Because sauerkraut is fermented, it’s rich in probiotics – a live bacteria that support the beneficial microorganisms in your gut. Sauerkraut is also high in fibre and contains nutrients such as iron, calcium and vitamins A, C and K.
You can make your own fresh batch of sauerkraut at home (I’ll get into that a bit later in my posts) but if you prefer buying a ready made one from the grocery store, there are few things to keep in mind when buying sauerkraut. There are a wide variety of different qualities and not all of them contain a high amount of that beautiful, healing good bacteria. And that rich bacteria is exactly what we are looking for, right?
- Sauerkraut is better to be bought from the refrigerated section of a health-food store or farmer’s market. Fermenting process continues if the product is kept at room temperature. You might also want to look for a product that’s not in a jar, but rather in a pouch or some kind of another container where the lid is not too tightly sealed. Sauerkraut is raw and ‘living’ and therefore ‘breathing’ and needs a package with some ventilation.
- Try to find a sauerkraut which has not been pasteurised. Many beneficial microbes die during the heating process when pasteurised. For example, vitamin C and the lactobacillus probiotic bacteria, both found in sauerkraut, are killed during this process.
- Check out the label of ingredients. What you DON’T want to see is vinegar, sodium benzoate, sodium bisulphate or sugar. Those sauerkrauts are better to be left on the shelf! These preservatives often lower the food’s probiotic count and they are not healthy for you in any way. Sometimes the manufacturers use so-called ‘starter culture’ and that’s just fine. That helps the fermentation process get going a bit faster.