Dec 12 2014

Episode 17 – Melanie Hoffman of Pickle Me Too

Episode 17 - Melanie Hoffman of Pickle Me Too

I talked to Melanie Hoffman of the blog Pickle Me Too and what a great conversation we had on several different topics from how what you eat and drink can affect your gut health and how diets like the GAPS diet can actually help with things like autism.

We go into many other things like the wonderful pickles she makes, several different fermented beverages like water kefir, kombucha, cider and even on other topics having to do with homeschooling such as the trivium of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. There’s a lot of other conversation mixed in like health in general and a bit on food safety and mold.

She has such a kind heart and truly wants to help people gain back their health and hopes her story can also help others.



  • How did the blog Pickle Me Too get its name?
  • How a diagnosis of autism with Melanie’s first son got her started on the path to discovering how food can alleviate the symptoms of autism with the SCD Diet (or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet), then transitioning him to a gluten-free, casein-free diet, and now finally a gluten-free real food diet
  • Melanie talks about one of her goals is to help people who might be having the same problems with autism and how the GAPS diet (or Gut and Psychology Syndrome) can help and the main differences between the SCD diet and the GAPS diet
  • What Melanie’s family’s eating style today is and the term JERF (Just Eat Real Food) while avoiding gluten protein from any of the gluten containing grains
  • Melanie’s long history making fermented foods starting with yogurt and moving onto sauerkraut and how the her Pickle Me Too website got started in the first place with a “one ferment a week” project
  • Some of Melanie’s favorite ferments including pickled cauliflower, green beans, and curtido
  • How some ferments like cauliflower and garlic put off a powerful “off-putting” smell
  • Melanie’s previous method of homemade air locks with Tattler lids and the air-lock method that she prefers today of a glass jar with a hole drilled in the top
  • How she started off like a lot of people using whey to get ferments going and then realized that you don’t need a starter on fresh fruits and vegetables since they already contain enough on their own and of a different type
  • Using an air lock to discourage mold growth and how some people have gut issues from consuming ferments where they’ve scraped mold off of their ferments and also Melanie’s “good, better, best” idea of fermenting things in terms of health
  • She describes her and her husband’s homestead on their 15 acres, 2 of which they rent out to farmers following organic methods and some of the things they produce and then ferment like green beans
  • The idea of using local farmers markets to gather your fermentables and then return back in a couple weeks and selling those different pickles you can make for a profit
  • Melanie runs through how she makes a perpetual broth to help ward off the season flu
  • She also talks us through how she makes her hot sauce that she ages for one whole year and how she makes it by the gallons
  • Dairy ferments are also a regular staple in her household such as dairy kefir and yogurt
  • Melanie talks about the large amount of experience she’s had making kombucha and several other fermented beverages like water kefir and how they rotate back and forth between them
  • She describes the flavor difference between kombucha and water kefir and also the extreme differences in fermentation times between the two popular drinks and also gives a tip on how to get your kombucha fizzy when you’re bottling it
  • We talk a bit on the alcohol in kombucha, water kefir, and other alcohol type of drinks she’s made including hard ciders and wine actually using kefir grains
  • Making a sourdough bread starter using kombucha or water kefir
  • The controversial topic of how kombucha doesn’t actually have as much probiotics as people think it does and how water & dairy kefir has huge amounts as seen in a microscope by Melanie
  • A bit on the topic of homeschooling your kids and how teaching them the valuable skill of “how to think” rather than “what to think” using grammar, rhetoric, and logic is extremely valuable
  • Melanie gives some advice for people just getting into fermentation who are nervous about it and also how to start kids early on fermented foods and drinks
  • Some of her thoughts on meat ferments like fish sauce and possibly future endeavors into other types of ferments like natto and soybean & rice ferments like miso and tempeh






I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s show so be sure to comment below or if you have an idea for the show, email me at paul at fermentationpodcast.com or just click on the Contact button on top of this page and fill out the form. I look forward to hearing from you!

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