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Let’s Talk Fermentation, Folks

Let’s just start by looking at some pictures, shall we?

fermenting strawberry-wk
fermenting artichokes
fermenting apple-chutney
fermenting lemons
fermenting spinach-dip
fermenting coconut-kefir

Aren’t those some of the prettiest foods in jars you’ve ever seen?

I haven’t made a single one, but I’m telling you: if I could go visit Wardeh and her family out in Oregon, I’d make the trip in a blink and try every single one (even though I’m terribly afraid of the taste of fermented foods other than yogurt!).

Other than looking pretty, fermented foods play a huge role in overall health and wellness and can really help improve one’s diet. Wardeh’s family eats a ferment at every meal (and there’s one included in each weekly meal plan that GNOWFGLINS eCourses also offers), and she is certain that a portion of their continuing and improved good health can be attributed to the wealth of probiotics the family consumes.

You know me – we couldn’t live without our recipe for making homemade yogurt – but I don’t ferment a whole lot beyond that. I bow to people who do, though! Aren’t you ready to learn the basic skills (and beyond)?

The Lacto-Ferments class at GNOWFGLINS is accessible with any level of plan, starting at only $8/month! You get complete access to all courses, including fermentation, sourdough, cultured dairy and cheese, and the original Fundamentals eCourse. OR WIN IT THIS WEEK right HERE!

If you’re currently a member on any of our eCourse plans, you already have access to this class!

I’m going to turn over the keyboard to Wardeh now to tell you a bit about the course:

What Are Fermented Foods?

ferment 300x300coverWhen you ferment or culture foods, you make them better! Fermented foods are foods that have been cultured by beneficial organisms. In the right conditions, beneficial organisms feast on the food, producing beneficial acids, and transforming the food into something better. This culturing develops complex flavors and pleasing textures, while the food becomes more nutritious than it was before. And the acids preserve and protect the food from spoiling. It is really a miraculous process!

Not Just Sauerkruat

Fermenting foods covers a lot more than sauerkraut! Did you know you can ferment fruits, vegetables, beans, meats, dairy, and grains? You can even ferment condiments like mayonnaise that you use on a daily basis. Don’t be scared – these foods are so delicious!

Traditionally fermented foods contain vitamins, enzymes, and active cultures – conveying benefits to your gut, your immune system, and your digestion.

You can’t buy many of these true fermented foods in most grocery stores. The sauerkraut or pickles on the shelf are cooked-to-death veggies in white vinegar and are devoid of any beneficial organisms or nutrition. Sausages are pumped full of nitrates and fake flavors, rather than long fermented with beneficial organisms.

Simple, Easy, Delicious

The Lacto-Fermentation eCourse offers simple lessons and tasty, nutritious recipes for pickles, chutneys, relishes, condiments, pickled fish and meats, sourdough, simple cheeses, beverages, and more! The weekly video demonstrations give you multiple opportunities to practice the principles of lacto-fermentation in limitless ways. Visit this page for more information about what’s covered in the class.

What You’ll Learn And Do

  • The history of lacto-fermentation
  • The science of fermenting foods
  • Why fermented foods are supremely digestible and nutritious — the best kind of food for your gut!
  • How fermented foods help you embrace the harvest
  • Save your appliances, resources and energy by going low-tech with traditional fermentation methods
  • How to ferment fruits into delicious relishes, chutneys, jams and beverages
  • How to turn vegetables into fantastic pickles, relishes and krauts
  • Culture dairy into tasty and nutritious butter, sour cream, yogurt, kefir, cheese and more
  • Use traditional methods of sourdough to prepare your baked goods and pastries for the best nutrition and digestion
  • Pickle and preserve meats in traditional methods
  • Ferment beans to make dips, spreads, and pastes the old-fashioned way
  • Learn how to give your homemade condiments a probiotic boost
  • Master making the most delicious and refreshing natural sodas and other probiotic beverages
  • Learn formulas and rules for making up your own ferments to use up your seasonal produce
  • Put fermented foods into your daily diet with our meal and menu planning helps

Lacto-Fermentation eCourse Lessons And Topics

  1. About Lacto-Fermentation
  2. The Lacto-Fermentation Story
  3. Fruits: Chutneys
  4. Fruits: Whole Fruits
  5. Veggies: Krauts
  6. Veggies: Salsas and Relishes
  7. Veggies: Pickles
  8. Condiments: Mayo, Mustard & Ketchup
  9. Condiments: Horseradish & Hummus
  10. Beverages: Beyond Water Kefir
  11. Beverages: Kombucha & Kvass
  12. Beverages: Natural Sodas
  13. Beans: Bean Paste, Natto and Tempeh
  14. Cultured Dairy: Clabber, Cultured Butter and Yogurt
  15. Cultured Dairy: Soft Cheeses
  16. Meats: Red Meats
  17. Meats: Pickled Fish & Eggs
  18. Curing Olives
  19. Grains: Sourdough Starters, Pancakes, Waffles and Crepes
  20. Grains: Sourdough Advanced
  21. Meal Planning
  22. “Create Your Own” Formulas
  23. Bonus! TBA

Note from a reader: a concerned KS reader wanted everyone to know that in SOME folks, fermented foods cause migraines – she and I both would hate for you to try to make your family healthier and end up hurting someone without knowing what’s going on. I don’t think it’s anything to be afraid of, but something to be aware of.

June/July Thank You Gift

If you sign up for the standard or premium plans, you get the monthly thank you video for free, with lifetime access. July’s video, just announced, is a probiotic quinoa salad – a cold grain salad perfect for a summer side dish or even a light meal! To learn more about the various plan options, click HERE.

Do you know how to lacto-ferment things? Do you want to? (Are ya scared like me?)

