Updated: May 21, 2019
If you haven't jumped on the sauerkraut bandwagon yet, it's a good time to give this superfood a try. Sauerkraut is made by fermenting cabbage through lactic acid fermentation, a bacteria that ferments the sugar in cabbage. You've probably also heard of kimchi, sauerkraut's eastern cousin, which is also fermented by lactic acid fermentation and usually comes with spices like ginger, chilis and garlic. Kimchi has traditionally been used in Korean cuisine while sauerkraut has been traditionally used in German cuisine. Both kimchi and sauerkraut are now popular with health enthusiasts around the world due to their nutritional benefits.
Sauerkraut is especially high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and B vitamins (in particular, vitamin B6 and folate). It's also a great source of minerals including iron, manganese, potassium and copper. Probiotics in the sauerkraut help absorption of these vitamins and minerals, as well as improve digestion and boost immunity.
Sauerkraut can be found in grocery stores, but be sure to read ingredient labels to avoid added sugars and preservatives like sodium benzoate and bisulfate. Heating and pasteurization can kill the healthy bacteria and probiotic benefits. Therefore, look for the words raw, perishable, unpasteurized, keep refrigerated, and naturally occurring lactobacilli. A few brands that are not only delicious, but take great care in their fermentation process and curated ingredients, include Wildbrine, Farmhouse Culture, Eden Foods and Simply Kimchi (kimchi not kraut, but made in Atlanta and delicious!).
Sauerkraut can also be made at home--give this recipe a try!
Add a tablespoon or two of sauerkraut to sandwiches, in stir fries or salads and on top of avocado toast to get a daily healthy dose of probiotics for optimal digestion and to boost immunity. Try this Probiotic Rich Cucumber Salad that's delicious when eaten by itself or as part of a sandwich (pulled jackfruit probiotic sandwich anyone?).
Get a taste of this superfood (or kimchi) this Saturday during the Vegan Food Tour from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Whole Foods Market in Midtown Atlanta. Register here.
Written by guest blogger: Margaret Peterson
My name is Margaret Peterson, and I am in the nutrition coordinated program at Georgia State University. I am earning a Master’s degree in Health Science, and completing supervised practice hours to become a Registered Dietitian. In my free time, I enjoy working out, going to concerts, and trying new spots around Atlanta. My goal is to start private practice when I finish my program, but I also have an interest in working in a clinical setting. I chose to pursue a career in nutrition because I believe the foundation of a healthy life starts with the diet. My goal is to help people find the best diet for them individually, in order to feel comfortable and confident with the nutrition aspect of overall wellness.