Fermented Foods: The Basics

by lydia on April 28, 2013

Fermented foods are a key piece to a healing real food lifestyle. They are key in that they offer such a wide array of benefits to overall health. If done properly, fermented foods can go a long way to support recovering  most health concerns. Fermentation is not something most of us grew up with, it’s a lost practice that desperately needs to be revived.

For the past several years, I’ve been learning the art of fermentation and have come a long way in my understanding and in how I approach it in my kitchen. I’ve done a million things wrong along the way, yet I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes. This caused me to dig deeper and read food chemistry journals and handbooks that I’d never thought I’d care to read. The reason I began digging deeper was to make sure I really understood what I was doing in order to heal my body the most effectively. After testing some ferments at a lab, I learned that mason jar fermenting was NOT an ideal way to ferment as it can allow too much oxygen in which mold can grow. Being that I had a history of sensitivity to mold, mildew and many things I certainly did not want to proliferate mold in my healing fermented foods.


Today, I’m sharing a bunch of posts on the subject of fermentation in the hopes that others who may be still learning can read more thoroughly on the subject and benefit. I hope to inspire others to not give up on this unfamiliar practice, but to start out slow and with some further knowledge and understanding on the subject. By all means, ask questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to get answers to you. I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I think I can help you trouble shoot if need be. (above photo credit: Loving Our Guts).

That all shared, I’m including a recording of a talk/interview that I did with Melanie Hoffman of the blog Pickle Me Too. This talk was recorded as a part of my course ‘Heal Your Gut’. If you did not get a chance to sign up for that and were interested, the course will be offered again starting July 10th (consider signing up for my newsletter to stay informed). Melanie is a fermentation ‘freak’, and I mean that in a good way and with total affection. I hope you will check out her site, as it pertains to all things fermented and has TONS of awesome recipes. Click the link below to listen to our chat on some basics regarding fermentation.

Fermentation Basics with Melanie Hoffman and Lydia Shatney


Garlicky Salsa

Articles on Fermentation:

First off, here is a post I wrote awhile back when I started to shift my ways of fermenting. I used to ‘flippantly ferment’, but not anymore.

Recently, my friend Brenda wrote a guest post on how fermented foods help digestion. Just another huge reason to incorporate this practice into you life.  She also has a post on her site on the health benefits of fermented foods (in case you aren’t yet convinced), and a basic list of fermented foods (in case you are not yet familiar).

Melanie of Pickle Me Too has a ton of articles on fermentation – be sure to check them out!  Additionally, you can find an article of hers posted in The Natural Health Gazette, ‘Fermented Foods: Their Important Place in the Human Diet.’

My friend Lisa Herndon, of Lisa’s Counter Culture and author of my current favorite book on fermentation (find Lisa’s book; ‘Lisa’s Counter Culture: Pickles & Other Well Bred Foods’ here and pick up a copy) has a post of tips for fabulous fermenting. She also discusses the importance of the salt you choose for your ferments in this post, as well as tips, book reviews and workshops.

If you want to watch some videos on how to make certain ferments along with other pertinent fermenting info. – check out Cooking Traditional Foods youtube channel HERE.


Affiliate links are used where appropriate, which allow me to earn a small commission on your sale. This does not affect your price at all and is a cost of doing business for the affiliate companies. The monies earned from those commissions are like a tip at a restaurant and help support the maintenance of the website and free content. Shop on Amazon?  There’s a handy Amazon.com search box over in the right-hand side bar you can click through to shop on Amazon. You’ll get the very same prices, plus a portion of what you spend will support this site. Thank you!


LydiaLydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health From The Inside Out in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. Sign up for the Divine Health From The Inside Out newsletter! Pick up a copy of Lydia’s eBook; ‘Divine Dinners: Gluten-Free, Nourishing, Family-Friendly Meals’.

Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone, Skype or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Contact Lydia today to get started as well as to learn more about what she has to offer you!



  Subscribe to Divine Health
  From The Inside Out

We hate spam more than you do,
and we don't do it.

Join our weekly newsletter and get
our 52 Healthy Habits to Take Care
of Your Body FREE!



Davina April 30, 2013 at 3:12 pm

How do you preserve ferments? I assume water-bath canning will kill all enzymes. Will freezing?
Do you just keep them in the frig? And if so, how long do they last?

lydia April 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

In the right conditions they can last for years. Fruit ferments won’t. You can can kraut for preservation if you like, but yes you will lose the enzyme/probiotic benefit.

Debra E May 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I have 4 pickl-it jars, all different sizes. I find it’s not enough and I want to get some Fido jars so I can swap lids when a ferment is done. Any idea where I can find some? I see Amazon has some but from some reviews it sounds like they might be knock-off’s and not so sturdy as the Pickl-it jars.

lydia May 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm

You can get Fido’s on Amazon – look for Bormioli Rocco: http://astore.amazon.com/diviheal-20/detail/B001BUFTAY

YOu can also get them from Crate & Barrell, Marshalls, TJMaxx, Home Goods and BB&B. They range from $5-12 each depending on size. If you use Amazon Prime you can get free shipping likely. Hope that helps!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: