Ferments - Trying New Things in the Name of Kids Gut Health

By Yvonne Quincey-de Guzman

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If you had said the words “Paleo Kids” to me I would have thought we were talking about children who walked with the dinosaurs

At around 3:00 PM on Sundays, my dad would start putting away the tools and equipment remaining from the weekend’s chores and weekly DIY projects. I knew it was time for me to head home from Amy Johnson’s house, across the street, when this ritual began. Last call for any game we were playing would come in the form of smoke signals from our backyard BBQ. Wafting overhead, it beaconed my sister and me to hurry home.

Purified through sweaty kid-play and consecrated by the charred incense of Fr. Webber, we ran in the back door, we took our places on the epic green shag carpet, ready for the ceremony to begin. By this time, Pops would be enthroned in his giant, black, leather, Lazy Boy recliner. Sunday’s paper folded in half and partially tucked between the seat and chair arm, a cold brown bottle of brew in his left hand, TV clicker in his right, a small Pyrex plate of pickled herring balanced on his knee. We patiently waited and watched Patton, The Dirty Dozen or something starring John Wayne. Whimpering and begging like puppies, we jockeyed to be the first recipient of that fine deli fish, proffered to us as a reward for our very good movie-watching behaviour and to keep us quiet. 

I do not recall rejecting any food as a child. If it was unusual and my father seemed to enjoy it, we wanted it too. I either blocked out the memories, or it was just another era when I was a youngster, but I do not remember disliking any food, except canned beets. When my daughter was born, I think she ate 4 things until she was about 4. We joke that we are shocked she is alive to tell the tale.

We certainly know much, much more about nutrition and what children require to grow up healthy and strong, then when I was a child or when I had my child in 1998. If kraut or anything fermented had been suggested to me when my child was a starting school, I would have smiled and secretly thought the suggestion was a bit nuts. If you had said the words “Paleo Kids” to me I would have thought we were talking about children who walked with the dinosaurs, and were perhaps recreated in wax and on display at a natural history museum somewhere. If you had said there was a kid’s Superkraut, I would have thought it was code for a really stinky nappy.

Today, our language and ideas surrounding food and nutrition have become more sophisticated than ever. The same idea conceptually applies to the nutritional lives of our little ones. We have found natural and scientific paths to wellness for ourselves and our children through using food as medicine. Our allopathic and complimentary natural health care practitioners all agree that the foundation for good health starts with a varied and balanced diet. And as we discover more about the nature of disease and gut health, no matter whether we are young, old or in between, we know that our ability to take in nutrients is based on the ability of our body to absorb it. Gut health is essential in this process of nutrient absorption. (1) The importance of child and toddler gut health is further explored in the Mindd Foundation article How Healthy Gut Flora Can Impact Children’s Behaviour. In this study, …” Scientists found that toddlers with the highest variety of gut bacteria were more likely to be happy, curious, sociable and impulsive (I imagine positively!). In boys, extroverted personality traits were associated with the abundance of specific microbes.” Dr. Leila Masson reports on this article on behalf of the Mindd Foundation (mindd.org) and suggests these simple things to improve gut flora for our small ones. “Eat fermented foods such as yogurt (can be non-dairy), kefir (I love coconut kefir), sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles daily.”

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As we prepare to head back to school, what fermented, gut-healthy foods we can include in our kids’ lunch boxes? How do we encourage children to try krauts and other ferments, especially when it does not taste like chicken nuggets? How old should a child should be before trying fermented foods like krauts and pickles? What are some suggestions to introduce krauts into the daily family meal plan?

(1)    GIVE THEM WHAT THEY ALREADY LOVE--Many kids love a good pickle. I especially liked them  with pickled herring. Sometimes it can be as easy as including a whole pickle or sliced pickle (pickle chips) with other lunch fare. Spin off proven favourites. Make additions or slight variations to things they already adore. For example, my boy visitors over Christmas would eat carrots and broccoli, and they already liked pickles. I put out the Lewis & Son Rockin’ Out Broccoli Kraut with every meal (including breakfast) and pointed out that it had a combo of veggies that they already liked. After seeing it a few times and encouraging them that it was all stuff they already liked, they were willing to give it a go.


(2)    CHECK YOURSELF--Little ones are supernatural in the way they can read our intentions and energy. In plain terms, they are fantastic BS detectors. If they think you are trying to sell them on something or coerce them, I guarantee they will resist you. Your attitude and energy is key to your little one keeping an open mind. Be calm, cool and collected! Create a culture, in all areas not just food, that trying new things is wonderful and helps us grow as people. It is the first step to figure out what we like and dislike. We never know until we try, sound familiar?



