KIMCHI: a spicy Korean pickle that my husband recently introduced me to and now I cannot get enough of it. We bought a 14 ounce jar of it at the supermarket for $4.99 and I was hooked. It was so tasty I believe we polished it off, me more so than hubby, in two sittings. The above picture is my first batch of homemade Kimchi which I started on April 8th. I’ve been tasting it daily just like the instructions say and I cannot wait until Wednesday where it will be ready for the fridge. I’m preparing my second batch today, which will include more vegetables. I’m also going to prepare a batch of fruit kimchi, which according to Mr. Katz, has a very intoxicating flavor.
I recently purchased the book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz and found that fermentation can be done with just about anything. If you are into preparing your own homegrown, home processed food, you won’t want to be without this excellent fundamental tutorial on your bookshelf.
Kimchi recipes call for soaking the cabbage and other vegetables in a salty brine for several hours. It is similar to making homemade sauerkraut, except with more vegetables and spices. It also takes less time to ferment, and therefore ready to eat sooner.
The health benefits of consuming fermented foods are incredible. Our ancestors used techniques such as fermentation to store foods from harvest season to consume later in the year, when gardening was not in season. Fermentation preserves nutrients and breaks them down into more digestible forms. It is also high in several vitamins as the vegetables go through the life cycle of fermenting. Some ferments even function as antioxidants, and everyone knows how good those are for our health.
Most of the live cultured food you find in the grocery store, such as yogurt, and even sauerkraut, have gone through a pasteurization process that heats the food to a point where it kills the rewarding bacteria. If you want the live culture fermented food you have to go to a specialty store or make them yourself. If you have a garden and love to cook, get fermenting. You will love the benefits!
Fermentation is nutritious and delicious.
Be sure to check out some of the other great posts from bloggers taking part in the A-Z blogging challenge.