Sauerkraut is a shredded cabbage side dish, where the cabbage has been left to ferment naturally by lactic acid bacteria. Many cultures have their traditional way of fermenting vegetables (think kimchi in Korea), and sauerkraut (which means “sour cabbage” in German) is the way the Germans and Eastern Europeans like their fermented cabbage. It is salted and fermented in its own juice. There are many regional variations of sauerkraut, each with their own distinctive twist in flavour. Due to the fermentation process as well as the presence of salt, all sauerkraut possess an inherent sourness and saltiness. Because of its nutritional value, the explorer James Cook would take sauerkraut with him during long journeys at sea in order to prevent the occurrence of scurvy. Historically, fermented vegetables were always popular in many cultures because fermented products stored easily and provided nutritious food on hand when refrigeration wasn’t available.
Why is Sauerkraut Good For You?
Well, it is a good source of vitamin C, which is why it can prevent scurvy. It also has vitamin B6 and vitamin K. It is high in magnesium and calcium, and a good source of vitamin B9 (folate), manganese, iron, copper, as well as dietary fibre. Because it has already been somewhat digested by lactic acid bacteria, the sauerkraut is more digestible than regular cabbage. Unpasteurized sauerkraut contains live lactobacilli and other beneficial probiotics which can aid in a healthy digestive tract. Antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin present in sauerkraut can support eye health.
How is Sauerkraut Made?
Briefly, first, you shred a lot of cabbage. Find a large container. You mix the salt with the cabbage. There will be brine, and the brine should cover the cabbage. You check on the cabbage every day to release gases and clean off any white scum that may form at the top of the container. The temperature has to be not too warm, or mould and yeast will develop, but not too cold either, or fermentation will take longer. The sauerkraut formation should be complete after 2 weeks. The longer you wait, the more sour it will be. Here are more detailed directions on how to make sauerkraut.
Try Green Cuisine’s Sauerkraut
Green Cuisine’s sauerkraut is unpasteurized, so it is live and raw, full of probiotics for a healthy gut. The cabbage is organic and locally grown, and the salt is organic celtic sea salt. The exciting flavours come in regular, beet, kelp, kimchi, and chilli garlic.
What to Do with Sauerkraut
In addition to eating sauerkraut as a side dish with meals, you can try sauerkraut in your sandwich, or mix it in with your salads. When you eat wraps or tacos, why not throw in some sauerkraut to add an interesting twist? You can put some in your favourite soup, or use it as a topping for your pizza!