Cultured Foods

Fermented and cultured foods are essential for balancing your gut flora. Sauerkraut is an excellent choice for adding good bacteria to your meals and is so easy to make just needing cabbage and salt. To get a variety of bacteria strains, it is useful to make cultured foods as well. In this case, you can ferment any type of vegetables using a “starter” which consists of live cultures or bacteria. Coconut yogurt and kefir, are two examples of cultured foods. I personally love both and always have a jar of cultured vegetables in the fridge to alkalize any meal. The recipes below use coconut for the yogurt and kefir for a dairy-free or vegan version.

 Coconut Kefir

Drink coconut kefir on empty stomach as you would a probiotic.

  • 1 quart coconut water ~2 coconuts
  • 1 kefir culture packet or 6 T kefir (from last batch)*
  1. Open two young coconuts or use 1qt pure coconut water and pour liquid into saucepan
  2. Warm slightly until it feels body temperature i.e. not cold or warm to the touch (~92 degrees).
  3. Add starter packet (or 6 T of previous batch), mix well using whisk.
  4. Put in Mason jar tightly covered with dish towel for ~36 hours (72 degrees best – warmer temperatures may ferment faster). Kefir will look cloudy and taste tart and tangy when ready (not sweet). If still sweet, ferment longer.
  5. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week (remember to save 6 T of your batch to make the next batch)**

*I prefer to get my culture packets from

** Can use some of previous batch up to 7 cycles before opening another culture packet.

Coconut Yogurt

  • 2 cups young coconut meat
  • ½ cup coconut water or filtered water
  • 1-2 probiotic capsules, 1 t probiotic powder, or ¼ cup yogurt (from previous batch)*
  1. Blend coconut meat and water in blender until smooth
  2. Add probiotic powder and pulse blender a few times (do not over process)
  3. Put mixture into a glass jar with lid (leave 1 inch at top of jar). Let ferment at room temperature for 12-24 hrs or until desired tartness is achieved.
  4. Store in refrigerator up to a month

*I prefer to get my culture packets from

Cultured Vegetables

Eat ½ cup of cultured vegetables especially with any meal rich in protein or starch to aid digestion. If using herbs, use stems as well as they contain beneficial bacteria. Do not add salt unless you are fully fermenting the vegetables (at least 7 days). Sea salt can be added after fermentation for flavor. I like to use beets or red cabbage for a beautiful color.

  • Vegetables:                                     2 heads cabbage (green and/or purple)
  • Other Vegetables:                         2 Carrots, 3-4 radish/daikon, 3 stalks celery, 1-2 beets
  • Optional Herbs:                            bunch of cilantro, mint, dill, etc.
  • Optional Spice:                             2 garlic cloves, 1 inch ginger, 1 t dill seed
  • Sugar Source:                                2 green apples (sugar), 1 t Ecobloom (chicory root), or honey
  • Bacteria                                          1 packet veggie culture w/ water*
  • Wide-mouth mason jars
  1. Add 1 veggie culture packet to 1 C water ~92 degrees. Add food/sugar source to activate (honey, EcoBloom, etc.). Mix. Set aside 20min.
  2. Peel off 2-3 large cabbage leaves to save for later.
  3. Shred veggies in food processor. Place in large bowl.
  4. Add bacteria to bowl of veggies and massage with clean hands. Add more water as needed to get your mixture juicy.
  5. Pack tightly into mason jars leaving 1 inch for expansion. Push veggies down with fist to get them below water level. Add more water as necessary. Push veggies under water level with a cabbage leaf.
  6. Wipe any veggies from upper jar, cover tightly with lid.
  7. Place on paper towel to see spillage. Put dish towel over and allow to sit undisturbed 4 – 10 days on counter.
  8. Refrigerate – lasts for months.

*I prefer to get my culture packets and Ecobloom (prebiotic) from

I hope you enjoy cultured foods as much as I. You can find some in health grocery stores but be sure they are not pasteurized killing all bacteria. Making at home will ensure you get a good quality batch. Start eating these foods slowly as they will be potent. And take a good quality probiotic when necessary. Happy culturing… 


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