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Does Cooking Sauerkraut Kill The Probiotics

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How Do You Eat Sauerkraut For Gut Health

How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut – A Delicious Probiotics Rich Side Dish for Gut Health

Sauerkraut is most often used as a condiment to dishes. It goes especially well with cooked meats, soups and stews.

You can either buy sauerkraut or make your own. If youre buying it, look out for the following:

Pastuerisation Many manufacturers pasteurise sauerkraut to prolong its shelf lifebut the process of pasteurisation kills off all the friendly bacteria. Check the label to make sure its unpastuerised.

Preservatives These are also added to prolong the shelf life but, again, they reduce bacteria. The best sauerkraut has just two ingredients: cabbage and salt.

To make your own, simply bash together one chopped cabbage with 12 tbsp sea salt. Pop it in a jar, screw on the lid, and leave it at room temperature. You can eat it after about a week.

Fiona Lawson BA DipCNM mBANT is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and health writer. She is a member of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council and the Institute for Functional Medicine . As Content Director of Healthpath, Fiona is on a mission to help people take charge of their own health. Read more about Fiona on her practitioner page.


How To Thaw Frozen Sauerkraut

There are two methods for safely thawing out sauerkraut depending on how much time you have.

First, frozen sauerkraut can be thawed overnight in the refrigerator. This is the best and safest method to thaw sauerkraut since it will return to a liquid state slowly over time. Most of the probiotics will awaken from their dormant state and be ready to be consumed.

The second method for thawing sauerkraut is by using a bowl of cool water. This method will thaw frozen sauerkraut faster than placing it in the fridge but requires a bit of oversight. Here are the steps to thaw sauerkraut quickly using cool water.

  • First place the frozen sauerkraut into a bowl
  • Fill the bowl with cool water
  • Do NOT use hot or warm water as this can damage and kill the probiotics
  • Place the bowl on the countertop and wait 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, dump the water and check the sauerkraut
  • If the sauerkraut is still frozen then fill the bowl with cool water and wait another 30 minutes
  • Frozen sauerkraut normally takes one to two hours to thaw completely using this method.

    Whatever you do make sure not to thaw the sauerkraut in the microwave as that will damage or kill the probiotics.

    How To Flash Freeze Sauerkraut

    Sauerkraut may seem a little finicky when it comes to freezing. Appropriate steps can be taken to ensure most of the probiotics are protected through this process.

    Much like kombucha, experts recommend flash freezing food with probiotics in order to avoid killing the probiotics. If the sauerkraut is simply placed in the freezer directly then the slow freezing process can damage or kill some of the probiotics.

    However, flash freezing sauerkraut at home is very doable! All you need are a few regular household items.

    Follow these steps to flash freeze sauerkraut:

  • Place the sauerkraut into a glass container or bottle
  • Leave space at the top to allow for expansion of the liquid as it freezes
  • Cover and seal the container
  • Place the container into a larger bucket or bowl
  • Fill the bucket with ice so all sides of the yogurt container are covered
  • Next place a few tablespoons of salt and water over the ice
  • Let sauerkraut sit until ice cold which should happen in a few minutes
  • Remove sauerkraut, label with an expiration date 12 months from today, and transfer to the freezer
  • The sauerkraut will have been flash frozen so that it is brought to a colder temperature faster which helps preserve the probiotics.

    Remember, if you place your sauerkraut in an airtight container and store it in the freezer directly then you run the risk of the formation of crystals which can kill the cultures and probiotics.

    Try to avoid plastic or metal containers as they may affect the health of the probiotics.

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    Best Way To Eat Sauerkraut For Health Benefits

    The best way to eat sauerkraut for health benefits is while raw and uncooked. This ensures that your gut bio retains as many probiotics as it needs without any adverse side effects. Raw sauerkraut also contains a higher amount of nutrients compared to cooked sauerkraut dishes as heat denatures most vitamins.

    Things That Can Sabotage Probiotics

    Ever Wondered, How Long Does Sauerkraut Last?

    Research links refined sugars and artificial sweeteners with poor gut health. So, its better to choose yogurt varieties, dark chocolates, and cocoas without minimal added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

    As we know, high heat kills probiotics. Therefore, canned versions of fermented foods wont hold the same benefits due to pasteurization. These include food items like canned sauerkraut and kimchi.

    Add probiotics to food after removing from heat. This will avoid heating probiotic foods and killing any microorganisms. For example, when making miso soup, food experts recommend taking the soup off the heat source before adding a miso slurry. Alaina Sullivan, a designer at Bon Appetit advises us to mix it with a bit of the warm broth and whisk it so that it dissolves fully, then pour it back into the warm broth. I usually do a ratio of 1 tablespoon of miso to 1 to 1½ cups water.

