How to Ferment; Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean ferment. There are hundreds of variations using cabbage, radish, scallion or cucumber as the main ingredient. The paste can contain a variety of ingredients. There may be more than 187 different varieties, all from different regions of Korea. Traditional ingredients will may use garlic, ginger, red pepper, some also add sugar, vinegar, fish sauce or paste to add to their recipe. Families will pass on their different seasonal varieties and they are traditionally buried in the ground to ferment.

Traditionally made by brining the vegetables and then mixing in a paste before packing it into a fermentation vessel to become full of probiotic bacteria and flavour.Kimchi Loula Natural

Fermented cabbage has a long history of providing benefits for many different health conditions (see my sauerkraut here and a flavoured version here). The fermentation process produces the living probiotic microorganisms that are beneficial to the digestive and immune system, plus making nutrients in the foods being fermented come to life and are more accessible.

The fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients rendering Kimchi even more nutritious than the original starting points.Brining Kimchi Loula Natural

Salt is one of the most amazing natural products. Hugely beneficial to the body when consumed in the right way. I am often asked which salt to use- these are my salts of choice:

Sea salt – originates from drying the sea water in the sun, salt lakes or other methods. This is what I prefer and generally prefer those from Wales, France or Scotland. Sea salt nutrients can vary and may contain up to 80 or more minerals than table salt (which is refined down to one or two) it will hugely depend on where the sea salt was obtained.  In addition to sodium and chlorine, you are likely to find potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur. Trace minerals in sea salt can include iron, iodine, manganese, zinc, bromine, boron, copper. 

Pink Himalayan salt – this salt is traditionally harvested in the Pakistan  side of the Himalayan mountain range and the pink colour may be due to the salt containing iron oxide. Harvested from caves of ocean salt settled into geological pockets. It is an unrefined, unprocessed raw mineral, mainly mined by hand. The salt can be up to 250 million years old, which is pretty cool! Its nutrient content is similar to sea salt (since they both originated from the sea). 

I use these two salts in fermenting, in cooking, in the bath, as a scrub, as salt lamps and also on the carpets to help deep clean them. 

Kimchi
This is a basic Kimchi recipe. There are around 187 different variations of Kimchi, this one uses Chinese cabbage, daikon radish and carrot. I have made this one sugar free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians as it is also seafood free.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head of Chinese cabbage thinly sliced
  2. 1 daikon radish thinly sliced
  3. 2 carrots thinly sliced
  4. 1.5% weight sea salt/ pink Himalayan salt
  5. 10 garlic cloves
  6. 1 ½ inches fresh ginger
  7. 1 ½ tbsp. Korean red pepper
  8. 1tsp coconut sugar (optional)
  9. 1tsp Fish sauce or water
  10. 1tsp fish paste (you can also use seaweed)
Instructions
  1. Weigh cabbage, radish and carrot to work out how much salt is needed.
  2. Try and retain one of the out side leaves for later. Add the thinly sliced cabbage to a non reactive bowl (plastic or ceramic)..
  3. Weigh and add the salt to the vegetable in water. Mix into the cabbage with your hands to massage and work in the salt. Leave for 1-8 hours.
  4. Make the paste by adding the remaining ingredients to a mini chopper and pulsing until a paste.
  5. Drain the vegetables from the brine, taste to determine saltiness. (note the saltiness will mellow). Rinse if necessary.
  6. Wearing gloves, mix in the paste, massaging the vegetables.
  7. Add to your fido jar pushing the vegetables down with a wooden spoon, potato masher or fingers. You will notice the brine being created and rising up to the top of the cabbage.
  8. When all the vegetables are in the jar then you place the retained cabbage leaf on the top- this will ensure all the stray bits remain under the brine. You may weigh down the cabbage with either ceramic baking beads, marbles, rocks or a shot glass. This step is not compulsory but does help the first few days of fermenting as it makes it easy to continue to push the kraut down to keep the cabbage in the brine.
  9. Leave for 1-2 weeks on the counter and taste, depending on the temperature and humidity levels of your fermenting spot- leave for up to 28 days. Ferment to taste so continue to taste and then refrigerate when you like it!
Notes
  1. It is optional to use 1tsp fish paste, you can also use seaweed in the paste.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
 Mixing in paste Loula Natural

Here is my video on how to make the paste to add to your vegetables:

When it comes to flavoring your Kimchi the only limitations are what you have available!

