October 16, 2013 | Posted in Digestion / Liver, Immune System, Living Earth, Men's Health, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Women's Health

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider and sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away.

Have you had your curds and whey today?


Involve children in making fermented foods. Then find a comfortable tuffet, shoo away any yogurt-loving spiders, and enjoy.

The most ancient form of food preservation is lactic acid fermentation. It is far older than refrigeration.  In the time of Moses, breadmaking with leaven was part of life; Moses told the people of Israel to leave this behind as they fled from Egypt, and they ate unleavened bread on that journey.

Lactic acid fermentation is used to preserve the following food groups:

  • grains (sourdough bread, pancakes),
  • dairy (soured milk products such as yogurt, kefir, cream cheese, cottage cheese) and
  • vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchee, etc.).
  • beans, including soybeans  These fermented soy products are wonderful for health: miso, tamari, tempeh. Always buy these labelled ‘organic’ and ‘non-gmo’ because over 90% of all soy is now (2013) genetically modified, possibly even some organic soy.

Fermented foods support healthy liver function. The three-carbon lactic acid molecule enters the liver’s citric acid cycle in the mitochondrion and supports energy (ATP) production. It is far more readily used than the two-carbon acetic acid of vinegar.

Fermented foods support good bacteria in the mouth and gastro-intestinal tract. The intestinal flora provide a reservoir for the good bacteria of the vagina. The good bacteria provide protection against invading germs.  They also produce B vitamins for the body, lower the cholesterol, and decrease the tendency to allergies.

Fermented foods should be eaten daily, and used in larger amounts after antibiotics along with probiotics.  Probiotics may be taken longterm if there are gastrointestinal problems and if antibiotics are used.  An exception is that some researchers find Crohn’s disease patients may react adversely to probiotics in high concentrations; a practitioner’s guidance is required.

Kefir has more good bacteria in it than yogurt.

A simple recipe for raw milk yogurt or kefir is as follows:

  • Put 1/2 gallon of raw milk into a large pot on the stove on the lowest heat possible; use a double boiler if necessary.
  • Heat gently to 110 degrees. Do not scald or boil. (If you accidentally scald or boil, you can still make yogurt, but you have lost some of the superior digestibility of the raw milk.)
  • Place good quality plain yogurt or kefir starter in the bottom of enough glass jars to hold the volume of raw milk you have warmed. Use approx two tablespoons of yogurt as starter for 16 ounces of milk.
  • Pour the heated 110 degree raw milk into the jars and put the lids on but not tight.
  • Place the glass jars in an ice chest with bottles of hot water, and you will have yogurt or kefir in 8-24 hours.  You may also set the jars in the sun, or in a closed car sitting in the sun. Other warm locations can also be used, eg the oven with pilot light only, or tucked around a hot water pipe with towels.
  • The length of the fermentation determines tartness and amount of lactose remaining. Lactose is turned into lactic acid gradually, so if a person is lactose intolerant, he/she may ferment the yogurt or kefir for longer than 8 hours, in order to have less or no lactose in the yogurt or kefir.
  • Store in the refrigerator.
  • It can be poured into a cloth bag (or through several layers of cheesecloth) and separated into curds and whey at room temperature, then refrigerated.

Homemade yogurt or kefir is a forgiving process, so do not be intimidated or feel defeated if you have slightly different conditions — it is likely to work anyhow.

The yogurt or kefir will have cream on the top, if whole milk is used, and may separate slightly.

Do not blenderize raw milk products, whether it is sweet milk, raw milk whey powder, or fermented kefir or yogurt.  Blenderizing destroys the delicate health-giving protein structure of milk, like homogenization does.  Overheating milk, including pasteurization , destroys the milk protein also.  

Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions has simple delicious recipes for homemade sauerkraut and kimchee.  There are thorough descriptions of whey and its uses as well.

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True Botanica Gut Restore (Saccharomyces, good yeast for the gut, 6 billion organisms) for adults one capsule daily orally, Saccharomyces are important especially after the dreaded Clostridium difficile infections of the colon, and for general bowel health.

Triple Strength Probiotics (lactobacilli, good bacteria, 3.75 billion) for adults one capsule daily orally.  The True Botanica products are stable at room temperature.

Innate Response Intensive (400 billion organisms) for adults one capsule daily orally till gone; 7-day course requires refrigeration.

ASK YOUR DOCTOR:   VSL#3 DS is a prescription medical food, covered by some insurances for patients with inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel disease. It is the most concentrated probiotic available.

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Use the highest quality vegetables and raw milk in making fermented foods.  Know your raw milk provider and the quality standards used.

Consult your practitioner if you have undiagnosed digestive problems.

If you have Crohn’s disease, use high dose probiotics under a practitioner’s guidance.

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Nourishing Traditions, Fallon, Sally, New Trends Publishing, 2001.

Innate Response  www.innateresponse.com  +1 800 634 6342 (in USA)  +1 603 216 0899 (outside USA)

True Botanica www.truebotanica.com +1 800 315 TRUE (8783) (in USA)  +1 262 912 0970 (outside USA)

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