Sauerkraut is a household staple and is celebrated for its numerous health benefits and probiotic factors! If you are wondering what sauerkraut is made from- it’s fresh-cut cabbage that’s carefully fermented. Your end result is a tasty, tangy and delicious condiment that’s the perfect addition to your next meal.
Here we provide you with more information about the health benefits of sauerkraut and how to incorporate this great item into your everyday lifestyle.
Sauerkraut is not a “new trend”, it’s an ancient remedy that’s been used for ages. The origin of sauerkraut began in China about 2,000 years ago, where they would ferment the cabbage in rice wine. The word comes from the German language, sauer (sour) and kraut (cabbage). This dish gained popularity and migrated throughout Europe. In addition, Jewish tradition adopted the beloved sauerkraut and passed it to northern countries, western Europe and the United States. Eastern Europeans, in particular, consume sauerkraut in traditional foods, and it has become a staple of the winter diet in Germany and Eastern Europe. It’s now enjoyed all over the world!
Sauerkraut has probiotic health benefits. But what exactly are probiotics? They are live microorganisms and bacteria that benefit your gut microbiome. We consider probiotics to be a good thing because they help your body and digestive organs run efficiently. You can find probiotics naturally in fermented foods or supplements. Some of these naturally fermented foods include fermented cabbage, kombucha, kefir and yogurt. Through fermentation, the probiotic bacteria transform the initial ingredients into a food full of flavor and health benefits.
Sauerkraut ferments in its own juice and is preserved with enzymes, vitamins, and beneficial bacteria. All these are still present in raw kraut because it has not gone through a heating process (which would kill these beneficial bacteria). This makes it a superfood when it comes to the gut – and the lactic acid in sauerkraut also improves intestinal health.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut can strengthen your immune system, due to the presence of probiotics and vitamins. They are high in Vitamin C, K and iron, all of which help the body fight against infection by contributing to a healthy immune system. The probiotics contained in the food will help balance the existing good bacteria in your gut. This has been shown to help strengthen the gut lining which prevents “leakage” (also known as leaky gut) for unwanted material into the gut, thereby causing an excessive immune response.
The probiotics and healthy bacterias in sauerkraut can also help alleviate seasonal allergies, studies have shown. The live active cultures (probiotics) can help the body additionally with lactose intolerance issues by helping your digestive system run smoothly.
Inflammation occurs when the body heats up and the tissue expands, causing discomfort. . Sauerkraut has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help stop your body from this through the presence of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are nutrients that help your body fight serious diseases.
How Much Should You Have?
To get the gut benefits from sauerkraut, you should eat at least a tablespoon daily. You can do this by adding a small amount to any meal- on top of eggs, in a salad, or on your burger. Doing so will aid digestion and make everything run smoothly. Sauerkraut is low in calories and high in fiber, so what are you waiting for?!
How Long Does it Last?
Sauerkraut can stay good for months if it’s made naturally! Here at Cleveland Kitchen we always eat our kraut within the first 30 days once opened for the best flavor, but unopened it will stay fresh until the “Best Buy” date on each pouch. If you see a change in color, texture, or unpleasant smell or taste this may indicate that other bacteria from your fridge have joined the party and you should throw out the remaining kraut. Be sure to keep the kraut refrigerated because the cool temperatures slow the fermentation process of the live cultures in the kraut, and to ensure maximum benefit from the probiotics, extend the shelf-life and preserve the crunchy texture we love.
How to Eat Sauerkraut
There are endless ways to enjoy sauerkraut. One of the most popular is using it as a topping for your bratwurst, burger, or sandwich. It’s an extremely versatile food because the ingredients are simple. Here are a few other ways you can incorporate sauerkraut into your diet!
- Add to a bowl of slightly cooled soup (to keep the probiotics active)
- Eat it as a simple side condiment (a tablespoon a day aids digestion!)
- Top poached eggs
- Add it to a baked sweet potato
- Sprinkle it on a fall grain bowl or crunchy salad
- Top your favorite meat or plant-based burger
- Add to tacos (mix up your taco Tuesday!)
- Eat as a dip for your veggies
What to Look for in Sauerkraut
Many sauerkrauts you find are high in sodium and extremely processed, which completely defeats the health benefits and does not support your gut microbiome.
Rest assured that our team is extremely proud of our sauerkraut and marinades. Our kraut is never pasteurized, ensuring you receive all the delicious benefits of raw kraut. They are sustainable, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, keto, and Whole 30! We have six varieties of krauts and four dressings to choose from for any meal.
Add some bright fermented color to your turkey sandwiches with this recipe!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: < 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
- White Bread
- Provolone Cheese
- Sliced Turkey
- Beet Red Kraut
- Add ingredients in the following order
- Beet Red Kraut
Toast in panini press (optional)
Feel free to substitute any ingredients to accommodate dietary needs. Cheese and Turkey can be easily substituted for those who do not eat meat or diary.
What are you waiting for? See what sauerkraut can do for you today!