(3)    OFFER NEW THINGS AS THE 1st OR 2nd  BITE OF THE MEAL--Karen Le Billon, author of French Kids Eat Everything, suggests offering the new “thing” as the first or second bite of a meal, when kids are really hungry. In addition, she suggests that snacks are not given less than 2 hours before a meal. She believes that a hungry kid will be more willing to try something new. (2)



(4)    MAKE TRYING NEW THINGS PART OF YOUR ROUTINE--One of the most important things that you can do to make your young child feel safe is to establish as much routine in his or her life as possible. Children (and adults) feel the most secure when their lives are predictable. When adults provide environments that feel safe, children learn that they can trust others to take care of them and meet their needs, so they become free to relax and explore their world. (3) If you have a special needs child or highly sensitive little person in your life, routine is particularly important. In  Liz Campese’s Talkspace article from 24 July 2015, “Sticking to a routine or a detailed schedule is one of the ways highly sensitive people can feel like they have some control over the world around them. It provides them with a buffer between what they can and cannot regulate – which is soothing to their highly responsive nervous system. Because highly sensitive people have a rich inner world, they strive to protect it from outside world.” (4) Routine+safe environment=freedom to explore new things (ferments)


(5)    TEACH THEM TO FISH—You know the saying. There are so many benefits to the inclusion of littlies when we prepare meals. Just the simple act of allowing a toddler to spoon out their own servings and pour their own water has many documented developmental benefits for motor skills, neural connectivity and cognitive processing, just ask Maria Montessori. The Montessori School in Rochester states in their website info about their practices with children serving themselves, http://www.themontessorischoolrochester.com/pouring-water-spooning-rice, “Yes, practical life teaches children the skills needed to function in everyday life.  More, it is through the development of these skills, that they are also developing Order, Concentration, Coordination, and Independence (OCCI), skills that are essential so that the child can successfully attempt academic work.” In the 1 August 2016 Science Direct Article titled Involving Children in Cooking Activities, A Potential Strategy for Directing Food Choices Towards Novel Foods Containing Vegetables, a direct documented outcome was simply stated:



The cooking session enabled to increase the willingness to taste unfamiliar foods. (5)


Even Prince Charles knows the importance of kids taking pride in the food they prepare for themselves and each other. http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3630908.htm In short, small kids and big kids who engage in meal planning and preparation are not just willing to try new things, because they helped in the creation of said new thing, they emotionally, physically and developmentally benefit, they learn important life skills and they independently make healthier choices for snacks and meals. To learn more about getting children involved in the kitchen, please see the links at the end of this blog.

(6)    NO SUBSTITUTIONS—What can I say. I knowingly sandwiched this one in the middle to diffuse the controversy which will ensue, I am sure. I know this can be scary, especially when you are outnumbered. There is no one way that works for all families, carers, parents and children. However, the following is natural law:

a.       Children will engage in power struggles with their parents or any authority figure

b.       Children have much less to lose and much more to gain by holding out longer than adults

c.       Children have no incentive to try new things if they know there is negotiation or an order of back-up pasta available (if they can just hold out long enough)

 *If you are not willing to see this part through, do not attempt this exercise, it will not work.


(7)    BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL—Make a point of sharing new things you have tried with your kids.          Being a working mother, I take photos of places I go and interesting food that I eat. I share it with my husband, daughter and now young nephews. #waysofstayingconnected #checkoutthisnewfood


(8)    PLAY THE LONG GAME—Even though raw, naturally fermented products help well with gut health, sometimes the idea of “raw kraut” may not sit well with a small one. Buying into the idea that “I like kraut” or “I like pickles” is often the first step. A mother I know opened the mind of her 4-year-old to kraut by including it in his favourite soup. After he was used to eating a little bit in the soup, she offered it to him raw, stating “Remember how much you like it in your soup? Would you like to try a little bit before it goes in the soup?” Sometimes our babies need actual baby steps.


(9)    FANCY FANCY! Who does not like a face paint, a special costume, beautiful princess dress or a special hair do? Celebrate the introduction of a new food item with pomp and circumstance. A special serving dish, candlelight (battery candles are awesome for kids), cloth napkins. Anything to celebrate the specialness of a new food. Celebration makes it more fun and engaging for the whole family. What if it backfires, and kiddo thinks it is ick? I think that disliking a new food is always a ripe opportunity to practice manners and positive communication.


(10) BE PATIENT—many sources document that it takes 5 to 15 times of trying a food for a child to develop a taste for it. And don’t miss the Flavor Window! In the Mon and Scientist Series, Quartz journalists report “Giving a child new foods repeatedly during the flavor window makes it more likely that they will like those foods… [and] more willing to try other new foods.” They go one to say that if the window at around 18 months closes, it can still be pried open through exposure and persistence.


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If your babe is eating solids, you can start introducing bits of fermented foods into bub’s diet. Carley Mendes, Holistic Nutritionist from  Oh Baby Nutrition, outlines benefits, suggested strategies and addresses specific questions about the introduction and consumption of  fermented food and babies. Click on the link to see the whole article.

At Lewis & Son, our ferments are made from long-time family recipes. Our love of food and family drive us to produce food that we are proud to share with you. From Great grandmother to great grandchild, we strive to help you enjoy the tradition of fine local products with the science of wellness and gut-health. Our blogs serve as tools to support our customers in their journey to truly awesome lives!  
























