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  • Fermented Red Onions


    If you shy away from onions because of their strong flavor, try fermenting them. As Kristi explains in this post, the fermentation process creates an onion with a more delicate flavor.


    Posted by Kristi

    Fermented red onions are crunchy and packed with flavor. While raw onions can be overpowering to a dish, fermented onions offer a more delicate, subdued flavor. With the beautiful purple color of the red onions still shining through, they add not just a vibrant flavor to a dish, but also a vibrant color.

    Onions offer a variety of benefits when raw. Fermenting onions sometimes increase these wonderful benefits. Fermented onions offer higher antioxidant levels for instance.

    Fermented Onions |


    How to Make Fermented Onions


    • A set of Fermentools  or just a starter kit , or you can use a different fermentation vessel.
    • Wooden spoon for stirring.
    • Toothpicks for taste testing. Using a metal fork may interfere with the fermenting process.
    • Mason jar or other vessel


    • 3 large onions, or enough to fill your fermenting vessel.
    • 5% brine using Himalayan Salt
    • Filtered Water


    Fermenting red onions is a pretty simple process. Just follow the directions here.

    1. Slice onion thin.
    2. Add onions to the fermenting vessel leaving a 1 inch head space.
    3. Place weights on top of the onions.
    4. Pour in just enough brine  to cover the onions.
    5. Secure Fermentools onto jar or prepare other vessel similarly.
    6. Store in a place away from sunlight, with a temperature around 65°F to 75°F.
    7. Ferment for five days, and place in the refrigerator when completed.

    Fermented red onions are beautiful tossed in a green leaf salad. Or, use them as a substitute in a recipe calling for raw red onions. They also make a beautiful garnish, as they maintain their beautiful purple hues even through the fermenting process. Place them decoratively around the plate or bowl. They will make the dish look elegant and people will enjoy eating them.


    Most failed ferments are caused by air. To keep your vegetables from coming in contact with the air, make sure they are submerged below the brine with a glass weight. Fermentools' glass weights are cut the perfect size to fit in the top of a wide-mouth Mason jar. You can buy them singly, or as part of a kit.


    Kristi is the blog owner of She is a wife and mother of three wonderful boys. She loves to write about food, children & parenting, tips and tricks, and survival information.
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  • Fermented Radishes


    Posted by Kristi

    Fermented radishes are simply divine. Crunchy, and refreshing, they are a wonderful addition to a green leaf salad. After the fermentation process, the brine has shown some antioxidant properties. You may be able to add the brine into your green leafy salad dressing, or add it to a cold salad in place of some of the mayonnaise to boost its health benefits.

    Fermented Radish |

    To Make Fermented Radishes:



    • A set of Fermentools or just a starter kit, or you can use a different fermentation vessel, such as a fido jar (a jar with a hinged lid.)
    • Wooden spoon for stirring.
    • Toothpicks for taste testing--don’t use a fork, the metal may mess with the good bacteria that are growing.
    • Mason jar/s (unless using a crock or other vessel) - A pint or quart-sized jar is perfect for this ferment



    • 10 radishes, give or take a few depending on the size of your container. You will need enough to fill the vessel and leave a one-inch headspace.
    • 5% brine using Himalayan Salt
    • Filtered Water



    • Wash your radishes, and slice thin.
    • Place radish in fermenting vessel, packing tightly.
    • Put weights on top.
    • Add brine just until the weights are covered.
    • Ferment for 3-5 days.
    • Taste at 3 days and see if they taste good. If you think they need more time, let them ferment for a couple more days.
    • When fermenting has completed, place in the refrigerator.


    How to eat fermented radishes:

    • Add it to this wonderful kale salad recipe.
    • Add it to any salad. It will add a wonderful crunch and zesty flavor.
    • Of course you can just eat them right out of the jar. They are really good.
    • Put it in any other recipe calling for raw radish. It can substitute a raw radish flawlessly.
    • As an hors d'oeuvre, on a toothpick combine a radish, cheese of choice, possibly some salami and an olive.



