Get Cultured!: An Interview with Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen

Today I have the privilege of interviewing my longtime followed and now friend, Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen.  Everything on Nourished Kitchen is immaculate, rustic, gorgeous, and personally attended to by Jenny.  It is that kind of approach that makes it so easy to trust her, both when it comes to interview answers and her e-courses.

Right now Jenny has her class Get Cultured! on sale for $147, which is a $50 savings.  But hurry, it’s only good through 5/31 of this month!  Click here to see the Get Cultured! class information.

But before we get to all that, please enjoy this interview I had with Jenny yesterday.  I love what she has to say about the vitality of fermented and cultured foods!

Kendahl: What was the first ferment that you ever tried to make?  How did it go?  Did you succeed?

Jenny: The first fermented food I made was yogurt.  It was fun, very inexpensive and, in many ways, it opened a new world to me.  From there I began experimenting with true sour pickles, sauerkraut, beetroot relish and other fermented vegetables.  There was a bit of a learning curve, initially, with understanding how long I could let foods ferment so that they achieved the flavor I wanted.

Kendahl: Which lesson in the class are you most looking forward to?  Which are you most excited to share?

Jenny: Previous students have LOVED the workshops on cultured and wild fermented dairy.  My favorite, however, is the section on probiotic tonics.  Not only do we address the basics of kombucha, water kefir and kvass – but we also make homemade herbal tonics that combine both the medicinal benefits of herbs with the benefits of probiotics and fermented foods.

Kendahl: Why did you decide to create a class for how to ferment anything?

Jenny: I receive a ton of questions at Nourished Kitchen about fermented foods, proper fermentation, fermentation equipment and techniques.  There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, that leave newcomers to fermentation unsure.  This course was designed to really provide techniques and information in an easy format through videos, recipes and tutorials that people can return to time and time again.

Kendahl: What is your favorite fermented food to make, either for taste or for benefit (or both)!

Jenny: I love Moroccan preserved lemons.  I traveled to Morocco in college where I did volunteer work, and I stayed with a family who taught me fermented lemons (and a bit about curing olives, too).  The flavor of preserved lemons is unsurpassed – we use them on chicken and fish, mostly.  Also, lemons are rich in vitamin C and when they’re fermented they also become rich in beneficial bacteria, that combination makes them great for cold and flu season.

Kendahl: What strikes you as especially noteworthy when you think about our history of food fermentation?

Jenny: There are two things really. 

One, fermentation was pervasive.  That is, you find fermented foods across the globe in all societies, and while many of us think of fermentation as a way to preserve the harvest, it was also used in societies who had a reliable year-round supply of food where preservation would be rather unnecessary, yet they still fermented their foods. 

Secondly, in looking at the history of fermentation you’ll realize that there is no one “right” way to do things.  Fermentation techniques, equipment and foods used for fermentation varied from society to society (with a few commonalities).  Indeed, in looking at the history of fermentation, you’ll realize that there is no one right way to do things; rather, there’s many right ways to ferment foods.

Kendahl: Is fermenting hard to do?

Jenny: No.  Fermentation is pretty hands-off once you’ve gotten started; however, there’s a few things people need to be concerned about when preparing fermented foods whether that’s sauerkraut or kefir or yogurt or homemade sodas and herbal beers, etc.  So it’s important to be mindful (but not obsessive) about cleanliness, temperature regulation, quality of ingredients and the process of fermentation.

Kendahl: What is the one (read: most important) thing you hope your students will get out of this class?

Jenny: I want those who enroll in Get Cultured! to feel fully confident in how they ferment foods.  That is, when they’ve gone through the materials, I want them to feel equipped and confident to begin using fermentation successfully in their daily lives.  For some of the previous students, that means they’re serving fermented foods their family loves or their getting their kids and spouses to actually enjoy fermented vegetables, tonics and things like kefir.  Other students have turned what they learned in the class into commercial pursuits: selling fermented foods at farmers markets or in their restaurants. 

Click here to get Jenny’s Get Cultured! class for $100 off!  Normally $197, this class is on sale for $50 off, but only through 5/31.  Click here to get the class for only $147!!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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  1. […] place as a way to preserve edibles as well as enhance their flavor and health benefits. In a recent interview, Jenny of Nourished Kitchen explains, “You find fermented foods across the globe in all […]

  2. […] that’s ALIVE!: Get Cultured! Posted on May 23, 2012 by Kendahl Last week I posted my interview with Jenny of Nourished Kitchen, all about her fermenting e-course called Get Cultured!  One of my […]

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