What is Kimchi you might ask? Well, it is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented cabbage and various spices, plus salt and vinegar. It has recently gained more popularity and you can easily find it in most healthy food stores nearly everywhere.
But like with most healthy alternatives, it is even better to make your own kimchi at home.So, here you’ll learn the incredible benefits of kimchi as well as the recipe to prepare it at home.
Oh, So Many Health Benefits!
In order to better explain Kimchi, it is the process of fermentation which cultivates this natural source of probiotics. That’s how healthy bacteria is born, which also improves the taste.
The bacteria in question, Lactobacillus, plays a crucial part in a healthy digestive system and intestines. Many already recognize cabbage as a soother for inflammation, as well as its detoxification abilities.
But by fermenting it, we make it even healthier by complementing it with even more nutrients and making it bioavailable. In this way, it can also aid in preventing ulcers, obesity, diabetes and even some types of cancer!
Kimchi is a must-have in the Korean cuisine, and the whole world should take a page from their book in this matter. So here is a whole bunch of information on the health benefits of this particular fermented food.
Once you read through them and get informed, you might also want to try the following recipe in the comfort of your home.
Your Gut Will Be Thanking You
You may know cabbage as the gut’s benefactor, but consuming it in its fermented form can help digestion even further! It is no secret that healthy probiotics encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in one’s stomach. You’d also be wise to eat more for the sake of your immune system.
A Container of Potent Antioxidants
It’s true. This marvelous power food contains quite a powerful array of antioxidants which attack those pesky cancer-causing free radicals. Such antioxidants are also quite helpful in boosting the immune system and fighting all kinds of inflammation.
This, in turn, helps us deal with arthritis, eczema and similar conditions which are caused by an autoimmune response or inflammation.
Did We Already Mention It Boosts the Immune System?
Well, it should constantly be mentioned since it does. It’s packed with a variety of phenolic components and flavonoids. And as an extra, the different types of ingredients used in preparing this food, like garlic, peppers, and ginger are the immune’s system’s best friends. Why?
They help with alleviating the flu and cold symptoms and fighting infections. They truly deserve the title of protectors.
Help Stop Those Cancerous Cells in Their Tracks
You know it – Kimchi is invaluable when it comes to reducing the danger of diverse cancers from developing. A study which was conducted on a sample of kimchi only confirmed this.
What’s more, glucosinolates, which are another powerful cancer fighter, are present in cruciferous vegetables (like cabbage!).
They break down and create isothiocyanates, which are also extremely beneficial for fighting the growth of cancerous tissue.
Who Doesn’t Want to Keep Looking Younger?
I bet you too like so many others have wondered why Koreans manage to uphold their youthful appearance even when their age is no longer that of a tween. It turns out kimchi is the answer to that too.
After a two-week fermentation process, the antioxidants it contains help reduce the rate at which the skin ages. Also, even if you’re stressed, because it prevents cell oxidation, kimchi gives you a relaxed look.
By The Way, it Also Lowers the Blood Sugar Levels
A study done on type 2 diabetic subjects who were fed on a diet high in fats proved very helpful. They gave them kimchi, and as a result, the potent diabetes-fighting properties were only further confirmed.
The testing witnessed better lower levels of fasting glucose as well as glucose tolerance. Furthermore, the same study stated that kimchi is even more useful in fighting diabetes when it is eaten together with a low-fat regime instead of a high-fat one.
Helps With Gastric Ulcers Too
When it comes to gastritis and peptic ulcer, both caused by the infamous bacteria Helicobacter pylori, it shows therapeutic effects.
A study made in this field has proven that the antagonistic activity only helps promote the abundance of the bacteria Lactobacillus. This, in turn, hinders the harmful pathogens from joining with the cancer cells in the gut.
…And Even Weight Loss
Is there something this condiment can’t do? Kimchi once again proves its worth in gold by being a powerful source of fiber. This, when paired with the healthy probiotics, helps you maintain a healthy gut.
Everyone knows that to lose weight you have to speed up your metabolism so it can help burn more calories. You can lose those extra pounds and even prevent further weight gain through improving your gastrointestinal system.
As if all these reasons weren’t enough if you eat kimchi you are protecting yourself from dermatitis, something for which your skin will be very thankful. Convinced yet? If so, then here’s an easy way to make your own homemade kimchi below:
Korean Kimchi Recipe (Homemade)
The beauty of this recipe is that you can also tweak it in order to suit your personal tastes better. But if this is your first time at making this fermented dish, then you’d do well to follow these instructions.
After giving it a try, you can then add your own ingredients, e.g. shrimp or fish.
The Ingredients You Need
- Two heads of shredded Napa cabbage
- Three cloves of crushed garlic
- Five scallions of thinly chopped spring onions
- Two minced jalapeños
- One teaspoon of fresh ginger
- Two tablespoons of crushed chili pepper
- Two tablespoons of raw honey
- Half a teaspoon of sea salt
- Half an onion
- First off, it is advisable to keep your kimchi in an impermeable container. Glass or mason jars are a good choice for that. So keep one ready even before you start making the contents.
- Second, start preparing the kimchi by mixing all the ingredients, minus the honey and sea salt, since those are fermentation starters.
- Next up, take two cups from the mixture you made and place them in a blender. In order for the result to turn out a thick juicy substance, make sure you add enough water. This is also the part where you add in the honey and sea salt as well.
- Be sure to blend it all meticulously. Afterward, fill your container with it and press down on it with your hand in the shape of a fist.
- Your next step is to pour the rest of the batch in there as well, but make certain that at least two inches at the top of the container remain non-filled.
- Place a few rolled up cabbage leaves in the remaining two inches. While the leaves should be loosely packed, the container should be shut in the opposite manner, i.e. tightly.
The Process of Fermentation
As you may very well guess, it is now time for the whole process of fermentation to take its course. It should be stored for a period of three to seven days, preferably at a room temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once you’ve opened the lid and start to dig in, you should leave the rest of it in the refrigerator. That way you can slow down the fermentation.
As you can see, kimchi is not hard to make at all, but it takes a while for the fermenting phrase to be complete. Oh, and one more thing: don’t be discouraged if at first, you find it is not ‘your cup of tea’.
Each taste is different, and surely if you give it a few more tries, mixing it with ingredients you personally find tasty, you will learn to love this magnificent food.