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Wisdom Kraut


A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.Benjamin Franklin

Do fermented foods have healing properties?

Can fermented foods remove pesticides

Many of you write 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. This is something that has happened to me many, many times and I finally discovered that words don’t teach, but life experience is the best teacher of all. For many years people thought I was crazy for eating and making these foods. I didn’t care, for I had gone from hoping they would work, to believing, and then to a strong knowing that they would work. Nothing in the whole wide world could now convince me that these foods aren’t powerful medicine that will heal and make well all who consume them. I double dog dare you to try and prove me wrong – it’s just not gonna happen. I gave up trying to convince people and I now let my own life teach as an example. Once I did this, the people who were ready to hear my message found me.

Don’t try and convince your friends. Just consume these foods yourself and your light will start to shine so brightly it will make them want to know what has happened to you. Then you, like me, will stop being of afraid of being sick, for you will know wellness so clearly that nothing can shake you. You will know that if you do experience something, your body can handle it and help you heal or not get sick at all. It’s an extraordinary way to live and you will stick out like a sore thumb . . . and those who need your truth will ask you for help.

I have created a new recipe that I call Wisdom Kraut. Most think these are just vegetables, but this jar holds all kinds of wisdom.You see, they are finding that not only are cultured foods loaded with tons of vitamins C, minerals, and probiotics galore, but they can actually remove the pesticides on vegetables that are not organic. They are also finding that they help and prevent cancers Could you ask for anything more than that? It makes me love cultured veggies even more than I already did. They are wise and were put on this earth to help us. All you have to do is make and eat them.

If you are reading my blog, then you want to know about these foods. And as the old saying goes…when the student is ready – the teacher appears.

Wisdom Kraut
Everyone who tastes this describes it differently. Some say that it tastes like bread stuffing or spicy sweet potatoes and even spaghetti. I just don't know how to explain it to you, so you're gonna have to try it and see for yourself.~Donna
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  • 1/2package Cutting Edge Cultures or 1/2 cup of kefir whey
  • 1cup Water to mix the starter culture
  • 1small butternut squash
  • 1small onions
  • 1small zucchini
  • 1/2tablespoon poultry seasoning(sage, thyme, marjoram, & rosemary)
  • 1/2tablespoon Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1/2cup apple juice
Servings: Gallon
  1. If using the starter culture, stir together the culture and water. Let the mixture sit while you prepare the ingredients—around 10 minutes. If using kefir whey, add it when the recipe calls for culture.
  2. Remove the skin from the butternut squash and then shred it or finely chop it.
  3. Shred the zucchini and onion.
  4. Place all in a bowl and add poultry seasoning and salt and toss to combine.
  5. Pack the shredded veggie mixture into a half gallon jar or the equivalent of two quart-size containers. You can use glass or ceramic containers that can be securely sealed.
  6. Add the juice, Cutting Edge Culture or kefir whey and cover with water, leaving and inch or two at the top.
  7. Seal the container and let it sit on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight, for 2 days. After 2 days, place the in the refrigerator.
  8. Check the vegetables every day to make sure they are fully submerged in the water. If they have risen above the water, simply push them down so they are fully covered by the water. If any white spots formed because the veggies rose above the water, do not worry. Remember, this isn’t harmful. Just scoop out the vegetables that have the white spots on them and push the rest back under the water.
Recipe Notes

Storage note: This kraut can be kept in a covered airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to nine months.

87 Responses to "Wisdom Kraut"
  1. At 71, I do not have any known health problems, but I love fermented foods and want to try your wisdom kraut ASAP so thank you for this info.

    Another fermented food I love is kimchi, VERY SPICY FOOD, and am going to try this recipe:

    It does not seem to have a fermentation starter in it but it must work nonetheless. Do you have a better method or recipe for kimchi?

    Thank you for your work here.

  2. DONNA,
    I am following your blog the lost few months. I was making kombucha, some kefir and I tried the fermented vegetables too. I made 2 or 3 different kind, but I am finding out that I have candida. I have heard that you can not eat any fermented food if you have candida. What is your opinion? I remember reading it that you said somewhere that fermented food cured your candida. I do not know if I remember correctly or not, but I would like to know your toughest about it.
    Thank you

  3. I started Wisdom Kraut yesterday and am using an airlock. The liquid in the airlock has brine in it and is bubbling out of the airlock and is on the top of the airlock cover, the lid of the jar and the countertop. Am I going to have an explosion…help…please!?

