I’ve been seeing someone who I lovingly, and sometimes not so lovingly, refer to as my “hippy nutritionist”. I’m not here to debate the validity of “hippy nutrition” verses anything else, it’s just a label I applied and I suspect it very rapidly gave you the gist of what kind of lady I’m talking about. It’s almost like I’m a writer. Almost.
Anyway, HN (hippy nutritionist) is all about the probiotics. Seriously, I think she’s getting kick backs from “big probiotics” or something. For those of you unfamiliar with probiotics, sit yourself down because you’re in for a queasy ride. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are considered to be beneficial for us. Now this didn’t concern or creep me out, but in case you weren’t aware, yes, your body is like a planet to all kinds of creepy crawlies living full and productive lives inside of you. The idea with probiotics is to actively seek out and consume foods that have some of these living microorganisms. You may be thinking, like WHAT? Well, person freaking out, that yogurt you’re eating for one. Yep, any woman who has been plagued by recurring yeast infections has been given the folksy wisdom to eat at least one serving of yogurt with active live cultures a day.
HN gave the big ol’ whatever to my Fage fat free Greek yogurt (which by the way is AWESOME, in all caps, with a little squirt of honey), and gushed lovingly about fermented vegetables. Personally, I tend to limit my gushing for fermented items to wine and beer. Come on, Rebecca’s only got so much love to give. However, HN seemed quite adamant that fermented vegetables were the way to go. She explained how my husband and I could take a short 45 minute drive to get to a grocer that sold them. At which point, mentally, I gave HN the big ol’ whatever.
That Saturday, while strolling through the “hippy” section of our grocery store, my husband and I saw jars of kimchi. (If you haven’t figured it out, I say “hippy” like it’s a bad thing, all the while essentially eating like a “hippy”. I’m a complex woman of mystery; don’t try to figure me out.) After reading the jar, lo and behold, this kimchi was fermented and not pasteurized. The label boasted how even now, as we were reading the label, that kimchi was still fermenting in the jar. They went so far as to warn us that it may spill out when we open the jar, that’s how brimming with exciting bacteria it is. And look, it was found 10 minutes away from my apartment. In your FACE, HN!
I’m no kimchi expert, but here’s the least you need to know about what we bought. It’s spicy pickled cabbage, carrot, and green onion. It is very spicy, and very good. My husband has now gotten into the habit of having “kimchi dogs” for snacks. This would be a Hebrew National 98% Fat Free Hot Dog with ketchup and kimchi in a whole wheat bun. I, on the other hand, had a revelation of epic proportions.
While reading about kimchi online I saw a website that talked about how the author’s mentor would include sliced up apples or pears in his kimchi to ferment. The idea intrigued me, and besides, I am supposed to be getting more probiotics, right HN? That evening, I took a red apple, chopped it up, and mixed it with the kimchi. Delicious! Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so when we picked up pickles that had the live bacteria, I chopped one of those up and added it to the recipe. I know it sounds odd, but it tastes great. I now whip this up for lunches, as a side dish, and snacks. It’s quick to make, tastes great, and is low in calories and high in dietary fiber. And don’t forget, it’s crawling with those supposedly helpful microorganisms. At this point, I don’t really care about the health benefits, it’s just good eating!
Submitted for your approval, Rebecca’s Apple Kimchi Salad
Ingredients for one serving:
One red apple
One half of large dill fermented pickle
Two or three heaping spoonfuls of kimchi
Cube apple and put into a bowl
Cube up the pickle and put into same bowl
Put the kimchi in the bowl
Feel smug that you’re eating the coolest lunch in your break room.
If any of you try this, post in the comments how it went. If any of you want to be mean to me about alleged slams against “hippy” things, please know that I voluntarily use soymilk, shop local when possible, and eat very little meat. Do you really want to hurt me?