Fermented vegetables. I heart them, and they heart YOU.
Fermented veggies contain enhanced nutrition and help fight disease. They boost your immune system, preventing constipation, and keep the gut happy. They do this by giving your stomach friendly bacteria (also known as probiotics) and enzymes. The bacteria and enzymes make the digestion process much easier. Fermented veggies are also filled in vitamins and phytonutrients, low in calories, and contain dietary fiber. It is all good stuff. They help heal the body, and have been used in healing processes for hundreds of years. Look it up!
My go-to fermented food is saurkraut, but I’ve recently developed a taste for kimchi – a traditional fermented asian side dish using any number of different vegetables. Now I want to make a disclaimer now that my body doesn’t handle spicy foods very well, so this recipe is definitely more mild than most kimchi fanatics would like. But it’s delicious and good for you, so I hope you’ll try it out. Let’s ferment!
- 1/2 of 1 head of Napa Cabbage
- 1 4-inch section Daikon Radish
- 4 Green Onions
- 1/4 c. sea salt
- 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. water
- 5 tbsp. Korean Red Pepper Flakes
Cut your cabbage lengthwise into 2 inch wide strips. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and pour the salt over. Massage the salt until it starts to soften and let sit for 1-2 hours or until limp.
Rinse the salt off the cabbage (thoroughly) and drain.
In a smaller bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and water in a small bowl. Add in the red pepper flakes.
Combine the rinsed cabbage, daikon, and green onions and gently work the red paste into the vegetables until thoroughly covered. Place in a jar, pushing down to make sure the vegetables are tightly packed – leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top. Seal jar tightly and let sit at room temperature for up to 5 days. Leave a towel or plate underneath in case of escaping liquid.
Now the fermentation begins! You’ll be able to see tiny bubbles begin the form inside the jar. Check the jar at least once a day to push down the vegetables and release excess gases. When the kimchi tastes right, place the jar in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation. Enjoy!
(Video by Jamie Oliveira)