bread

I was twelve years old and taking a school field trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the largest battle of the American Civil War as well as the largest battle ever fought in North America, took place. Little did I know that this particular trip would have a tremendous impact on my young life and set things into motion that my future self would be doing on a regular basis. . .

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10 Natural Miracles I Found To Lower Stress

Stress is an alarm clock. It’s your body trying to communicate with you, sending you alert notices; but so few of us listen and I am no different from you. This is a very personal subject for me. Stress made its presence known to me in 2016, but I didn’t listen. I just ignored the signs. I was working like crazy for years and adding more and more pressure to myself. . .

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Personal Reasons My Family Eats Cultured Foods

Everybody I know leads busy lives, but did you know there is always help for you? My family had a lot of big changes in 2017, but a constant through it all was the way each member of my family used and ate cultured foods. Maybe this could be the answer for you, too. But first, the journey. . .

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Microbes – If You Don’t Feed Them They Can Eat You!

The microbes that have made your body their home are quite impressive, and most people are unaware of the magnitude of microbes that reside within them. One hundred trillion microbes is a tremendous amount, and let me better explain just how much this is. . .

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Easy Ways To Heal Your Microbiome

I talk a lot about your body and what your body is made out of. Those 100 trillion microbes (which is more than ten times the cells in the body) that call you home are your constant companions. Most of you don’t even know your microbes because you can’t see them, but they know you and work their darndest to keep you alive each day. . .

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Kombucha – Healing My Addiction

Many years ago I was addicted to diet cola. I know, I know. It is terrible for you. But still, I couldn’t stop drinking it. I had drunk it for years and when I first started eating cultured foods they made me want to conquer my addiction. But try as I might, I couldn’t stop drinking it. It would call my name, so I knew it was an addictive substance. . .

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Can Your Gut Heal Your Joints?

When I first started with cultured foods almost two decades ago, one of the first things I noticed was the relief of joint pain in my knee. This was in the very beginning of drinking and making kefir every day. If I quit drinking kefir, it only took about three to four days before the pain would return, so I kept drinking my kefir. . .

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Can Sourdough Change the Gluten-Free Diet?

About ten years ago I went to a class on “How to Make Sourdough Bread.” My daughter had gluten intolerance and we found that she could eat sprouted bread without the side effects created by regular bread. I had heard that sourdough bread achieved similar results to the sprouted bread, and I wanted to try it. What I learned shocked me. . .

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Best of Cultured Food Life 2018: Our Top Articles!

I hope 2018 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 sixteen years and they never cease to amaze and teach me. 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. . .

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7 Reasons I Drink Coconut Water Kefir

Coconut water is one of my favorite drinks! It is fast and super easy to make and wow is it good for you. Water Kefir Crystals make fantastic coconut water kefir. It’s bubbly, tangy, and delicious! All you need are water kefir crystals (which are different from milk kefir grains) and some coconut water and 24 hours. . .

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My Personal Christmas Story – That Changed Everything

This is one of the most personal blogs I have ever written. I wrote it several years ago, but what I didn’t know was that the pain was the catalyst that changed everything in my life. I hope it will help you, inspire you, and encourage you to never give up, even when things look like they are going in the wrong direction. . .

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Overeating During the Holidays? Cultured Foods Can Help

One of the most important things I’ve learned about health and wellness is that overeating can be just as stressful on your hardworking liver as drinking too much, but most people don’t know this. Overeating or having too much fatty food on your plate can make it difficult for the liver to function smoothly. . .

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History of Kefir, Kombucha, and Fermented Vegetables

We all have trials and struggles throughout our lives and often these struggles have brought me to my knees. But without fail, each and every one of them has been a blessing in disguise. The pain turned to wisdom and I found myself so grateful for the struggle that brought me so much pain. . .

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Probiotics and the Autoimmune Epidemic

I’m going to introduce you to your microbiome. These trillions of microbial organisms, which normally inhabit a healthy small and large intestine, are your friends. They’ve been co-creating with humans since the beginning of time, but it is likely you know very little about them. . .

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Got an Acidic Stomach? The Surprising Remedy

In 2017, we moved across the country from Kansas City to Southern California to be closer to our two older children. Our family – Ron, me and our three kids and our son-in-law – are thick as thieves. I’ve always lived far away from my mom and dad and sisters who mostly reside on the east coast. […]

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Symptoms of an Unbalanced Gut

Sometimes I wonder how I got here. Symptoms of disease struck my life almost two decades ago and it broke me. Those symptoms shook me to my core and I didn’t know that my body was desperately trying to get my attention to help me heal. And heal I did. With a grateful heart, I’m here trying with all I know to help you too. . .

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How Your Gut Affects Your Entire Body

Let me tell you about Mary. She sat on the front row of one of my classes and cried throughout my class while I talked. Right after class, she came up to me and explained how much these probiotic foods I teach about had changed her life. Sick with digestion and depression and feeling hopeless, she found encouragement and hope from my books to give these foods a try. . .

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Does Your Gut Help Control Food Cravings?

Food cravings — why do you have them? We tend to think food cravings are normal and there is not much we can do about them, but there is much more to it than this. This is a time of change. A time to look at the way we function in this world and do it differently than ever before. . .

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The Flu Shot in a Jar

Fall through winter is the time of year they call “flu season.” People are really afraid of it but I have often said, “The flu should be afraid of me!” When you build up the good bacteria in your body, you create an army that goes with you everywhere you go and touches every person you come in contact with. . .

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Sleep Problems and Your Gut

Sleeping is fundamental to our wellbeing and health, and I have my own experiences with sleep and health. In 2001 when my daughter Holli was born eight weeks early and weighed in at four pounds, I was a woman on a mission to help her. Babies born this early don’t get the mom’s immunities and Holli was no exception. . .

