Cultured Vegetables

Tips That Nobody Else Talks About

By Donna Schwenk / February 29, 2020

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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Why You Need Christmas Pickles

By Donna Schwenk / December 21, 2019

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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Asthma and Fermented Foods

By Donna Schwenk / October 5, 2019

One of the first friends I ever told about cultured foods had a little boy with asthma. Making and drinking a kefir smoothie every day allowed him to get off his asthma inhaler and live a normal life. I was quite surprised and thrilled that it worked so rapidly. He had been taking kefir quite regularly and stopped needing his inhaler. […]

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Low-Carb Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / June 29, 2019

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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Fermented Jalapenos and Sourdough Bread

By Donna Schwenk / June 8, 2019

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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Need Crunchy Pickles?

By Donna Schwenk / May 25, 2019

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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Probiotic Tomatoes

By Donna Schwenk / May 11, 2019

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

By Donna Schwenk / May 4, 2019

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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12 Reasons to Eat Cucumber Kimchi

By Donna Schwenk / April 13, 2019

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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History of Kefir, Kombucha, and Fermented Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / December 1, 2018

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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Earl Grey Probiotic Pickles 📹

By Donna Schwenk / September 8, 2018

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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Fermented Sauerkraut and Breast Cancer

By Donna Schwenk / September 1, 2018

Sauerkraut is an incredible food. I teach people to make it at all my classes. It can be life changing along with kefir and kombucha and I’m pretty intense about it. It changed my life and I have watched it change thousands of other people too. . .

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The Many Reasons You Should Eat Fermented Salads and Dressings

By Donna Schwenk / August 11, 2018

There are many reasons you should eat salads. They are one of nature’s perfect foods – they work like medicine. The benefits are many and they’re delicious too! Having fermented dressings is a mainstay in my house and is one of the many ways I add cultured foods to my family’s diet. . .

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Fermenting Tip: Put a Lid on It?

By Donna Schwenk / July 18, 2018

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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Summer Cultured Vegetables ☀

By Donna Schwenk / June 30, 2018

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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Fermented Asian Salad Video! 📹

By Donna Schwenk / June 9, 2018

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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Seven Probiotic Foods to Always Keep in Your Fridge

By Maci / May 5, 2018

When it comes to cultured/probiotic and fermented foods, I am officially obsessed. Not everyone is going to make as many of these foods as I do; but once you get started, it’s an exciting journey! Here are the top seven probiotic foods I ALWAYS have on hand, and why. . .

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How To Fix Your Seasonal Allergies

By Donna Schwenk / April 28, 2018

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

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

By Donna Schwenk / April 21, 2018

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

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Probiotic Foods for Food Poisoning and Stomach Virus

By Donna Schwenk / March 3, 2018

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

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Make Your Condiments – Probiotic!

By Donna Schwenk / February 24, 2018

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

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What’s This On My Cultured Vegetables?

By Donna Schwenk / January 21, 2018

Cultured vegetables are so easy to make with just a few exceptions. First of all, this is one of the safest ways to preserve your vegetables. It is scientifically impossible to get botulism from cultured vegetables. […]

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Buffalo Kraut ~ You Simply Must Try

By Donna Schwenk / January 6, 2018

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

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Jicama if You’re Sicka-ma! 📹 Video

By Donna Schwenk / November 18, 2017

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

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Spanish Kimchi

By Donna Schwenk / October 7, 2017

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

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Mr. Picky and Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / September 30, 2017

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

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I Want to Get Cultured —Where Do I Start?

By Donna Schwenk / September 16, 2017

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

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Cultured Veggies ~ Saving Lives

By Donna Schwenk / September 9, 2017

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

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Can You Make Happiness in Your Gut?

By Donna Schwenk / September 2, 2017

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

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Never Give Up ~ Do Great Things ~ Eat Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / July 29, 2017

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

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19 Ways To Use Fermented Garlic!

By Maci / June 24, 2017

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

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The Real Reason Men Need Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / June 14, 2017

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

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The Probiotic Superstar in Cultured Veggies

By Donna Schwenk / June 3, 2017

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

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

By Donna Schwenk / May 2, 2017

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

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7 Reasons I Eat Cultured Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / April 29, 2017

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

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Carrot Cake in a Jar – Culture Your Carrots! 🥕

By Donna Schwenk / April 15, 2017

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

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What Are Cultured Foods? Restorative Foods for the Body

By Maci / April 8, 2017

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

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Six Easy Ways To Store Your Cultured Foods

By Maci / March 25, 2017

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

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

By Donna Schwenk / March 18, 2017

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

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10 Ways and Reasons to Use Your Cultured Veggie Brine!

By Maci / January 21, 2017

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

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I Was Lost, Until I Did This . . .

