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The History of Kimchi

 

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish, which consists of fermented cabbage, chili peppers, garlic, scallions, spices,  as well as a variety of other vegetables. Just as Americans put Ketchup on everything, Koreans put kimchi on everything. If only Ketchup were as healthy as kimchi.  

One of the benefits of eating kimchi is due to its fermentation process. This creates a dish chock full of microbes in your gut that help populate the beneficial bacteria in your stomach.

Kimchi was developed as a way to preserve the seasons' crops during the cold Korean winters over 4,000 years ago, and the recipe has been passed down from generation to generation. Each family recipe has its own taste, and each batch of kimchi is different than the one before. It gets its unique flavor from the addition of red pepper, which added a more pleasurable taste, as well as elongate the storage time. They found that without the red pepper, their fermented vegetables would end up spoiling. They would then bury the kimchi in stone jars in the ground for storage.   

Now-a-days, in America, kimchi is typically pickled in order to speed up the process. But to create authentic Korean-style kimchi, the fermentation process can take a month, up to three months. And if it is prepared correctly, and stored properly, it can last up to 3 years! 

Did you know, that Koreans love kimchi so much, that they say "kimchi" when taking a picture, instead of "cheese"? On average, a Korean person eats about 40 pounds of kimchi a year.  

You can find kimchi at your local health food store or Asian market. And get creative with your keto kimchi! You can add it to your morning egg scramble, or put it in cauliflower fried rice. Let us know your favorite way to eat kimchi in the comments below!

Samantha Stephenson, Primal Health Coach, ACE CPT

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