Recently I caught up with Kirsty Wirth, founder of Kultured Wellness. Kirsty is a massive ferment advocate, helping families around the country nourish their guts with her specially formulated yoghurt and kefir cultures. These cultures are the real deal and are packed full of high quality probiotics specifically designed for gut healing. The cultures are super easy to use, taste amazing and have become a staple in our home.
Tell us a little bit about your family and what you do.
I’m Kirsty a HUGE nature lover, mother to Noah and Maya, a ferment advocate for children on the spectrum and founder of Kultured Wellness, a company whose mission is to inspire and educate people to take control of their health by eating real and fermented foods that nourish the brain and the gut. My background has always been in teaching and I am loving my new role in Kultured Wellness educating everyone to use fermented foods every day.
How and why did you get into fermenting?
Unfortunately my son presented at around 15 months with very serious gut infections and behaviour issues that then progressed into him being diagnosed with Autism. We were so shocked by the diagnosis and then how little information there was that we embarked on an amazing journey of discovery learning all about the gut microbiome, how infections can impact behaviour and learning and how fermented foods can help to nourish the body and defend the body against infections. So we jumped into fermenting EVERYTHING we could from there.
What kind of ferments do you feed your family and what’s your favourite?
As part of our journey of learning all about fermented foods and all the amazing different bacteria that are present in fermented foods we discovered that certain types of bacteria were really vital for Noah getting better. From that learning I developed the Kultured Wellness culture starters with all the bacteria that were perfect for rebuilding a damaged gut.
So we use the Kultured Wellness starters in our house. We make coconut kefir, coconut yoghurt, beet kvass, sauerkraut, and fermented juices and fermented gummies. The list is endless with what we ferment. My favourite is a blueberry coconut yoghurt with cinnamon and vanilla.
What other foods are staples in your home?
Bone broth, soups, stews, fats!! Children’s brains are made of fat and because of the damage my son has suffered we need to nourish his brain so heaps of fats like avocado, ghee, coconut oil and olive oil. Vegetables are a huge staple all day every day. Clean water is a huge staple and I love having beautiful clean water with Apple Cider Vinegar. Oh and we love eggs!!
Do you have any tips for introducing new food/ferments to you family?
My first tip would be that if your children haven’t been having fermented foods since a very early age it’s almost guaranteed that they won’t like the taste. Ferments are sour and this is a taste that needs to be developed and not one that is in the SAD (Standard Australia Diet). So just keep offering. It takes around 50 times for a child to be interested. Interestingly low zinc levels result in a child being limited in what foods they will try so make sure your children get plenty of nutrients including zinc so they are open to new foods. One of the best ways though is hiding it in their safe food to start. When my clients start their kids on our coconut yoghurt I always suggest putting a tablespoon or even less in their usual yoghurt and stir it through. Over time slowly reduce the amount of the old yoghurt and increase the amount of the fermented yoghurt. Kids also love colour, to be involved and to eat with their hands and have picnics. All so much fun to do when you are starting out.
Do you have a favourite recipe you would like to share?
My favourite recipe is the Kutured Wellness Coconut Yogurt.