Ooh how I love fermented foods. My day doesn’t feel complete unless I’ve had cultured vegetables with my meals, a glass of coconut or milk kefir when I start and end my day, a champagne flute (or 2!) of kombucha, and maybe even a kefir smoothie as a snack.
Lately, I realized I was spending a little too much on prepared kimchi, but I didn’t want to give it up (not to mention all those glass jars to recycle, lids, etc. and the fact that it’s not usually organic). Kimchi is usually the only cultured veggie I can have for breakfast, so I had to find a way to make it myself! In this delicious recipe, there’s no sugar added – I use an apple to provide food for the bacteria.
Korean Kim Chi with Ginger and Garlic
Makes 2 quart jars after fermentation
Prepping the cabbage:
2 large nappa cabbages
1 cup salt
Water to cover
Remove any bruised cabbage leaves, then cut each cabbage in half lengthwise. Cut each half width-wise into 2 inch slices. Plunge the cabbage slices in enough water to cover, sprinkle with salt, and stir the water until the salt is dissolve. Set a plate on the cabbage to keep it submerged, and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
In the meanwhile, prepare the spice mixture.
The spice mixture:
2 entire heads of garlic, peeled
3-4 fat inches of ginger, about half the length of your open hand from thumb to pinkie, peeled
1 medium apple, peeled and cored
1 cup Korean Red Pepper Powder
2 bunches green onions, trimmed and sliced into 1 inch sections
In a food processor, blend everything until smooth, except for the spring onions – just add them below with the cabbage.
Mixing it up:
Once the cabbage is done soaking, squeeze it dry and set it in a large container. Mix it with the spice mixture (some use gloves, but I have no problems using my hands) until every piece of cabbage is coated with it. In a large jar, about 4 quarts’ worth, pack the cabbage down (you don’t need to pack it as tightly as with sauerkraut) and spoon any remaining spice mixture into it. Cover it tightly, then set it aside in a cool, dark closet for 24 hours.
At this point, check on it. Does it smell pleasantly fermented and is it bubbly? If so, put it in your fridge. I like to transfer it to 2 quart Mason jars at this point since it should have reduced in size, and is more manageable this way. I usually let it ferment for 48 hours.
Kept in the fridge, and spooned out only with a clean spoon, kimchi should stay fresh for a few months and will become more fermented as time goes by.
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