Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish, which is made by fermenting cabbage, red pepper, and other vegetables. Whether or not you can find this delicious Korean preparation, making it from scratch can often mean higher quality ingredients and a deeper appreciation for the food you eat. It's full of probiotics, which we recommend getting on a daily dose in supplements and in food sources.
Choose Different Cooking Methods For Diverse Gut Health
If you evaluate the eating habits of many Asian cultures, you will find that much of the variety at the dinner table comes in the way they prepare their food. You will often have a roasted, steamed, and fermented dish all on one plate. We know that different preparations of foods all have different benefits, and including fermented foods is a particularly healthy choice for improving digestion and overall health.
Fermentation helps keep the micronutrients and antioxidant levels of vegetables in tact and also helps develop bacteria (called Lactobacillus acidophilus) in the gut. This type of bacteria is helpful in fighting infection, improving immunity, enhancing the body's ability to produce vitamins, and improving serotonin production for a calmer state of mind.
Cabbage Is Rich In Micronutrients
Cabbage, the star of any kimchi preparation, is full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. It also has thirty-five different antioxidants, and consuming cabbage regularly has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and inflammation. Cabbage is one of the least expensive vegetables available, making it an economical choice as well, particularly when preserved through fermentation. It also contains fiber, potassium, vitamins A and C, B vitamins, magnesium, and calcium to name a few!
Eat Green Onions For Bone Health
With kimchi, you'll also reap the benefits of garlic, red pepper, and green onions if you choose to use those veggies and seasonings. Green onions are a great choice for improving bone health, which is important for preventing diseases like osteoporosis. A single green onion stalk provides more than a fifth of required vitamin K, plus vitamin C. Both are crucial for developing bone cells. Many people think of the skeleton as unchanging and static, but our bones are living and constantly remodeling (the process of removing and replacing bone cells).
Garlic Improves Immunity
Regularly consuming garlic has shown to improve immunity, fight cardiovascular disease, and improve blood pressure levels. Studies have shown positive associations of daily garlic consumption with the suppression of cancer cells, helping to prevent breast, colon, and skin cancers to name a few. It's also believed that garlic improves skin health, giving you a "glow" when eaten regularly and it also helps to heal scars.
2 lb. napa cabbage
3-5 green onions
1/2 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon garlic
3-6 tablespoons Korean red pepper
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon water
Step 1: Wash and cut the cabbage into bite-size pieces. Place cabbage into a large bowl, add a large handful of salt and massage into the cabbage.
Step 2: Next, cover the cabbage with water so it is fully submerged. Cover, and let sit for 24 hours.
Step 3: Make the spice mix. Mix ginger, garlic, red pepper, coconut palm sugar, fish sauce, and water into a paste. If you want more spice, you can add up to six tablespoons of Korean red pepper.
Step 4: When cabbage is done soaking, rinse and drain thoroughly. Toss cabbage with spice paste and massage thoroughly.
Step 5: Pack cabbage mixture into a large, disinfected jar. Cover with an airtight lid. Store in a dark, cool place for 24-72 hours.
Step 6: When kimchi is done fermenting, store in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks. The kimchi is safe beyond this period, but the flavor will change slightly and will be more enjoyable in cooked dishes like fried rice, rather than eaten alone.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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