My Crazy Life Culturing Routine

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From the Editor: Please welcome Julie Feickert, Cultures for Health Founder and Cultured Kitchen Keeper.

Life has been pretty busy lately. In addition to running a growing business, we homeschool our oldest, our middle daughter is learning to read, and our baby has become fully mobile. Some days it feels like there is very little time left for planning and cooking meals, let alone incorporating cultured foods.

However, when life is crazy, our bodies are stressed and it’s exactly when nourishing cultured foods are most needed. I have found that for me, developing a routine is crucial and here’s what I’ve been doing lately to stay on top of my cultures.

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Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert started Cultures for Health in late 2008. She is the mother to three young children and enjoys cooking and reading. Her favorite cultured foods include water kefir and kombucha. Julie lives with her family in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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Fromage Blanc Enchiladas

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From the Editor: Please welcome Julie Feickert, Cultures for Health Founder and Cultured Kitchen Keeper.

Ending up with a lot of some random cultured food is an occupational hazard with this job. Case in point. I needed to do a run through in preparation to make a video for the website. Normally I make Fromage Blanc or a similar soft cheese before a big party (goes great with crackers and sundried tomatoes) but in this case, I didn’t really need the resulting cheese, just to run through the process.

After I got over the shock of remembering how much soft cheese a gallon of milk makes, I was left trying to figure out what to do with all of it. I tried to pawn it off on the babysitter (no luck), thought about freezing it (still might), and finally had an idea. What if I used it to make the enchiladas tonight?

I’ve been trying to be better about cooking more casserole type dishes and getting in the habit of making two of everything with one pan going in the freezer. I figure if I practice, maybe I’ll get better at the cooking ahead thing and have a freezer full of meals one of these days. That night’s agenda called for two big pans of beef enchiladas.

Here’s what I did.

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Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert started Cultures for Health in late 2008. She is the mother to three young children and enjoys cooking and reading. Her favorite cultured foods include water kefir and kombucha. Julie lives with her family in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

More Posts - Website

Super Flexible Kombucha Salad Dressing

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Note from Shannon: Please welcome Julie Feickert, Cultures for Health Founder and Cultured-Kitchen Keeper.

I will admit I was hesitant to start making my own salad dressing. It just seemed like one more thing to do. But alas many salad dressings have pretty scary ingredients—even the organic varieties. Most days it’s more work to scrutinize labels then it is to actually make it. There’s also the cost factor. Any pre-made salad dressing with any hope of making it to our home is expensive and we’ve been going through way too much dressing lately.

So yes, I needed to get over my fears and just do it because here’s the thing: making salad dressing is simpler than I ever imagined. Yes, you read that right, it’s easy. I didn’t believe it either at first, but here’s what I figured out: I made sure I had small pint size mason jars on hand, I kept my personal sized blender in a handy spot, and I figured out a basic recipe I could customize for any occasion. You can of course use a whisk and a bowl to blend your dressings but I find a small blender to be simpler most days as mine will blend directly into a regular mouth mason jar so there’s less clean up involved.

Here’s how I do it, using kombucha.

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Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert started Cultures for Health in late 2008. She is the mother to three young children and enjoys cooking and reading. Her favorite cultured foods include water kefir and kombucha. Julie lives with her family in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

More Posts - Website

Sometimes I Blow It: Over Fermented Kombucha

Note from Shannon: Please welcome Julie Feickert, Cultures for Health Founder and Cultured-Kitchen Keeper.

I tend to crave fermented foods in phases. I’ll go months where I can’t seem to drink enough water kefir. Fast forward a bit it’s kombucha, or sauerkraut, or Greek yogurt. A while back I started to crave kombucha again. I dutifully bottled up four dozen bottles of freshly fermented kombucha and organic juice, drank a few bottles and promptly lost my craving. Leaving the bottles to hang out in the increasingly warm garage.

A few months later I found them. Whoops! I grabbed a bottle I placed a towel over the top, applied downward pressure and opened each bottle. Let’s just say the towel and the pressure kept me from having to clean the ceiling multiple times. Four months of fermentation with added juice yielded a few interesting results…

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Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert

Julie Feickert started Cultures for Health in late 2008. She is the mother to three young children and enjoys cooking and reading. Her favorite cultured foods include water kefir and kombucha. Julie lives with her family in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

More Posts - Website