How Homemade Fermented Foods Kept Us Healthy This Winter

This article was previously published, but we decided to bring it back because, now that winter is upon us, it’s a great time to start doing things to help ensure that we all get (and stay!) healthier. Nobody wants to spend the winter being sick! And with the homemade fermented foods and information you’ll find in this article, you’ll be on your way to helping your family stay healthy this winter and beyond.

Cultured Vegetables

For quite some time I’ve heard about the connection between fermented foods, gut health, and the immune system.  I’ve dabbled in it here and there by making homemade kefir in the past, but found myself getting out of the habit of it.  I haven’t really gotten serious about making fermented foods until a good friend of mine shared the Cultured Food Life website with me.  I did not realize what I was missing out on by not keeping homemade cultured foods {such as kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables} on hand and as part of our regular diet!  These foods are not just foods, they are a medicine in and of themselves.

There is a benefit in consuming all three of the fermented foods on a regular basis.  Consuming just one is great for your health, consuming two is even better, but consuming all three of these cultured foods is just awesome.  Each cultured food has its own powerhouse of probiotic strains and vitamins.  When you combine all three of these foods, you are providing optimal nutrition for your intestinal health, which is where the big part of the immune system is.  When your gut is in the best of health, your immune system is working top notch, and you are providing your body with what it needs to heal and correct health problems.

How Homemade Fermented Foods Kept Us Healthy This Winter

Last fall I got a little more serious about adding cultured foods into our diet.  I made kefir, kombucha, and homemade sauerkraut. I recommend starting with one cultured food and adding another one when you have it mastered!



Kefir is a sour-tasting drink made from milk that is fermented with healthy bacteria.  It has the consistency of drinkable yogurt and is perfect to make smoothies with.  We really love the taste of the blueberry and strawberry kefir from our local store, but I prefer the majority of our kefir consumption to be from what I make myself.  Homemade kefir has many more strains of probiotics than store-bought.  You will get some benefit from the store-bought stuff, but nothing compared to what you can make.  {Source}  Kefir can be made from raw or pasteurized milk but can also be made with dairy-free milks such as coconut or almond.  You can also make kefir from water, but I have only used milk.

Resources for kefir-making:



Kombucha is a sweet tea drink fermented with good yeast and bacteria.  It has been consumed for hundreds of years by people all over the world. Kombucha can be a strange thing to get used to making because it requires a SCOBY {Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast}, which kind of looks like a strange, brain-like mushroom thingy.  I really don’t know how else to describe it!  🙂 This fermented drink is doing wonderful things for our health, so I now am in love with my scobies. 😉

Resources for making kombucha:

Cultured Vegetables


I have been a fan of sauerkraut for years, but I didn’t realize how simple and healthy it was to make my own!  It’s not just cabbage that you can culture though, you can basically culture any vegetable.  Like the kefir and kombucha, when you allow vegetables to ferment, they produce a lot of awesome probiotics and nutrition.  It’s so simple to make these foods!  You can ferment vegetables with either salt, whey, or a culture packet.

Resources for culturing vegetables:

I have to say that consuming these foods over the winter months has resulted in the healthiest winter we’ve ever had!  I first of all thank God for good health, and I’m also thankful for these amazing foods we can make for our health!

Have you ever made cultured foods?  Which one would you like to try?

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  1. Hello Jill! Super excited to see the information on kombucha. I tried some from a health food store over the weekend and really enjoyed it. Just read the recipe and instructions and even though it is intimidating I am going to try it. I have made Kimchi (which is an amazing cultured food) so I think I might be able to handle making the kombucha. Plus I think the family will enjoy this more than the kimchi:) will also try the Kefir since the family will like that too! Thanks for sharing.

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