Tag Archives: ferments

Ferments: A Cornerstone of GAPS(TM)

Seems that everyone I talk to that is “doing the GAPS diet” is not actually doing the GAPS diet. FERMENTS are a cornerstone of the GAPS diet, so why aren’t folks eating them and using them as they need to?

I’ve got a couple of ideas: 1. They don’t know how to make them, 2. They don’t know where to buy them, or 3. They just don’t realize how important they are to the success of the diet.

Ferments are oh so easy to make. I LOVE ferments. I love teaching ferments. I think ferments may be THE MOST IMPORTANT part of a healthy diet today. That’s why I run around giving people fermented condiments and teaching fermentation to almost anyone who asks. If you don’t know how to make them, pick up a book (GAPS, Nourishing Traditions, Wild Fermentation or my book, with Love from Grandmother’s Kitchen: Traditional Cooking Techniques for Well-Being). Learn to make fermented ketchup, mustard and mayo! (how easy is that?) or come to a class! I will be teaching one on Saturday, February 25, inWestminster, CO.

If you don’t want to learn, there are more than a few good ferments out there that you may purchase. Food co-ops tend to be full of them, and here inColorado, lots of folks make them and then swap them at food swaps. MOMs (My Organic Market) or the Takoma Park Coop in the DC area are chock full of them. You may also order them online. Some brands are Deep Root or Bubbies. So I hear you say, “I can’t find those brands; we don’t have those brands. How do I know a “good ferment” when I see one?” And I say, first, a ferment that is live will be found in the refrigerated section of the store. (That rule doesn’t help when you are shopping on the internet, I know.) So use rule number 2: look at the ingredient list. A true ferment will have “the thing” that is being fermented, for example, cucumbers, water, spices and salt. That is all. No vinegar. Just salt. (Most ferments available in stores do not have whey as an ingredient.)

Now that we have cleared up how to learn to make the ferments, or how/where to find them, let’s move on to THE IMPORTANCE OF FERMENTS to the GAPS Diet. They are CRITICAL to the success of the diet. So don’t skip them, folks, and don’t just “kinda” do them. What I call “food ferments” and “bug juice” can be far more powerful than probiotics you take in a pill, for several reasons, not the least of which is that they areFOOD. That means your body will easily use them. They are also truly alive. I continue to be wary of probiotic pills, because although they “guarantee” a certain number of “live cells” per serving as of processing date, they are dying all the time…and how fast? How many are left per serving when you are at the bottom of the bottle? And what was the “process” they used to culture the bacteria, harvest the bacteria, or encapsulate the bacteria? I know you know I always encourage you to get back into the kitchen and make your own…everything…whenever you can.

So ferments, ferments. Good for the gut; crucial to the immune system; help clear brain fog…cheap and easy to make. Ferments give a “big” nutritional and immune system “bang for your buck” folks. No refrigerator should be without them. And…please note that homemade ferments can be very powerful. Go slowly, folks! If you have never eaten homemade, real sauerkraut, or fermented pickles, or fruit kvass, take it slow. For those of us who have been eating dead food for a while, ferments can pack a wallop! That means that they can “provoke a detox reaction”. What is a detox reaction? Diarrhea, for one. Dizziness, headaches, aches in bones. At the extreme, vomiting. So go slowly. You just can’t down an entire jar of fermented salsa like you would a dead jar from the store dead zone. A teaspoon or a tablespoon at most to start, and work your way up. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!

To learn how to ferment just about anything–vegetables, fruits, beverages, berries, grains, beans…you get the idea…! buy my book, with Love from Grandmother’s Kitchen: Traditional Cooking Techniques for Well-Being HERE. And stay tuned for an entire weekend of Cooking GAPS (TM) Style coming your way in Colorado, California, and Boston this year!!

For more about how much I love ferments, check out the Washington Post Food section article Fermentation: A Wild Way to Make Food Come to Life 🙂

Pickles and salsa

Fermented cucumbers, aka pickles and salsa! DEEEEEElish!



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My first book…buy yours NOW!

I am happy to announce my first book (I say that because I have many more on the agenda!)…

with Love from Grandmother’s Kitchen: Traditional Cooking Techniques for Well-Beingcover with Love from Grandmother's Kitchen

The book covers all the techniques you need to cook nourishing, traditional food!

***For more information about the book, including sample pages and info about content, click HERE***

Due out 11/11/11! (How auspicious!)

Order yours today!

If you would like to purchase more than 5 copies, or if you would like to order in bulk or wholesale, kindly contact me directly at simplybeingwell at gmail.com!

