Sauerkraut


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I am on day 17 of my first whole 30 and on day 1 I bought a jar of sauerkraut as I have gut issues - nothing ventured nothing gained!

 

I've read a lot on the forum and around the paleo community about the benefits of fermented veggies but I'm not completely sure if all sauerkraut is equal.  Most people seem to be making their own - is the stuff I buy in a jar at the supermarket "Kühne" brand, original german recipe, ingredients: white cabbage, salt, like the stuff people are making at home? I understand it is pasteurised, do we need the live bacteria in order to get the benefits?   I am really going to have to work hard to like sauerkraut, and I don't want to force myself to eat this if its not going to have any of the benefits of the home made variety.

 

Your advice is appreciated!

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You are correct: not all sauerkraut is equal. You need fermented sauerkraut that is NOT PASTURIZED or you are just eating cabbage and salt (not bad, just not as beneficial for gut health). Fermented sauerkraut, and fermented pickles and cultured carrots and kimchee all live in the refrigerated section in jars. Bubbies is one common brand for true fermented sauerkraut and pickles.

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How does one tell if the sauerkraut is fermented or not? Is it simply if it's in the fridge section? Because I thought the whole deal with sauerkraut was that it was shelf stable (ie. suitable for storage until the zombie apocalypse)?

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yeah, US food laws wouldn't allow a fermented product to sit at room temperature (I have no idea what would be allowed in Australia). Although it would probably be ok for a long time out of the fridge, the old world storage for fermented foods was somewhat climate controlled, like buried underground or in a root cellar. Anything canned will have been heated too much, as would anything that says "pasturized" on the package. I tend to think mass-production of true fermented products is hard enough that anyone going to the trouble would indicate that on their label.

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It is super easy to make, I just posted how in Recipe Sharing.  But if you aren't up for making it you definitely want to find a fermented, unpasteurized one.  Heat will kill off the bacteria that helps your gut, so you also don't want to cook with it. 

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mmm... I bought some today too and don't really love it.. so if its not going to help I want to know by now :o

but mine doesn't say if is fermented or unpasteurized... just says Sauerkraut (fat free food, excellent source of vitamin c)  keep refrigerated ingredients: cabbage, salt brine, 1/10 of 1% benzoate of soda and sodium bisulfite as preservatives   Nothing else  on the bag :o  help pleaseee

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Hmm, mine says neither fermented nor pasturised. But I'm going to assume that since it was on the shelf rather than the fridge it's not fermented (which is a shame as it's tasty and only $4!).

 

I'll check the fridge at the health food store next time I'm up that way.

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Random question but, is the sodium bisulfite in the Win Dixie sauerkraut allowed, it is an added sulfite is it not?  May want to find out before you eat more of it on W30.......and I am thinking it is not fermented or if it is, it doesn't have the beneficial bacteria still growing as it has a preservant (not the right word but you know what I mean).

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The supermarket brand Winn Dixie  :o

 

Yeah, that's not the good stuff. Sorry! Look for small producers, refrigerated section, "fermented" or "live cultures" on the label. AND, I wasn't thinking about it, but Lizzard is correct. No sulfites on the whole30, so that rules it out.

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Ouch... thank you.... I ate already two servings....  It was so obvious the Bisulfite!!! I don't know how I didn't realize.. I was just too worried that it was or not fermented... Gosh.. I'm on day 26.... don't want to start over for an honest mistake :(

 

Thanks a lot Guys!  dumping it immediately (I already tried to see if by washing it and cooking it it can get rid of the sulfites but there is no way... what a waste )   :wacko:

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I am totally new to whole30, starting Monday actually. What's the scoop with sauerkraut? I love the stuff, but don't eat it all the time. What are the benefits and how much should I be eating? I buy mine at my farmers market... Tips, ideas, thanks in advance!

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I eat about 1/2 cup of fermented foods with each meal.  The bacteria in it are beneficial to digestion, similar to what yogurt does for you but , in my mind, better! 

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 one caviat: while fermented foods are good in general, not all ferments are good for all people. From what I've read, fermenting goitrogens* increases rather than decreases their effect on the thyroid, so for me, with mild hypothyroid, it's better to stick with cultured carrots, pickles, kombucha, etc. For someone else who has a healthy thyroid, they don't need to worry about goitrogens, so sauerkraut and kimchee would be a great choice.

 

*goitrogens are a family of vegetables including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, boc choi, brussel sprouts, etc. These food are GREAT for you, but hypothyroid people should enjoy them cooked, rather than raw or cultured.

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