fermented vegetables

Easy Kimchi Recipe with Turmeric

Our fermented broccoli recipe is without a doubt the most visited page on our blog. We love that fermented foods have become so popular and that the connection between gut health & overall health is gaining more mainstream attention. Be sure to look at some more of our fermented recipes to read more about how these foods can help improve our digestion and benefit our health on all levels. It’s pretty amazing and delicious stuff!
When we first fell in love with fermented veggies a few years ago, Kimchi was one the first experiments we tried in our little Colombian apartment. To be totally honest, it was quite a disaster and one that we look back on and laugh at. Let’s just say that we were naively enthusiastic with the quantities of chilli, ginger and garlic we used. Combined with tropical heat and a really strong fermentation, our entire home was infused with intensly funky smells for days and we almost blew our heads off trying to eat this spicy concoction. We’ve since adjusted our recipe and found a balance of flavours that’s much kinder on tastebuds and body…

Easy Kimchi with Turmeric

Many traditional kimchi recipes contain vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and a paste made of garlic/ginger/chilli, but we’ve steered away from the traditional method in order to create a really simple recipe that still has a lot of flavour. This easy kimchi is made in a really similar way to sauerkraut , but has some extra ingredients that give it a stronger and spicier flavour. We’ve also used white cabbage because it’s grown locally to us and is what we have available.

How much salt to use when fermenting:

Vegetable to salt ratio - the magic formula for ferments
After a lot of experimenting, we've reached a good understanding of the salt/vegetable ratio for pickles and ferments. As a general rule of thumb, we always weigh our vegetables, then add 1.75% of this weight in salt. For example, 1kg of cabbage will need roughly 17.5g of salt. 500g of cabbage will need roughly 8.75g of salt. For reference, 1 teaspoon of finely ground salt is approximately 5.7g. 


Easy Kimchi

Servings: makes 2 large jars of kimchi

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of white cabbage, sliced finely (roughly 2 small cabbages, but make sure you weigh them before you start)
  • 17.5g of good quality salt (this is 1.75% of the cabbage weight, if you are making different quantities you can calculate it for your amount of cabbage)
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 teaspoon of turmeric powder or 1 two inch chopped turmeric root
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped (adjust depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, chopped finely
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 6-7 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 onion, diced finely
  • 2 large sterilised jars (you can sterilise them with boiling water)

Instructions:

  1. Before you chop your cabbage, peel away 2-3 of good quality outer leaves and put to one side for use later.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except from the chilli. Make sure that the salt is thoroughly mixed with the cabbage. If you have time, leave it for 15-30 minutes - this will help draw the moisture out of the cabbage.
  3. With clean hands (or with gloves if you don't want turmeric stained fingers!) begin to mix and massage the kimchi. Continue for around 5-10 minutes, until liquid squeezes out of the cabbage. This liquid will help the fermentation process.
  4. Add the chilli to the bowl and stir in with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the kimchi to your sterilised jars, pusing down as you go so that no air is trapped in the bottom of the jar. Keep pushing down as you add more kimchi (the back of a wooden spoon is really helpful for this). The idea is to pack the kimchi tightly into the jar.
  6. Once you've filled the jars, continue to push the kimchi down until the cabbage is submerged in some of its liquid. If the mix seems dry, leaving the jar for an hour or so between pressing down can allow more liquid to release.
  7. Fold the cabbage leaves that you set aside at the beggining to form a 'lid' that will fit into your jar. This stops little bits of cabbage floating to the top.
  8. Place the lid on top of the kimchi and again, push the kimchi down with the back of a wooden spoon. The 'lid' should be submerged in liquid.
  9. If you can, put a weight on top of the kimchi to keep it submerged in the liquid. We use a small glass with a weight or pebbles inside.
  10. Cover the jar with a fine cheesecloth and secure with an elastic band.
  11. Now it's time to let the kimchi ferment. Around 7 days is a good amount of time, but some people will prefer more or less. If you live in a very hot climate then you will probably need less time. Everyday, check on your jars and firmly push down the kimchi with a wooden spoon. You should see air bubbles rise from the bottom of the jar and the kimchi should remain submerged in liquid.
  12. After around 7 days, taste the kimchi to see if it suits your taste buds. If it tastes too strong or salty you can leave it a few more days.
  13. Once your satisfied with the flavour, secure the jar with a lid and store in the fridge. It's now ready to be eaten and should last for months if sealed well. We find that the flavour generally improves after the kimchi has been in the frige for a few days.
Easy Kimchi with Turmeric