  4. Donna, can you suggest somewhere that I can purchase a culture starter like Caldwell’s where I live in Ontario, Canada?

  5. Donna
    In the Wisdom Kraut you use poultry seasoning. Is this a dried herb mix which is added to stuffing or is it fresh herbs? I live in Australia so we might be talking about different things! Love your inspiring work.

  6. Hi Donna,
    I am following your blog and want to make some fermented veges but i am confused about how to start! Can use a ‘full spectrum’ sea salt or is it necessary to use a starter culture. Hope that someone can answer this question for me. Thank you jpra1234@hotmail.com

  7. I have an intolerance to apples, can i substitute something for the apple juice? Thank you for all that you do and share to bring healing to so many others! Your guidance is tremendous!

  8. Donna, this sounds different and intriguing…I’m gonna have to try it! I just want to thank you for all you do, for letting your passion guide you and not buckling to the negative pressures. You go girl, hurray for you! You make it so real and doable, and have encouraged me to investigate even further. Sandor Katz is an amazing resource for all kinds of often unique and traditional cultured foods from around the globe, taking the “culture” in cultured foods to the next level.
    Being a vegan for both ethical and health reasons, my only real issue was the absence of cheese. Though there are arguably cheese substitutes available, let’s just say the quality and price did not tempt even me to repurchase them. I had found some DIY recipes, but to be honest, they mostly were just oily conglomerations I would rather avoid anyway. Until I found Miyoko Schinner! She is vegan herself and has a number of wonderful recipes, but her most outstanding gifts to me are her vegan cheeses! She has a vegan version of about every popular cheese you can think of, and then some, often with the qualities that you’d desire for usage, such as meltability, or slicability! Best of all, most of these are actually fermented using an agent accessible to us all, no expensive special cheese-making ingredients necessary! Most recipes use soaked and ground nuts in place of dairy, sometimes non dairy yogurts, and culture mediums can be rejuvelac, non-dairy yogurt, even miso, and others you probably have on hand or can easily create, including veggie ferment juices! Not all recipes are low-cal or low fat for sure, but one would use them as any other cheese…moderately and as a treat, not as a daily staple! She makes it entirely doable at home, even aging, and offers options for different results! Her book, “Artisan Vegan Cheese” is highly recommended, whether you are vegan or not! Even omnivores are totally impressed that I made “cheese”, and more so because they can’t believe it isn’t made from dairy! There is a learning curve, but if you start with the simple “cashew cheese” which is pretty quick and easy and tastes and looks almost exactly like cream cheese, you almost have to go on! You can make up a large basic batch and then divide it into smaller portions and add your own herbs, spices and other ingredients to experiment with flavor combos that suit you, and have unlimited flavor options with that one recipe alone! Amazing! If I hadn’t gotten started here, I would have never had the courage or drive to pursue any of the more “challenging” ideas that are also contributing to my health and enjoyment! (I even got to experience “Natto”! Loved it BTW!)
    Sorry this is so long, but I am soooo enthusiastic about all of this and so appreciate your enthusiasm in sharing what you knew and know to be true, with all of us who need to know too! Thank you Donna, from the bottom of my no longer diabetic heart! Unrelenting fermenting!

  9. How old does the whey I make have to be before you would not use it for fermenting vegetables?
    Calders is a terrible price in New Zealand and really cannot afford it.
    BUT we can get hold of delicious organic certified raw milk, aren’t we lucky!

  10. Hi Donna,
    I have both your books and bought them as presents, love them!
    Question: If I get hubby to make holes in lids and use airlocks to ferment do you still have to keep opening the jars to make sure the vegies are kept under liquid when they bubble up?

  11. I am 70 years young but struggling with digestion, I am know making cultured veggy’s
    and using them, kefer goat’s milk raw and it’s pretty thick and it has chunks in it so i just shake it up befor drinking . is this ok or should i be doing something different
    Thank you william

  12. I just did my first jar of cultured veggies! So excited!
    Culturing time is different for carrots then it is for cabbage….. I did a combo of cabbage and carrots, .. how long do I let them sit on the counter 3 or 6 days

