Dear Traditional Cook,
Have you been trying to get started with fermenting for years?
Have you picked up books or watched videos about lacto-fermentation… but gotten discouraged with the process and worries about food safety?
Are you looking for a way to start making free-style recipes in your own kitchen that show the fun and personality of your home and garden?
My name is Wardee Harmon. And I’m the author of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods. I am also the lead teacher for Traditional Cooking School - an online cooking school I created to honor my grandmother’s cooking traditions and preserve them so that future generations can enjoy the health benefits, flavors and fun of traditionally prepared foods.
When I was a little girl, my Tata Wardeh served crunchy, homemade pickles, flavorful olives, and tangy sauerkraut with all our meals. It was the perfect way to top off a meal and stop tummy aches before they started.
But was it all just an “old wives tale”?
After decades of obscurity, probiotic foods are suddenly the darling of all the health food magazines, health websites, and vitamin shops. Scientists now believe that probiotics are more important to your overall health than a multi-vitamin. Those are strong words! But the research shows that improving your gut health could be the number one thing that you can do to improve the health of your entire family.
More than 200 studies show that probiotic foods, like traditionally prepared pickles, olives, and sauerkrauts, help to relieve over 170 diseases, including:
- Tummy troubles
- Skin troubles
- Weight management
- Reducing reactions to vaccines
- And even the common cold!
“Pickled” foods are more nutritious, stay fresh longer, and taste even better than other preparation methods by letting the food develop its own complex flavors and pleasing textures. Raw and cooked foods don’t stand a chance when compared to the health benefits of fermented foods.
Plus, the acids preserve and protect the food from spoiling. This extends your summer harvest for months (and even years) into the future.
When I originally taught Lacto-Fermentation as a live on-line class, the forum was buzzing with excited moms, just like you, sharing their adventures with lacto-fermentation.
My students asked questions like:
- What kinds of things can I ferment? How long do I ferment?
- What if my veggies pop up out of the liquid?
- Can I use a “weight” to keep the veggies covered with liquid? Do I have to buy them or is there a “do-it-yourself” option?
- Can I open my jar to taste it as it's fermenting?
- Does fermented food always taste tart?
- Why do I need a starter culture? Can I skip it?
- “I am on a salt restricted diet, can I ferment without using salt?”
- What's the difference between different types of starter cultures?
- Will my ferment spoil if I forget to add a starter like whey?
- What happens if I forget to add an ingredient? Can I add it later?
- “Help! There’s mold on top of my jar? What should I do?”
- How much starter culture should I use? Why doesn’t my recipe tell me the exact amount to use?
- How do I store my fermented foods? Are canning jar and lids good enough, or do I need something else?
We worked out all the kinks and solved problems like:
- How to maximize the harvest from a short growing season
“I’ve just been in discussion with several like-minded friends about the challenges of harvesting in a sustainable and healthy way. Up here in northern BC, our growing season is very short, making it necessary to bring in foods from other areas. This is expensive and usually difficult if you want non-conventionally grown items. Then, it's hard to find good information around healthy preservation methods. I'm thankful for anything that will help with my harvest time, and will pass your excellent info on to my friends.” Blessings, Erica
- What to do when you have WAY too many veggies
“I live in Georgia and produce is abundant at this time. I want to be able to preserve my veggies using fermentation, but do not have a root cellar or basement. Is the refrigerator the only other place to store?” Thank you. --Tina Hale
- How to make sure that you never accidentally serve fermented food that is past its prime (don’t worry, I share tons of tips that you can use today!)
“I’m going to make these this weekend...we LOVE lemons! I also have a bag of limes, so I think I'll try both. The lacto-fermentation is a bit scary to me, but I can do this. Thanks, Wardee for starting me out slow and easy with such great explanations, as always.” - Jennifer
- How to make your healthy krauts taste delicious!
“Oh, I am so happy I read this lesson! I've been making krauts for a little over a year. I must admit that nobody else in my family will eat any, they hate the smell, and I even thought to myself, "Just eat a tablespoon -- it's really healthy!" :o)
- How to get out of a boring recipe rut… and stop using difficult techniques that waste your time and energy
“Haha, I see that THOSE days are over! I'm excited to try the food processor method and some of your different recipes. I guess I just didn't realize what a rut I was in! I LOVE that I don't have to pound this and, as I said above, am looking forward to some pretty kraut.” --Eileen H.