    Kristi is the blog owner of She is a wife and mother of three wonderful boys. She loves to write about food, children & parenting, tips and tricks, and survival information.
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  • Kombucha-fermented Beef Jerky


    Posted by Sarah


    After making kombucha for a while, everyone has that one jar that ferments just a bit too long and makes vinegar. Kombucha vinegar has many of the same properties that apple cider vinegar has. It is slightly sweet, raw and full of helpful probiotics. One of my new favorite uses of kombucha vinegar is in the making of fermented beef jerky.

    Fermented Beef Jerky |

    Vinegar is used as a meat tenderizer in the standard jerky recipe. However, when using kombucha vinegar you get the added benefit of the probiotics being able to ferment the meat while it is in the marinade. Jerky is a raw meat product, which is preserved by a combination of the spices, probiotics and thorough drying. All three preservation aspects combine to give an amazingly tasty and enzyme-rich jerky.

    How to Make Fermented Beef Jerky


    • Beef or other lean and inexpensive meat: You will need to trim off all fat, so try to get fairly lean meat when you plan to turn it into jerky. Beef is not the only meat option; turkey, goat, lamb, or whatever lean meat you have on hand, can be substituted in.

    • Kombucha Marinade:

    • 1/2 cup wine
    • 1 1/2 cup kombucha vinegar
    • 2 tsp. sea salt, or other fine grind salt
    • 1 head minced garlic
    • 1/4 cup organic sugar
    • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
    • 1 tsp. whole mustard seed, lightly cracked
    • 1 tbsp. liquid smoke
    • 1 tsp. oregano and 1 tsp. basil. You can substitute these 2 tsp. spices for whatever you have on hand, or whatever flavors you prefer.



    If you are starting with a fresh roast, put it in the freezer to chill while you prepare the marinade. If you are working with a frozen roast, pull it out to thaw about three hours before you start preparing the marinade.

    Mix all marinade ingredients together in a glass dish. Add the sugar to the kombucha and wine, before beginning to add the spices, to make sure that it fully dissolves. Spices can be added in any order. Stir everything together to make sure it is well blended.

    Take your beef roast out of the freezer. Using a sharp knife, slice off all visible fat and, if there is any nerve sheathing, as much of that as you can. Fat and nerve sheathing will retard drying, and the fat will go rancid with exposure to air which will lessen the storage life of your jerky.

    Once the meat is trimmed, slice it into thin, 1/4-inch slices with the grain of the meat. After slicing, place the meat slices in your marinade. They should be fully covered with marinade.

    Cover your marinating meat slices, and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. This gives time for the marinade to fully permeate the meat, and for the kombucha bacteria to help get rid of any unwanted bacteria in the meat.

    After 12 hours, place the marinated meat on dehydrator trays and dry at 155F until fully dry and crisp. This can take up to 16 hours for thicker slices. Flip the slices, and turn your dehydrator trays (if your dehydrator design requires it) at least once every four hours during the dry time to insure even drying.

    If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can dry in your oven on the lowest setting. Dry the meat on metal racks, over a baking tray, and turn frequently. If your oven won’t go down to 155F, then prop the oven door open with a wooden handled spoon to insure that it doesn’t cook the meat instead of drying it.

    Once the jerky is fully dry, let it cool and store it in glass jars or other relatively air-tight glass containers. It is not recommended to store jerky in plastic bags, except for short-term, will-be-eaten soon storage.

    Jerky is a handy trail food, and an easy way to preserve meat for later consumption. Beef jerky is an excellent addition in homemade dry soup mixes for a protein boosted convenience food, or eaten simply as-is as a raw protein and probiotic boost.


    Sarah Dalziel is passionate about DiY skills, knowledge, and self-sufficiency. She was homeschooled K-BSc, and enjoys questioning, researching, and writing about hands on skills and preparedness. Ethnobotany, natural dyes, and self-sufficiency fascinate her. If she isn't writing about them, you'll find her dipping yarn into a steaming dye pot, or stirring up a batch of woad pigmented soap. Sarah blogs at, a natural dye and fiber skills blog, and also at, an interdisciplinary skills and writing blog.
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  • How to Make Beet Kvass

    Beet Kvass is a traditional Ukrainian beverage that is blood building, rich in probiotics and supportive of normal digestive and liver function.  I first learned about beet kvass in Nourishing Traditions, where Sally Fallon recommends a four-ounce glass of beet kvass morning and evening as a tonic.
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  • Fermented Spring Radishes

    My son has a farm and sells his produce at the local farmers market. This past week was the first day of market and radishes and a few greens were about all anyone had. If you have radishes coming on, here's a great idea of what to do with them.
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  • 3 Ways to Use Lacto-Fermented Tuna


     Posted by Ashley


    It's true, you can ferment just about anything to bring out its flavor and amp up the nutritional value.  A simple tuna salad is no exception.  In Sally Fallon's book, The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care, she presents a simple lacto-fermented tuna salad recipe that can be adapted and served in many different ways.

