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I posted a blog and asked for your questions on cultured foods. I am going to attempt to answer these questions in short videos and blog posts. Helping you have more success with cultured foods.

If you have a question please post below and I will do my best to answer them each week.

Remember cultured foods are not hard they are just new to you. You will be surprised how fast you will be up and running and making them a part of your life.

Looking forward to answering your questions and helping you have a lot of fun eating and making cultured foods.

Happy Fermenting! ~ Donna

Tiffany says:  June 3, 2012

 Question:What cultured food is the easiest to get kids and picky husbands to eat?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKhXZR609R8?rel=0]

Question: Is it possible to make your own scoby with a bottle of store bought Kombucha?

Pamala Gibby says:

Is it possible to make your own scoby with a bottle of store bought Kombucha? If so how hard is it to make yourself???? I love love love Kombocha and would love to try and make on my own but This whole cultured food world is pretty intimidating for me. Oh, Donna I wanted to also ask you, why Is cultured or fermented food so much better for your body and if you’ve never tried it before will it take awhile before your body get used to eating this way?

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJmaU8cRT-8?rel=0]

Question:

Arsie asked:

I’ve read that there are some concerns with kombucha and some advocates of fermented foods do not recommend it. I’d like to know the pros and possible cons to be aware of regarding making and drinking kombucha.

Donna:

There was one time when I stopped drinking kombucha for about a month, because I read somewhere that someone in the know didn’t recommend it. I remember that day quite vividly because I felt confused and concerned that I was doing the wrong thing. I had seen dramatic changes in my husband and family. I started researching the types of properties that kombucha made, and discover a myriad of good yeast, B vitamins and beneficial bacteria that kombucha made and delivered to the body. It was late one night and I had been up researching it and I got a call from my sister. She is someone who struggles with chronic diarrhea and I had told her about the good yeast in kombucha that helps with this. Saccharomyces boulardii is the powerful good yeast, abundant in kombucha. It is used as the number one pro biotic in hospitals, called florastor. She called me that night to tell me that as long as she drank a half a bottle of kombucha a day her diarrhea was under control. Something even drugs couldn’t stop. Her husband is a medical doctor and even he was surprised. The longer I didn’t drink kombucha the more phone calls I got from friends, that kombucha had been helping them. I began drinking it again and once again and I felt so much better that I was convinced of its benefits. It literally can make you feel better in 20 minutes with the amount of B vitamins it delivers to you adrenals.

Question:

Judi says:

I would like to know how much kombucha would one need to drink to get a large amount of glucuronic acid in the system to help heal & detox. And can a person drink too much?

Can a diabetic drink water kefir or kombucha?

Will fermenting veggies in a crock like the old days create the same nutrition as using your method for fermenting veggies?

Donna:  

You don’t need very much kombucha especially in the beginning to receive the glucuronic acid. Glucuronic acid  that is present in kombucha is hard to measure but it naturally occur and you will receive the benefits of it immediately if you drink any amount of kombucha. You should always start slowly with kombucha in the beginning because it will detox you immediately. I would start with a 1/2 a glass a day, in the beginning. After you get up to speed with it, you can drink as much as you want. I drink a lot of kombucha, and it seems to naturally balance out. Some days I drink more than others, just follow my own instincts and it seems that on the days I need it I drink more.

If you  are diabetic, I would drink kombucha and not water kefir because there is less sugar. I would really recommend milk kefir because it lowers blood sugar naturally.

You can ferment veggies in a crock or in our methods I describe on: https://www.culturedfoodlife.com/cultured-vegetables/. You will receive benefits from all these methods. The important thing is to eat them, because the benefits are many. You don’t have to be perfect making cultured veggies but what I would recommend is using Caldwell starter to make the veggies because the good bacteria stays at a higher level longer and there is less problems with fermenting as a whole.

Question:

Maia Hinderman says:

  1. How do actually get a successful tasty second ferment to milk kefir?

Donna: You can find all that info on  how to second ferment your kefir on this page. https://www.culturedfoodlife.com/second-ferment-your-kefir-your-tastes-buds-will-thank-you-2/

  1. What is the best sweetener and other add ins (dried fruit, mineral drops, etc.) for water kefir and why?

Donna:

Most of the time I sweeten with sucanat or coconut sugar or just fruit juice. These sugars have minerals in them that help add to nutritional content instead of just refined sugar that has the minerals stripped from it. Adding liquid minerals is a huge plus too. It can taste a little bitter if you add to many. I love liquid minerals and use them everyday in kombucha and kefir sodas. These are the ones I use. http://astore.amazon.com/culturedfoodlife-20/detail/B004AC07G6

  1. How to ferment veggies in all of the different fermenting vessels (I have one Harsch that was given to me second-hand, but there is no way I could make enough ferment to keep my family happy)?

