Fermenting foods not only extends the storage life of fruits and veggies, but it also enhances their nutritional profile by adding, you guessed it, bacteria! These bacteria are not bad, in fact they play a critical role in maintaining the ecosystem of our bodies. We are host to trillions of bugs, both on and in our bodies, that maintain our immunity and prevent diseases. Fermented foods contain both probiotics, the bacteria themselves, and prebiotics, food for the bacteria. Incorporating these types of foods into your diet helps grow a healthy gut garden.
I was skeptical of home fermenting at first but now I have been doing it for years and am constantly cultivating something in my kitchen. I have a whole fermentation shelf! This kimchi is super simple, quick to prepare, and the perfect amount of spice.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 inch piece of ginger
- 1 Hawaiian chili pepper (or 1 Tbsp chili flakes)
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 carrot
- 1 daikon
- 3 green onions
- 1 head wombok (aka Chinese cabbage, napa cabbage)
Grate or shred the carrots and daikon. I have a julienne peeler that I use to make longer strips. Chop the green onions into 1 cm pieces and the wombok into 1 inch pieces.
My fermenting adventures were inspired by My New Roots, click the link to check out their Fabulous Fermentation Week post.
For more info on the microbiome I highly recommend Robynne Chutkan's The Microbiome Solution, or check out her website and blog, Gutbliss.