- How to customize your recipes to your personal taste, and how to make sure that your food doesn’t ferment too long (no more mushy, soggy or weird-looking ferments)
“Oh my, but the ginger carrots turned out absolutely magnificent!! I suppose it is now safe to admit that I've made these before and could NEVER understand what the fuss was all about -- did NOT enjoy them at all. I followed your recipe carefully, only adding onion and being careful with the pepper flakes. I'm thinking that maybe part of my problem before was letting it ferment too long, not sure.” --Eileen H.
- How to add ferments into your family’s diet, especially if you (or your spouse and kids) don’t like sour flavors
“Oh, yay! This is so perfect for us! I've been struggling with getting more ferments into our diet (they are not something I grew up with, and I don't even like pickles. That, and I grew up eating lots of Greek food, which never included anything fermented, other than yogurt), but we love Mexican food and we eat LOTS of salsa, so this will be perfect!” --Erica
And once we solved all of these problems, I saw how truly valuable this information was and just couldn’t keep it to myself (and the select group of students blessed enough to take this class live).
So I decided to compile all of the wisdom, tips, advice and fun of our Lacto-Fermentation live class into a convenient eCookbook, and offer it to you at a deeply discounted price. It is a 155-page, 23-lesson eCookbook, adventure guide and learning community all in one.
There’s no need to pay big money for a live class, show up at specific times, or rush through the program to keep up with other students. You proceed at your own pace, make just the recipes that interest you the most, and build your confidence as you go.
Inside you will learn…
- All the basics: the process, the ingredients, the tools, and how to get started — Some ingredients are mission critical… some you can fudge a little. I’ll tell you exactly where and when to insist on the best, and when you can relax… and save some cash - Page 10
- How to jump start the fermentation process (and eliminate the risk of spoilage) — Dairy or dairy-free… I include 6 different ways to get started today - Page 31
- How to ferment fruits like whole fruits, chutneys and preserves — Just follow the basic proportions, give a quick stir and let the lacto-fermentation process take over from there! - Page 33
- How to transform veggies into delicious sauerkrauts: Plain, Korean, Japanese, Spinach, or Carrot. What will you make? — Start with a simple recipe and then let your imagination (and your backyard harvest) take you to new heights. - Page 36
- Pickles! — Once you know “why” fermentation works, you are free to experiment with your own ingredients and create your own original spice blends. - Page 42
- Salsas and Relishes — “My first batch was delicious, and it wasn't even "basic" -- I just needed to preserve a few remaining goodies from the garden.” - Page 47
- Mustard and Ketchup — Go ahead, let the kids dump homemade ketchup all over their dinner (we can keep the healthy benefits a secret between us). - Page 52
- How to make your own mayo, horseradish and hummus — Don’t ruin the light, fresh flavors of your traditional foods by smothering them with store-bought condiments and spreads. - Page 56
- Beginner and advanced water kefir — Includes a quick-start primer on unrefined sugar… what’s good, what’s bad… and what to use instead. - Page 60
- How to make kombucha and kvass — Sweet & sour and naturally carbonated, drink it like a soda while getting all the benefits of a health tonic. - Page 64
- Homemade Ginger Soda and other natural sodas — There’s nothing like a bubbly, chilled, naturally-fermented soda on a hot day. So easy, the kids can make it themselves! - Page 71
- How to make bean paste, natto and tempeh — Traditionally part of a Japanese breakfast, natto is delicious served with soy sauce, mustard, onions and rice. - Page 75
- How to make clabbered milk, cultured butter, and yogurt — Packs a probiotic punch that is good for the whole family. - Page 79
- Soft cheeses — Imagine about all the yummy ways you can flavor your creation - jams, honey, nuts, seeds, herbs, garlics, salt, cocoa, coffee… The sky’s the limit! - Page 91
- How to pickle fish and eggs — Lightly smoky, warm and spicy… a great high-protein snack or the highlight of your picnic lunch. - Page 98
- Red meat — Tender, tasty corned beef… and completely nitrate-free. - Page 101
- Cured, fermented olives — Complex sour and salty flavors without the work (or hassle) of water-curing. So much easier if you have lots of olives to prepare at once. - Page 105
- How to create a simple sourdough starter that you can use on a moment’s notice to whip up a batch of homemade pancakes or waffles — The easy, set-it-and-forget-it method anyone can use. - Page 108
- How to plan probiotic meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and quick snacks — Your secret weapon for sneaking the health-giving benefits of fermented foods into every meal — even finicky eaters will be delighted! - Page 134
- 5 “Create Your Own” Formulas for making chutneys, preserves, fruit butters, pickles, salsa, relish, condiments, and pickled meats — Simple no-fail formulas that will have you turning out lacto-fermented foods using your imagination and whatever happens to be in season - Page 142
- Fermented honey — Raw honey is great, but watch what happens when you add the benefits of fermentation. Amazing. - Page 145
- And so much more...
