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abur0418

Sauerkraut Info

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How do I know if sauerkraut actually is the kind that contains probiotics. I bought a large thing of it from a local co-op thinking I was getting a deal. It says "cured" on the front of it, seems to be homemade. Coincidentally, the same day I saw a naturopath who suspected I might have hypo-thyroid. So you're supposed to stay away from fermented cabbage. Arghhh! I don't wanna waste it so I want to know if there's a way I can be sure this is actually pro-biotic before I continue to finish off the batch. I don't want to be eating it for nothing when I'm really not supposed to be.

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Well, it's hard to really know if all it says on the label is cured.  But was it refrigerated or was it sold on a shelf in a can/bottle?  If on the shelf and sealed it's likely not probiotic

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Is the liquid a little cloudy, maybe just at the bottom?  Does it taste like vinegar at all?  If it's cloudy and it doesn't taste like vinegar it most likely was fermented.

 

Point your naturopath at http://criticalmas.com/2013/08/reasons-not-to-ferment-veggies/ and chat about the cabbage tradeoff in fermenting that Chris Kresser's podcast covers and that is quoted at that link.  Or as the article says, move from cabbage to something lacking both goitrogens and nitriles and tigers and bears, oh my.

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All sauerkraught is made by fermenting cabbage; therefore, all of it has a probiotic effect.  

 

 

http://nourishingplot.com/2014/06/21/sauerkraut-test-divulges-shocking-probiotic-count/

 

This site reads:

 

"The probiotic count of store-bought, shelf stable sauerkraut does not compare to home-brewed sauerkraut." It also has directions to make your own kraught.

 

Hope that helps!

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Unfortunately, all sauerkraut is NOT made by fermenting these days. Some, like most pickles you find in the store, are simply made sour using vinegar.

 

If it was not in the refrigerated section, it isn't fermented and won't contain probiotics.

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Well, I'll be darned! I stand corrected! I guess this is a good reminder about checking labels! 

 

I found one at Whole Foods on the shelf that only has cabbage, water, and salt.

 

It clearly states on the label that it was fermented with directions to place in the refrigerator after opening. 

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I'm part of a fermentation group over on Facebook, and they've had this discussion before. (This is a US deal, other countries may be different -- I don't know.)

 

All sauerkraut, in order to be called sauerkraut, apparently does have to be fermented. BUT, the difference in the canned stuff on the shelves and the stuff in a jar or bag in the refrigerated section is that the canned stuff is, well, canned. Or pasteurized might be a better word? Anyway, heated until the bacteria are all dead, so that it's shelf stable. The refrigerated stuff *could* be done that way, given how paranoid we are as a nation about bacteria, so you should still look for labels that say raw, probiotic, live cultures -- but brands like Bubbies and Wild Brine (there are others, I know, but those two I'm familiar with) have not been heat pasteurized so the probiotic bacteria in them are still alive and well. (If you leave fermented food sealed air tight without killing off the bacteria, the bacteria continue to do their thing and produce CO2, which can eventually make that container explode -- so sealing it in cans is not a good idea. Screw on lids will leak around the lid, preventing the whole thing exploding. Refrigeration slows that process, meaning it will take longer for the bacteria to produce enough gas to cause problems.)

 

Pickles can either be fermented -- the two brands I mentioned both have fermented pickles available -- or they can be made with vinegar.  It's specifically sauerkraut that is defined by the FDA here in the US as being fermented.

Edited by ShannonM816

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Thank you Shannon! So the stuff in the jars on the shelf is no good, huh? Eden Organic led me to believe it was. Rats!

 

I mean, it's still a vegetable, so it's not bad. It's just not a source of probiotics the way a non-pasteurized, raw sauerkraut would be.

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