Tag Archives: kimchi

1438113254346If I told you that the secret to health and wellbeing, to vitality and longevity, is all in your gut, would you believe me? Well, it's true! Science is discovering everyday what scientists, doctors, healers, medicine men and women, gurus and good eaters of old have known for perhaps thousands of years: that the seat and fate of our health sits in our gut.

We are literally swimming in, surrounded by and made up of trillions of micro-organisms. An estimated 100 trillion, in fact. So many that at least 4.5kg of an average adult's weight is made up of micro-organisms - and the vast majority of them are good for us, living symbiotically on and in us - covering our entire skin surface and functioning in every organ, tissue and our blood. We cannot live without these amazing colonies of organisms, which we have both evolved from and evolved to co-exist for mutual benefit.

Science is literally discovering new bacteria and micro-organisms inside and on us daily, and understanding more intimately the role these friends and foes play within us. We know that eating a healthy, balanced diet, made up of natural foods that these microbes eat and thrive on works wonders for maintaining healthy populations of good microbes. Equally so, a poor diet, made up of foods that assault and starve our internal friends, results in poor health and wellbeing.

Many cultures have understood for perhaps millennia how important a nourishing diet is for our gut health, and how our gut health influences all other systems of our minds and bodies. It is no coincidence that as humans have adopted a processed, denatured, unhealthy diet that we are, for the first time in human history, experiencing epidemic proportions of diet and lifestyle related disease - most of these directly related to poor gut health.

So what can we do? The answer is surprisingly simple and easy. EAT MORE NATURAL FOODS. Avoid denatured, chemical-laden, processed foods. Keep it real, keep it organic, local, fresh and as close to its natural state as possible. Every time we eat is an opportunity to nourish our body, to nourish every living cell and 100 trillion microbes that rely on us for sustenance. Choose prebiotic foods - foods that your existing microbes can feed and thrive on. And choose probiotic foods - foods that already contain high concentrations of beneficial microbes that we can add to our gut: fermented and transformational foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kefir, sourdough, fermented beverages, yoghurt and cheese, to name just a few.

With 100 trillion micro-organisms living on and inside us, how can we ever dine alone?

If you would like to know more about your gut health and the fascinating world inside us, follow me at Fermental As Anything! and Australian Kimchi Appreciation Society.

We also run regular workshops and classes on Korean kimchi, Korean and other cooking, and gut health.

Ain't Spring grand?! dscn6547dscn6552

With the almost perfect balance of sunny days, a little humidity and regular rain recently, you would not be blamed for thinking it's a perfect Spring for gardeners. Our edible gardens certainly think so, with an abundance of wonderful produce from the garden so far this season, amazing growth on new plants and seedlings, and some lovely diversity in garden creatures.

Our intensive greens beds are flourishing. Our green manure crops have exploded. We've been harvesting at least a heaped double handful of native raspberries daily for weeks now.

Lots of things are flowering beautifully in the gardens, both edible (the end of most brassicas - feeding the bees) and ornamentals companion planted for colour and bee food (sunflowers, marigolds, rockery and cottage garden mixes and more). We're swimming in salad greens and herbs like lettuce, silverbeet, spinach, chicory, rocket, basil, parsley, coriander, ssuk (in the chrysanthemum family, loved by Asians), mountains of mizuna and cascades of snow peas. We've been making amazing kimchi with our home grown daikon and other radishes. We're still eating our way through our last harvest of potatoes - around 5 varieties that yielded around 6 to 1. And finally we're enjoying some broad beans.

While we're saying goodbye to many of the favoured winter brassicas, we're welcoming in Spring lovelies like corn, more herbs, more lettuce varieties, rainbow chard, re-veined sorrel, amaranth, warrigal greens, more spinach, okra, pumpkins, various cucumbers, eggplants, chillies, more flowers and lots of legumes. I'm excited to be growing a variety of Korean black bean I brought back from our recent trip to Korea, as well as an old friend like Borlotti.

The chickens seem to be enjoying the change in seasons also, with more sunny spots to enjoy throughout the day, a daily flourish of spent brassica greens and regular lawn cuttings from neighbours over the fence, now that grass is growing again. In my opinion and experience, Autumn and Spring are the best growing seasons and time to enjoy the garden in Brisbane. Once the humidity and heat of Summer comes to stay, it isn't as pleasant, but it's still great to be outside in the Summer early mornings and late afternoons when the temps are cooler. Viva la Spring!