whole foods and beyond....nourishing the body, spirit and soul

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

florida fermentations

dear florida,
thanks for being so good to me
:)     :)     :)

theres nothing like a little vacation to get you renewed, refreshed and ready to face everything life has to offer. florida is always the answer! laying on the sand, listening to the waves of the gulf crash on the shore and feeling the sun warm my skin (and my soul) never fails to reignite my connection with mother earth and her desire for us to live simply. my sister has the same effects on me:) when i am with my sister, the world makes sense again.  someone to talk to about real spring water, raw pies, fermented foods, and enemas with, is PRICELESS. when she lived 15 minutes away from me, i had weekly inspiration every time i left her house, still mulling over all the hippie things we talked about and all the hippie foods we created. now that shes a two day drive away, months of inspiration and catching up washed over me in just a few days spent at her beautiful florida home. 

our main topic: fermented foods! i even caught her doing crazy things like just walking by the fridge and drinking a spoonful of sauerkraut liquid and calling it her "medicine!" its inevitable that her and i will end up talking about babies, pregnancy, greek things, desserts and the recent books weve read. she spoke so highly of this book Nourishing Traditions by: Sally Fallon that i just had to check it out. i spent the next few days at the beach trying to swallow as much of this book as i could! Sally Fallon is the founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation, which immediately puts her on my top ten list of most awesome people.  ever. reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by: Dr. Weston A. Price a few years ago had a major impact on how i view food today and our relationship with it.  indigenous people prove to be much smarter than our modern day technology.  they instinctively knew to treat the earth with respect, enjoy the sun with no fear of it, how to tap into the healing powers of herbs and possibly most importantly, they understood that life depended on fermented foods. 

this is a strange concept to most people living in the western world.  i once told my friend that i fermented a nut mixture over night to make cheese out of it and she replied "oh and then did you drink the alcohol?" it was funny then, but sadly most people only connect the word fermented with alcohol. but this word means so much more than that! the art of fermenting is allowing a food to sit at room temperature for as little as a few hours and as long as a few days, to give the good bacteria an opportunity to populate.  not only does this increase the nutritional content of the food, it also acts like a preservative.  once it enters your body, the living enzymes of this beautiful creation lend a much needed hand to the digestion process, making it much easier to absorb nutrients.  when they reach the intestines, these friendly bacteria help to rebalance your gut by making their home there and continuing to fight off bad bacteria.  this is called our inner ecosystem.  (to research this concept more in depth, visit Donna Gates' amazing website.)  perhaps the reason our culture is always sick (and tired and overweight and grumpy and sleepy...) is because we do not pay any attention to our inner ecosystem.  a person can eat as many raw foods, and superfoods as he or she wants, but until fermented foods are a regular in the diet, balance may never be achieved.  reading through Nourishing Traditions reminded me of the importance of this forgotten food group.  and down right shook me to my core to start making fermented foods a priority everyday instead of just enjoying the occasional sauerkraut!  

immediately upon returning home from florida i was fermenting away! a few things we enjoyed this week were:

young thai coconut yogurt with traveling trail mix

almond milk yogurt
almond milk kefir
cultured coconut cream
my sister's recipe for cultured blackberries
and one incredible black berry mousse pie!

stay tuned for my recipe for this delicious and nourishing blackberry mousse pie!  in the mean time...get fermenting! sauerkraut is one of the easiest recipes to start with and will help open the door to this powerful world of healing.  if you have already incorporated this magical food into your diet, what foods do you usually ferment? and what is your favorite fermented food or beverage?


  1. that is such a pretty black berry mousse raw pie! is there a recipe? :)

  2. thanks! i had so much fun making it:) recipe post coming soon...i thought this one was already too long!

  3. this is the best blog post I've ever read....and the pic of the blackberry mousse pie, umm...incredible x 10!! Love you!

  4. my favorite fermented food is sauerkraut, hands down!

  5. Fermented blackberries. By the time I got to the bottom of the jar they were pretty potent--I told Melanie we'd need a separate business license if we started selling it. :P

  6. mel i feel like this does not even compare to your fermented posts. at all!

    yeah i noticed my cultured blackberries getting really strong too...they are amazing! tomorrow (memorial day) im gonna layer the blackberries in between layers of sweet cashew cream. cant wait! and neither can dimitri!

  7. oh and mel i feel like i cant go two days with out sauerkraut before its consuming my mind!! i have some that will be done tomorrow that im dying to try...its got red peppers and grated garlic in it. should be interesting....

  8. love, love, love fermented foods. I was lucky enough to be trained by Jackie and Gideon Graff in fermentation. They came to our small Florida town and held a great seminar.
    I really need to get us to the beach more--we take it for granted living only 1 mile away! Criminal!
    That pie is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!!
    Peace and Raw Health,

  9. thanks elizabeth:) do you have any interesting recipes from the seminar to share? i get really excited for my fermenting days...and so does the rest of my family!