What I didn't realize then was that I wasn't eating REAL sauerkraut.If sauerkraut is purchased from a shelf at the store (not refrigerated), odds are that it doesn't contain the live active beneficial bacteria found in fermented kraut.In most of these cases, the sour flavor comes from vinegar rather than lactic acid bacteria.Even if it was originally fermented, if you find it at room temp, that means it was heat processed- killing off the good stuff.
Fermentation was originally a means of preserving food, but we now know that it's also a way to help maintain good digestion with healthy bacteria.Which types of bacteria, you ask? The long list includes:
Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pediococcus pentosaceus, Lactobacillus brevis, Leuconostoc citreum, Leuconostoc argentinum, Lactobacillus paraplantarum, Lactobacillus coryniformis, Weisella and Leuconostoc fallax.
While this is a big list, one cannot survive on sauerkraut alone.A combination of different fermented foods makes for more gut diversity, helping to keep things moving as they should.
Once I realized how easy it was to make my own, why would I ever need to buy it again? It is fun to try different brands, and there are many good fermented choices in the grocery store these days. But making your own not only saves you money & aids in digestion. It's a great way to add veggies & fiber to your diet, use up excess produce, and you also get to exercise your culinary muscles. You can get crazy with colors, spice, healing herbs- you name it. Use your imagination!
Vegetation + salt + a little love + a little time = Gut-health Goodness