Easy Homemade Kimchi (Vegan, Paleo)

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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.

 

Traditional food

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.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

With ingredients like chili flakes, ginger, and cloves this kimchi can help reduce inflammation in the body. Furthermore, since it is fermented, kimchi contains probiotics, which help improve gut health and can improve digestion.

By Camryn Goldstein

Easy Homemade Kimchi (Vegan, Paleo)

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: *fermentation 2-3 weeks
  • Servings: 15

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds head napa cabbage, cored and chopped in 2″ strips
1 1/2 pounds bok choy, chopped in 2″ strip
2 tablespoon of sea salt
6 green onions, chopped
2 carrots, sliced 1/2″
5 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoon of grated ginger
3 tablespoon of filtered water
2 tablespoon of chili flakes or 1 Tbsp. chili powder
3 tablespoon of sriracha sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice the cabbage in 2″ wide strips. Chop the bok choy in 2″ strips.
  2. In a large bowl, salt the cabbage and bok choy. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Let stand for 4-6 hrs.
  3. Using a colander, drain the cabbage and bok choy.
    Make the paste: Combine the garlic, ginger, chili flakes or chili powder, 3 tablespoons water and optional sriracha sauce in a blender and process to form a smooth paste.
  4. In a large bowl combine the cabbage, bok choy, carrots, and green onion and paste.
  5. Mix thoroughly. Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated.
  6. Pack the kimchi into a jar pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of space. Seal the jar with the lid.
  7. Let it ferment by standing at room temperature for its days. You will need to “burp” the jar every 2 days by quickly opening the, to release the pressure.
  8. After 7 days taste the kimchi. If you like the taste, place the jar back into the refrigerator. You can continue the fermentation for another 7 days for a sharper taste.
Slice the cabbage in 2″ wide strips. Chop the bok choy in 2″ strips. In a large bowl, salt the cabbage and bok choy. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Let stand for 4-6 hrs. Using a colander, drain the cabbage and bok choy. Make the paste: Combine the garlic, ginger, chili flakes or chili powder, 3 tablespoons water and optional sriracha sauce in a blender and process to form a smooth paste. In a large bowl combine the cabbage, bok choy, carrots, and green onion and paste. Mix thoroughly. Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. Pack the kimchi into a jar pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of space. Seal the jar with the lid. Let it ferment by standing at room temperature for its days. You will need to “burp” the jar every 2 days by quickly opening the, to release the pressure. After 7 days taste the kimchi. If you like the taste, place the jar back into the refrigerator. You can continue the fermentation for another 7 days for a sharper taste.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving: Calories: 22; Total Fat: 0 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 738 mg; Potassium: 167 mg; Carbohydrate: 4 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 1 g; Protein: 1 g

Nutrition Bonus:

Vitamin C: 37%; Vitamin A: 38%; Iron: 6%; Calcium: 12%

Scoop, Mix, Go Further

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