    While pickles are a great source of probiotics, make sure that you dont use vinegar when fermenting your ingredients, as it will kill probiotics. Stick with the traditional salt and water pickling method. Or, if youre purchasing them, its better to get pickles from the refrigerator aisle.

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    What Are The Health Benefits Of Sauerkraut

    Sauerkraut is great addition to salads, sandwiches and wraps, pairs well with eggs, and is perfect on sausages. But it provides so much more than great flavor. Sauerkraut boasts some impressive health benefits, but only if you know which kind to buy. Here are some health benefits of sauerkraut and a guide to picking one with the best nutritional value.

    Tip #: Patience Is Key With Homemade Sauerkraut

    Dont refrigerate it too soon! Even if other recipes say that its up to your taste, and 3 days for some is plenty to get all the sour they can handle, sauerkrauts virtues go way beyond the palate. This is the best way to introduce into your body the good bacteria your gut absolutely needs to be healthy and keep you healthy. But it takes time for the different strains of Lactic Acid Bacteria to fully develop. Wait at least 7-10 days before refrigerating your homemade sauerkraut. Now I go 10-15 days, but I know that many braver folks wait a lot longer than that.

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    Sauerkraut: 5 Health Benefits & How To Make It

    Your gut microbiome is incredibly important to your overall health. The bacteria residing within your intestines affect your metabolism, mood, immune system, energy levels, hormone production, and much more.

    So, when those bacteria are out of balance, youll feel the effects in more ways than one. Thats why its vital that you restore the health of your gut bacteria as soon as possible.

    One of the best ways to do this is with probiotic foods!

    Probiotic foods arent just a great source of nutrients theyre also a way to supply live beneficial bacteria to your gut. And one of the most well-known probiotic foods is sauerkraut.

    Garlic Rubbed Roasted Cabbage Steaks

    Homemade Sauerkraut: more probiotics than yogurt!
    • black pepper
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pull outer leaves off the cabbage, and cut it into 1 thick slices starting at the top .
  • Use a pastry brush to evenly spread olive oil over both sides of the cabbage slices.
  • Rub both sides of each slice with garlic.
  • Sprinkle each side with a bit of Kosher salt if desired, and black pepper.
  • Roast on the middle rack of oven for 30 minutes. Carefully flip the cabbage steaks and roast for about an additional 30 minutes, checking to make sure they dont start to burn at the edges.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

    Adapted from

    I prepared this for my family, and it is not an exaggeration to say we were, um, fighting over the cabbage steaks. Well, three of us were .

    Cabbage is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, manganese, and fiber, and is also a good source of many other vitamins and minerals. Its inexpensive and stores well a perfect winter vegetable. Keep it in your fridge lightly wrapped, dont wash till ready to use come back to it over a week later, and it is still like new. It can keep a long time.

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    How Do Brands Add Probiotics To Sauerkraut

    To try and make up for the lost probiotics, many brands are incorporating supplemental probiotics in their canned sauerkraut. This is done by adding bacteria and yeast spores into the food before the container is sealed airtight. By the time the spores start to grow into live probiotics, the temperature of the sauerkraut will have cooled down to habitable levels.

    How To Increase The Amount Of Probiotics In Sauerkraut

    1. Allow The Sauerkraut To Ferment For Longer

    Allowing the sauerkraut to ferment for an extended period gives the culture more time to break down the carbs and multiply, giving the final product a taste boost as well as a probiotic boost.

    2. Use Fresh Raw Cabbages

    Freshly harvested raw cabbages contain more nutrients such as carbs, which the culture feeds on to produce more probiotics during fermentation. Avoid cooked cabbages as they lack the naturally occurring bacteria and yeast cultures required for the fermentation to take place.

    3. Add Sugar

    Adding a few teaspoons of sugar to the sauerkraut during fermentation increases the number of carbs available for the probiotics to feed on. It is important to note that the sugar will not increase the calorie count of the sauerkraut as the bacteria culture will break down all of the sugar into lactic acid, further enhancing the flavor of the sauerkraut while also increasing probiotic content.

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    Can You Eat Sauerkraut At Night

    Yes, it seems odd that sauerkraut could help you sleep, but its true. As the University of Tufts published in its newsletter, fermented foods can improve your digestive health. Some examples of fermented foods that might help you sleep are sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, and apple cider vinegar.

    Tips For Dehydrating Sauerkraut Does It Destroy The Probiotics

    Does Freezing Sauerkraut Kill Probiotics? (Explained)
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    Can You Eat Sauerkraut Straight From The Jar

    Method 1 of 3: You may eat raw sauerkraut by the forkful if you prefer it that way. Simply remove the jar from the refrigerator, stab it with a fork, and get the health benefits! Every day, take a forkful from the jar and eat it directly from the jar. Sauerkraut purchased from a store will have been pasteurized, which will have killed the beneficial bacteria.

