I've been trying to work on ways to improve my gut bacteria and I thought I'd give kimchi a shot. What I found out was that you can whip up a really simple, delicious (and oh-so-spicy) kimchi recipe in a just a few steps. It does take a few (very hands-off) hours to days, though.
Before we go further, I want to let you know that I'm not trying to dispense any junk science about probiotics and gut health. There's A LOT of information out there on probiotics and the importance of gut health, but what I've primarily read from trustworthy sources is that fermented foods might be helpful in restoring gut bacteria, diversity of probiotic rich foods (yogurts, fermented foods, fruit, etc) is key, and not all probiotics ingested will make it to our gut (more studies are needed).
But, the reason I've been personally thinking about probiotic rich foods is because I've been on several series of antibiotics over the last few years, and I want to do anything I can to help rebuild my gut bacteria. I think most of us know about the importance of gut bacteria and how it can affect so many intestinal issues. It might also affect mood as well - here's an interesting read from the NY Times on the topic.
There are two other articles I'd recommend reading, if you're interested in this topic --
- I had the bacteria in my gut analysed. And this may be the future of medicine from The Guardian
- Is fermented food a recipe for good gut health from the BBC
I got the idea for this kimchi from my regular Bon Appétit subscription. When I was leafing through the August issue, this recipe seemed doable - which really surprised me. I had always heard kimchi was so hard to make and it felt so out of reach...like making mole sauce that takes 8 hours. I also thought it was great that you could use a variety of vegetables to make kimchi. I always thought of it strictly as cabbage. I love radishes, but I'd definitely like to try this with asparagus as well.
*You can use any crunchy vegetable - asparagus, carrots, cucumbers, turnips, etc.
** I used Mother in Law's Kimchi Gochugaru Powder