(1)    http://www.eufic.org/en/food-today/article/nutrient-bioavailability-getting-the-most-out-of-food

(2)    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/charity-curley-mathews/kids-and-food_b_1778559.html

(3)    https://www.education.com/magazine/article/importance-routines-preschool-children/

(4)    https://www.talkspace.com/blog/2015/07/why-do-highly-sensitive-people-engage-in-routines/

(5)    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019566631630160X










Lights. Camera. Pickles!

by Yvonne Quincey-de Guzman

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Tastes are changing and so are we. The food we eat while watching a film reflects our movie traditions and our contemporary culinary fads. In recent years, folks hosted parties based on movies or TV shows, serving themed nibbles to add to the ambiance and experience. At Dynasty parties, we drank champagne, during Kath and Kim we ate spray cheese and required all pot-luck items be purchased at 7-11 or a petrol station, and when we got together to watch My Big fat Greek Wedding on DVD, you can guess what was served, grilled lamb and dolmas.  Some movie theatres now offer gourmet food and libations while reclining in luxury. Movies have sprung up reflecting our societies obsession with food, drink and entertainment. Not just individual television shows, but entire TV and cable networks have been dedicated to the art of food and cooking. In a culinary version of The Hunger Games, our children compete against each other for the glory and honor of being superior in the kitchen.  Like fashion, there is a condiment, vegetable, cut of meat and main dish trending at every moment. One minute it is maple syrup, the next it is bacon. When in doubt, eat them together.  As our food and entertainment choices have become so vast, competitive and overlapped, how does a movie-loving foodie avoid a fugue state?

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Keep it simple sweetheart and go back to basics. What is one perfect food which has stood the test of time, region and religion? What delicious, nutritious and fun snack will tickle your brain and your taste buds? Here is a hint. It is has starred in movies for decades, Texans demand them at their movie theaters, certain restaurants and delis would not be in business without them, and their juice is both the latest health and fitness trend and fancy cocktail drink ingredient. Pickles! And what are the best pickles in town, Lewis & Son Traditional Pickled Cucumbers.

In honor of Lewis & Son’s Traditional Pickled Cucumbers being awarded the FODMAP Friendly Certification and Coeliac Association Endorsement, we have curated our favorite pickle themed movies and shorts for you and your family to watch while you enjoy the jade-colored beauties.

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Lewis & Sons List of Top Pickle Appearances on Screen

Crossing Delancy, 1988


The Pickle, 1993


Little Rascals 1994


The Pickle Recipe, 2016


Veggie Tales Dave & the Giant Pickle (For the kids)


Rick and Morty, 2017 (For the teens and young adults)


The Simpsons, 1992


Back to the Future with Sauerkraut

By Yvonne Quincey-de Guzman

The living bacteria in your gut can “talk” to your brain


As we know more about our bodies, our genes and what makes us tick, it is amazing how it all points back to where it started, with our ancestors. We now have new names, fancy articles and scholarly medical reviews for age-old concepts our forbearers knew intuitively. One more time, we go back to the future here at Lewis & Son.

While developing our FODMAP Friendly meat and charcuterie line, we became acutely aware of the importance of bioavailability. To absorb the good nutrients and fats, one’s stomach lining and guts must be healthy. According to board-certified, licensed nutritionist and a professionally-trained chef Monica Reinagel, strategically combining certain foods can actually influence how effectively your body is absorbing the nutrients. If the Lewis & Son team really wanted to complete its mission of bringing delicious, nutritious, top-quality, old-world-style, artisan, grass-fed, locally farmed, smoked and natural meats to the marketplace, and have it be fully appreciated, we would need to create a culinary counterpart to ensure those nutrients would be absorbed, just as the products’ creators intended. People should not only feel good about what they are eating; they should feel good while they were eating it (and 6-14 hours after they eat it). To allow that nutritional gold to be lost down the toilet, total pun intended, would be unethical and a travesty.

Around that same time, remarkable information was flooding the internet, medical journals and talk shows about sauerkraut and ferments. People were blogging. Dieticians, doctors, fitness trainers and health professionals were telling their patients and clients to go eat this miracle curative—Sauerkraut!  Krauts have been reported to support our immune system,; alleviate anxiety, depression, allergies, panic attacks, skin problems, IBS and more.

It only makes sense. Dodger Dogs, New York Hot Dog Carts, Germans, Genghis Kahn and my mother—what do they all have in common? They are all famous for their sauerkraut and sausage combos. Not only do their reputations for excellence and domination on a world stage precede them, they clearly knew something important before any of their contemporaries, sauerkraut and sausages rocks.

Since 7000 BC, krauts and ferments have been a staple in the diets of our distant relatives in Asia. By 200 BC, our European cousins had a line on the goods and joined the fermentation party, sharing the joys of sauerkraut and sausage in cities, towns and all over the countryside. In 1907, the introduction of the concept of ‘probiotic’ is generally attributed to Nobel recipient Élie Metchnikoff. He first suggested the possibility of colonizing the gut with beneficial flora in the early 20th century. 2013 – ‘Psychobiotics’ defined by Timothy G. Dinan, Catherine Stanton, and John F. Cryan, as those living organisms that on sufficient ingestion produces a health benefit in those patients with psychiatric, or neurological, illnesses. July 2016 – A systematic review of 15 human randomized controlled trials found that certain commercially available strains of probiotic bacteria possess treatment efficacy (i.e., improved behavioral outcomes) in certain central nervous system disorders – including anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder – and improved certain aspects of memory. (1) (2) The past, present and future all pointed at sauerkraut, the key in unlocking the bioavailability of that top-shelf Lewis & Son meat.

What would be a better Ginger Rogers for our Fred Astaire? In this case, it is more like Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett. Sauerkraut is, was, and will always be the perfect partner for Lewis & Son FODMAP Friendly meats and charcuterie. Soon we had a line of Lewis & Son krauts to accompany our burgeoning meat range. Why is sauerkraut so fantastic you ask?

The living bacteria in your gut can “talk” to your brain, leading experts to believe that this is the new frontier in neuroscience. The gut microbiome, the collective of all your gut microbes, can manipulate the signals to the brain. The prebiotics and probiotics found in sauerkraut, and other fermented foods, act as Psychobiotics.