By Donna Schwenk / January 14, 2017

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

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The Foods That Made Me Change My Life

By Donna Schwenk / November 13, 2016

A lot of suffering in this world comes from the fear of discomfort. In my own personal life, pain has come to teach me things and get me to change. I resisted it, fought it, and finally changed when I could do nothing else. […]

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My Favorite Cultured Vegetable Recipe

By Donna Schwenk / August 20, 2016

A few years back, a woman named Shelley came to my cultured food class. I couldn’t stop staring at her while I spoke, and I told my daughter that I thought I saw a light over her and was trying to figure out where it was coming from. […]

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Starter Cultures ~ The Science Experiment

By Maci / August 13, 2016

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

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Three Foods That Can Change Your Life ~ The Trilogy

By Donna Schwenk / July 30, 2016

Fermentation is an art form and each individual cultured food is, in and of itself, unique. The three foods of The Trilogy each provide different good bacteria and yeasts that enhance the trillions of bacteria in the body and allow them to thrive, grow, and multiply. […]

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Six Reasons (and Recipes) to Eat Fermented Pickles

By Donna Schwenk / June 26, 2016

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

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The Must-Have Food Medicine – in Your Fridge

By Donna Schwenk / May 29, 2016

One day my daughter Holli came running into the room and burst into tears. She cried and said, “Help me! My stomach hurts so bad.” And then she ran to the bathroom and started throwing up. She had spent the night with a friend who had just had the same thing, so I’m pretty sure she picked it up from her. […]

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Can You Reuse the Brine From Cultured Vegetables?

By Donna Schwenk / March 27, 2016

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

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Foolproof Kefir

By Donna Schwenk / November 15, 2015

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

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Vitamin C-abbage

By Donna Schwenk / June 20, 2015

Captain Cook was one of the first people to make cultured sauerkraut a healing modality. When he took his first vessel and crew on a long voyage in 1768, a violent storm arose. The waves tossed the ship about violently, and many crewmen were injured. […]

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Culture Your Broccoli – It’s Better

By Donna Schwenk / June 13, 2015

When I was growing up, my mom had a huge garden. She grew lots of broccoli and we would pick it for her. Even though broccoli is one of the plants least affected by pests, it is not uncommon to find worms on broccoli heads. Without a doubt, I was always the one to find those worms on my broccoli and often it was right before I put it in my mouth so I declared broccoli my least favorite vegetable. […]

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Video – How To Make Cultured Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / June 6, 2015

I am very excited about the new veggie starter culture, Cutting Edge Cultures. I decided to make a video about it and share a fun recipe. Making cultured vegetables is easy and fun. People can be intimidated by making cultured veggies and are afraid they will do it wrong and get sick. This is the wonderful thing about cultured vegetables – they preserve the foods and make them safe with billions of good bacteria that dominate and keep the pathogens out. […]

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Cultured Vegetables Made Stronger – Cutting Edge Culture

By Donna Schwenk / May 3, 2015

I am very excited to introduce you to Cutting Edge Cultures – Vegetable Starter. Several collaborators knowledgeable on fermentation and probiotics joined together to make the strongest vegetable starter on the market today. […]

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How Many Cultured Foods Do I Eat In a Day?

By Donna Schwenk / April 26, 2015

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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Wisdom Kraut

By Donna Schwenk / October 12, 2014

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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Sweet Pickle Relish

By Donna Schwenk / September 7, 2014

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

By Donna Schwenk / August 17, 2014

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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Claire’s Cultured Squash

By Donna Schwenk / July 12, 2014

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!

By Donna Schwenk / July 5, 2014

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?

By Donna Schwenk / June 1, 2014

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?

By Donna Schwenk / May 25, 2014

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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Scary Delicious Seaweed Dip

By Donna Schwenk / March 8, 2014

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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The Fairest Salad in the Land

By Donna Schwenk / February 8, 2014

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 End of My Culturing Career

By Donna Schwenk / May 10, 2013

If you like this, then please share! Salad in a Fermenting Jar Coconut Almond Kefir Ice Cream The End of My Culturing Career Edit Making Cultured Vegetables A few years ago, I had a great plan to sell cultured veggies at a health food store and they were so good they sold out again and…

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Salad in a jar

Salad in a Fermenting Jar

By Donna Schwenk / April 27, 2013

If you like this, then please share! Walnut Kefir & Chocolate Fig Pudding The End of My Culturing Career Salad in a Fermenting Jar Edit Travel Food with Culture I spend almost all of my weekends in the spring and summer out of town at the lake. Because of this, I have to pack coolers…

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Sauerkraut Without a Culture

By Donna Schwenk / July 12, 2012

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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