Learning how to make Sauerkraut from scratch will help you maintain good gut health daily.
You’ll be able to make it anytime ensuring that you always have a batch on standby in times when you need to implement gut repair.
If you’re not into Greek yogurt or perhaps have a dairy allergy, this is a great alternative. It’s an excellent condiment to savory dishes as well as an unusual ingredient in smoothies too.
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What is Sauerkraut?
It’s a fermented cabbage recipe, so it has a pungent and sour flavor.
The fermentation process happens when the yeast and natural bacteria (present in the air, skin and in the leaves) react to the sugars in the cabbage.
It can be made with either white or red cabbage or a combination of both. It is seasoned with sea salt and caraway seeds. You can also add shredded carrots and ginger, these are optional.
The recipe below is a simple and budget-friendly Sauerkraut recipe with only three ingredients.
Why is Sauerkraut good for your gut health?
The fermentation process produces millions of ‘good’ bacteria that are beneficial for the optimal function (protection) of the microbiome in your gut lining.
This ‘good’ bacteria is the same as the ones found in Yoghurt and Kefir.
It’s also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Iron and also contains Fiber which always aids digestion
TIP Sauerkraut can be high in sodium, so if have high blood pressure (hypertension), take this into account
Sauerkraut health benefits:
- It contains an abundance of probiotics, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus
- It aids in digestion because of its Fiber content
- Sauerkraut helps with the absorption of vitamins and minerals
- It supports mental health ie. gut-brain-axis (commonly known as the gut-brain connection) by helping with the absorption of Magnesium
- It contains Magnesium which calms your nervous system and alleviates stress
- Fermented cabbage supports immune health as the bacteria helps with the absorption of Zinc
- It helps rid the body of pesticides and toxins because the bacteria protects the gut lining
How to eat Sauerkraut
Here are some recipe ideas for sauerkraut:
- Use it as a topping with a sandwich filling or over an open-face sandwich
- Layer it as a topping over a hotdog
- Serve it as a dip with your favorite chips
- Blend it into soup or use it as a topping over red lentil soup
- Layer it on top of avocado on a seeded slice of toast
- Add it to a smoothie for extra nutritional benefit
- You can even add a dollop onto a devilled egg filling
- Roll it into a burrito filling
Nutritional benefits of Cabbage
Did you know that cabbage, along with other vegetables like cauliflower can help to reduce chronic inflammation?
Cabbage is a nutrient-rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These play a significant role in protecting the skin barrier which helps if you suffer from Eczema.
Red cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable and a rich source of Carotenoids. These are beneficial for reducing inflammation.
It also contains Flavonoid antioxidants that assist with protecting against free radical damage.
It also contains an important group of plant compounds called brassica saponins, which have been shown to help prevent cancer by stimulating the body’s detoxifying enzymes.
TIP Cabbage is high in Vitamin K, which is crucial for bone health. One cup (100 grams) of shredded red cabbage provides more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin K.
Nutritional benefits of Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds are known for treating digestive issues like cramps, indigestion and bloating1.
It can help with reducing inflammation – due to its antioxidant content – in relation to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
TIP Consume caraway seeds in moderation as it has been known to be problematic for people with certain medical conditions.
How to make sauerkraut
Here is the basic process for making an easy Sauerkraut recipe.
Peel off the large soft outer leaves. Core and shred the rest of the cabbage.
Now, if you’re new to meal prepping and cooking from scratch, I highly recommend you read this article on 5 essential kitchen tools.
If you’re a seasoned home cook like me, you’re always on the lookout for tools and utensils that can save you time during meal prepping. More importantly, remember that kitchen and personal safety must always be top priority.
Cooks and chefs can make shredding looks fast, fun and easy. But it can be hazardous if you’re not using the right tools.
Also, you need to make things easy for yourself in the kitchen. I’m a big fan of effortless cooking.
When you’re already hungry, the more efficient the meal prep, the sooner you get to eat.
If you’ve been shredding cabbage with a simple kitchen knife or grater, it can be time consuming and physically exhausting.
Since you’re going to be making Sauerkraut from scratch – and regularly I hope for your gut health – I recommend you get this tool.
It protects your fingers while chopping if you prefer using traditional knife skills.
Safeguard your fingers and skin with this simple and effective tool. Made from skin-friendly stainless steel, it’s anti-rust and resists corrosion. It’s also ergonomically designed and lightweight!
Or, make it simpler by investing in this versatile and compact tool. Use it for your other vegetables too.
It’s got different blade styles, so you can vary your chopping and slicing styles, adding variety to your recipes.
This will really enhance your meal prep and cooking technique, if you’re not a fan of manual chopping. Not everyone’s into knife skills and that’s ok. This is a whole lot safer. And when you’e cooking straight after work, it takes the stress out of meal prep. You can chop all your veggies in one go without having to empty out the container, no matter what the recipe.
This is why I still use it:
- During a hectic work week, it saves me time and stress
- I’m guaranteed a safe chop when I’m really tired from the day
- I suffer from tired eyes so shredding can be hazardous when my eyesight is not 100% sharp
- I tend to rush through prepping when I’m hungry. So, I’m not concentrating on my fingers and where the knife is because it’s all about speed. This tool takes that risk out of the equation.
Now add the salt and caraway seeds and start massaging this into the cabbage.
Now place all the cabbage into a mason jar, setting aside a few bigger leaves.
Press down until some liquid comes up to the top, make sure there’s at least 2 inches of space at the top.
Place the bigger leaves on top (inside the jar, not over it) to keep the moist cabbage airtight.
Seal it with the lid and place on the kitchen counter in low light at room temperature for 3 days.
Once you spot the bubbles appearing, that’s the good bacteria working. Now it’s ready for serving.
This Sauerkraut is good for you because it’s packed with nutrition. And it’s an easy recipe with only three ingredients.
Add some flavor and nutrition to your savory dishes with Sauerkraut. Don’t be shy to add it to all your dishes.
Or, disguise a small portion in it. It’s a fun way to ensure you’re ‘spiking’ your meals with probiotics as often as you can and in so doing, taking care of your gut health!
Make your meals delectable by infusing them with as many herbs, spices, and adaptogens. These are all delicious, highly nutritious and are allowed on a gut-elimination diet.
For long-term gut health, try to include as many Omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics as possible. You can get all of these by eating more Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Greek yogurt or Kefir.
If you liked this blog post, you’ll love this article on Gut Repair Foods.
If you found this article helpful, feel free to leave a comment, I value all feedback.
*cravenutritionalcooking.com does not give medical advice. Where there is a reference to it, the phrasing is used to illustrate a point or give context to food and cooking for nutrition. It is not related to a specific condition or any specific individual. Always consult your healthcare professional for medical and dietetic advice before embarking on any type of eating plan or ingesting nutritional supplements.
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