By now you’ve surely been hearing all the hoopla about fermented foods. Maybe you’ve even picked up your own $$$ jar of lactofermented kimchi. Or sauerkraut. Or beets. Good for you!
Making your own kimchi costs pennies and is super easy. The best part? No special equipment is required.
So why are fermented foods all the rage?
Ever been on a round or two (or 30) of antibiotics? I have. As a kid I must have had strep throat 100 times.
What about hand sanitizers? Bleach products? Anti-bacterial cleaning products? These things also kill off naturally occurring (and needed) bacteria that live in a symbiotic relationship with our bodies.
And what about food? Whether it was in childhood or just last week, processed food allows obesogenic bacteria to flourish and crowd out the rest.
We are left lacking.
But today…we repopulate!
Lactofermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria and enzymes that help your body digest food, eliminate toxins and even regulate your moods.
To watch: Click play then use the button on the bottom right of video to turn on volume:
- 6 cups water
- ¼ cup salt
- 4 cups green cabbage (sliced or shredded)
- ¾ cup radish or daikon, diced
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1-2 Tbsp. crushed red pepper (or more, depending how spicy you like it)
- Optional: 2 tsp. fish sauce (make sure there are no chemical preservatives which inhibit bacteria growth.)
- Optional: Throw in a handful of more spicy peppers (fresh, dried, powder), sea vegetables or other chopped fresh veggies for flavor and texture.
- Mix together the water and salt to make a brine. Stir well.
- In a large bowl, combine cabbage, radishes and carrot with the brine. Weigh down the veggies with a plate or similar so they stay submerged. Leave for a few hours or overnight.
- Combine spices: onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper and fish sauce. Drain brine off veggies (reserve 1 cup) and mix with spices.
- Tightly pack your mixture into glass jars, pressing down until brine rises and veggies are submerged. If needed, add a little of the reserved brine.
- Keep your packed jars covered at room temperature. Check on them every few days – they will be bubbling! If veggies rise above the brine, press them down.
- After about a week your kimchi will be ready to eat. Alternatively, you can continue the fermentation process for another couple of weeks, for greater flavor. Store in the refrigerator after fermentation is complete.