Described in Trends in NeuroscienceVolume 39, Issue 11, p763–781, November 2016

Psychobiotics exert anxiolytic and antidepressant effects characterised by changes in emotional, cognitive, systemic, and neural indices. Bacteria–brain communication channels through which psychobiotics exert effects include the enteric nervous system and the immune system.

Dysfunction in the gut-brain axis and disruptions to gut health have been linked to psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disorders. In these modern times, we have reason to be concerned.  Disruption to the balance of gut bacteria (called dysbiosis) is commonplace due to the use of antibiotics, medication exposures, poor food and water quality, artificial preservatives, gluten, herbicides, stress, and infection. (3) (4) (5) (6)

Jo Grabyn, of Bounce Matters - Brain & Mental Health, An Integrative Approach, in Manly NSW, advocates in her practice that a key factor in the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s is through gut health, specifically krauts and ferments. Her favorite Lewis & Son ferment is the Beetroot Kraut, just ask her.

Not all krauts are FODMAP Friendly or gluten free. Some are pasteurized, which kills the good bacteria, and some have additives and other artificial ingredients. To reap the psychbiotic effects of sauerkraut, it is best to consume natural, raw, lacto-fermented krauts and ferments, like any in our Lewis & Son range. If you are you are on a low FODMAP diet,  Lewis & Son Sauerkraut has just received the world’s first and only FODMAP Friendly Certification for a sauerkraut. Also, endorsed by the Coeliac Association, this tasty and gluten-free sauerkraut will heal your gut and be responsive to your personal needs. Strong, sensitive and smells good—what more do you want in a sauerkraut?

Krauts are easy and versatile to work into your eating plan. Eat as a snack or side dish. Use as a condiment or mix into your favorite salad. On a sandwich, with eggs or served with sausage, sauerkraut is loyal follower you can rely on anywhere, anytime, anyplace. Like a good book, close friendship or favorite song, sauerkraut stands the test of time and just keeps getting better.

So next time you are feeling a bit low, foggy or anxious, go back to ancient history and remember the kraut. The average German eats nearly 2kg of sauerkraut a year. Koreans eat just over 22kg person, per year. You only need a couple of forkfuls per day to keep your tummy and guts ticking over. Pyschbiotics, who knew our future would be rooted in our past.S

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probiotic

2: http://neurohacker.com/psychobiotics-bacteria-brighten-mood

3: Anxiety and Depression: Linkages with Viral Diseases. Coughlin, S. Public Health Reviews34(2), 92.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4175921/

4: Anxiety and Panic Attacks – Causes and Corrections. Wilson, L. (2016).http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/ANXIETY.HTM

5: Linking Clostridium difficile infection with depression. Purslow, C. (2001). Public Health Reviews, (8):763. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24137729

6: The Brain-Gut Connection: A Link between Depression and common hospital-acquired infection. Mostafavi, B. (2013). http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201305/brain-gut-connection-link-between-depression-and-common




In honour of this fantastic blog by Yvonne, we are offering 25% off the already low price of our Wild Fermented & Raw,Sauerkraut via our webstore.

10 Reasons You Should Consider Drinking Pickle Juice

by Yvonne Quincey-de Guzman


One sunny weekend afternoon while visiting friends in Melbourne, I was offered a micro-brew and homemade liverwurst on rye. How could I resist? My eyes widened and salivary glands started pumping. Gorgeous, glistening, green slices of deliciousness adorned the open-faced sandwiches, pickling spices tickled my nose. Growing up in Southern California and living a good portion of my life in the San Fernando Valley, West Coast deli capital of America, combined with my father’s Brooklyn, New York heritage, I can sniff out a good deli pickle from a mile away, no matter what country I am visiting. I instinctively knew they were going to be excellent pickles, even before I tasted their greatness.

Little did I know, these pickles would change my life.

Little did I know, these pickles would change my life. I took a bite and my childhood flashed before my eyes. Epigenetics kicked in and this ancient pickle affinity seemed to be in my DNA, as natural as blood coursing through my veins. My friend explained to me that these were the pickles in her husband’s new Lewis and Son range. I jokingly said that if I ever quit my day job, I would sell those pickles. Three years later, I am selling those pickles, and have been for over a year now.

I loved those pickles then because they reminded me of the most precious memories from my youth and reinforced the magic of food, family traditions and recipes passed down through generations. I love these pickles now because they have been shown to be part of a healthy diet and are giving us a new twist on food, drink and culinary inventiveness. We are mixing the science and medicine of food with the creativity of this generation’s artisan foodies and mixologists. As we dive more and more into the advantages of fermented foods, pickle juice has popped up with some surprise benefits and uses.

Here are 10 reasons to give that pickle juice in the jar a second look.