Disclosure: I am a partner with the eCourses and revenue share when my readers sign up…but I’m also a guest lecturer and work with Wardeh on just about everything because she’s awesome! Winking smile See my full disclosure statement here.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

18 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Fermentation, Folks”

  1. So glad you sound so human like the rest of us. I feel that I only have so much time–so what is important enough to do myself..If I spent all my time at fermenting everything would I even have time to cook a healthy dinner. I make my own yogurt–love your recipe Katie.. and bread and etc.. It is very time consuming but I do love it, however there is laundry, floors and toilets to be cleaned. We do what we can and every little bit helps. Right?

    1. Teresa,
      Tee hee! Probably moreso “human” than most, really. Some days I feel like I just play a real foodie on the Internet but real life is so THERE that I can’t live up. 😉 Then I go to someone else’s house and realize just how different and wacky my standards are! 🙂 Katie

  2. Brandis @ Stir Crazy

    Don’t be scared! Some fermented foods you will like, others you won’t. I personally don’t like kefir or water kefir. No one at my house would touch the kefir (other than the chickens) so we stopped making it, but my son drinks the water kefir. I’ve also made naturally fermented soda, cider mead (not that good, IMO), ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, mayo (but I messed that one up), sauerkraut, sour pickles (so yum- we plow through them, I’m going to have to make like twice as many this year… but they lasted over six months because we were hesitant to eat them at first), kombucha, buttermilk, creme fraiche (my personal fave- a must if you love sour cream)… and, of course, lots and lots of yogurt. Just jump in there, it’s a very rewarding thing to do! Next I want to try fruit ferments- those straberries look awesome! I already bought the Nourishing Kitchen fermentation course, but now I’m temped to buy this course as well… and I’m rationalizing it by the fact that I’ll also get access to the other courses…

    1. Brandis,
      Thanks for the encouragement! I’m mentally noting that I need to try the apple ferment when apple season hits in a few months. I actually do water kefir, so who knows? Maybe that’s helped train my palate (and my kids’) for ferments. I’m guessing my husband will struggle…

      🙂 Katie

      1. That apple chutney doesn’t taste fermented. It tastes like apple pie in a jar. I have an apple tree, so should have lots of apples in a few months, but the recipes only calls for about 4 large apples’ worth of pieces, so I don’t mind buying for it.

      2. Brandis @ crunchy thrifty cool

        It is a developed thing, I think. But I have noticed that we really don’t like anything that tastes fermented, we all like things that are similar to things we’ve always liked- like my sweet toothed son likes water kefir mixed with apple juice ( as long as it’s not over fermented) and I, who have always been obsessed with pickles and the like, love sour pickles and sauerkraut, like I can sit down and eat half a jar of sauerkraut straight out of the jar. I think that’s why I’m more wary of fruit ferments- how are they supposed to taste, sweet, sour, both?

  3. TRY Wardeh’s 5 Spice Apple Chutney recipe! It takes about 5 minutes to put together and is totally yummy–great in yogurt, on oatmeal, on rice pudding, and it occurred to me yesterday that it would probably be awesome on vanilla ice cream, too. My kids call it “apple yummy stuff”, and, since we have apricots ripe, I have an apricot version fermenting in my kitchen right now.

  4. Katie! I’m surprised at you, I thought as into real food as you are, you’d be all about fermentation. It’s so easy, really, and so tasty! I’m sure you would like fermented veggies. Try the ginger carrots recipe in NT. Even my toddler loves them.

    1. Liz,
      That’s so funny! I think people think I’m much more of a purist than I am…I’ve only been into real food for just over 2 years, and you know, I’m a baby step girl! I tried LF salsa and pickles and they did NOT go over well. With all that’s happening in life (baby, moving, blogging, gluten-free) I just haven’t been able to add that “one more thing” to my kitchen list. We all have our gaps to fill! 🙂 Katie

      1. I didn’t mean to sound snotty or critical- I love you and your blog. I just think you’re missing out! Fermented veggies are super tasty :o)

        1. Liz,
          Don’t worry, no offense taken. I just think it’s funny how people tend to think I “do it all” real food style, when I’m such a compromise girl! 😉 When life settles down….fermentation’s on my list! 🙂 Katie

  5. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    I’ve been exploring some fermenting for about a year. Kombucha’s about perfected! Not so great with kefirs yet (milk or water). I’ll be doing tons of pickles in a few weeks here when they start coming in. I can buy the Bubbies brand, which are actually fermented, and we all like those. Of course it’s expensive! I would love to know more about the “create your own recipe” because I’ve been thinking about using vanilla beans and fermenting them with sugar water to come up with a cream soda-like drink. The vanilla beans I had were a cross between ‘cream’ and ‘root beer’ and my husband would be so happy if I were able to create a probiotic drink from them! I wish I did more fermented foods in our diets but I’m a little afraid of the whey aspect because I really don’t like fermented dairy very much (cheese being an exception).

  6. I have fermentation fears big time! I have tried NT’s kimchi, ginger carrots, and pickles with little success. I think the recipes worked ok, but they just didn’t taste good enough to do more than choke down. So I have sorta given up for now, but want to try again. This post is making her course very tempting!

    1. Julie,
      Good question – if you sign on for a whole year, $99 divided by 12 months is $8.25 (I guess we rounded down!), so that’s where the “good deal” price happens. 🙂 Katie

  7. I am definitely interested in learning more about Kombucha and Sausage. Just don’t know if I actually have the time and resources to do it.

    1. Katie,
      Time is always the bugger, isn’t it? One nice thing is that you can download the PDFs to tackle anytime you get a chance, which I love to do when I need a new sourdough recipe. 🙂 Katie

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