Frequently Asked Questions
What's in Firefly's fermented foods?
We don’t add anything to our fermented foods other than organic vegetables, herbs, spices and sea salt. There are no preservatives or added cultures, just our hard work and love for great food that will nourish every customer.
Who should eat fermented foods?
Everyone! The health benefits of fermented foods are beneficial to everyone, unless you have an existing condition and your doctor tells you otherwise. The probiotics in fermented foods may help digestion, immune function, nutrient absorption and more!
Are Firefly's products heated or pasteurized?
No, all of Firefly's fermented foods are raw and lacto-fermented. In other words, the process of lacto-fermentation with the lactobacillus strain of good bacteria preserves them naturally - without the need for heat, vinegar or other preservative methods. These same bacteria are part of the reason fermented foods are so good for your health.
Are Firefly's fermented foods vegan and gluten-free?
YES! All of our products are made with 100% vegan and gluten-free ingredients.
What should I do with the brine?
The brine is both a natural preservative and an excellent digestive tonic. While you're still enjoying your kraut, make sure you keep enough brine in the jar to submerge the vegetables. This will help keep the fermented foods good for a longer period of time. Then, when you've finished your fermented veggies, use the brine in dressings or sauces, or drink it straight for a potent digestive boost.
Are there any side effects to eating fermented foods?
Because many people are deficient in good bacteria and digestive enzymes, introducing them to your system can cause more rapid digestion and bloat or gas. This is normal and healthy and will go away after your body is restored to a more balanced and efficient mode of digestion. We recommend that people who have never eaten fermented foods start with smaller portions while re-building their digestive health.
How should I eat my fermented foods?
Enjoy your fermented foods on your favorite sandwich, wrap, salad, baked potato, egg scramble, rice bowl or anything else of your fancy. You can even enjoy them on their own as a side dish to your main meal. Check out our new cookbook, Fresh & Fermented, for over 80 recipes using fermented foods, and follow us on Facebook for daily recipe ideas and tips.
To get the maximum bang for your buck eat at least a tablespoon of our fermented foods a day with your meal to help build digestive health while adding a vibrant flavor to your dish. Just a tablespoon of our product contains billions of digestive enzymes and probiotics that will immediately get to work healing and nurturing your body every day.
How much salt is in your products?
The amount of salt in each serving is small. Salt is a necessary ingredient in the fermentation process; preserving the food for the first few days of of while the good bacteria get to work. We only use high quality Celtic sea salt, which is actually very nourishing for the body in moderation. For more information about the health benefits of salt check out some of the new information being published about the positive side of the salt debate.
I can't get the lid off, what do I do?
Because our products continue to ferment after the jarring process, pressure from gas produced during fermentation can result in difficulty opening the lid.
We suggest you run hot water over the edge of the lid for 20 seconds and give it another try. You can also try letting the jar rest on the counter for a few minutes. The change in temperature may relieve the pressure and allow you to open the jar more easily.
How should I store my fermented foods after purchase?
Keep your Firefly Kitchens’ ferments in the refrigerator.
If you are traveling or are not able to chill the jars for a short amount of time, or even up to 2-3 days, the product will not be harmed. (Refrigeration simply halts the fermentation process that happens at room temperature.) In this case, simply keep the jars out of direct sunlight and heat, and refrigerate the jar when you can.
How long will my fermented foods last after opening?
Firefly ferments last for months in the refrigerator. The ‘Best By’ date on the seal tab of the jar is a good guide to how long our products maintain optimal flavor and texture. After that date, the texture and flavors of the kraut may change over time, but it is still good to eat.
Keep all your fermented products chilled after purchase, try not to introduce any foreign substance to the jar (no double-dipping), and make sure the product is kept below the brine (liquid) level in the jar to prevent spoilage and to maximize freshness.
We, of course, suggest that you trust your best judgement to decide whether or not your jar is still good to eat.
Can I double dip?
No. If you like to eat straight-out-of-the-jar, use a clean utensil to scoop the product out. A utensil that has touched your mouth, a cutting board, or the floor can introduce other strains of bacteria to the fermented food and cause the product to mold or spoil.
When I opened my jar, it was bubbling. Is it still safe to eat?
Yes! Firefly ferments are a living food, and bubbles, a product of active fermentation, can still still occur in each jar. The product is completely safe to eat, but the pressure build-up from the bubbling and overflow of the brine can be a nuisance. Simply opening the jar once in a while will release the pressure and reduce the potential for any mess.
What specific strains of bacteria are present in your products?
Firefly products are made with all organic vegetables, and are fermented for at least four weeks. Because of the wild fermentation occurring in each batch, we are certain there is a healthy amount of lactic acid bacteria present in each serving, but we are unable to test for or guarantee the presence of individual bacteria strains.
Can I order your products online?
Yes! We ship our products anywhere in the United States. Please visit our Online Store.