Kimchi is a very tasty food with numerous health benefits ranging from an enhanced immune system which is located in the gut making it so important to have a diverse population of good bacteria in the gut, The health benefits range through out the body right up to the brain.
How To Make Kimchi and Why It’s Good for You?
If you have alittle extra time on your hands making Kimchi is well rewarding! Besides it tasting so good Kimchi provides many health benefits related to the good bacteria produced in kimchee :
The more diverse the bacteria in your gut, the healthier your body, which is why consuming fermented foods is an excellent addition to supporting the health of your microbiome.
Immune health: The probiotics, vitamin C, iron and hundreds of phytonutrients in kimchi enhance your immune system. 80% of your immunity resides in your gut so the bacteria that live there can either dampen or enhance your immune system. This is because they maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall. Leaky gut is a perfect example of a condition where the microbes are not doing their job and the tight junctions in the gut have become loose letting food molecules and other bacteria in – this when the immune system gets compromised.
Nutrient-dense: You’ve probably heard me say before that when a food is fermented it becomes biotransformed! That’s fancy for saying it becomes a whole entire new food because bacteria do this magical thing to nutrients in food.
For instance, cabbage has about 30 mg of Vitamin C per cup but when it’s fermented it can have up to 600 mg per cup – incredible right?
The bottom line is fermented foods are amazing for your overall health. The larger the variety of fermented foods you can take in the better, as this helps populate your digestive system with a variety of microorganisms. Some examples for fermented foods that are widely available are plain yogurt, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, and kombucha. When purchasing these items make sure that they do not contain sugar, preservatives, food dyes, and most importantly that they have not been pasteurized. Heat destroys all the delicate bacteria, so the foods must be raw to be beneficial. This may mean a good old-fashioned DIY or that you visit a market or health food shop instead of a traditional grocery store, but I have no doubt you will discover a whole world of awesome fermented-ness that you didn’t even know existed! Party!
Makes a lot!
2 Napa cabbage (2 kg total weight)
1 daikon radish
5 large carrots
1 bunch spring onions (about 7)
70 g fresh ginger
6 cloves garlic
scant 1/3 cup crushed red chili flakes
¼ cup good-quality sea salt
1 large glass jar (mine has 4-liter capacity)
1 large bowl
knife + cutting board
food processor or mortar and pestle
1. Wash all veggies. Chop cabbage into bite-sized chunks, julienne or grate carrots, daikon, and apple. Slice green onion. Place all vegetables in a very large bowl.
2. In a food processor blend ginger, garlic, and chili until well combined. Add this mixture to the bowl of vegetables along with the salt.
3. Mix and vigorously massage all ingredients together until the cabbage begins to soften and release fluid. Continue until you have a fair amount of liquid in the bottom of the bowl, about 4-5 minutes. The vegetables at this point should have lost much of their volume. Let the bowl sit out at room temperature for a few hours, massaging once or twice more. Season to taste.
4. In a large, sterilized jar (or several small ones), pack in the vegetables trying to avoid any air pockets, making sure to leave a few inches of space at the top of the jar for carbon dioxide. Cover the jar with a loosely with a lid, or make sure to open it periodically to release any pressure that may build up. Leave the jar on the counter for 2-4 days. You may see bubbles forming in the jar – this is carbon dioxide and totally normal. Taste the kimchi now and again. Once the flavor is to your liking, seal the jar and place in the fridge. Keeps for several months.*Tip: After removing kimchi from the container to eat, push the remaining back down to keep most of the cabbage submerged in the brine (the liquid). This will help keep it fresh for longer.