  13. hello dear Donna thank you so much for getting me started on Cultured foods and their amazing benefits… I’ve always had difficulty with digestion – but not any more! The really amazing news though, are the benefits to my son Jack who has Asperges autism… he is 16 and he’s had such a tough ride… but with kefir and cultured vegetables – he loves both! – he is transforming… he had acne from his medication, it has practically disappeared only after a month of kefir…. and he is so much calmer… this is a miracle! thank you for sharing this wonderful wisdom… I feel I am meeting my son for the first time without the imbalances brought on by his diagnoses… his confidence is growing each day…he says he’s going to drink kefir for the rest of his life! thank you Kathryn Riding

  14. So I just made this as my very first attempt at any cultured food…crossing my fingers. I used my food processor to cut up the ingredients and they ended up pretty fine (guess I should have located the shredding blade). So my question is, the instructions say to add the starter over the packed vegies and then fill with more water; they don’t say to mix it in, so its kind of sitting on the top of. Will the culture seep down thru all the vegetables? Is this how it should be done? Thank you for helping my cluelessness, I do well when things are spelled out pretty specific so I hope this doesn’t end in disaster!

  15. Hi Donna I noticed in my Cucumbers and tiny Toms that the water was cloudy when I put them in the fridge?Is this normal?I thought maybe it was the Keltic sea salt changing the colour?

  16. donna can i use the body ecology starter culture instead? would i also need too use the eco bloom?

    • Are you talking about the kefir starter or the veggie culture? Yes you can use ecobloom but the veggie starter is the one you would use to make this.

  17. Hi Donna!

    I have a couple questions for you. I love all the amazing information you share! I have recommended you on my blog, my book, and everywhere!
    I purchased a gallon jar for fermenting, but the veggies don’t fill it up and you always say leave two inches at the top–so is is better to fill the jar with more water and only have two inches of air–or is it okay to have more air space at the top? Thanks!

  18. Hi Donna,

    I am growing out o
    f my kitchen with my kefir grains and I hate to throw them away- could you possibly mix them up in a smoothie and eat them?

  19. This is my favorite ferment!! I absolutely love the flavor!! For me it tastes like sweet potatoes. One question, mine got super mushy. Like baby food! Did I over ferment or maybe add too much apple juice and salt?? I am making another batch so I don’t run out! I have a batch of your apple kraut going, from your book! I’m going to let that one go for 2 weeks and see how it does. I have a terrible time with sauerkrauts! They seem to dry up once I put them in the fridge and then go bad. Weird.

  20. Hi Donna,
    I made the Wisdom Kraut and left the veggies for 3 days but they weren’t very fizzy or sour? Now I ensured the veggies were covered by liquid everyday , but the container I used was larger capacity, so it was only about 3/4 full. Would that affect the fermentation process? Not sure why they didn’t ferment as well or as quickly. I am leaving them for another day just to see if it helps.
    Thanks so much

          • Donna I have been saving kefir whey in the frig in a plastic half gallon jug. I’ve had it now for several months so would it just take longer to ferment or it won’t ferment at all? I just made a batch of kefir cream cheese so I poured the whey into the 1/2 gal jug with the older stuff. What all do you use the whey for?

            • Yea if its old it doesn’t work very well if at all. the good bacteria dies from lack of food. You can use it like buttermilk or in recipes that call for water it adds a lot of nutrients to food.

  21. Hi Donna, I’ve been following you on Facebook for a while, and heard you speak in the New You webinar, and really appreciate you sharing your wisdom and passion for cultured foods. I have yet to try fermenting anything, but will soon!
    I grew up eating sauerkraut, but I doubt that it was fermented. My mother always served it heated. Does heating kill the good bacteria in sauerkraut? And what about the heat when baking sourdough bread?
    Thanks again for everything you do to promote healthy guts 🙂

    • Heat does kill bacteria. They say the the inner temperature of the bread never gets hot enough to till kill all the bacteria but I am skeptical of this. However the sourdough transforms the bread into something healthy.

  22. I have a fascination with many sided jars so I am wondering where the jar in the picture of ‘Wisdom Kraut’ came from. Should would like to buy some jars like that!

    • You and I are a 100 trillion cells of bacteria. You have more bacteria than cells in your body. It is really impossible to consume too much because this is what you are; bacteria.

      However in the beginning you need to be very careful as you are starting to consume cultured foods for the first time. You should go very slowly. This is a lot of good bacteria flooding the body all at once.

