Probiotic heaven

My delicate digestion is crazy for probiotics for their soothing and restorative effect. Probiotics? They are good bacteria which stop bad bacteria giving your gut a hard time (bloating etc).

Probiotics are not some new-fangled idea – every traditional society has its fermented ‘good bacteria’ food, such as sauerkraut.

Annie Levy (and the Guardian sustainable blog of the week) sent me a jar of her homemade (fermented) plum kimchi.

I have never tasted anything as wildly spicy and salty, gut-zingy and healing .

Plum kimchi with vegetarian lunch

I had it as an accompaniment to Co-exist Community Kitchen tenants’ (£2.50) vegetarian lunch (see pic).

Then I got home and ate the rest of the jar (it goes with everything savoury).

Please see Annie Levy’s recipe for Plum Kimchi at her blog, Kitchen Counter Culture (great name for a radical blog).

Here’s how I made the crazy condiment.

Assemble in a large bowl:

All the cloves in a head of garlic (grown by Nadia Hillman)
Grated raw ginger (large thumb – or more)
2 raw red onions sliced
1 lemon chopped
1 large orange chopped

half of 1/4 American cup hot pepper powder

1/4 American cup of (sea) salt 

Add to 1 pint of raw uncooked plums (slice with sharp knife to remove stones). Use organic wherever possible because organic is different – fewer chemicals and more goodness

Place a plate to press down the raw veg/fruit mix and leave it for two days at room temperature before spooning into jars. The salt draws out the water in the raw veg/fruit, thus pickled in its own salty water.

photo (4) Plum kimchi in the making

The first pic shows the cast assembled, the second is the cast cut-up  and mixed with spice and salt. Note: creative chaos. Why eat boring same-old packet food when you can go mad in the kitchen?!

Three announcements.

1. Check out Annie Levy’s food fermentation workshops. “A true kitchen witch, Annie’s food fermentation workshop is an informative & exciting, deliciously interactive learning experience and exploration of food alchemy.”

2. Bristol is hosting a probiotic event on Saturday 15 November 2014 at 3 – 6 pm.
The power of probiotics foods for digestive and immune healing – rebuild your gut heal your life. Fermentation Fetish with Holly Paige and Kenny Bountiful Sun Tickets (£15) – book here.

3. And finally for everyone who loves real food including fermentation – please check out and pledge for the publication of Living Food – A feast for soil and soul, from soil sister, Daphne Lambert.

11 responses to “Probiotic heaven

  1. Thank you Elisabeth! I can’t wait to hear how it turns out. Anyone reading this who can’t make the Bristol fermenting event above, here’s one in Cardiff on the 25th of October (I’m assuming it’s ok to post 🙂 )


  2. Thanks E for another fab recipe! I have been a probiotic fan for many years and my gut thanks me every day!! Can’t wait to have me som of this delish kimchi!


  3. Jody, that is so interesting that you already a probiotic fan! I want to know what you make/eat! And…happy ‘good bacteria’ birthday wishes!

    Hey, my very phrase – my gut says THANK YOU too!!!


  4. Chris of Streets Alive

    See this fun video about probiotics making beet kvass all the way from Equador by a lovely american Talbott of 4D Food


  5. Amazing…I was just casting around for probiotic recipes and thought i’d check out realfoodlover…and there they were! I noticed you use a bowl, but recipes i’ve seen online say to use a Mason Jar (the lid that’s attached, rubber ring etc). What do you say?


    • Hiya! Amazing!! I used a bowl to mix it in but then, after 48 hours at room temperature, I decanted it into a Kilner jar and it is now in the fridge. In due course, I need to decant it again into smaller jars. Elisabeth x


    • The important thing when fermenting in brine is not the vessel so much as keeping the veg under the water layer so the fermentation is anaerboic (i.e. without air). You could do this in a bowl with a plate just smaller than the circumference… There’s a move towards fermenting in airlock vessels but many of us believe this is not necessary and requires special (expensive) kit.


  6. Thanks E and K-C-C! Very helpful tips. By the way, I have just discovered flax seed tea which is so soothing for digestive disorders. It’s 1/4 cup fax seeds to 5 cups water, bring to a boil, seep for 10 minutes. Serve cold.


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