10 ways to SNEAK cultured foods into your day

I often get people saying their child or partner isn’t taking to cultured foods. It’s time to admit that cultured foods might not be love at first sight for everyone. I don’t however believe that it will always be that way, as it’s something we’ve lost taste for, so it stands to reason that we can acquire that taste once again.

Years ago when I was a cocktail bartender, I ran a swanky bar called Lotus in Sydney’s Potts Point – an admission that on instagram brought old regulars out of the woodwork. Too funny! So back then, I would help guests overcome their fears of a particular spirit they’d had a poor quality version of in the past, by putting them on a ‘baby steps’ program. I believe in drinking only little alcohol, but what you do drink, drink excellent quality, and most people drink lots and drink cheap stuff, so it’s a shock when they take the time to learn appreciation. If you have a negative past association with a taste, or feel confronted by a taste, you need to bring that taste into the fold through other things you enjoy and increase its presence gradually, as opposed to going all in.

So, rather than try and answer the question about WHY someone doesn’t enjoy cultured foods, I thought I’d help anyone in that situation sneak them into food situations where they’re not ‘front and centre’ – because they’re just so awesome for your gut health that it’s an excellent think to persevere with!

See what you think and share in the comments if you have further ideas or want to share your favourite cultured foods with us all.

Note for the ‘hot’ temperature incorporations: The probiotic benefits will be lost if too hot, so don’t ever directly heat them up and always stir in once something has been off the heat for a couple of minutes.

Note for a cultured vegetables recipe, go to my beginners guide and then to my basic recipe, to get the low down.  To make kefir, Donna Schwenk will teach you all you need to know here.


1. Put a 1/2 cup cultured veggies in your batch of veggie mash (whether that be potato, cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potato or whatever you like to pop in your mash. Cook it, mash it, and then take off the heat and stir through cultured veggies and even some cultured cream or kefir.)

2. Toss 1/2 a cup through a big salad that has your family’s favourite things in there in abundance – that could be avocado, pomegranate etc. They will act as a disguise and buffer to the sour veggies being tossed trough.

red salad with text This is my powerhouse antioxidant red salad you can check out here.

3. Use kefir milk in smoothies and instant ice creams like this one using kefir instead of coconut cream.

4. Mix a little kefir into your yoghurt / fruit / nut bowl.

5. Stir some kefir milk or cultured veggies through a yummy guacamole instead of lemon juice.

6. Blend some of the cultured veggie juice into your smoothies and juices. 1 tbsp per person is plenty, and less if just starting out, building up to that over a couple of weeks.


7. Mix some kefir into fruit purees and compotes and serve as a simple dessert with toasted nuts.

8. Make pizzas and scatter a bit of cultured veg over with fresh herbs when they come out of the oven

9. Use the juice of your cultured veggies in a salad dressing (just add 3 tbsp to a basic vinaigrette for example)

10. Mix it into cocktails and mocktails – So, here are a couple of probiotic cocktail ideas. Moderation is key of course, but if you are going to have the odd drink with friends on the weekend, shouldn’t it be providing some sort of benefit at the same time? I’ve popped two recipe ideas for you below this post. Both can just skip the vodka to enjoy a probiotic mocktail, which quite frankly is how I prefer things more and more these days. If you want proof of my previous life and a squiz at the beautiful bar I used to run, Lotus, in Sydney’s Potts Point, scroll to the bottom for a Gourmet Traveller video, as I used to be their drinks expert. Fun days!

I hope you enjoy those ideas! Are you a big fan, a newbie or do you find cultured foods a bit challenging? Would love for you to share your thoughts here.

Alexx x


2 cultured cocktail ideas

Cultured Mule

90ml kombucha

30ml vodka (optional. I’m not promoting drinking remember, just promoting a better drink if you do on occasion!)

20ml lime juice

10ml rice malt syrup

Place the lime juice, rice malt and vodka in a jar and shake vigorously together with lots of ice filled to the top – not enough ice is the no1 cocktail fail for home cocktail makers. It makes the drink!

Top with your kombucha and garnish with a big fresh sprig of mint.


Probiotic Mary

Place all the ingredients in a jar or shaker and pour into another shaker back and forth gently 3-5 times to get all the ingredients blended. Shaking tomato juice makes it grainy so we don’t shake.

1 tablespoon cultured veggie juice

1/2 cup tomato juice

30ml vodka

15ml port (optional)

10ml lemon juice

splashes of tabasco to taste

pinch pepper

pinch sea salt

few fresh parsley leaves

Blend on high for 1 minute (TM speed 8)

Serve, garnish with your celery or cucumber stick and enjoy.

Me demo’ing a Bloody Mary  back in my last few days as long haired brunette with a fringe and the Gourmet Traveller drinks expert, which I resigned from to pursue what I’m doing now! http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/recipes/recipe-search/video/2011/11/the-bloody-mary/



Comments 2

  1. Ooooooh, the cultured mule as me all over it! Cultured foods sound like fun when you consider putting them on a pizza, in a smoothie or in a cocktail! We love them : )

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