  23. Hi Donna,
    I want to say a big thank-you for your website. It is very informative. I have been making cultured veggies for about 6mths now and love the taste. I use probiotic capsules as I live in South Africa and it costs too much with the Rand dollar exchange to order your Caldwell starter. I have tried using the Kefir whey but don’t like the taste like you.
    I have kefir every day and thoroughly enjoy the raw taste without anything added. I also drink a glass of Kombucha every day but find that it gives a lot of wind in my stomach. Will continue making it. What do you do with all the scroobies that it makes? Just one question though regarding the cultured veggies how do you prevent the metal springs around your jars from not becoming caroded or tarnished from the build up of the juice from the cultured veggies?. I just love all your ideas. Thanks again for your help. Kind Regards, Avril

      • What would the salt and water ratio be? My biggest issue is knowing when there done. So many people say something different. I left my carrot/asparagus out to Long and it got kahm yeast on it. Is there a such thing as leaving out to long? I figured longer the better. Krauts I know go a month.

        • It can get yeast if you leave it out to long and the salt. The rario just depends on the recipe and how crunchy you want they veggies to be. Salt makes them crunchy.

  24. Hi Donna
    I also heard your interview on the New You webinar. I thought you were great. Just a question what is the difference in using Caldwells Starter culture and kefir whey in the fermented vegetables recipes? I’ve had to order the Caldwells from Australia and it wasn’t cheap yet I can produce the whey each day at home. Is there a difference in the benefits of the fermented vegetables or the taste?
    Thanks for your time, again.

    • Caldwell’s keeps the good bacteria at a higher level longer than anything I have tried or used. Kefir whey can get a very strong taste that I am not particularly fond of and Caldwell’s does not. You can use the brine from your batches to make more batches so it too can last a longtime.

    • In reply to Sandy…I live in Australia too and had the same problem. I have found a place in QLD that can supply Vegetable Starter Culture and everything else you need; greenlivingaustralia.com.au

      I’ve been using it for about a year now along with Donna’s wonderful recipes. Thank you Donna, you make it all so easy.

      • Carol, could you verify that address for the Caldwells starter. The web is saying greenlivingaustralia.com is not found. I’m in Melb Vic.
        Thx Beth

        • beth, i don’t live in australia but i did find the site. i’ll take the liberty of answering for carol: it’s “greenlivaustralia.com.au”. don’t forget the “au” at the end :))

          • I live in Perth Australia and have the Green Living Australia culture express-posted over to me. It’s great culture and a little bit goes a l-o-n-g way! Noelene

    • It has helped many people with Crohns it is essential to healing and I wish I could find the letters but it would take me a longtime to sort through them. Jordin Rubin the founder of Garden of life and the author of the Makers Diet and many other books credits kefir as one of the things that helped him heal Crohns disease.

  25. Hi Donna,

    As usual, you have brightened my day, thank you. 🙂 Do you have any wisdom for travelling by air with your cultured treasures please?

    Thanks much,


  26. Hi Donna, I have recently discovered your site and was wondering what foods can I start eating being pregnant? Is there anything I should stay away from? I’ve heard that kombucha could encourage contractions, is that true? Thank you!!!

    • I have not heard this but kefir and cultured veggies are a great place to start if you are concerned but go slowly so you adjust to the large amount of good bacteria.

  27. You don’t say how much of this to eat. Once a day? once a week? a tablespoon? a cup? a snack?
    Thanks for the recipe! Have a great day. 🙂

  28. Thanks for ‘Being’ the change Donna and sticking with your truth. I’ve read some of your stories that you had pretty quick and dramatic results. I’ve been eating and drinking a variety of cultured foods regularly for the past 4 months and am still waiting to feel some physical improvement. Just wondering, from your experience of hearing from all the people you work with, how long does it usually take to create some noticeable change? thanks! Patiently waiting…

    • It can happen quickly in a few months as it did for me, or up to a year as did my oldest daughter it just depends on your body and how much it has to heal and also your other life style habits. Don’t be discouraged the journey is so worth the trip.

  29. Hi Donna, listened to your interview on Hay House’s New You this morning while making my yummy kefir drink. I enjoyed listening to you speak. Luv Nina

  30. Dear Donna, I’m looking forward to trying this new recipe. BTW, the link within the blog post isn’t working. I’d be interested in learning more about the study. Thanks!

  31. I heard you on Hay House’s New You interview this morning. You knocked my socks off and I bounded out of bed to mix up a batch of kefir. I’ve been dabbling in fermenting for a year now but forgot what had originally got me started until I heard you interview. Thanks for rekindling my interest.

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