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Most of us know by now how beneficial probiotics are, along with naturally fermented foods. Foods such as sauerkraut, coconut kefir, and pickles are all wonderful vegan options in place of traditionally fermented foods such as kefir and yogurt from dairy. Along with these common types of fermented foods, there lies another fermented superfood that’s one of my personal favorites: kimchi.

If you haven’t heard of kimchi, think of it as a supercharged form of sauerkraut. Kimchi is spicy, Korean pickled food that usually contains cabbage, red peppers, onions, scallions, garlic, and salt. Some varieties also include carrots or other veggies too. Kimchi is higher in probiotics than sauerkraut and richer in nutrition. It’s also incredibly easy to make at home if you understand how to can your own plant-based foods.

Kimchi can be added to salads, eaten alone, or served on top of any dish you choose. Do remember to keep it cool though, since probiotics are destroyed by heat. Kimchi is a wonderful example of how common vegetables become even more powerful when they’re allowed to ferment with healthy bacterial cultures. Cabbage and onions naturally contains prebiotics which help the beneficial organisms to develop even further. Cabbage, onions, and peppers are also a rich source of Vitamin C, while garlic and onions are both natural detoxifying foods for the liver. You can easily see how the mixture of these veggies combined creates such a powerful fermented superfood without much fuss at all.

Kimchi is a fantastic way to ail constipation, prevent nutritional deficiencies, enhance the immune system, and also aid digestion of protein-heavy meals. If you’d like to purchase kimchi at the store, don’t look on the canned foods section or anywhere in the aisles for that matter. Kimchi is found in the refrigerated section of the produce department where the tofu and ethnic foods are since it needs to be kept cold to preserve the probiotics it contains.

You’ll notice when you open kimchi that it bubbles up quite a bit. This isn’t anything to be alarmed of, it’s actually proof that the probiotics are alive and thriving. If you’re new to using kimchi, start out with one to two tablespoons with your meals as you allow your body to adjust to it. It’s extremely potent to first time users so be aware that you may notice a very active digestive system when you first start using it.

Since kimchi is a wonderful source of antioxidants, electrolytes, B vitamins, fiber, and probiotics, consider it your next superfood that your wallet will also love too! It’s much more affordable per serving than trendy yogurts and kefir and can be added to a variety of your meals.

Have you ever had kimchi? Think you’d like to make it yourself? Check out how to can plant-based foods and follow this recipe to make your own kimchi. Enjoy!

Image source: Wikipedia

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