Last time I shared with you all of the benefits of lacto-fermentation, from the health benefits to the sustainability factors. This time I thought I’d share with you five of these fermented foods you can make easily at home for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay in the store.

Whether you’re paying $3/quart of yogurt or $3.99/pint of kombucha, you can know that the homemade version will save you money and be a more sustainable option.

Yogurt

This is one of the most commonly eaten fermented foods in North America. It can also be loaded with sugar and sometimes not even contain the live cultures that you want in yogurt. So making it at home is a great idea.

You can make it super easily in a crock pot. You can make it almost as easy in a cooler. Or, you can make raw yogurt from raw milk using these cultures and keep all of the goodness of your raw milk intact.

Kefir

This close cousin to yogurt is even easier to make as it is a mesophilic culture, meaning it does not require a certain temperature range to culture. It also contains more strains of friendly bacteria so it is a great option for fermented dairy if you are looking to diversify your intake of various cultures. You can find the starter needed to make homemade kefir here.

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough is the old world way of making bread from before commercial yeast was available. You can keep a sourdough starter at home to use as a leaven for your homebaked breads, pancakes, and just about every other baked good you can imagine.

The benefit of sourdough is the long fermentation process, making the flour more nutritious, and the fact that you won’t ever have to buy yeast again. You can find a great book on all things sourdough here and purchase the starter culture for your sourdough here.

Sauerkraut

I have seen jars smaller than a quart of this ubiquitous fermented cabbage in the grocery store for over seven dollars. You can make it at home for a fraction of that price.

My favorite method of making sauerkraut is the open crock method (which can be done simply with a bowl, a plate, and some heavy objects) as I find it results in the best flavor, texture, and cultures.

Kombucha

This fizzy, fermented beverage is becoming very popular and it can be found in all sorts of health food stores. You can also pay up for $4 a pint-sized bottle for it, which makes it extraordinarily out of reach for most people. The good news is, you can make it at home with organic tea and sugar for what I once calculated as $.16/bottle.

Here is my method for making kombucha. You can also do a second ferment on tightly capped bottles using fruit juices. This makes a great replacement to soda pop.

So whether you simply stick with yogurt or branch out with all of these fermented foods, try making them at home for cheap if you can.”