    Lacto-fermented Tuna |

    Though the possibilities are nearly endless, here I present you with three ways to use lacto-fermented tuna.

    Preparing the Lacto-Fermented Tuna

    The preparation begins the same way each time, by fermenting the tuna:

    You will need:

    • 1/4 pound fresh, raw tuna (not canned), cut into 1/4 inch cubes

    • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

    • 2 tablespoons whey or sauerkraut juice

    Toss the cubed raw tuna in the citrus juice and whey or kraut juice.  Marinate the mixture covered in the refrigerator for 12-36 hours.

    As the mixture marinates, the acid in the citrus juice will "cook" the tuna creating something resembling the South American traditional fish dish Ceviche, and the whey or sauerkraut juice will act as a lacto-fermentation starter to start a quick ferment of the fish.

    Once your tuna has fermented, the possibilities are endless.

    3 Ways to Use Lacto-Fermented Tuna

    Option 1: Fresh Vegetable and Herb Tuna Salad

    Sally Fallon’s original recipe has a fresh vegetable and herb version, similar to the first recipe listed below.  It’s suitable for eating fresh with a fork or as a salad topping.

    Toss the tuna along with its marinade with 1/4 to 1/2 cup each of:

    • Diced red pepper

    • Chopped celery

    • Minced red onion or scallion

    Add in 1 tablespoon each of:

    • Capers

    • Fresh or dried parsley

    • Fresh or dried chives

    • Fresh or dried basil

    • Lemon juice

    • Olive oil

    Add sea salt and pepper to taste, and serve on top of lettuce.


    Option 2: Traditional Tuna Salad Sandwich

    The second adaptation is a traditional tuna salad sandwich.  I’m a die-hard tuna salad sandwich fan, and this can easily be made as a tuna melt by adding cheese and grilling in a pan with a little butter until the bread toasts and the cheese melts.

    Drain the tuna thoroughly, and mix with:

    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Homemade is best, and fermented if available.)

    • 1 teaspoon mustard

    • 1-2 tablespoons capers

    • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped onions

    • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped celery

    Serve on toasted bread.


    Option 3: Wild Rice Salad

    Toss the tuna, along with its marinating liquid, with the following ingredients:

    • 1 cup cooked wild rice, cooled

    • 1/2 onion, finely chopped

    • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped

    • 1 garlic cloves, minced

    • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    • 1 tablespoon sauerkraut juice

    • Salt to taste, if desired

    Mix all the  ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to marinate.  Serve cold, or allow to return to room temperature before serving as a side dish or stand-alone lunch.



    Ashley is an off grid homesteader in central Vermont.  She is passionate about fermentation, charcuterie and foraging.  Read more about her adventures at


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  • Kimchi-Filled Steamed Buns

    I am all for not heating up the house in the summertime, eating fermented foods, and trying new recipes. This one for Kimchi-filled Steamed Buns has it all. Put it on your list to try, today.
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  • Very Berry Mead

    Mead--just the name evokes pictures of women in long velvet gowns and gents on white chargers.  Mead is honey wine with benefits.  Traditionally, mead was made with herbs and fruit from the garden.  It was a medicinal beverage for winter ailments, imparting the actions of the herbs to the drink, and preserving them.  The honey added additional medicinal benefits, as well as giving the yeast a source of food.
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  • Salt Preserved Limes


    Posted by Chris

    When the citrus is abundant and cheap it’s hard to say no to limes at the grocery store.   I found a few bags of organic limes in the discount bin of my local organic grocery store.  If you find such a bounty, this is a really good way to preserve the goodness, and enjoy them when the season is passed.

