Cultured Vegetables

Are Fermented Vegetables Safer Than Raw Vegetables?

By Donna Schwenk / April 6, 2024

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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Asthma and Fermented Foods

By Donna Schwenk / January 27, 2024

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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Why You Need Christmas Pickles

By Donna Schwenk / December 16, 2023

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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Cranberries Have Many Healing Powers

By Donna Schwenk / November 18, 2023

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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Vitamin C-abbage

By Donna Schwenk / September 30, 2023

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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Make Your Condiments – Probiotic!

By Donna Schwenk / August 12, 2023

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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Need Crunchy Pickles?

By Donna Schwenk / August 5, 2023

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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Low-Carb Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / July 29, 2023

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

By Donna Schwenk / June 17, 2023

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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Benefits of Each Cultured Food

By Donna Schwenk / June 10, 2023

 The many things cultures Can Do Nothing has influenced and changed my body and life more than cultured foods. I’ve done many studies on myself and my family and, hands…

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Carrot Cake in a Jar – Culture Your Carrots! 🥕

By Donna Schwenk / April 8, 2023

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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Fermented Vegetables Are Safer Than Raw Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / March 18, 2023

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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How Many Cultured Foods Do I Eat In a Day?

By Donna Schwenk / March 11, 2023

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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How to Make Cultured Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / January 14, 2023

Having a jar of cultured vegetables in your fridge is a must. They can last for over nine months in the fridge and can be very helpful if you have…

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Jicama if You’re Sicka-ma! 📹 Video

By Donna Schwenk / November 5, 2022

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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Fermented Probiotic Salsa Recipes

By Donna Schwenk / August 27, 2022

Fermented Salsa Salsa is one of the easiest ways to get in your fermented vegetables. It is super easy to make, everybody will enjoy it, and most will never know…

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Cultured Veggies ~ Saving Lives

By Donna Schwenk / August 20, 2022

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…

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Probiotic Foods for Food Poisoning and Stomach Virus

By Donna Schwenk / June 11, 2022

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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Beet Kvass: Original, Orange, & Golden Lemon

By Donna Schwenk / May 14, 2022

Beet kvass is a fermented probiotic drink with many health benefits. I first made this drink back in 2012 to help my daughter heal her IBS and food allergies. One…

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Fermented Sauerkraut and Breast Cancer

By Donna Schwenk / April 23, 2022

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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Earl Grey Probiotic Pickles 📹

By Donna Schwenk / February 25, 2022

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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7 Reasons I Eat Cultured Vegetables

By Donna Schwenk / February 12, 2022

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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What are Cultured Vegetables?

By Donna Schwenk / January 28, 2022

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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20 Ways To Use Fermented Garlic!

By Donna Schwenk / November 20, 2021

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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Fermented Sweet Pickle Relish

By Donna Schwenk / July 17, 2021

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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Cooling Down With Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / July 3, 2021

I live in a desert climate – hot during the day and cool at night. When it gets hot, it’s really hot. Today it’s 100°F and I’m looking for foods that cool me down. […]

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10 Ways and Reasons to Use Your Cultured Veggie Brine!

By Donna Schwenk / June 26, 2021

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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The Probiotic Superstar in Cultured Veggies

By Donna Schwenk / June 19, 2021

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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Why You Should Be Growing and Eating Sprouts In a Jar

By Donna Schwenk / May 22, 2021

Fermenting, sprouting, and soaking are all ways I enhance my food. These are the heroes that help me stay healthy in spite of all that seems to tell me I need to fear aging and all the disease that could come my way. I believe so firmly in wellness that nobody can convince me otherwise. […]

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Cultured Vegetables FAQs

By Donna Schwenk / May 15, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions About Cultured Vegetables It’s my favorite time of the year – when I have an abundance of fresh vegetables that I can ferment. Fermented vegetables can last…

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Probiotic Salads and Dressings and Why Your Microbes Need Them

By Donna Schwenk / May 1, 2021

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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The Most Probiotic Kefir Dip

By Donna Schwenk / April 17, 2021

This recipe has only two cultured ingredients (cultured veggies and kefir cheese) and has more probiotics than any other dip recipe and it’s crazy delicious. […]

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19 Healing Cultured Carrot Recipes

By Donna Schwenk / April 3, 2021

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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My Favorite Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / March 13, 2021

Almost two decades ago I had a revelation. No longer could I rely on any individual to solve all my health problems even if it was a medical professional. […]

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Do Cultured Veggies Need a Starter?

By Donna Schwenk / January 30, 2021

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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Gain Wisdom From Your Kraut

By Donna Schwenk / December 19, 2020

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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You Are The One Thing In Life You Can Control

By Donna Schwenk / November 7, 2020

This is the week of the 2020 presidential election. Needless to say, whatever side you’re on, it’s been an intense week and a lot of people are struggling with strong emotions. I’m surprised to say that I’ve lived a long time (60 years) and now have some life experience that really serves me in times of uncertainty and fear. […]

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Three Foods That Can Change Your Life ~ The Trilogy and More

By Donna Schwenk / October 17, 2020

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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Your Gut Needs Some Cultured Veggie Juice

By Donna Schwenk / October 3, 2020

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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I Was Lost, Until I Did This. . .

By Donna Schwenk / September 26, 2020

“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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Six Reasons (and Recipes) to Eat Fermented Pickles

By Donna Schwenk / August 15, 2020

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 / July 4, 2020

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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My Favorite Cultured Vegetable Recipe

By Donna Schwenk / June 13, 2020

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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Two Ways to Make Fermented Red Onions

By Donna Schwenk / June 6, 2020

I love red onions and we eat a ton of onions on everything. Making a jar of fermented red onions allows us to eat them often because they taste so good and are stored in my fridge – already chopped and ready to eat. […]

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Prebiotics – As Important as Probiotics

By Donna Schwenk / May 2, 2020

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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The Most Powerful Cultured Veggies

By Donna Schwenk / March 14, 2020

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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Anti-Viral Cultured Foods

By Donna Schwenk / March 7, 2020

There is a lot of fear flying around about the flu and especially the coronavirus. If I can help you understand what happens in your body and how it works when you get the flu, or what it can do to protect yourself, then perhaps it will […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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What Are Cultured Foods? Restorative Foods for the Body

By Donna Schwenk / 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 Donna Schwenk / 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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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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Starter Cultures ~ The Science Experiment

By Donna Schwenk / 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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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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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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Summer 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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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

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…

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Salad in a jar

Salad in a Fermenting Jar

By Donna Schwenk / April 27, 2013

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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