Have you ever tried making Kimchi? We’d love to hear your experience!

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Purple Sauerkraut with Fennel Seeds

We're back with another fermented recipe ... this time, it's our favourite sauerkraut recipe - made with purple cabbage and infused with fennel seeds. We love eating this with just about anything, it's such a delicious addition to a meal. You can make this recipe with green cabbage too, but we love the vibrant colour of red cabbage & the fact that it's more nutritionally dense. In fact, we recently read that purple cabbage actually has more vitamin C than oranges, as well as so many antioxidants that are healing for the body. 

Eating sauerkraut regularly has really transformed my digestion over the past couple of years. During a difficult patch of stomach issues a few years ago, I dove deep into so many nutrition and holistic health books/podcasts to try and find a cure. Once I started to uncover how much our digestion is linked to our entire system, I became so determined to heal my gut and find balance again. It's pretty fascinating that our gut bacteria is so related to our brain function, immune system, happiness and so much more.

Food can be such a powerful medicine if we look at the source of illness instead of trying to suppress the symptoms. Alongside avoiding stress, one of the most important ways to strengthen our digestion is to feed our guts with friendly bacteria. Making your own fermented foods at home is such an affordable and tasty way of doing this. Especially as it's been shown to be more beneficial if the sauerkraut has been made and fermented in your local area. This is due to the relationship between the bacteria in your environment and the original bacteria in your gut. If you buy a sauerkraut that has been produced far from where you live, you may not receive the full benefits. For more fermented recipes, click here!

Purple Sauerkraut with Fennel Seeds
Purple Sauerkraut with Fennel
Purple Sauerkraut with Fennel
Purple Sauerkraut with Fennel

Vegetable to salt ratio - the magic formula for ferments
After a lot of experimenting, we've reached a good understanding of the salt/vegetable ratio for pickles and ferments. As a general rule of thumb, we always weigh our vegetables, then add 1.75% of this weight in salt. For example, 1kg of cabbage will need roughly 17.5g of salt. 500g of cabbage will need roughly 8.75g of salt. For reference, 1 teaspoon of salt is 5.7g. 

To make 1 large jar you'll need:
1 large jar, sterilised with boiling water
1 large red cabbage, sliced finely
1.75% weight ratio of good quality salt (see above)
6 whole peppercorns
3-4 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds

Method

1. Before you chop your cabbage, peel away 1-2 of good quality outer leaves and put to one side for use later.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients so that the salt is thoroughly mixed with the cabbage. If you have time, leave it for 15-30 minutes - this will help draw the moisture out of the cabbage. 
3. With clean hands (or with gloves if you don't want purple stained fingers!) begin to mix and massage the cabbage. Continue for around 5-10 minutes, until liquid squeezes out of the cabbage. This purple liquid will help the fermentation process.
4.Add all the ingredients to your sterilised jar, pushing down as you go so that no air is trapped in the bottom of the jar. Keep pushing down as you add more cabbage (the back of a wooden spoon is helpful for this). The idea is to pack everything really tightly into the jar. 
5. Once you've added all the cabbage to the jar, continue to push it down until the cabbage is submerged in some of its liquid. If your sauerkraut seems dry, leaving the jar for an hour or so between pressing down can allow more of the liquid to release. 
6. Fold the cabbage leaves you set aside at the beginning to form a 'lid' that will fit in your jar. Place this on top of the sauerkraut and again, push the ingredients down with the back of the wooden spoon. Add a weight on top of the cabbage to keep it submerged in liquid. We use a small glass with some weights inside. Cover the jar with a fine cheesecloth. 
7.Now it's time to let the cabbage ferment! Around 7 days is the perfect amount of time. If you live in a very hot climate then you may need less time. Everyday, check on your jar and firmly push down the sauerkraut with the back of a wooden spoon. You should see air bubbles rise from the bottom of the jar. The cabbage should remain submerged in liquid.
8. After around 5-7 days, taste the sauerkraut to see if it suits your taste buds. 
9..Once your satisfied with your flavour, secure the jar with a tight lid and store in the fridge. It's now ready to be eaten and shared and should last for months if sealed well. The flavour generally improves after the sauerkraut has been in the fridge for a few days. 

