Nutrition

Sauerkraut: how to use the fermented superfood to boost your health

January 25th 2018 / Robyn Youkilis / 0 comment

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Photography by Ellen Silverman

It’s the fermented food that the experts swear by, but how can you add sauerkraut to your diet? Robyn Youkilis, author of Reset Your Gut, gives the lowdown

Sauerkraut is hands-down my favourite superfood. If you’re going to pick one food from the power food list, sauerkraut is it. Is there anything sauerkraut can’t do? It strengthens your immune system and provides essential B vitamins (especially B12). Plus, it will help you to curb sugar cravings and balance your gut bacteria. Sauerkraut is also high in antioxidants, which can help protect your body from developing chronic diseases.

But the number one reason I love sauerkraut is for its flavour. Kraut comes in all different varieties and is an easy way to add a serious flavour punch to any meal.

Fresh sauerkraut is worlds apart from what you might have tried slopped on a ballpark hot dog (which is always the canned variety). Raw, fermented kraut has a bright, almost lemony tanginess that’s refreshing, but not sharp. When serving up a dish, think of sauerkraut as you would a squeeze of lemon or other acid. Sauerkraut (and kraut juice!) adds a zing that brightens up any meal.

You can start by buying naturally fermented sauerkraut at the grocery. It will be in the refrigerated section, and the only ingredients should be cabbage, salt, and herbs or spices like caraway seeds and turmeric.There may also be another vegetable or two.

Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, are an essential part of the Go with Your Gut Rule of Five (in my book, Reset Your Gut), so you’ll want to experiment with adding these foods to your everyday meals.

I’ve even heard you can blend sauerkraut into smoothies, but I haven’t tried that myself yet! Buying sauerkraut is an amazing first step, and after that, you can take things to the next level—both in terms of flavour and gut health— by making your own.

10 CREATIVE WAYS TO USE PROBIOTIC-RICH SAUERKRAUT

1. Toss it into a salad.

2. Upgrade your avocado toast with some.

3. Throw it into an omelet in the last 30 seconds of cooking.

4. Stir it into your hummus to add more zip.

5. Mix it into guacamole.

6. Add it as a topping on healthy homemade pizza after you take it out of the oven.

7. Add it to your collard wraps.

8. Swap for pickles on your burger.

9. Chop it up and add it to tuna or chicken salad instead of relish.

10. Mix it into any slaw.

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Taken from Reset Your Gut by Robyn Youkilis, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Ellen Silverman.

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