  1. ANTIOXIDANTS Pickle juice contains two key antioxidants, vitamins C and E, shielding your body from free radicals. We are exposed to these damaging molecules every day. Having plenty of antioxidants in our diets helps our bodies eradicate those harmful agents. Vitamins C and E boost your immune system’s function, amongst other roles they play in nourishing the body.
  2. BOOST YOUR GUT HEALTH Fermented foods, including pickle juice, have been shown to encourage the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora in your gut. In an article featured in the Huffington Post’s 21 February 2017 edition, gut health may be the key to preventing Alzheimer’s. In a John Hopkins School of Medicine article titled, The Brain Gut Connection, “Anxiety and depression have been thought to contribute to gastro conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).” It goes on to say “the brain is your gut” and there are many other health conditions related to gut health from allergies to type 2 diabetes. It would just make sense to want our guts healthy. Ferments, together with their juices, have been shown repeatedly in many studies, to support gut health and increase our body’s ability to absorb good nutrients. By consuming ferments and improving gut health, the bio-availability of other foods increases too. There is no point spending good money on top quality food if our bodies cannot absorb those healthy nutrients due to poor gut health. The John Hopkins article also commented that people who start eating a diet high in raw fermented foods reverse the course of cancer, stop diabetes in its tracks, and notice an increased level of heart fitness. If pickle juice could talk it would say, “How do you like me now!”
  3. HELPS CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS The lactic and acetic acids in fermented foods, including pickle juice, block carbohydrates from entering the blood and turning into blood sugar, reducing spikes. These benefits can carry over to the next meal, but that’s not all. Every culture has a long tradition of fermented and raw foods. These foods provide for healthy intestinal flora and decrease the load on your pancreas and liver. There is something to be found in those universal truisms. When nearly every culture throughout recorded time has had some form of fermented food as part of their diet, it is something to be seriously considered.
  4. SOOTHES MUSCLE CRAMPS Some athletes have known about the secret health benefits of pickle juice for decades. Dehydrated men experienced faster relief from muscle cramps after drinking pickle juice, according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. About 1/3 cup of pickle juice is all it took to have this effect. Pickle juice relieved cramps more than drinking the same amount of water. It also helped more than drinking nothing at all.
  5. STAY HYDRATED When exercising hard, more than an hour, or in hot climates, water may simply not be enough. Drinking something with sodium and potassium can help you get hydrated faster. Sodium is an electrolyte that you lose when you sweat. Potassium is another electrolyte depleted in sweat. Did you know that you can recover from your workout more quickly by taking a sip of some pickle juice? High in sodium and rich in potassium, pickle juice can help your body return to its normal electrolyte levels more expediently and effectively than water alone. Watching your sodium intake or on a low-sodium diet? Be sure to check with your doctor and dietitian about pickle juice before drinking it.
  6. SUGAR FREE RECOVERY AID Sugary sports drinks are high in calories, artificial colours and preservatives. And if you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably not too psyched about consuming high-calorie sports drinks. Pickle juice to the rescue! Pickle juice contains no fat, but it can have some calories. It can have anywhere from zero to 100 calories per 1-cup serving. The number of calories depends on what’s in the pickling solution. We aren’t saying ditch the water, but when you need a quick boost, sugar is not the answer, try so pickle juice instead.
  7. GARLIC IS GOOD Lewis and Son’s Traditional Pickled Cucumbers contain garlic as a main ingredient in our pickling spices. The Sulphur-containing compound, Allicin, found in fresh, crushed or chewed garlic has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and some startling claims mention that it may help prevent some forms of cancer too. Garlic is also enriched with Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc.
  8. SWEETENS YOUR BREATH You thought the garlic was going to keep both vampires and people away? That is half right. It is the bacteria in your mouth that causes the bad breath. The potent antibacterial qualities of pickle juice neutralize those nasty bacteria and freshens breath, while maintaining its effectiveness with the undead.
  9. BOOST METABOLISM Garlic, pepper, cloves and allspice, have all been known to boost metabolism and support the immune system. Drinking a small amount of pickle juice can help get the blood flowing, and some have even claimed weight loss benefits.
  10. COST EFFECTIVE If you already eat pickles, you have a win-win! Save money on sports drinks, drink mixers, salad dressings and dips by utilizing your refrigerator gold. There are companies out there selling just pickle juice, without the pickles. I know right!

I was in the States last month visiting friends and family in California. Whiskey Pickle-Backs were all the rage at many of the establishments we frequented. A healthy and scrumptious drink mix you say? Yes, I do! Try a Bloody Mary made with pickle juice next time you are having a fun Sunday brunch. Per tastingtable.com, it’s the sugar in drinks that is partially to blame for giving you a hangover together with dehydration. Mitigate tomorrow’s headache naturally. The salt and water in pickle juice assists in fighting dehydration. Dehydration from alcohol consumption contributes to the hangover experience. So, skip the sugar and dehydration, at Lewis & Son, we are fundamentally against hangovers and for feeling groovy. Have an excellent time the Lewis & Son way with a few new cocktail ideas using pickle juice.

Here are 7 Pickle Juice Based Cocktails to try:

The New Pickleback- The standard traditional pickle-whiskey combo works fine, but since you can pickle anything, you might as well utilize the juice from your alternative creations, too. Try a shot of your favorite spirit followed by the brine from pickled watermelon rind (watermelon rind left in Lewis and Son Pickle juice over night or longer) or a little Lewis and Son Preserved Lemon juice and some fizzy water, or both if you like. Leave a little bit of the luscious red watermelon flesh on the rind, it gives a slightly sweet undertone to the freshness of the rind and the saltiness of the pickle juice (and it makes the drink a pretty colour).

