Hopefully you’ve heard all about the gut-brain connection and the importance of beneficial gut-bacteria for your immune system, mood, and overall vitality? Fermented foods such as kim-chi are excellent sources of probiotics including Lactobacillus plantarum and Leuconostoc mesenteroides. In fact, one sample of kim-chi has isolated over 900 strains of lactic acid bacteria!
I like to call pro-biotics “pro-life” as they have a beneficial effect on our entire well-being. Lactobacillus plantarum has been shown to aid digestion, protect the gastrointestinal tract, reduce inflammation and build a healthy immune response. It is a powerful tool for adhering to the gastrointestinal wall and thus crowding out non-beneficial pathogens. It acts as an antioxidant with anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antiobesity and antidiabetic properties.
Like a lot of nutritional science research, we continue to find that traditional, ancient recipes have beneficial outcomes for overall health. This Korean side-dish has evidence of use going all the way back to 37 BC.
- Half a wombok cabbage, chopped into 8 pieces
- 1 bunch of spring onions chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 4 carrots
- 2 teaspoons of quality salt (celtic sea-salt or himalayan pink salt)
- 2 Nashi Pears
- 1 small Chinese Radish
- 1 whole knob of Garlic
- 2 inch piece of Ginger
- 2 tsp of Chilli powder and/or Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
- Splash of fish sauce
- 1 heaped tablespoon of ground Glutinous Rice Starch
- 1/2 cup of water
- LPRA vegetable culture (starter culture probiotic)
- Sprinkle your vegetable mix with salt and rub in until juices start to run, then allow to sit.
- Blend all of the Paste ingredients listed above to create a fine consistency – the smell is intense!
- Vigorously stir the Rice Starch and 1/2 cup of water on low heat until it turns white – it should create a thick consistency and bubble while being stirred.
- Mix in your chosen vegetable culture and the blended Paste ingredients to the Rice Starch.
- Cover the vegetable mix with the paste.
- Place all into a fermentation jar or crock, remembering to release any gas build-up daily (if you’re using closed jars).
- Fermentation will take approximately 1 week. Once ready, store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Serve as a side-dish with scrambled eggs, Asian or rice dishes, yum!
Cheers to your best gut health!
Sarah the Naturopath & Kinesiologist