Remember my sauerkraut series? It got derailed when our desktop had another long, nearly terminal illness. All the pretty photos I’d taken to use in future posts were locked up in a computer that kept dying as soon as you turned it on. I let that keep me from continuing the story of how I’m including fermented veggies into our menu and even getting my kids to eat them…
And for that I’m sorry.
I hereby vow to get over my lust for ‘perfect’ and just give you this post, straight up.because home-made cultured condiments are such an easy and thrifty way to aid digestion and increase the nutrient content of your favorite dishes. Consider the alternative: buying expensive pills like Enzymedica Digest Gold, the supplement I had to use at every meal for years to aid my digestion. But now I’ve learned to add a bit of this or a spoonful of that to my plate, and you can, too.
I first met kimchi this past winter when I was on the GAPS diet. It was a great experience in fermented veggies as it seemed to fit very closely into the ‘salsa’ category for me. It’s colorful, spicy, and very versatile.
Kimchi (Korean Sauerkraut)
- 1 head cabbage, Napa or regular, quartered and shredded
- I bunch green onions, chopped
- 1 c. grated carrots
- 1/2 c. dakon radishes, grated, optional
- 1 T. freshly grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes
- 1 T. sea salt
- 4 T whey
Mix all together in a large bowl, then transfer to glass jars, tamping down kraut till juices rise to the surface. Cap and leave on counter 3 days, then transfer to fridge.
If your man is like mine, and enjoys spicy stuff, you may just entice him with kimchi. You can make it as hot as you like it; I chose very mild peppers for mine and let the radishes bring the small amount of heat I can tolerate.
I first used kimchi in GAPS soups – an otherwise simple broth, veggie, and meat puree was taken up a notch with the addition of a tablespoon of just the juice from a jar of kimchi. Later in the diet, I put the veggies themselves to the soup, adding a delightful bit of texture to my meal. One morning I even had it with my breakfast of steak, eggs, and avocado. I never thought I’d have sauerkraut with breakfast, but my mouth is actually watering as I write this. This is so weird.
Anyway, kimchi taught me another easy way to enjoy sauerkraut—a spoonful in any kind of soup just like–or even alongside–that dollop of sour cream, sprinkle of cheese, or handful of crushed crackers. Just make sure your soup has cooled to your tongue before you add it—if it will burn your tongue, it will effectively cook the goodness right out of your sauerkraut.
Have you tried any different kinds of sauerkraut yet? Do you have a favorite?
Gingered Carrots still ranks high on my list for its subtle flavor and ease of disguising it in favorite salads. I made up a batch here in Alabama last month, which shows you that even with a small kitchen and limited resources (I had to strain store-bought yogurt to get the whey I needed ‘cause I didn’t have raw milk) you can fit this into your lifestyle!