Meet the Kimchi Corn Pancake – a personal favourite and highlight of TurF’s new seasonal menu. I think this dish beautifully exemplifies the thoughtfulness and balanced nature of TurF’s new spread of dishes that focus on gut health. 

To begin, the ingredients are unique and, from experience, not typically found in the common fridge or pantry. As discussed in my first post highlighting the why behind the menu, this diversity and selection of diverse ingredients lends to a more diverse gut microbiota, and therefore a more balanced mood, energy, immune system and metabolism. Beyond the diversity of nutrients and fibre, it offers such an interesting experience in texture and flavour – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with just the right amount of sauciness, brightening and warming flavours, and a touch of sweet & sour via the miso mayo and kimchi.

Let’s begin by honing in on mung bean. Mung beans are an impressive, nutrient dense legume that boast vitamins and minerals that are really supportive of mood, energy, adrenals and the reproductive system: think folate, zinc, B6 (the “calming” vitamin), potassium, and magnesium (the “relaxing” vitamin). They’re also a great source of plant protein and resistant starch (aka food for you microbes!) Their antioxidant content helps reduce inflammation, as does their selenium content (supports our master antioxidant, glutathione), which is important for physical recovery and stamina, brain health, regulating the menstrual cycle and immune system. 

While I would recommend eating corn in moderation, it has a small presence here and offers vitamin C and more diverse fibre, which doubles down on the mung bean’s anti-inflammatory and gut supporting benefits. The corn’s higher glycemic load (GL), or ability to raise blood sugar, is balanced by the low GL nature of the mung bean and the fat from the miso mayo.

When it comes to eating plant based, it’s important to be thoughtful about protein pairing such that we consume all essential amino acids (plant protein sources may be missing one or two, but when combined with other plant foods they bolster each other). Combining the mung bean with gluten-free flour and oat milk in the batter achieves this protein complementing.

I love to see meals where cooked, fermented and raw foods are present as our body thrives off a balance of all three. Raw typically provides more nutrients as cooking can leech minerals or kill off important enzymes, and in the same breath, our body craves warming foods this time of the year. The house-made kimchi is fermented & probiotic rich and one of the best things we can consume regularly to support our gut health. The raw scallion topping is a wonderful prebiotic (fuel for microbes), and rich in antioxidants, vitamin K (for blood clotting, bone and heart health) and vitamin C (helps us build resiliency to stress, pathogens and reduces inflammation). They also contain a compound, allicin, which is known for its anti-cancer properties.

Finally, the miso mayo has an all-star lineup of ingredients, including probiotic miso (another gut ally) and turmeric (super anti-inflammatory). 

I highly recommend giving the kimchi corn pancake a try next time you’re enjoying a meal TurF – it’s well rounded, hearty, and so pleasing to the palate. Hope you enjoy :) 

By Trilby, teacher and soon-to-be Certified Nutritional Practitioner