Sauerkraut Purchase, Preparation, and Storage Tips

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Naturally-fermented sauerkraut contains lactic acid and probiotics. The skin-enhancing and digestive health benefits of sauerkraut can be enjoyed by consuming sauerkraut products that haven't been cooked or stored at extreme temperatures.

Be Aware of What You Are Purchasing

Some food products are prepared at high temperatures. A heating process is often used to kill bacteria. Unpasteurized sauerkraut products contain a beneficial bacteria. Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) are found in products that haven't undergone the pasteurization process. Pasteurization is a process conducted in many food industries. This process is used to extend the shelf life of products that are typically canned or bottled.

When purchasing sauerkraut, review the labeling that a manufacturer has secured to their products. Only purchase sauerkraut that hasn't been heated up or undergone any chemical processes. Added sugars and preservatives could lower the probiotic count found in sauerkraut. Since probiotics aid with digestion and defend against toxins and harmful bacteria, you will want to purchase a sauerkraut product in its raw form.

Shredded cabbage and salt are the two main ingredients found in sauerkraut that provide the body with benefits. In addition to improving the skin and supporting gut health, sauerkraut contains many essential ingredients that support the muscles, boost the immune system, and maintain brain health. 

Prepare and Store Sauerkraut

Salt is added to raw sauerkraut to induce the fermentation process. Using water to rinse off sauerkraut will reduce the salt, but could also drastically reduce the number of beneficial bacteria that are found in sauerkraut. If a consumer's salt intake is being closely monitored, they may choose to rinse off sauerkraut. To limit the number of probiotics that are eliminated during the rinsing process, sauerkraut should be briefly rinsed off.

First, sauerkraut should be placed inside of a colander. Next, cool water should be used to rinse off the cabbage leaves. A light stream of water can be used to conduct the rinsing process. After the water drains through the colander, sauerkraut can be consumed. When the sauerkraut is going to be added to a dish, it should be left in its raw form. Sauerkraut that hasn't been cooked can be used to enhance salads, soups, and other dishes.

Sauerkraut products that need to be stored should be placed in a leakproof jar and stored in a cool room or a refrigerator. Refrigerating sauerkraut will not kill the beneficial bacteria, plus will preserve the freshness of the product. Canning sauerkraut should not be conducted, since this preservation method requires the use of heat, which can deplete the benefits that sauerkraut is noted for.