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Earl Grey Probiotic Pickles 📹

Fermented pickles are the best pickles. Cultured pickles are super powerful, but so is the brine they are made in. The powerful bacteria in cultured veggies is called Lactobacillus plantarum. It is a powerful weapon against pathogens that try to invade the body. It will steal nutrients from pathogens and they will die unable to survive while Lactobacillus plantarum is around. . .

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Healing From Food Allergies

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

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Is Kombucha Good For You?

Is kombucha good for you? Is it alcoholic? As of late, kombucha has been getting a lot of press. Kombucha has become a 0.6 billion dollar industry and is expected to reach 1.8 by 2020. It is causing quite a stir in the beverage business. Its popularity has grown strictly by word of mouth and is growing at an incredible rate. . .

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Which is Better – Water Kefir or Milk Kefir?

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

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My Kombucha’s Not Bubbly?

Bubbly, fizzy kombucha is one of my favorite things. Understanding the science behind how it works can help you create the carbonation that most people are looking for. Let me explain to you how it all works. When making kombucha, the fermenting tea will form a SCOBY on top. . .

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Fermenting Tip: Put a Lid on It?

When making milk kefir, many people have been taught to use a cloth and rubber band over the jar. This is one of the most common things that cause problems. When a cloth is used to cover a vessel for kefir, there is a risk of cross-contamination with wild yeasts in the air or even from other cultures, or foods nearby. . .

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Kefir for Breakfast ~ My Favorite Four

I learned a long time ago that if I wanted to feel good, I had to have kefir every day. It seems to work best for me to have kefir in the morning, but sometimes I have it other times too. I’ve kind of played around with different ways to have it and found these four breakfasts give me lots of energy. . .

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7 Tips for Summer Kombucha ☀

Kombucha is a must-have in the summertime! When the body is exposed to excessive heat, the liver can become stressed and kombucha can help! Drinking kombucha can keep you cool and hydrated in the summertime. It can also help your liver which is one of the organs most vulnerable to excessive heat. . .

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Summer Cultured Vegetables

There is no better time to make cultured veggies than in the summertime! The fruits and veggies are abundant and when you ferment them they’ll last nine months in your fridge! Culturing, or what can also be called fermenting, is a no-sweat endeavor. . .

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7 Tips for Summer Kefir ☀

Kefir is a living food that tends to have a mind of its own. It ferments differently in the winter than the summer, so understanding the process can make a huge difference. I’m sharing seven tips to help you make great summer kefir. . .

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Fermented Asian Salad Video! 📹

This salad is one of my very favorite cultured meals. It’s perfect for summertime and a wonderful way to change your microbiome from the inside out. I try to eat fruits and veggies at every meal. It is one of the best ways to stay balanced and it’s fantastic for lowering inflammation, balancing your hormones, and keeping those little microbes in your gut fed and happy. . .

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Kefir And Your Blood Pressure

In 2001, I was battling hypertension and diabetes. It was then that I started drinking kefir and I noticed an interesting occurrence. It seemed that when I drank a glass of kefir every day my blood pressure would go down; and not just a little, but quite a bit. It would put me in the normal range. . .

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Cocoa Kefir Krunch Puff Breakfast Video! 📹

This is my daughter Holli’s favorite breakfast. I make extra servings of the crunch topping and store it in a jar for her to use whenever she makes her morning smoothie. This was the recipe that really changed her more than any other recipe. My family is like everybody else. . .

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Probiotic Kefir Nut Butter Video! 📹

This recipe is in my new book Cultured Food in a Jar. I only make recipes that are easily incorporated into my life because I’m crazy busy and I want recipes to care for my body and busy microbes. This recipe fits the bill. It has only two ingredients and it’s so easy to make. […]

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Is Kefir the Answer for Acid Reflux?

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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Learn How To Make Water Kefir

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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The Tale of the Disappearing Kefir Grains

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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Overnight Sourdough Bread

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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Make Your Condiments – Probiotic!

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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Your Kidneys Might Need Some Kefir

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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I Am Having Difficulty Straining My Kefir 📹

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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7 Reasons to Make Goat Milk Kefir

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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9 Ways to Use Extra Kefir Whey!

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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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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Six Easy Ways To Store Your Cultured Foods

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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10 Ways to Use Your Over-Fermented Kombucha!

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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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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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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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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What Kind of Sugars Can I Use in Kombucha?

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!

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

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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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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Starter Cultures ~ The Science Experiment

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!

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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Help! My SCOBY Is UGLY and Other Common Issues

Place your scoby in the tea

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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Jun! New Culture or Honey Kombucha Hybrid?

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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Probiotic Salads and Dressings

Everybody knows we should eat more salads, but if you make probiotic salads you quadruple the benefits. The most powerful food combo you can have is prebiotics (food for bacteria) and probiotics (cultured foods) together in a meal. These salads will do just that. When you eat a probiotic salad, you’re getting billions of probiotics.…

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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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Probiotics and Your Skin

Skin Care Hi everyone! My name is Maci Dierking, formerly Maci Schwenk. I am Donna’s eldest daughter and I love cultured food too! I wanted to share with you some wonderful new skin care uses for cultured foods and extra benefits and how you can make your own! So, let’s get started: Face Care Products…

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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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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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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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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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Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Why on earth am I writing about bacteria? A few years ago I was nearly non-functional. I felt terrible. I had zero energy. All food made me sick – especially healthy food. I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything and was seriously thinking I would end up going on disability at work. […]

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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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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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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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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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Summer 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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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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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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The Food Poisoning Remedy

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

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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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Coconut Almond Kefir Ice Cream

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

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The End of My Culturing Career

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

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