You can add anything. Play with other root vegetables, using vinegar, fish sauce and other spices in your paste (like turmeric, cumin or coriander).

Kimchi is added to most foods, soups, noodles, stews, pancakes and so on. It is really nice mixed in to sauces like BBQ, mayo and ketchup. Kimchi is also delicious with cheese and also eggs…

Kimchi Cheese on toast Loula Natural

Christmas Kraut

 

Untitled designChristmas Kraut Loula Natural fi

Christmas Kraut Loula Natural fb

This spicy, tart and juicy Christmas Kraut is a match made in heaven for your plate, throughout the holiday season.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Traditional Christmas foods are naturally rich in fats, nutrients and, of course, sugar! Many of us will also be enjoying a tipple or two at parties over the coming weeks. Adding a fermented aspect to these meals, this Christmas Kraut may help the body to deal with and digest all these excess foods and drinks. Hopefully lessening the fatigue, bloating, hangovers, sugar highs (and lows) and of course the noxious fumes that generally comes with turkey, sprouts et al.

Christmas Kraut star loulanatural

Perfect on the plate at the main event or served with cheese, this Christmas Kraut will totally change some of your Christmas traditions!! It will certainly be on the menu for me for years to come.

christmas kraut made Loula Natural

So simple, if you are in a warmish climate you could ferment this in a week and have it ready for your Christmas table this year.

Christmas kraut collage Loula natural

To find out how to make a basic sauerkraut see here and for my beetroot and ginger flavour see here.

Christmas Kraut
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients
  2. 1 whole green cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1 whole red cabbage thinly sliced
  4. 1.5% Salt
  5. 250g of fresh cranberries cut in half
  6. 1 orange (zest and segments cut in 3)
  7. 2tsp Pumpkin pie spice (or use a mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and star anise)
Instructions
  1. Retain 1/2 of the outside cabbage leaves for later.
  2. Make sauerkraut by mixing the cabbage with the salt. Massage the cabbage until it starts to wilt and release water.
  3. Add and combine the cranberries, orange and spices.
  4. Press the mixture into a fido (airtight sealable jar) jar and keep pressing down to release liquid.
  5. When the mixture is all in the jar and there is liquid covering the top, press down the outside cabbage leaves to keep any stray bits of cabbage from floating to the surface of the liquid.
  6. Seal and leave to ferment on the counter for a week-28 days. Keep tasting the kraut every few days.
  7. Put in the fridge for an additional week.
  8. Enjoy, Merry Christmas
Notes
  1. This recipe is especially nice with cheese or an alternative to cranberry sauce.
Adapted from How to Ferment: Sauerkraut
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Christmas Kraut Loulanatural pin

How to ferment; Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut

Untitled designBeet and Ginger Kraut Loula Natural fi
Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut Loula Natural

Basic Sauerkraut is so delicious (see my how to here). I have it with eggs, add it so my coleslaw (kraut slaw here) and try to have it with any meat dish as a side. The sour flavour works well to stimulate gastric acids too so it a great primer for any fat, protein rich foods.

kraut with food

Since cabbage has so many health giving properties (read here), combining it with beetroot and ginger makes so much sense. The rich, sweetness and earthiness of the beetroot goes so well with the heat of the ginger and the sourness of the kraut. It hits all of the senses on the palate and really satisfy the taste buds.

Of course the rich myriad of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and blood boosting qualities of the beetroot with the anti-inflammatory, warming and nourishing properties of ginger are made even more available to the body with the fermentation process. The presence of a well balanced symbiosis of bacteria allows the body access to these nutrients, to absorb and use them to help promote wellbeing and healing.

Start in the same way as you would with the basic sauerkraut. When the cabbage and salt have been massaged together, combine the beetroot and ginger (I have used raw and powdered ginger and both work well) before packing it all into your jar.

Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut
A rich nutritious flavouring of sauerkraut. Great to assist in the body's wellbeing and healing process. Really good to help digestion of fat or protein rich foods in a meal.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 whole green cabbage thinly sliced
  2. 1 whole red cabbage thinly sliced
  3. 1.5% Salt
  4. 1 raw beetroot grated
  5. 1 inch of fresh ginger grated or 1tbsp of dried ginger
Instructions
  1. Retain 1/2 of the outside cabbage leaves for later.
  2. Make sauerkraut by mixing the cabbage with the salt. Massage the cabbage until it starts to wilt and release water.
  3. Add and combine the grated beetroot and ginger.
  4. Press the mixture into a fido (airtight sealable jar) jar and keep pressing down to release liquid.
  5. When the mixture is all in the jar and there is liquid covering the top, press down the outside cabbage leaves to keep any stray bits of cabbage from floating to the surface of the liquid.
  6. Seal and leave to ferment on the counter for a week-28 days. Keep tasting the kraut every few days.
  7. Put in the fridge for an additional week.
  8. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You can flavour your kraut in this way with anything you choose! be creative!
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
If you like fermented recipes come and checkout my dedicated board on pinterest:

 

 

Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut Loula Natural pin

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint cookies

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies Loula Natural

I absolutely love lemon curd (here is my version). I whipped up a batch as it is packed with healthy fats (butter and eggs) and I don’t worry so much when I use coconut sugar to flavour it- we like it tart anyway. It is a great way to really treat the kids.

coconut and lemon curd cookies close up Loula Natural

We also love making these coconut cookies– so when my daughter asked me to make them again I thought of combining the two. The result is really delicious! Lemon and ginger of course being a match in heaven- and great for the immune system as the change of season is upon us.

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies
I twist on my coconut ginger cookies- adding a dollop of my freshly made lemon curd. Light, delicious and good for the immune system! Full of healthy fats. Really easy recipe to make with the kids
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Ingredients
  1. 12 tbsp Coconut flour
  2. 10 tbsp Butter (soft- I use organic)
  3. 2 tbs of Honeycomb honey
  4. 1-2 tsp ginger powder or grated ginger root
  5. 1 drop of lemon essential oil or a splash of lemon juice
  6. about 1/4 tsp Lemon Curd for each cookie
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 200 c
  2. Add all of the ingredients (except the lemon curd) to a mixer
  3. Use the k beater to beat the ingredients together to form a soft dough
  4. Ball up the dough and place on baking sheets that have been greased or have baking paper
  5. Get your trusty assistant (or yourself!)to push their thumb in the middle to create the cookie with a space for the lemon curd when they are cooked.
  6. Cook for 8-10 mins or until turning brown.
  7. Allow to cool on the baking tray otherwise they will crumble apart
  8. When they are completely cool- add a dollop of Lemon Curd just before serving.
  9. Enjoy
Notes
  1. Be careful they burn quickly- I keep going in 30 second bursts on the timer
  2. I keep mine in the fridge without the Lemon Curd otherwise they go soggy.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
 I love mine with a nice cup of Rooibos or my bulletproof coffee!

coconut and lemon curd cookies Loula Natural

Here are some other thumbprint cookie recipes;

Coconut and Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies Loula Natural Pin

 

How do I naturally boost the immune system?

Naturally Boost Your Immune System Loula NAtural

How do I naturally boost the immune system?

Inflammation is key to healing and the immune system- it is the way the body puts up barriers to shield off the area needing repair. By allowing the inflammation, heat (fever), pain and swelling to be like a no go area (like when resurfacing a road) you are allowing that area to get what it needs. By ignoring these symptoms and surpressing them with anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, steroids, antibiotics and so many other methods you are prolonging the area the time and resources it needs to heal and return to optimum health. By using natural methods to boost the immune system, you can promote healing and repair of the whole body.

Look to nutrients which support the immune system and all the jobs it needs to do- central to this, of course, are bacteria. Fermented foods are the easiest way to get the body balanced. A man named Antoine Bechamp (who worked alongside Louis Pasteur) discovered tiny organisms he called “microzymas” which are present in all things – animal, vegetable, and mineral, whether living or dead. Depending upon the condition of the host, these microzymas could assume various forms. Bad bacteria and viruses were simply the forms assumed by the microzymas when there was a condition of disease. In a diseased body, the microzymas became pathological bacteria and viruses all in the name of survival. In a healthy body, microzymas formed healthy cells. Fermented foods have a balanced ratio of these microzyma’s which can morph, adapt and transform into what the body needs to regain balance. 

