Kimchi

We love making Kimchi a fermented vegetable dish that originates in Korea. There are many variations to this popular dish and loads of varieties available, traditionally in Korea. Kimchi (김치) is a collective term for vegetable dishes that have been salted, seasoned, and fermented. The preparation of which dates way back to ancient times.

Napa or nappa cabbage (Brassica rapa) is a type of Chinese cabbage that is the most common ingredient in traditional kimchi but this can be substituted for ordinary green cabbages or savoy cabbages if you cannot get hold of it.

Fermentation

Fermented foods are super nutritious and exceptionally good for our health — because they contain various beneficial bacteria that aid to support our digestive microbiome, which is the assortment of bacteria, yeast, viruses and fungi that always live within our guts and on our skin. In fact there are 100 trillion or so bacteria and microorganisms that live in our digestive tract.

Digestion

We believe that the digestive system is connected to the ‘Earth’ element as foundation of health and that long lasting healing starts with the gut. A healthy and well-functioning digestive system supports our physical, mental and emotional well-being, whilst also processing all our nutrients and assimilating them across our bodies so that we can absorb essential vitamins and minerals broken down from our meals.

You may have heard the term “gut feelings”. New research is highlighting more and more information about the gut-brain connection which is an incredibly intricate relationship, and showing that the microbiota in our gut influences our neurochemistry with transmitters like serotonin which in-turn effects our moods.

By eating fermented food and nourishing the microbiome with herbs like the herbal bitters, we increase the health of our digestive systems and also enhancing the immune system.

It is often recommended to have two to three servings of fermented foods per day.

There is growing scientific evidence that fermented foods like kimchi and others aid in supporting the body dealing with anti-inflammatory responses. These include…

· Kefir
· Sauerkraut
· Tempeh
· Kombuch
· Miso

Because we are totally potty about the herbs we always add in our garden greens and some of our edible flowers into the kimchi vegetables too.

Ingredients

· one cabbage
· ¼ cup sea salt
· various vegetables 6 radish, 1 beetroot, 4 carrots, stick of celery, 1 cauliflower
· 1 onion, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
· 3 inches of fresh ginger chopped
· 8 cloves garlic, whole
· 6 chilli peppers chopped finely
· Handful dandelion greens
· Handful of wild garlic
· Handful cleavers
· Handful of young hawthorn leaves
· Marigold petals
· Daisy flowers
· Nasturtium flowers and leaves
· Seaweed powder

Method

1. Slice the cabbage into strips and chop all the veg except onions up (we like to slice them all quite small). Tip into a bowl, mix with 1 tbsp sea salt, then set aside for 1 hour

2. Make a brine – 1l of water add 4 tablespoons of sea salt

3. Cover the chopped veg in the brine and leave for 24hr

4. Make the kimchi paste by blending in a mixer the garlic, ginger, chilli and onions

5. Drain the brine off the veg and reserve in another bowl

6. Mix the paste into the veg and massage in – now is the time to add seaweed and chopped herbs

7. Pack into a large jar and cover with the brine, seal and leave to ferment at room temperature and taste daily until it gets the perfect sour flavour (about a week in our household)

8. Refrigerate. The flavour will improve the longer it’s left

Hope you enjoy making this delicious recipe – check out our book The Sensory Herbal Handbook for more recipes and fun interactive and practical activities with herbs….here is the LINK

Please do let us know in the comments how it goes or if you have any good recipes for fermented foods or alternative Kimchi recipes….

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