Fermenting FAQ's, Caldwells and Olive Leaf
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Fermenting FAQ's

We have been busy running weekly fermented food workshops and so I thought in this Newsletter I would address some of the most commonly asked questions.  If you have any more questions please do send them in to us.
How long does fermented milk kefir last in the fridge?
1-2 weeks.
How long does fermented veggies last in the fridge?
Up to 9 months. Just check no mould forms.
Do I have to throw my vegetable ferment if white mild forms on top?
Often this is not mould but Kahm yeast. Scrape it off the top and if it smells and looks fine then your ferment should be safe.
Can water kefir grains be used to make milk kefir and vice versa ?
No Only water kefir grains can be used to make water/coconut water kefir and milk kefir grains can only be used to make milk kefir. 

Can you use non-dairy milks to make milk kefir?
Yes, you can use coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk soy milk etc but the milk kefir grains need to go back into diary milk about once a week as they need the lactose in it to feed on.  You can’t use UHT milk.
Can you have too much fermented food and drinks?
Yes, like everything it is about balance.  Kombucha is quite acidic so you don’t want to drink too much of it or have it every day.  Milk kefir is fine every day and so are fermented veggies but not in too large quantities.  Keep it balanced and listen to your body.
Is it Ok to give fermented foods and drinks to Children?
Yes it is very food for them but start off with small amounts and build up slowly.  Adding milk kefir cheese to dips is a great way of getting it in them.  They usually love water kefir but remember there is still some sugar in water kefir.  
Is there anyone who should avoid them?
If you have issues with salicylates and histamines you will need to be careful and would probably avoid fermented veggies and Kombucha.  Or just try very small amounts. Be careful with Cabbage if you have low thyroid function.  Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable and can suppress Thyroid function.

Caldwells Vegetable Starter Product Focus

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Gary Caldwell, the founder of Caldwells vegetable cultures.  He was over in Australia from his home in Canada.  I learnt lots of new information about fermenting vegetables.  He partnered with Canadian government microbiologists to come up with the best most researched lacto-fermentation culture possible.  Reasons for using a culture over a salt only method:
  • It rapidly lowers the pH from 6.5 to 4.5 in less than 24 hours.  The rapid acidification means that yeast and micro-toxins cannot grow
  • Reduces the amount of salt needed to 2%
  • Limits the possibility of secondary fermentation which produces alcohol.
  • Adding a starter culture does not reduce any of the natural bacteria instead it adds another 3 that quickly acidify
  • Lactobacillus planetarium in the starter is antibiotic resistant.

For the perfect fermented vegetables Gary recommends fermenting for 7 days by which time it should have reached it’s optimal pH of 3.5.  Once this has occurred it will be full of lovely probiotics.  However if you also want the great benefits of the digestive enzymes it is best to allow the ferment to mature or cure for 6-8 weeks in the fridge.   He has also found that freezing actually enhances the ferment by ensuring that any yeast that may be left is killed off.
Always great to have in the cupboard for Immune support, Relieves coughs, colds and flu.  It is naturally high in antioxidants and provides cardiovascular support.  Can help combat Candida overgrowth too.   Use this code W2A2S86A039 to get $5 discount now.
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