I love fermented foods. They're flourishing with enzymes, a b and c vitamins, probiotics, and omega-3s and are amazing for digestion. I recently learned that 90 percent of seratonin (the happiness chemical) in our bodies is created in our gut, so having a smoothly operating digestive tract is directly linked to the way our brain functions! I had no idea...
Having ready to eat things in the fridge like coconut yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi make it easy to stimulate your gut flora and kick your digestive tract into action naturally. Below is a slightly altered kimchi recipe from "The Kitchn". It looks like a lot, but it's quite simple. I found the ingredients at Whole Foods & the gochugaru can be bought on amazon or at any Korean market.
Ingredients:1 medium sized Napa cabbage head
1/4 cup sea or kosher salt (not iodized salt - which prevents fermentation)
Water (amount will vary)
3 Tbsp. water for sauce
5 cloves chopped garlic
2 tsp. chopped ginger
1 tsp. white sugar
2-3 tsp. gochugaru (Korean spicy red pepper)
1 medium sized daikon radish (1/2 lb), julienned
4 scallions cut into 1 inch pieces - ends discarded
1. slice the cabbage: cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters & remove the hard ends. cut each quarter into 2 inch strips.
2. salt the cabbage: put the cabbage and salt into a large bowl or pot. with your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until you see about a quarter cup of water squeezed out & cabbage is softened. add enough water to cover the cabbage, then weigh it down with a heavy plate. leave for 1 hour.
3. rinse & drain: pour the cabbage into a strainer or colander & rinse 3 times with cold water. let it drain for 15 minutes in the sink. rinse, dry, and set aside the bowl you used for salting. (you'll need it soon).
4. make the spicy paste: combine ginger, garlic, sugar, 3 Tbsp. water, and gochugaru in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
5. mix the vegetables & paste: squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl. add the radish, scallions, and paste, then mix thoroughly with your hands until everything is coated.
6. transfer to jars: scoop the kimchi into a jar, pressing as you go so the juices rise to cover the vegetables. leave some room at the top of the jar (about an inch) for fermentation.
7. ferment: leave the jars out at room temp for 1-5 days. taste a bit every day. when it has reached the tanginess level you like, refrigerate it! you can eat it now or in a week & preferably within 3 weeks. Enjoy!