The Lacto-Fermentation eCookbook will give you the confidence you need to safely ferment your own foods for good health, personal satisfaction, and the amazing flavors that will come from your kitchen… and family garden.
If you always wanted to create probiotic foods, but were never quite sure how… I will guide you through the entire process.
Here are some of the recipes that you’ll learn:
- Five-Spice Apple Chutney — The perfect first recipe for those wary of fermented foods - sweet and full of homey flavors,
- Spiced Preserved Lemons — The entire lemon is edible, so dice it into dressings and salads or squeeze over grilled fish,
- Fig Butter — It’s so versatile, follow my recipe once… and then make your own using your favorite dehydrated fruits,
- Pickles — Garlic-Dill, Sweet or Spicy Slices, Ginger-Carrot, Pickled Radishes, Spinach Sticks, and Pickled Asparagus,
- Relishes and Salsas — Mild or Spicy — use my formula to preserve whatever is in season,
- Honey-Dill or Dijon Mustard — this super-quick ferment will please the most discerning mustard fanatic,
- Homemade Ketchup — that transforms into Thousand Island Dressing or Steak Sauce,
- Spinach Dip — try serving this with sourdough crackers and a side of Pickled Cremini Mushrooms,
- Tender, mild Honey Whole Wheat Bread — the classic recipe updated for today’s busy lifestyles,
- Golden Fluffy-Beyond-Your-Wildest-Dreams Pancakes and Waffles — no more slaving over a hot griddle - this oven-friendly 10” pancake will feed your whole family,
- Cinnamon Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — an easy-to-serve gourmet delight with down-home charm,
- Plus, 5-Way Pizza Crust, bakery-tender biscuits, Dutch Babies, and more...
And expert tips like...
- 5 ways to protect and help the good bacteria get started as a strong colony in your food (while severely discouraging the bad bacteria from getting a foothold) - Page 24
- Exactly what equipment to use, which foods ferment best, and precisely how to store your ferments so that they last for months (and get tastier as they age) - Page 26
- How to make your own spice blends (and save a fortune over dusty, bland spices from the grocery store) - Page 29
- The mystery of whey SOLVED! — What it is, where to get it, which whey to use in your ferments (because not all wheys are the same)… and 5 dairy-free options for whey that works as well (or better) than the dairy version. - Page 32
- Super important tip: I have included my personal recipe for making brine so that, you’ll always have plenty of brine on hand to make a ferment and never worry that mold could sneak in and ruin your precious harvest. - Page 43
- How to keep your cucumber pickles crispy, tender and full of that fresh snap! — I’ve included my 3 favorite crunchy pickle tips on page 43.
- How to take your water kefir and kick it up a notch — Ideal Sweetener (not all sweeteners are the same… one can actually kill your ferment before it even gets started), tweaking the Fermentation Process (sometimes bending the rules a little gives you the best outcomes), Minerals (when and how to supplement), adding Flavors (extracts and whole fruit options), and Bottling (to ramp up the “fizz” and make your finished drinks look like the pros). It’s all on page 61.
- Are you new to making homemade sodas? I’ve included beginner tips like: how to make a starter, how to make the syrup/soda base, and how to bottle your sodas — and advanced tips like: how to know exactly how sweet your finished sodas will be (before you even start fermenting), what to do with leftover starter, and how to prevent your sealed sodas from blowing up! - Page 73
- How (and why) to eat fermented soy like Natto, Tempeh and Bean Paste. Natto can be delicious when you serve it this way. - Page 76
- Most people think that the best milk is determined by how it’s processed. But the truth is: The breed of the animal and the animal’s diet are huge factors in the quality of your milk (and the success that you’ll have culturing your own dairy and cheeses). I include everything you need to know on page 89.