Purple Sauerkraut with Fennel
Purple Sauerkraut with Fennel
Purple Sauerkraut with Fennel
Purple Sauerkraut with Fennel

Have you ever fermented anything at home? We'd love to hear your experiences! 

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Fermented Broccoli

We're all about making healthy foods accessible to everyone. Having little tricks & condiments on hand when life gets busy and time is scarce. It's no secret that we love adding fermented foods and pickles into meals ... it's one of the best ways to aid digestion & boost healthy bacteria in the body. We've already shared a few fermented recipes on the blog, but this one is definitely our best yet. The broccoli has an amazing, crunchy texture after a week of fermentation, as well as tasting so good!

Fermented Broccoli Pickle

Unlike some ferments, this is pretty simple and quick to prepare. We recommend using good quality salt (either himalayan or sea salt) & buying organic broccoli if it's available to you. Heads up, Aldi now sell organic broccoli for 80p, so it's really affordable to make! 

Vegetable to salt ratio - the magic formula for ferments
After a lot of experimenting, we've reached a good understanding of the salt/vegetable ratio for pickles and ferments. As a general rule of thumb, we always weigh our vegetables, then add 1.75% of this weight in salt. For example, 1kg of broccoli will need roughly 17.5g of salt. 500g of broccoli will need roughly 8.75g of salt. This formula can be applied to other ferments and pickles, such as sauerkraut & kimchi. So far, it hasn't failed us! 

To make 1 large jar you'll need:
1 large jar, sterilised with boiling water
500g Organic Broccoli, chopped into strips (including the stalk!)
8.75g good quality salt (1 & 3/4 teaspoons)
5 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Optional flavourings: 1 whole garlic clove, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds

Method
1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients so that the salt is thoroughly mixed with the broccoli. If you have time, leave it for 15 minutes - this will help draw the moisture out of the broccoli. 
2.Add all the ingredients to your sterilised jar, pushing down as you go so that no air is trapped in the bottom of the jar. Keep pushing down as you add more broccoli (the back of a wooden spoon is helpful for this). The idea is to pack everything really tightly into the jar. 
3. Once you've added all the broccoli to the jar, top up with clean water. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth, or loosely place the lid on top. 
4.Now it's time to let the broccoli ferment! Around 7-10 days is the perfect amount of time. Everyday, check on your jar and firmly push down the broccoli with the back of a wooden spoon. You should see air bubbles rise from the bottom of the jar. The pieces of broccoli need to remain submerged in liquid, so if you find it gets too dry, add a little extra water.
5. After around 5-7 days, taste the broccoli to see if it suits your taste buds. If your ferment tastes really salty, leave it for a few extra days to let the flavours mellow. 
6.Once your satisfied with your flavour, secure the jar with a tight lid and store in the fridge. It's now ready to be eaten and shared and should last for months if sealed well.

Fermented Broccoli Pickle

Have you tried fermented foods? We'd love to hear your experiences! 
If you enjoyed this post, please share below <3