75: Rock the Instant Pot and Ferment Anything with Wardeh Harmon

75: Rock the Instant Pot and Ferment Anything with Wardeh Harmon

00:00 / 00:49:25

Rock the Instant Pot and Ferment Anything with Wardeh Harmon

My guest Wardeh Harmon (also known as ‘Wardee’) is quite literally a living encyclopedia when it comes to traditional food preparation. For years she’s been sharing her hard-earned knowledge on her amazing website TraditionalCookingSchool.com.

If you haven’t checked out this resource yet, you won’t believe the wealth of easy-to-follow videos, cheat sheets, and perfectly crafted recipes Wardeh has taken the time to create. It’s truly the easiest-to-use resource I’ve found when it comes to learning the often forgotten art of fermenting, preserving, and culturing real foods.

I’m so thrilled to have her on the podcast today! Let’s dive in!

Wardeh Harmon, Real Food Expert

I’m not the only one who considers Wardeh Harmon an expert. She authored The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods (see link in Resources Mentioned section below), a book I really could have used in the beginning of my real food journey. It’s the perfect non-intimidating introduction to this style of food preparation.

What’s more, she’s an expert in a cooking method you may not think of as traditional … pressure cooking in my favorite kitchen device, the Instant Pot! In this episode, Wardeh explains why this modern improvement on an age old method deserves a place in the real food world.

And the Instant Pot is not the only shortcut Wardeh offers. One of my favorite things about her recipes are her many “hacks” to make traditional food preparation fit a busy modern life: adding gelatin to yogurt, baking bread in the Instant Pot, and cutting out any unnecessary steps.

Her food philosophy really speaks to me: the fewest possible steps (and dishes) for the maximum nutrition!

In This Episode, You’ll Learn

  • the food allergy challenges Wardeh faced in her own family, and how traditional food preparation healed their intolerances
  • Wardeh’s 5 simple baby steps for converting to a real food pantry
  • what the terms ferment, culture, soak, and sprout mean
  • planning traditional foods by the season and how to make them last
  • bulk and batch-cooking tips that work for real life
  • Wardeh’s favorite kitchen staples (cheat sheet below!): the easiest traditional recipes that can provide the foundation of your family’s food plan
  • amazing probiotic benefits of traditionally prepared foods, especially sauerkraut (no more buying expensive probiotics!)
  • a one-stop formula for fermenting practically anything
  • how to make foolproof homemade cultured yogurt in less than 5 minutes (even using raw milk, which is usually tough)
  • how to adapt slow cooker recipes to the Instant Pot … with some awesome tips I didn’t know before!

So What Can You Ferment? Wardeh Harmon’s Top 10

  1. Yogurt
  2. Kefir
  3. Bread
  4. Sauerkraut
  5. Apple Chutney
  6. Salsa
  7. Pickles
  8. Relish
  9. Ketchup
  10. Kombucha

Wardeh’s biggest tip: Keep it simple and take it slow. Cut through the overwhelm of learning new food preparation methods by trying one recipe at a time. Think about what your family enjoys and needs from a health perspective, and start there!

Resources We Mention

Which traditionally prepared foods have you tried? What would you ask Wardeh? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors:

This episode is brought to you by Paleovalley. This company makes one of my favorite on-the-go snacks to give to my kids. Paleovalley beef sticks are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef naturally fermented the old school way. In fact each beef stick contains a billion CFUs of probiotics plus high levels of omega-3s. Go to paleovalley.com/wellnessmama and use the discount code WELLNESSMAMA10 to get 10% off. Or, get up to 40% off when you purchase in bulk, which is how I order.

Paleovalley cows are never given antibiotics, hormones, or grains and their products are gut-friendly, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free (wow!). So, again, check it out paleovalley.com/wellnessmama, with the code WELLNESSMAMA10 to get the discount.

This episode is also brought to you by StudioPress Sites. This platform makes setting up and running a blog super easy, and I wish I had it when I started! Basically it’s an all-in-one solution all for one monthly price, without all the headaches that come with trying to learn it all yourself. It includes hosting, themes, plugins, and much more. Even if you have already started blogging, this tool may save you time and money and be an upgrade from what you currently have. So check it out at wellnessmama.com/studiopress.

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Reader Comments

  1. I loved the story at the 35 mark about the neighbor that was afraid of the Instant Pot! I had mine for 6 months before an adventurous friend convinced me to finally use it.

    • I love it! I’m glad you’re finally using it. It’s better late than never. 🙂

  2. I have had my pressure for about a year and a half. I use it a lot to make soup stock. If roast a chicken,I save the bones roast them for color. ThenI put bones onion carrots etc into pot and cook for 20 minutes strain makes a great stock and you control the salt. Also makes the best beans from dried beans

  3. The instapot won’t open because of fermentation. The float valve is stuck and won’t go down. How do I open the lid? I have put the pot in the freezer to stop the fermentation process. Do you think this will help? I hope this is not a lost cause. Please help!!

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