- Insider tip: In a pinch, you can use pasteurized milk to make your ferment. But don’t try this until you read page 81.
- How to make corned beef without worrying about botulism or salmonella. These simple tweaks in your fermenting process give you tender, tasty beef every time. - Page 102
- When to feed your sourdough starter (and why ignoring your starter is often the best thing you can do) - Page 110
- How to make egg-free waffles and freeze the batter (Surprise your family with a hot, homemade breakfast on the busiest mornings) - Page 119
- Why “slashing” your loaves makes them rise taller (and the best way to make delicate spelt and gluten-free loaves rise to new heights) - Page 123
- How to keep your bread from tasting “day old” for up to 2 weeks - Page 123
- And much more...
For a limited time, I have created a special offer just for you, if you are ready to safely ferment your own foods for good health, personal satisfaction, and the amazing flavors that will come from your kitchen… and family garden.
- Lacto-Fermentation eCookbook, the 155-page, 23-lesson eBook in printable pdf format,
- All 5 Lacto-Fermentation Master Class Videos (Retail value $37) and
- Let’s Get Gardening! eBooklet, the 22-page guide full of gardening success tips straight from our homestead — perfect for new gardens, tight spaces and gardening with kids (Retail value $7).
A retail value of $64, all for today’s low price of $20.
Why does making pickled foods seem so difficult in the beginning? And why don’t the so-called experts have concrete answers to your questions about how to avoid mushy pickles, bland flavors or spoilage?
Well, the truth is: lacto-fermentation is more of an art than a science.
And that means, it’s just easier if I take you into my kitchen and show you exactly how it’s done. I promise that after you spend a few minutes watching me make pickles and kraut in my own kitchen, you’ll be chomping at the bit to give it a try yourself.
When you order the Lacto-Fermentation eCookbook, you will be immediately be ushered into a series of 5 Master Class Videos that reveal all my lacto-fermentation secrets.
You will learn:
Video 1: The behind-the-scenes story of lacto-fermentation (Where it comes from and 10 reasons why it has been a staple of our diets for over 2000 years.)
Video 2: The science of lacto-fermentation (This will clear up any questions about making your first ferment. Yes, it really is this simple.)
Video 3: The complete whey primer (What it is, where to get it, and why it virtually guarantees that your ferment will turn out juicy and delicious. I also share 5 dairy-free options!)
Video 4: How to make kimchee (Watch me make korean sauerkraut the “set it and forget it” way. Learn how fine to shred your cabbage, how to choose the add-ins for the best flavor, and what to do when you have WAY too much cabbage… I’ll show you exactly how to adjust your recipe using my Easy Math Method.)
Video 5: How to make pickles (Pickles are so easy to make… It’s just faster to show you how I make them in my own kitchen. I’ll also show you how to give pickles their signature crunch… every time. And… keep your eyes open for my kitchen “blooper”… I made some pickles so spicy that even I couldn’t eat them… but that just adds to the fun of free-styling in the kitchen!)
The retail value for this free gift collection is $37, but the courage and confidence these videos will give you is absolutely priceless.
Are you ready to create your own tiny slice of homesteading heaven? There’s nothing more exciting that picking cucumbers straight from the garden, and transforming them into crunchy, delicious pickles… Or even better, that moment when you find yourself puttering around in the kitchen saying things like, “This pepper is going to taste so great with the sauerkraut I just made.” That’s when you know you’ve made it — you’re the wife, mother, cook, and homesteader that you always wanted to be.
It doesn’t take much — a tiny section of your back yard (or even some gardening pots on your back porch), a few seeds, and a sense of adventure. The rest takes care of itself!
To help you on your journey, I have created the Let’s Get Gardening! eBooklet. It is a 22-page guide full of gardening success tips straight from our homestead to yours — perfect for new gardens, tight spaces and gardening with kids. And it is free with your purchase of Lacto-Fermentation eCookbook. (Retail value $7)