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Six Easy Ways To Store Your Cultured Foods

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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.

Cultures Can Travel

This last week we moved from Kansas City, Missouri, to southern California to be near our two older kids and their families. Selling our home, packing trailers, U-Hauls, dogs, family, and all our worldly possessions is an experience I don’t care to repeat. We were on the road on my 57th birthday and I was exhausted from packing and staying up late trying to get it all done. On our journey across America, I felt myself getting sick with a sore throat and a stuffy nose. I had worn myself out and my body had had enough. Unable to breathe, I grabbed a couple of  Q-tips from my purse, dipped them in my kimchi, and swabbed the inside of my nose. I had a radio show caller tell me that this got rid of a sinus infection she had for six months, so I thought, “I’m doing this, I’m desperate to breathe!” Five to ten minutes later, my nose began to run and I could breathe. My husband grabbed me a kombucha and I drank the whole bottle in like five minutes. The whole trip all I could think about was, “Where are my coolers and cultured foods and how can I get to them?” I’ve learned a few things about storing these foods because I don’t go anywhere without them and they are the most important foods in my fridge. I trekked halfway across the country to bring my whole family together again and I took these foods with me tucked tightly in coolers. If you don’t have a lot of room in your fridge, then let me help you make room for these foods that work like medicine. It’s more important than you can imagine.

This last week, there have been lessons learned, pages turned, and a few bridges burned; but I’d do it all again to be with the people I love the most in this world. As long as my cultures are with me, I can take any journey, go the distance, and find my way home. Make your cultured foods a part of your family and everyday life. They can see you through the most troublesome of times, and they will live forever . . . inside of you. Remember that those around you benefit from these probiotic foods. You spread your bacteria everywhere you go, just make sure it’s the good kind!

Here Are Six Ways to Store Your Ferments

1. Use tall bottles. Using taller 32-ounce bottles to store or make your kombucha, water kefir, or even store your milk kefir is a great way to store more while taking up less space. Make sure when you’re storing kombucha or water kefir that you have thick bottles made for brewing.

Check out this link to see the bottles I use.

Kombucha bottles and stuff

2. As you consume your kraut or veggies (especially those made in a gallon jar),  put them into smaller glass containers to save on space. Glass canning jars work great and you can use metal or plastic lids. I love Weck Jars, too, that have glass lids and clamps for easy storing.

Check out this link to see the jars you can use.

Veggie jars

3. Even better, store your cultured veggies in square stackable glass storage containers! You can transfer your kraut, pickles, and more to glass food stackable containers. Just make sure they have at least some of the cultured veggie juice in with them (it preserves them even longer). This can be a great way to store them as you can stack them high and wide!

Check out this link to see the ones I use.

Glass storage containers

4. Use up, give away, or eat your extra cultures. I know it can be hard. These little guys are like family members to me, but don’t hang on to dozens of SCOBYs or kefir grains or water kefir crystals. Keep enough extra cultures on hand in case you need to give one or two to friends or use as a backup for failed ferments. Then you can blend the rest up in a smoothie or throw them in your garden and then they live with you forever! Don’t forget that they will continue to grow and you will get more and more every week and every month!

Check out the many things you can do with kombucha and SCOBYs. We have lots of ideas and recipes!

What do I do with all these SCOBYs?

5. Buy a mini fridge. You would be shocked how much a mini fridge can help you when storing a lot of cultured foods and often you can find them used for very cheap at garage sales or online. It is said that in Korea they sell a Kimchi Refrigerator that is specifically designed for ferments! You can store a lot of cultures in a mini fridge and have room for other things, too. We second ferment kombucha in leftover store-bought kombucha bottles and store them in the mini fridge. If you make lots of bottles of kombucha, a mini fridge can store kombucha for over a year. I’ve had some that were left in there for close to a year and it was still good!

6. Leave your over-fermented kombucha out. When storing SCOBYs or over-fermented kombucha (to use as a starter tea), you can leave it out on the counter and it’s better for the SCOBY than storing it in the fridge. The starter tea will simply turn to vinegar kombucha (stronger starter tea) and will last several weeks on your counter or on a shelf.

Check out the many things you can do with kombucha and SCOBYs. We have lots of ideas and recipes!

What do I do with all these SCOBYs?

10 Ways to Use Your Over-Fermented Kombucha!

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