    Fermented limes can be preserved like lemons in salt.  It’s both easy and satisfying to have a jar in the fridge.  The green skin color of salt preserved limes is more yellow than green, as the acid pH shifts the skin color.  But the taste is limey.  They add a distinctive lime flavor to sauces, stews, poultry, seafood, salad dressings and guacamole.

    Salt Preserved Limes |

    Fermented limes are distinctive in Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish cuisine. The fermentation softens the thick rind of limes and transforms the skin into something edible.  The skin of citrus contains more vitamin C and flavonoids than the juice, so be sure to incorporate the skin into your cooking.

    10 Ways to Use Salt Preserved Limes:

    • Take a wedge and squeeze it over mashed avocado, add garlic, and peppers for guacamole dip.

    • Chop up a fermented lime, including the skin, and whirl it in the food processor with drained chickpeas, tahini, and garlic to make hummus.

    • Stick two whole fermented limes into the cavity of a chicken before roasting.  Fermented limes go well with garlic and rosemary in poultry.

    • Use a squeeze of fermented lime in tequila, in the place of fresh limes.

    • Pop a whole lime in your blender or food processor, with mustard, garlic, yogurt and olive oil.  Add a little cilantro or parsley and use it as a salad dressing, dip, or just a creamy topping for rice or mashed potatoes.

    • Use in a cup of black tea instead of a lemon wedge.

    • Serve with fish or seafood instead of lemons.

    • Blend fermented limes, maple syrup, grainy mustard, garlic, olive oil and toasted sesame oil to marinate and baste roast duck, turkey, fowl, or whole fish.

    • Roasted root vegetables, like carrots, beets, and turnips, are better roasted with garlic cloves, and served with thinly sliced lime wedges and butter.


    Salt Preserved Limes:

    Makes 1 quart


    • 3 lbs of small organic limes, about 8 to 10

    • ½ cup of coarse Celtic sea salt

    • 2 tbsp. starter culture, like the liquid from a successful batch of pickles

    • Filtered water to fill jar


    • 1 Fermentools kit

    • 1 quart wide-mouth jar

    • Plate

    • Metal ring for the wide mouth jar

    • Sharp paring knife

    • Bowl for salt


    1. Place 1 tablespoon of salt into the bottom of the Mason jar.

    2. Wash limes well.  Cut off the blossom and stem end of each lime.  Carefully slice each lime into quarters without severing the join on the opposite end.  This allows the limes to open like a flower at the join.  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt on the inside of each lime and place it in your jar.  Fill the jar to within 2 inches of the top with salted limes.

    3. Add 2 tablespoons of whey or liquid from a successful ferment.  This will inoculate your ferment and ensure that you start with the best lacto-bacteria to get a good lime pickle.

    4. Top up the jar with filtered water to within two inches of the lid.

    5. Place the Fermentools glass weight, fermentation lock, and lid.  Put the prepared jar on a plate to catch any inadvertent overflow.  Leave it to ferment for a week or two.  Once the active bubbling has stopped, you’ll notice that the lime skin looks a little less green and a little more like yellow.

    6. Place the jar in the fridge for long term storage.  It will keep in the fridge up to a year and get better with age, as the flavors meld.

    Use them anywhere you would use fresh limes. Make salt preserved limes while citrus is plentiful and inexpensive. You’ll find so many ways to incorporate them into your sauces and condiments, for a refreshing taste.


    Fermentation and traditional ways of food preservation fascinate Chris. She has been experimenting with microbes since she bought her first San Francisco Sourdough kit in the 1970s. Her repertoire of ferments expanded to include fruit wine and herbal wine making, kombucha and kefir, cheese and dairy ferments, sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as lesser known fermented fruits and vegetables. To feed her fascination, Chris recently took a university course on the Human Microbiome, and gained a new appreciation for the role that lactobacillus plays in human wellness. Chris shares her knowledge with her readers on her blog at
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  • Fermented Elderberry Oxymel

    I have been picking wild elderberries and making elderberry syrup for our family for years. Proven to combat the influenza, this all-natural powerhouse of antioxidants is a staple in my medicine chest. Read more for instructions that will take your elderberry syrup up a notch.
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