HEALING FOODS FOR DEEP WINTER
Kimchi for Cold and ’Flu; Oyster Mushroom Stew for Cancer Prevention; Broccoli Soup to Heal Inflamed Digestive Tract
Editor’s note: The following is a collection of recipes by Dr. Ben Kim, a retired acupuncturist and chiropractor based in Burlington, Ont. He is a popular blogger who shares his favourite recipes and videos with more than 100,000 followers. For more information about him, see end of this article.
A Korean Side Dish for Cold, ’Flu, and Sore Throats
Those of you who appreciate the flavour and health-enhancing properties of traditionally made kimchi may also find Korean “Mul Kimchi” to be worth trying. Literally meaning “water kimchi,” Mul Kimchi has long been loved as a cool and refreshing side dish of brine and fermented radish slices. If you haven’t experienced it, you might think of it as a Korean version of kombucha crossed with kimchi.
Mul Kimchi happens to be rich with many of the same properties as natural folklore tonics for cold, influenza, and sore throat. So beyond its refreshing flavour and probiotic qualities, it’s an excellent prophylactic and remedy during cold and ’flu season.
How to Make Mul Kimchi
There are many variations of Mul Kimchi, as many as there are types of kimchi. Here’s a look at a version I like to make with daikon radish, Fuji apple, and Asian pear slices. (The quantities listed below make approximately 64 ounces, or just less than 2 litres, of Mul Kimchi.)
- 1 small daikon radish, skin removed, chopped into ¼ to 1/8-inch bite-size pieces
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- ½ Fuji apple, chopped into 1/8-inch slices
- ½ Asian pear (crispy), chopped into 1/8-inch slices
- 2 pieces of ginger, about 2 inches long each, skin removed
- ½ yellow onion
- 6 cloves of garlic, left whole
- 3 small hot red peppers, green stems cut off but otherwise left whole
- 2 Tbsp of sea salt
- 64 ounces (2 litres) of cold water
Wash all vegetables well and chop into the sizes indicated in the ingredient list above.
Add all solid ingredients to a jar that you have a tight-fitting lid for. If you need to use two or more jars, split the ingredients equally between your jars.
Dissolve two tablespoons of sea salt in cold water, then add your salt water to the jar(s) of vegetables and fruits.
Secure lids on jars and store on your kitchen counter for 24 to 48 hours or until you see a little bubbling of the brine.
Once the bubbling has begun, transfer your Mul Kimchi into the refrigerator and ladle out portions of the vegetable and brine as needed, served cold.
Cancer-Preventing Pot of Nutrient-Dense Goodness
When winter sets in over Canada, we start making large batches of stew – pots upon pots of nutrient-dense goodness that feed our clan for a few days at a time. With the cell walls of vegetables being thoroughly softened by cooking, we have easy access to the many life-enhancing vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients within cabbage, oyster mushrooms, and other favourites.
Cabbage is one of nature’s best foods for decreasing risk of all types of cancer, mostly due to its abundance of a compound called called indole-3-carbinol. Oyster mushrooms are unique for their high content of a beta glucan called pleuran, which provides substantial support for immune function and cancer prevention.
This stew is satisfying on its own, but also combines beautifully with leftover rice if you or loved ones can use the extra fuel in grains (simply ladle boiling stew over a cup of leftover rice straight out of the refrigerator for the perfect quick and healthy meal on cold winter days).
HEARTY OYSTER MUSHROOM STEW RECIPE
The quantities listed make a large pot of stew, approximately 12 to 15 servings; feel free to scale down if a smaller batch is preferred.
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 1 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 400 grams (about 4 cups) of sliced oyster mushrooms
- Vegetable broth
- Green onions, finely chopped
- Leftover rice
- Soy sauce or sea salt
- Cooking oil (coconut or olive)
Sauté vegetables in cooking oil over medium heat until some of the mushrooms are slightly golden, stirring regularly to ensure even cooking. This takes about 10 minutes for the quantities listed.
Add broth until all vegetables are covered, bring to a boil, then simmer for another 10 minutes.
Season with sea salt or soy sauce, to taste.
Serve over rice and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!
Soup to Soothe an Inflamed Digestive Tract
Broccoli is rich in indoles and sulforaphane, compounds that are known for their cancer-fighting properties. Broccoli is also abundant in fibre, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, coenzyme Q10, and carotenoids.
The health benefits of eating broccoli are many, including protection against cataract formation and maintenance of healthy bones. Enjoy these and other benefits through this ultra simple and delicious recipe for broccoli and potato soup (it’s typically approved by kids of all ages).
Broccoli and Potato Soup
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 6 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
- 2 large broccoli heads, chopped into florets; broccoli stems skinned and sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 2½ Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Combine onions, vegetable broth, potatoes, and broccoli in a large pot and cook until vegetables are tender.
Puree mixture in a blender or a food processor until creamy. Return to pot. (Or use a hand-held blender right in the pot.)
Add lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, and pepper.
Enjoy this nutritious and filling broccoli potato soup – it’s particularly good with fresh avocado slices on the side or on top as a garnish.
Sautéed King Oyster Mushrooms Recipe
The other day, I had a massive craving for oyster mushrooms. Nothing wrong with having a small mountain of sautéed king oyster mushrooms for lunch, right?
Oyster mushrooms are abundant in healthy protein, B vitamins, potassium, and fibre. I find they are best cooked briefly over medium-high heat to bring about slight caramelization and to seal in their rich flavour.
I typically heat coconut oil or olive oil to a medium-high temperature, toss in sliced king oyster mushrooms, leave them to cook for a minute or two, then toss and add in a generous handful of sliced green onions.
After another couple of minutes, I season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper before serving and devouring.
If you’re ever feeling in need of substantial replenishment after a strenuous day, try serving sautéed oyster mushrooms over a bed of steamed rice.