    Top 8 Probiotic Food List

    Check out this recipe for an easy fermented yogurt dip that brings the flavor via garlic, dill, and more while soothing your gut with its cool, probiotic power.

    • Kefir: Milk is already a great source of protein, calcium and vitamin D think of kefir as its amped up cousin. Originally from Eastern Europe and Russia, kefir is a fermented milk drink made using kefir grains and a culture of yeasts and bacteria. During the fermentation process, a team of probiotics grows that help to ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms such as bloating and sour stomach. Kefir contains around 30 strains of probiotics, some of which have the power to slow the growth of harmful bacteria such as e-coli and even salmonella. Other benefits of kefir include vitamin B12, phosphorus, and riboflavin, just to name a few. Of course there is more research to be done on the power of kefir, but its an excellent tool to have in your gut-healing arsenal.
    • Kombucha: The catalyst in kombuchas story is the SCOBY aka symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Pair the SCOBY with some caffeinated tea, a bit of sugar, and 1-2 weeks time to sit and ferment in a glass container and youll have a deliciously refreshing drink that is loaded with a bounty probiotics. These probiotics will detoxify your system, soothe your gut, aid digestion, and strengthen your immune system too.

    Also unlike tofu, tempeh has a very firm texture and doesn’t crumble easily. Check out a quick and easy recipe for a Tempeh BLT here!

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    The Benefits Of Probiotics

    Probiotics benefit so many areas of human health. Although the gut-brain connection and vaginal health get all the press coverage, studies link probiotics to improvements in depression, transepidermal water loss , and adult acne. They also support immune function, keep harmful microorganisms under control and help absorb nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, and essential fatty acids. Some even fight cavities and help against eczema in children.

    What Temperature Kills Probiotics

    LACTO FERMENTED CABBAGE (Raw Sauerkraut) 50 Trillion Probiotics! Beginner Friendly

    While it may be tempting to use some of these foods containing probiotics while cooking your meals, cooking them at high temperatures or for an extended period can kill those good gut bacteria.

    One study found that foods cooked at 140°F for fifteen minutes kill off over 95% of bacterial cultures.

    When fermented foods reach a temperature of 115°F, probiotics begin to get killed. So when cooking dishes containing these kinds of foods, make sure that you pay attention to your recipes details.

    Since fermented foods like miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut are already safe to eat when you purchase them from the store, none of these products need to be cooked to any designated internal temperature when you get them home. You can consume them as-is.

    If you do want to consume or serve these foods warm, you can always heat them for a short time on a low setting on your stovetop. It is recommended that the cooking time is minimal so you dont lose out on those good bacteria in your food prep process.

    Following these easy tips can make or break the health benefits you get from your fermented foods.

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    Does Sauerkraut Contain All The Probiotics I Need

    No, sauerkraut contains only one major group of probiotics known as lactic acid bacteria , which is just one type out of hundreds. It is important to note that research on the different varieties of probiotics is still ongoing, but LAB probiotics have a more significant effect on the immune system compared to other varieties.

    Do Fermented Foods Contain Probiotics

    Yes, some fermented foods contain probiotics, but not all foods that undergo the fermentation process have these good live organisms. Many fermented products have their live organisms removed before consumption. Plus, its important to remember that not all organisms that cause fermentation have probiotic qualities. So, while probiotics are found in a lot of fermented foods, not all fermented foods contain probiotics.

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    It’s Paired With Gut Busters

    While yogurt is often touted as a rich source of probiotics, that doesn’t mean that every yogurt variety is always the best choice. The plethora of options in the grocery store can sometimes contain large amounts of refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, both of which are linked to poor gut health. Instead, choose yogurts that don’t contain added sugars and have a short ingredients list to get the full benefits.

    Where To Find Oligofructose

    Natural Probiotic Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe

    Inulin is present in high concentrations in chicory root, agave, and even dandelions. It is present to a lesser extent in bananas, wheat, onions, asparagus, rye, and barley. Indeed, it has been found in over 36,000 plants around the world. Oligofructose, also present in these foods, is a similar fiber. Very surprisingly, Americans get only about 2 grams/day of these fibers, 70% from wheat and 20% from onions. Europeans eat three times this amount. Somehow our food industries and our eating habits have simply bypassed this remarkable fiber. These soluble prebiotic fibers have by far the most science behind them. Much of the research in the scientific literature, in fact, has been done with a combination of inulin and oligofructose.

    The mixture of these two fibers is called oligofructose-enriched inulin. It seems to provide a synergy whereby the mixture of the two has been found to be more effective in producing beneficial results than either one by itself. It is also a full-spectrum lower gut health solution because it acts in all areas of the colon, not just one localized site. The laboratory, animal and human studies reported in the medical literature are impressive and it is only just beginning. The benefits of these prebiotic fibers include better digestive health, improved immunity to disease, better appetite control, reduced anxiety, improved mineral absorption, stronger bones and more.

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