Donna:

You can use canning jars. They are really easy to use and readily available. I still use these along with jars with clamp down lids and crocks. They work well and I can take them with me when we go out of town. You can buy clamp down lids jars at TJMaxx and Marshalls inexpensively. I find them there all the time.

  1. How much of each major type of ferment (milk/water kefir, yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, veggies, sourdough, any that I may be missing) we should include in our diet and our children’s diet and maybe even our pets diet?

I would include kefir in your pet’s diet. It is often hard to get them to do the others and they thrive on kefir.

Donna:

I think that everybody should try to eat what I call the Trilogy, kefir, kombucha, and cultured veggies. I talk about this on my DVD and video classes. I see the most success with people when they do all three. That being said, whatever you can get your kids to do is fine. Just start them eating any of the cultured foods and it will grow from there.

Question:

Arsie says:

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO START MAKING FERMENTED VEGGIES BUT AM SCARED THAT I WILL DO IT WRONG. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A FERMENT IS BAND AND NEEDS TO BE DISCARDED?

Donna:

Cultured veggies are extremely safe to make and consume. It is virtually a scientifically impossibility to get botulism from cultured veggies. Here is a great short video that explains all that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QdhSFfaoz0

Question:

Arsie says:

I AM JUST STARTING TO MAKE KEFIR AND HAVE HEARD THAT YOU CAN AND SHOULD EAT THE ACTUAL GRAINS WHEN YOU HAVE EXTRA. HAVE YOU EVER EATEN THE ACTUAL GRAINS AND ARE THERE ANY HEALTH BENEFITS TO THIS?

Donna:

There are benefits to eating the kefir grains. They found they have anti-cancer properties in them, when fed to mice. I have a number of friends who feed them to their chickens and they actually fight over who gets the kefir grains. They have a rubbery texture and not very easy to consume unless you blend them into something. Here is a video from Dom who is a kefir guru and he added grains to his kefir ice cream. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKynFLdADMo

Question:

Ann miller says:

I Think I May Need Help In Every Subject Because I Am Just Starting Out As A Cultured Food Fan… Making kefir is a favorite new healthy hobby, but getting the right ingredients (what sugars hold the Most nutrition to ferment with,, which ones are genetically modified, etc…) can feel a bit daunting. along With using the other healthy/quality ingredients to get the most out of my fermentation. Also, I love the articles on different cultured vegetable recipes and the sound-dough starters. The fact that you are creating gluten-free alternatives is a huge Plus.
Thanks for all of your hard work!

Donna: One of the things I love about making cultured foods is that you don’t have to do it perfect and you will still receive a ton of benefits. For instance I started out with pasteurized milk when I first made kefir and it infused the kefir with so many properties that it changed it into a superior food. When adding sugar to ferment with. It is always best to use ones that have minerals still in them and are not refined. Such as sucanat or coconut sugar, but you can use regular sugar if you need to because it will eat these sugars and convert it into properties that are healthy. Keep it simple and you are more likely to keep doing it. I didn’t do it perfect and still don’t and I receive a ton of benefits. I do love it that you care about doing it the best way. Means you are more likely to succeed because you care about it more.

Question:
Judith Pritchard says:

I have your book and love it, making water kefir, milk kefir, kombucha and just started cultured veggies. It’s very exciting, delicious too!
Question: is if I run out of space in a refrig. can i store some of the cultures vegies in a root cellar? What would be optimum temp? Which vegie cultures would be best stored that way? there are only two of us and if I make a gallon of one recipe i either need to store some or give it away and both is good! Thanks for everything you do! Blessings,

Donna:

You can store some of your veggies in a root cellar but they are going to keep fermenting at a higher rate and may taste different and not as good as you would like. The cooler temperature of 35 to 40 degrees in a fridge compared to 55 in a root cellar will still slow down fermentation but they will still ferment more quickly. Eat them fast and this will work for a while. You can also make smaller amounts in canning jars. I do this all the time because I like the variety. It’s also fun to make and try different veggies to ferment when there is fresh produce in summer time.