Special thanks to Amy Berger for her research and contribution and to Jessica Haney, editor, without whose tireless work this would not have been published! 


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Make your own pickle juice!

For all of you who want to learn how to make your own fermented pickles, (really fermented cucumbers–“pickles” are “pickled” and “pickling juice” *DOES NOT* deliver the same immune-boosting goodness that *ferments* do–let’s be clear about that!

So go out and purchase fermented cucumbers (Bubbies is a brand) *OR* learn to make your own ferments!! Pick up my 3 DVD set, “Fitting Nourishing, Traditional Food into Your Busy Life“, which teaches the fermentation technique for everything from vegetables to condiments (ketchup) to beverages! as well as all the other techniques in NT  or, learn how to make fermented ketchup, mustard and mayo on my DVD, The Ketchup Revolution!

*Nothing beats* homemade ferments!  Good food and good health to all of you! Let’s keep up the “fermentum!”

In case you haven’t seen this article in the Washington Post food section article, Fermentation: A Wild Way to Make Food Come to Life! 

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August and September classes!

Hey folks, visit the 2011 Class Schedule page…I just added classes for August and September. These are the last classes I will teach in the DC metro area for a while, as I am moving in late September. If you would like to take a class with me in this area, *now’s the time*!! I did my best to incorporate the class requests that came in. Thanks to everyone who will be hosting these two months, to those who offered to host, and to those who have hosted me over the years!

Classes include:

Enzyme-Rich Sauces! The Secret Ingredient to Satiety

Beans and Grains for Autumn

Greens-GLORIOUS Greens- and Squash!


A Week of Healthy Breakfasts!

You will also find information about the weekend of classes in Charlottesville, VA in September: Nourishing Healthy Children. If you know anyone in Charlottesville, kindly *spread the word*!! Thanks!

As always, I look forward to cooking with you!

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Teaching in Michigan!

Hello all,

I will be offering a class in Michigan, just outside Detroit, on Monday, August 1, from 7:00pm-9:30pm, at the Oakland Steiner School: Family-Friendly Ferments! You may register HERE

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PROMO: today thru April 30!

Purchase a 3 DVD Set:  “Pulling It All Together: Fitting Nourishing, Traditional Food into Your Busy Life!” and receive a copy of Nourishing Our Children E-Book…AND be entered in a drawing to win a Bean and Grain Chart!

This 3 DVD set covers all the techniques you need to cook nourishing, traditional food. All the techniques and all the timing…not sure how to fit REAL food into your busy life? This 3 DVD set shows you how. Recorded LIVE at Wise Traditions 2010.

Check out samples of the  E-Book:

sample 2
sample 3-malnourished section

sample 4-water section

A big THANK YOU! to the Nourishing Our Children Campaign for donating the E-Book for this promo…and for all their tireless work to help educate us about how to best nourish our children!!

…and another big THANK YOU to Sandrine Hahn who offers Visual Communication for a beautiful slideshow and landing page! And to my husband, Franklin Taggart, for the musical score, “Morning Kitchen”. And to my cousin Martin for spending hours on photographs one day in March…and to all of you who allow me to continue to “Teach, teach, teach!”

be well!


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Fermented Roasted Garlic Sauce. OMG, I just tasted nirvana.

Yep. Sure did. Unmistakable. I had some leftover turkey (who didn’t)? and wanted a little-special-something sauce. So I grabbed my mayo and I grabbed my FERMENTED ROASTED GARLIC and mixed them together in a bowl and dipped my turkey in and viola’! DELISH.  This sauce would be GREAT with roast beef, pork, or lamb. Just delightful! If you like horseradish sauce, you’ll LOVE this fermented roasted garlic sauce!

As you know, garlic is especially balancing during the season of autumn…and it is warming through the winter. Garlic is specifically healing to the lungs and respiratory systems…So be sure to include all types of garlic in your diet at least until springtime!

The fermented garlic recipe came from Nourishing Traditions. Sally calls it “pickled garlic”. I have to say, it IS one of the more tedious ferments, not because you have to roast the garlic first. It’s all that SQUISHING the roasted garlic out of the head that is messy and time consuming. That’s the hardest part. But then, it’s as easy as any ferment…a little good salt, a little whey, a couple of herbs, and a few days at room temp and you’ve got fermented roasted garlic.

…and you know what else you’ve got? …lactobacilli, the” gut good guys” and enzymes just to start. And you thought all  you were doing was making a dipping sauce for that left-over cold turkey.  Enjoy.  😉

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