Pickle Infused Vodka- Combine decent vodka and pickle juice in a 3 to 1 ratio. Throw in a pickle slice or two and pinch of fresh herbs, like dill, basil, rosemary, or crushed red peppers, if you are so inclined. Choose one herb here, as to avoid overpowering the concoction. Think subtlety here and err on the side of being conservative. More is not better. These small additions will add beauty and flavour to an already divine brew. Let it sit in a dark place for a few days and serve it over ice. If you are feeling swanky, drink it from a chilled martini glass with a slice of pickle and a single slice of Lewis & Son Pickled Red Onion. Go on get the slice of garlic out of the bottom of the pickle jar too. It is fun to experiment with garnishes and different combinations. I do like a good fancy drink. It is a feast for the eyes not just the tongue.

Fisherman’s Folly- Fish sauce and pickle juice make this funky cocktail a far cry from the fruity drinks you’re used to. The matcha powder gives it a slight creaminess, and grapefruit juice adds a citrus tang that works well with the sake-and-gin base. See our Recipe Section on the Lewis & Son website for instructions on making this drink. (insert link here)

Spicy Bloody Mary- This cocktail is just asking for it. Spicy pickle juice is the yin to the yang of the sweet tomato base. Funk it up with a curl of carrot and a stalk of celery. Though the best garnish for this drink, in my opinion, is a couple of Lewis & Son Dilly Beans. With all the health benefits of pickle juice, it is practically a salad in a glass. This is the time to go a little crazy with the garnish, if you were looking for that opportunity. At brunch in San Francisco a few years ago, I was served a Bloody Mary with a 20 cm tall garnish towering over the glass, complete with striped, extra-long bendy straw. Want to impress? Toss a steamed prawn or two on the garnish skewer with a slice of lemon or lime and call it a Seafood Bloody Mary. I would like to order mine with a dab or horseradish please. I like it extra spicy.

Charred Spring Onion Gibson— Place cleaned and charred (on BBQ or stovetop) spring onions in pickle juice overnight. Take 2 ounces of gin and 1 ounce of dry vermouth and pour over ice. Mix for 30 seconds and strain into a glass. Drop a charred, and now pickled, spring onion into the glass. Bonus Tip: Toss any extra pickle liquid into salad dressings or dips.

Pickle Martini— A dirty martini with pickle or pickle slices instead of olives.

Pickled Tequila Shots— Instead of salt, tequila and a wedge of lemon, try a sip of pickle juice, tequila and a slice of lemon or lime. If you want it muy caliente, stick a whole dried chili or a fresh jalapeño in your reserve pickle juice. The longer you leave it in, the hotter it will be.

Pickles have been around for centuries, the Lewis Family has been making fine food for decades. Join the next generation of pickle enthusiasts and try some new healthy ways (and not so healthy, depending on how many cocktails you have) to enjoy pickles and their precious juice. Lewis & Son Pickles and other products can be found on our website, in our webstore and in your local wholefoods and independent grocers. Check out our Facebook page and Instagram.

Send us your favourite pickle and/or pickle juice recipe together with a high resolution (or best you can) photo or two and we will send you a jar of Lewis & Son Pickles. Please send all submissions to yvonne@lewisandson.com.au. All submissions become the property of Lewis & Son and may be used for promotional and marketing purposes by Lewis & Son. We look forward to seeing your marvellous creations!

Head to the store now and buy some pickles

Photo Credit: Sean Lorre Source: The Five O'Clock Cocktail Blog

Photo Credit: Sean Lorre
Source: The Five O'Clock Cocktail Blog

Support Independent. Support Local. Support Pete

Pete, of Superior Fruit has a stunning shop deeply ingrained in the community of Graceville.

Pete is an old school fruiterer that heads to the markets himself to ensure he gets the best possible produce for his clients. His shelves, fridges, and freezers are also filled with thousands of exotic and hard to find ingredients, including truffles, porcini, bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, cheeses fit for royalty, and home made pies, lasagna, crisps and much, much more.

Whilst the big guys may have the marketing dollar that draws the Masterchef shopper, the produce doesn't quite match. Shop where the real gourmands concoct their magic. Superior Fruit indeed stocks superior products; not just product that is commercially viable.

We are passionately independent and support this through our independent stockists. We supply to stores where the dollars you spend goes back into the pocket of an Australian family. Your dollars should be going to buying a bike for a store owners daughters birthday present, not buying an eighth investment property for a director on the board.

Superior Fruit stocks a wide range of our wild fermented veggies including Sauerkraut, Kale Kraut, Beetroot Kraut, Kimchi, Beetroot Kimchi, Rockin'Out Brocco Kraut, and Cauli-Flower-Power. He also ranges our FODMAP Friendly, Gluten Free smallgoods made from all Australian grass fed beef - Viennas, Kabana, Salami and Pariser


Dining out for a meal at a restaurant is a delicious and fun experience. For some though, it is not always the best choice for managing the waist line. Did you know that cooking at home can help with weight loss and make a difference in your overall health results? But how, you ask? Check out the 5 key reasons you should consider cooking meals at home when you want to shed the extra kilos. We have included some healthy hacks to make it easy for you too.

