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Do-it-yourself fermented foods

by Naturopathes de La Boite à Grains 05 Jun 2024
Des aliments fermentés à faire soi-même - La Boite à Grains

Although fermented foods have gradually disappeared over the years, they're making a comeback, and many people want to make them at home.

Discover the many benefits of fermented foods, as well as the basics of fermentation.  

Fermented foods are healthy foods

Fermented foods are excellent for your health. During the fermentation process, micro-organisms (bacteria, yeasts and enzymes) are created that alter foods to form compounds with numerous properties.  

Regular consumption of fermented foods helps to :

  • Reduce systemic inflammation linked to chronic and degenerative diseases, including heart disease, cancer, obesity and metabolic syndrome.1 ;
  • Reduce arterial hypertension1 ;
  • Prevent thrombosis (anticoagulant action)1 ;
  • Reduce bad cholesterol1 ;
  • Prevent type 2 diabetes (through insulin secretion)1 ;
  • Promote healthy intestinal mucosa (preventing ulcer formation and inflammation)1 ;
  • Support bone health and density1 ;
  • Protect cells against free radicals and mutations (causes of cancer) 1 ;
  • Reduce the spread of cancer cells1 ;
  • Slow aging1 ;
  • Improve stress tolerance1 ;
  • Improve sleep quality (rich in melatonin)1 ;
  • Reduce food cravings1

Do-it-yourself fermented foods

With a little willpower, you can prepare fermented foods in your own kitchen. To simplify your life, you can purchase the kombucha jar or the fermentation jar. Here are our suggestions:


Sauerkraut is a condiment made from the fermentation of cabbage, which goes well with meats and salads. It is the world's most popular fermented product. 

Green cabbage is most often used. It is finely chopped, mixed with salt and placed in a glass jar. The bacteria required for fermentation are already present in the cabbage, so the process takes place naturally.

Sauerkraut is usually ready within a week of preparation.


Kimchi is a spicier variant of sauerkraut.

Most often, Chinese cabbage is used, mixed with other vegetables such as carrots and turnips. All seasoned with hot pepper, ginger, salt and garlic. Like sauerkraut, kimchi ferments in jars for a week or so. It's a delicious accompaniment to any main course.


Kombucha is a slightly sweet effervescent beverage made by fermenting sweet tea with bacteria and yeast. To enable the tea fermentation to take place, it is essential to have on hand a gelatinous disk-shaped starter culture commonly known as the kombucha mother or the SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).. This culture is available at all La Boite à Grains.

Kombucha is easy to prepare, and the final product is ready to drink within 7 to 14 days of fermentation.

Follow our kombucha-making guide!


Kefir is a subtly carbonated drink with a tangy taste, produced by fermenting milk. 

Fermenting milk requires kefir grains, small whitish balls that look like cauliflower florets. Kefir takes just three days to ferment. It is drunk like liquid yoghurt and provides several strains of probiotics. Kefir improves lactose digestion2. Its nutrients (proteins, vitamins and minerals) are more easily assimilated than those from milk.3.

Kefir water

Kefir water is a fizzy, lightly sweetened, dairy-free probiotic beverage. To ferment the water, you need fruit and water kefir grains, available in stores. These look like small translucent crystals and are packed with beneficial bacterial cultures. Like dairy kefir, water kefir is ready in less than three days, and the grains are reusable.


A baker's faithful ally, sourdough is easy to prepare at home, provided you have flour and non-chlorinated water on hand. Floured water is transformed into sourdough by natural yeasts and bacteria. This process takes 7 to 10 days, depending on ambient conditions.

Sourdough bread is easier to digest than yeast bread, and its minerals are more easily assimilated. Some gluten-intolerant people can eat sourdough bread without any problem, even if the flour used contains gluten.4.

Sourdough also gives finished products a longer shelf life. In fact, sourdough bread can be kept for up to a week at room temperature without drying out.

Beet kvass

Kvass is a beverage similar to Kombucha, with many variations. Originating in Russia, kvass is the result of fermenting beet in lightly salted water. To activate fermentation, sauerkraut juice or any other fermentation is required, as beet alone does not contain the necessary organisms.

Kvass ferments quickly. The beverage is usually ready in two days, and the beets can be reused many times.

Dare to explore!

Fermentation requires willpower and patience.

You can also get the benefits of fermented foods without the hassle of preparing them by purchasing products from Living Alchemy products in our stores or online. Living Alchemy uses a unique Kefir-Kombucha fermentation, combining 35 strains of live microorganisms to transform a selective blend of certified organic foods and plants into a living matrix of bio-activated nutrients, enzymes and beneficial flora.

About the author

Naturopaths of La Boite à Grains

Team of licensed and certified naturopaths (ND) in Gatineau, Outaouais.

Original article written by Véronique Cousineau, Naturopath


1: Fermented foods in health and disease prevention. Juana Frias - Cristina Martinez-Villaluenga - Elena Peñas - Elsevier Academic press - 2017

2: S. Hertzler, S. Clancy Kefir improves lactose digestion and tolerance in adults with lactose maldigestion; Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 103, Issue 5, Pages 582-587

3 : Festy, Danièle : Les Probiotiques, c'est magique, éditions Leduc.s

4: Biesiekierski JR, "No effects of gluten in patients with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity after dietary reduction of fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates," Gastroenterology, No. 320-8, August 2014


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