Also read this great article from Lynn Margulis about how Kefir forms in the same manner. There is also this one on multicellularity;

“Single celled micro-organisms are constantly interacting with their neighbours, from individuals of the same species to cells from different domains of life, forming complex biofilm patterns, complex nutritional symbioses, and complex clumps.” (source)

Here is Kefir under the microscope;

kefirmicroscopy

 Sometimes this may mean the body’s inflammatory response will turn on to set up a healing area so that the body is able to find energy, strength and motivation. A common thing I hear is that ‘fermented foods do not agree with me”. This is not true- the body has to sometimes go through upheaval to achieve balance. We are 10-20 times more bacterial cells than human cells. Fermented foods are essential for every age to boost the immune system.

Every human on the planet needs fermented foods in their daily diet. Regardless of age.

Life gets better Loula Natural

Firstly REDUCE the IMPACT of Stress

Excessive stress (whether mental, physical or emotional) is detrimental to your immune system and therefore your overall health. Stress affects you by drawing away your life blood from the organs to supply the skeletal muscles in the fight or flight mode. Whether you perceive stress or not, stress is a reaction to stimulus, whether that be walking down the road in a city with everything going on around you, to being overworked and underfed in a job situation, to constantly worrying about anything and everything.

Even watching TV is a stressful situation as the constant flicker and movement is incredibly stimulating. In fight or flight (the opposite being the Relaxation response) mode the blood supply is diverted away from your organs to the skeletal muscles. By diverting the blood supply you are taking away nutrients, oxygen and life source away from the cells in your vital organs disrupting the essential environment and processes for cellular health. Any stagnation, mental, physical and emotional will also contribute to this. To boost the immune system we need to have times in the day to return to rest and recovery mode.

Use Breathing techniques (here is my Rainbow Breathing and Simple Meditation from Real Fit Mama)

Visualisation techniques

Gentle exercise like hiking and yoga

Get into nature- grounding

meditation

Massage

Bach Flower Remedies

EFT

Aromatherapy (essential oils)

Get back to REST and RECOVERY everyday for at least 1-5 minutes. Tiny changes can make huge differences.

Nutrients needed to boost the immune system then also help the bacterial levels in your body or will help the body through the various stages of inflammation (heat, swelling, pain and redness (blood circulation).

Immune Boosting Foods

Nutrients that help can naturally help balance bacteria;

Fermented foods (see my book Culture Your Life)

Elderberry

Lavender

Onions,

Garlic,

Raw honey  

Calendula

Super Greens

Spices; Cinnamon, cloves, star anise

Coconut (oil, meat, water)

Jerusalam artichokes

Ginger

Herbs; thyme, rosemary, oregano, coriander, parsley and basil

Protecting nutrients (allow the body to do its job);

Anti-Oxidants (berries, greens, hibiscus, Rose hips, elderberries)

Viamin A

Vitamin C (including citrus fruits)

Hormone Balancers (like blood-sugar balancers-Holy Basil, cinnamon)

Vitamin D

Fats (butter/ghee, coconut oil, nuts/seeds, avocado’s and eggs)

Protein (including gelatin)

Magnesium

Zinc

Ginger (helps to raise the body temperature)

Bone Broths

Herbs; thyme, rosemary, oregano, coriander, parsley and basil

Nutrients that also clean up and restore the area back to normal

Chamomile

Anti-inflammatories (see a whole list here)

Fermented Foods (see my book Culture Your Life)

Epsom salts

Oats

Aloe Vera

Turmeric

Elderberry

Immune Boosting Foods Pin

More Information:

culture your life

5 Reasons to make Kefir

Kefir FAQ

5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha

Spring into HEalth

Inflammation

Heal From Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

Naturopaths First Aid Kit

What to do when your kids get sick

What to do when you get sick- fever

5 ways Nutrition can change your life

Recipes

Honey and Onion Immune Elixir

Sunshine Shot

Elderberry Cordial

Immune boosting pumpkin pie spices

Lemon, Honey and Ginger Tea

Hibiscus Tea

Orange Peel Powder

How to make your own bone broth

Coconut and ginger chicken soup

Coconut Milk

Lemon, Orange and ginger curd

Healing Body Butter

 Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak

See here also for my fermenting Inspiration Pinterest Board; 

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

check out this post;

How does the Immune System Work Loula Natural

Naturally Boost Your Immune System Loula NAtural Pin

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