  1. HIGHER CONSUMPTION OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES We are most likely to carry a few extra kilos when we do not hit out daily target of fruit and vegetables. A recent study has shown that people who eat meals prepared away from home more often, have higher BMIs (Body Mass Index) and percentage of body fat, and eat less fruit and vegetables than recommended in a healthy eating plan. Aim for 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day. A single serving of vegetables is a cup of salad or ½ cup of cooked vegetables. A single serving of fruit is 1 medium piece of something like an apple or banana or 2 small pieces of something like a kiwi fruit or apricots. HEALTHY HACK—Fill half of your plate with veggies that are low in starch such as baby spinach, rocket, broccoli, celery, tomato, capsicum and zucchini to help increase your vegetable intake and fill you up with healthy fiber. Low FODMAP ferments can also spice things up and make a great side dish or addition to salads and cooked veg.
  2. LESS ADDED KILOJOULES Did you know that many restaurant, takeaway and café meals are much higher in added sugar, salt and fat than the meals we prepare at home? Many of these establishments use fully prepared and semi-prepared foods as the base to much of what is served. This processing requires artificial colours, additives and preservatives in addition to higher levels of sugar, salt and fat to maintain freshness and flavour. Extra sugar and fat also means extra kilojoules, making weight management even more of a challenge. We do need some healthy fats in our diets. At home, fat types and amounts can be controlled along with sugar, salt, additives and preservatives, leaving you in the driver’s seat of your weight loss and health journey. Recent research indicates that high fat and high sugar diets can reduce the variety of healthy bacteria in our gut. Whilst this research is still emerging, it seems that an increased variety of gut bacteria is necessary to stabilize and manage weight. HEALTHY HACK—Include moderate amounts of healthy fats from things such as nuts, seeds, avocado olive oil and fish.
  3. MORE CONTROL OVER PORTIONS Cooking at home allows us to manage portion size more easily and accurately. Most of us have experienced sitting down to a meal at a café and being awed by the sheer enormity of it. Sandwiches that no mere mortal could fit their mouths around, not even Mick Jagger, beg us to dance with the devil and try to eat it all in one sitting. Many of us feel guilty and use excuses like “I don’t want to waste it.” Some of my male report it feels like it is a point of manhood to eat every scrap on the plate. Even when we order healthy items from the menu, the portions can often exceed our personal portion requirements, making weight management difficult. HEALTHY HACK—As a general guide, use your hand to help work out your personal portion requirements. Approximately 1 palm sized portion of meat, 1 fist of grains or starchy vegetables and 2 cupped hands of salad or low starch veggies will fit the bill. Please remember that some individuals may require more or less, depending on activity levels and body size.

With the frequency of food intolerances on the rise, taking these into account is important, and sometimes a matter of life or death. Eating at home makes it much easier to monitor and manage food intolerances, as you know exactly what goes into each delicious morsel of food. This in turn can positively reflect in our weight management, as eating foods we do not tolerate well can be a barrier to losing weight, for a myriad of reasons.

HEALTHY HACK—If you suspect that you, family member or friend has an intolerance, get in touch with as Accredited Practicing Dietitian to help you figure it out. A dietitian can also help you maintain as much variety in your diet as possible, while avoiding foods that make you feel uncomfortable.

  1. GIVES YOU MORE TIME When you are organised and have all the ingredients you need on hand and ready to go, a healthy meal can be on the table in as little as 10 minutes. In the great culinary tradition, the term is called Mise en place (French pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]). Mise en Place is a French culinary phrase which means "everything in its place." It refers to the set up required before cooking, and is often used ensure that meals can be quickly and easily prepared when they are ordered by a guest at a restaurant. This practice of being prepared is also essential to ensure your success at home. It saves the last-minute decision making of what to eat or “too hard” paving the way for us to choose the easy take away option. Take away food also takes time, between the driving to get it, the ordering and the wait time. This amount of time could be an hour or more. Even just freeing up an extra 20 minutes could be the difference in liberating time for a walk or some other physical activity. This increased activity can also play a significant role in weight management.

HEALTHY HACK—Plan meals for the week ahead of time so that trips to the shops are limited to once or twice a week. Being organised makes healthy foods choices quick and easy, reducing stress and making weight management much easier.

Best Low FODMAP Protein Sources by Chloe McLeod, APD

When following a low FODMAP diet, one of the most challenging things is having so many foods on the ‘no’ list. We have focused a lot on vegetables and fruit, but what about protein sources? Are they something to watch out for?

Luckily, most animal based protein sources are naturally low FODMAP. Beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, kangaroo, fish… As they are, each of these are low FODMAP. The only way they become high FODMAP is if high FODMAP ingredients, such as onion and garlic, are added to them.

I have noticed for many of the people coming through my door, meat is assumed to be a big part of the problem; however in many cases, once the low FODMAP diet is commenced, these problems seems to dissipate.

What about though if you are vegetarian? Or vegan? There are still great options. Easy to access ones here in Australia include tofu and tempeh. Whilst both of these are soy based, they are considered low FODMAP. Some types of legumes are more well tolerated than others as well, for example canned brown lentils are usually tolerated quite well, whilst small amounts (quarter cup) of chickpeas also may be tolerated. With nuts, they are all tolerated ok, apart from pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts and almonds. One of the most common things I hear is ‘but they are all my favourites!’

Eggs are another vegetarian suitable option, and can make eating out for breakfast, or a quick, healthy, low cost dinner much easier.

What about milk? And cheese? The way most cheeses are processed, they actually contain very little lactose. Whilst in some cases, some people are very sensitive, it is also possible that you are either intolerant to dairy itself, don’t digest fat well, or maybe even be amine intolerant, a compound found in cheese, particularly the old, stinky types.

