Kimchi was the last food on my fermentation journey. I learned and taught myself and the women in my free and private community how to make sauerkraut, kombucha, and yogurt but had yet made Kimchi. I somehow thought it was going to be more complicated than other fermented foods. Well, I was so wrong… kimchi is super easy and uses the same process as sauerkraut.
The reddish fermented cabbage dish—made with a mix of garlic, salt, chili peppers, and other spices—is served at every meal in its country of origin Korea. Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their pictures taken. Kimchi is also used in everything from soups to pancakes, and as a topping on pizza and burgers.
Virtually every culture has a recipe for fermented foods that have been passed down for generations and, in some cases, since ancient times. In ancient India, for instance, it was common to enjoy lassi, a pre-dinner fermented yogurt drink. Fermented pickles are another mainstay of Indian cuisine.
Also, Bulgarians are known for their consumption of fermented milk and kefir while Ukrainians have long consumed fermented foods like raw yogurt, sauerkraut, and buttermilk.
As well, various Asian cultures traditionally have eaten pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash, and carrots, and consume these fermented treats even today.
One of these is kimchi which is a fermented blend of cabbage, chili peppers, garlic, scallions, and other spices that can take on salty, sour, and/or spicy flavors, depending on the recipe used.
Health benefits of kimchi
Fermented foods are used as a therapeutic agent in many natural healing protocols for its high content in probiotic bacteria and prebiotic fiber. Also, the GAPS diet protocol is one of my specialties and relies heavily on fermented foods for the gut healing effect.
First, Kimchi contains healthy bacteria and probiotics for the overall wellness of your digestive system. Kimchi is also high in Vitamin A and C due to the fermentation process. It is rich in powerful antioxidants along with phenols and flavonoids exert a protective effect against the oxidative damage and shields the body from the harmful effects of oxygen free radicals. Kimchi is rich in allicin which helps to lower cholesterol levels. Finally, Kimchi is rich in selenium which helps to nourish the thyroid gland for a healthy metabolism.