Sauerkraut: Your gut's new favorite condiment
Killeen McGowan | December 2018
You’ve gotten the memo: It’s time to add more probiotic-rich foods to your daily meal plan. But, how many culture-filled foods can a person realistically eat?
Once you’ve put in the effort to adopt a healthy eating habit, the key to its sustainability is variety. So when it comes to feasting on fermented food, a little creativity can ensure your good intention is also a lasting one.
Sauerkraut is indeed a wonderful option when it comes to feeding your gut. Translated from German, Sauer kraut literally means “sour cabbage,” and it’s been around for centuries. While we tend to associate it with classics like the reuben, or a bun full of bratwurst, sauerkraut’s uses are truly limitless. It is, after all, a condiment.
Here are a few ideas to get your brain, and your digestion, in gear - at any time of day!*
Consider piling sauerkraut high atop a hearty slab of marinated tofu on grilled whole grain toast, like this feature in Danny Seo, Naturally (pictured above). Try it over scrambled eggs, or aside your favorite breakfast sausage of either the carnivorous or veggie variety.
Sauerkraut can spiff up your green salad, your pasta salad, or your sandwich. Go for double, and use it in any of these savory yogurt bowls for gut happiness times two.* Leftover rice? Warm it up with some canned chickpeas, and top with sauerkraut for an easy office take-a-long.
PRO-TIP: for reheats, be sure to pack the cabbage separately, as heat will destroy the beneficial bacteria you’re after. Cool, or at room temperature, is the way to go when consuming these probiotic-rich foods.
Sauerkraut brings a whole new angle to the loaded baked potato. It puts a spin on yesterday’s soup, and revives Taco Tuesday. If you haven’t caught on by now, it’s as versatile as you want it to be. So, go crazy --as long as you don’t heat it up-- and find your own unlikely way to optimize both your gut, and your family meal.
When purchasing, opt for a jar of organic ‘kraut, labeled as unpasteurized (pasteurization destroys the live bacteria you’re after!), and sans additives. Fermentation is a preserving method, after all- no additional preservatives are needed! You can also make your own (it’s surprisingly easy) using a basic jar and a crisp head of cabbage- organically and locally grown, if possible. The more fresh it is, the better your ‘kraut.
Fill the gap
After you’ve enriched your table with gut-health-promotive delicacies, a probiotic supplement is a simple way to maintain a consistent, healthy balance of beneficial flora.*