Lactose free milk is a great option, as is lactose free yoghurt. Alternatively, plant based milks such as soy milk (made from soy protein, not whole beans), almond milk (as is only 2% almonds) or rice milk are all appropriate alternatives.

Traditional Cucumbers pickled the old-fashioned way

Traditional Cucumbers pickled the old-fashioned way; in a salt water brine with our signature blend of spices including allspice, clove and a garlic and cayenne kick.  These crispy, Full-Sours are made from non-GMO cucumbers and grown with no chemical fertilisers or pesticides in the Barossa Valley (with its fabulous terroir).  They undergo a lactic acid fermentation process for a minimum of six weeks and are awash with billions of beneficial bacteria conducive to good gut health.  They are unpasteurised to maintain their benefits and have no added vinegar.  These are a real pickle!

Available from the following pickle supporters:

Aunt Maggie's Malvern - 72 Glenferrie Rd. Malvern - (03) 9500 2129

Geelong Fresh Foods - 171 Pakington Street, Geelong West  - (03) 5221 6004

Lewis & Son HQ - 155 Glenferrie Rd. Malvern - (03) 9509 9822

Naturally on High - 697-699 High Street, Thornbury - (03) 9484 7131

Superfruit Organic - 230 Waterdale Rd. Ivanhoe - (03) 9497 1055

Natural Pariser to add to our delicious range of FODMAP Friendly, Gluten Free Charcuterie

A delicious and nutritious, finely textured deli meat does make friends with salads.  Best suited for sandwiches or sneaky snacks -  but be warned, snacks may result in empty packets at rates quicker than anticipated.

Naturally made with care for conscious continental tastes. This Natural Pariser was made from premium quality grass fed beef that had a good life roaming free in lush paddocks with no hormone growth promotants. The meat was carefully prepared and mixed with the finest blend of continental herbs and spices and naturally smoked with German Beech Wood.  They are gluten free with endorsement from Coeliac Australia.  They have no artificial flavours,  colours,  preservatives, fillers, phosphates or any other nasties. They are suitable for folk with fructose or lactose intolerances, paleo diets, and is the first meat product in  the  world  to  be  certified  FODMAP  friendly.

Now available at the following outlets:

  • Lewis & Son HQ - 155 Glenferrie Rd. Malvern, VIC (03) 9509 9822

  • Sunnybrook Health Foods - 553a North Rd. Ormond, VIC - (03) 9578 6400

  • Karve It Up Meats & Fine Food - Shop 119, Level 1, Greensborough Plaza, Greensborough, VIC - (03) 9461 5111

  • Taste Organic - 25 Falcon Street, Crows Nest, NSW - (02) 9437 5933

Health for Life Kitchen recognises Lewis & Son's devotion to good health

Health for Life Kitchen™ have just run a cracking little article on your favourite (and only) artisans making FODMAP Friendly, Gluten Free, all natural Charcuterie.  Have a read about it here:


Health for Life Kitchen™ is owned and managed by a group of individuals who are passionate about recipes and food for special dietary conditions and good health.  Following many years of publishing healthy cookbooks for prominent Authors such as Dr Sue Shepherd – the leading Dietician in Coeliac Disease, Melinda Morrison – Diabetes Educator, Rick Grant (aka Uncle Rick) – leading Gluten Free Chef in Australia today, Joanne Turner – one of Sydney’s top Sports Nutritionists and Exercise Physiologists, together with a number of other talented Authors, they decided it was time for a website that is devoted to dietary conditions and good health.  They are committed to building a second to none recipe resource for dietary conditions and food for good health, as well as providing a Membership area where Members can access exclusive competitions and offers, as well as share their recipes, tips and ideas.


Billy Joel knows it. When will you realise, Vienna waits for you?

Well, hot dog!  Those on a variety of diets such as Paleo, Coeliac, Low FODMAP often site the foods they miss.  Amongst the lists is always the humble hot dog.

Lewis & Son's Natural Vienna is the hottest hot dog in town.  We are talking the first hot dog in the world to be certified FODMAP Friendly, and by no less than guru Sue Shepherd's certification body.  It is certified as Glatt Kosher by Kosher Australia, and is Gluten Free and endorsed by Coeliac Australia.

They are made from beef that roamed free in lush paddocks and fed only on grass, and were not subjected to any hormone growth promotants.  They contain meat and spices.  They contain no artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, fillers, or phosphates.  They also happen to taste great.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Vienna waits for you.

Stockists in Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney can be found at www.lewisandson.com.au/welcome

Sauerkraut, a work of art

Sauerkraut, a work of art

"The Art of Fermentation" is the book by Sandor "Sandorkraut" Katz.  This art form is the medium of choice for these beautiful cabbages that would otherwise have been framed and hung in a gallery.  Though without the addition of salt these cabbages may not have been beautiful for all too long, hence where lacto-fermentation comes in and with its transformative process makes the beautiful cabbage into gorgeous Sauerkraut.  Special thanks to the passionate Aphrodite of Kinglake Vegetables who farms vegetables with love and no chemicals.

The Benefits of Red Meat

We had a nice write up in the healthy living section of the Australian Jewish News this week. Our own Larisa Ulianitsky, BSc(Hons), MSc, MAIFST and Quality Assurance Assistant Bala Chander, B.Tech (Biotechnology), MSc Biotechnology (Food Science) weigh in on the subject. These professionals really do ensure the quality of the meat products you know and love and are an asset to the company.