Book Review and Giveaway: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods

This month at Real Food for Less Money we are focusing on methods and ideas for keeping or getting our food budgets as low as possible.  While I had fully intended to do this book review several months ago (I received the book for review in May but with all my traveling this summer did not get to the review) it fits perfect for this month’s focus. By fermenting vegetables, fruit, meats and more you can not only preserve your foods but also increase the nutritional value of those foods while being very budget friendly.  If you have been wanting to try fermenting but have been hesitant then you need to keep reading.

While I’m just now getting to doing the ‘official’ review of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods by Wardeh Harmon, I did actually tear into the book as soon as I received it! Feeling quite familiar with fermenting through my own experience and also through taking Wardeh’s online eCourses for fermenting I was excited to have a hard copy of Wardeh’s fermentation book. I have to tell you that this book went way beyond my expectations. I expected it to be good, even very good, but it is GREAT.

First, it is nearly 300 pages. In those pages we get a history of fermentation, supplies needed for fermentation, instructions and recipes galore.  We learn how to not only how ferment vegetables and fruit but beans, meat, grains and condiments. Plus how to make sodas, cheeses and even beer!

Wardeh has such a wonderful style to her writing.  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods is easy to read, understand and follow. If you are new to the concept of fermenting, Wardeh will take you through the process in an easy to understand manner. If you are experienced at fermenting you will love all of the new recipes to try!  This book truly has something for everyone.

In addition to all of the terrific recipes and ideas that this book presents, I also really enjoyed learning about the history of fermenting.  This short excerpt is just a sample of that history.

“Fermentation-traditional methods of preserving and improving foods- gave us our first breads, wines, and cheeses. As early as 4000 B.C.E., Egyptians likely discovered grain fermentation, also known as sourdough leavening, by accident. After leaving a bundle of dough in a warm place for a little too ling, they saw that the dough had risen. They couldn’t know what had happened, though: beneficial yeasts and bacteria consumed sugars in the flour, giving off gases that caused the dough to rise. When they baked the puffy, warm lump of dough, they probably enjoyed the pleasant sour flavor or noticed an improvement in how their bodies digested the bread.”

Fermented foods have a rather large role in the diet of my family.  We strive to enjoy something fermented with each meal while at home. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods has really helped spur ideas for fermented dishes.  And this book came in quite handy when we were preparing for a two week vacation/road trip at the start of summer.  I made several of the ferments in advance to take along and even fermented ‘on the road’ using recipes from Wardeh’s book.

Fermenting foods can help stretch your food dollars. How you ask?  When your neighbor asks you to help her with all of the zucchini running out her ears you can accept with excitement knowing that in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods there is not just one but two recipes for fermenting zucchini. You can eat that wonderful zucchini for most (if not all) of the winter! When you come across a great deal on something like apples once again you’ll have several fermenting recipes to preserve those apples.  And remember, preserving through fermenting increases the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and is beneficial to gut health.

You can sample or purchase The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods by clicking here.


Wardeh has generously offered one copy of her book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods (in paperback) as a giveaway for Real Food for Less Money readers.

How can you enter to win? This giveaway/sweepstakes offers 5 different entry options. Be sure to leave a separate comment for each task to maximize your entries. One comment equals one entry. You can do 1 task or all 5. 


1. Leave a comment, on this post, sharing what you most look forward to learning in this book.


2. Subscribe to receive email updates/newsletter from Real Food for Less Money (this blog)

When you sign up for my newsletter you’ll also have access to my free eBook. Read more about that here.


3. Subscribe to receive email updates from GNOWFGLINS (author Wardeh Harmon’s website)


4. “Like” Real Food for Less Money on facebook


5. “Like” GNOWFGLINS on facebook


The Details/Fine Print


This giveaway is for a paperback copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods and is open to residents of US/Canada. This Giveaway/Sweepstakes will close on Monday, October 8, 2012 at 9PM Mountain time. The winner will be drawn via and announced on Wednesday, October 10. You must be 18 or over to enter. This is a sweepstakes and the winner will be chosen at random. The winner will be announced  and sent an email. Winner must contact me within 48 hours. Void where prohibited by law.


Be sure to leave a separate comment for each task you complete or a comment indicating you have already completed that task.

Disclosure: I was provided a review copy of this book free of charge. All opinons expressed are my own. If you purchase The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods from a link that originates on this site I will receive a commission.  Also, if you sign up for the GNOWFGLINS eCourses via a link from this site I may receive a commission. Your cost remains the same. Thank you for supporting Real Food for Less Money.

Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at


  1. Nannette

    I’d just like a guide. I have tried and failed and worry about potentially doing more harm than good for ma family. A been there done that lemme show you guide like this is exactly what I think I need to help me get over the fear.

  2. bren

    With the food shortages that are coming due to natural disaster in recent months, I would like to know about fermenting my foods as a way to preserve the them. I understand is is more nutritious from this review. Appreciate this opportunity…

  3. bren

    Living a Simplified Lifestyle for me includes fermenting some of the foods I grow as well as those which are shared by friends and neighbors… looks like the Complete Idiots’ Guide to Fermenting Foods will get me there sooner than expected and with the up coming food shortages due to natural disasters, that’s a good thing!

  4. Carla Taylor

    I am a newbie at fermenting, but I have 4 boys plus me and hubby that have totally messed up guts from Antibiotics. I am anxious for everything in this book.

  5. Tammy Dougherty

    I love this give-a-way. This book looks great and I hope it has some great ideas for vegetable fermenting and for dairy fermenting as well.

  6. P R

    I have been doing kefir & kombucha but haven’t made the leap into veggies – that is what I am most excited about learning if I win 🙂

  7. Lesa W

    I am most looking forward to learning what kinds of food can be fermented. I need to broaden my horizons.

Comments are closed.