Sauerkraut is a delicious fermented dish, which can go bad if not stored properly. It can become too ripe to consume. Of the first signs that the sauerkraut has gone bad is the off-smelling aroma. If the cabbage produces a strong rotting odour, this means that the sauerkraut has gone bad,
Moreover, check whether or not the fermented cabbage has turned into a weird colour or texture. If there is a significant change in the texture or discoloration, you need to throw away the product. Moreover, if you see specks that appear greenish-blue on top of the pickled vegetable, it means that it has turned mouldy and is not safe to eat.
Two Types Of Sauerkraut
Store-bought sauerkraut is available in two forms – refrigerated as well as unrefrigerated. The first type is the refrigerated sauerkraut, which is considered the better option among both. It is fermented cabbage sunken in brine. Moreover, it is filled with bacteria that are healthy for your gut. It is not heat-treated and is created through the fermentation process.
The second variety is the unrefrigerated one, which is not so much preferred. It is generally the same fermented cabbage, but it has been pasteurized later on. The pasteurization process kills the bacteria, and the product is no longer fermented.
If you are buying sauerkraut for its health benefits, go for the refrigerated ones.
How To Safely Store Sauerkraut?
The most effective way to store sauerkraut is to store it in the refrigerator. It helps hinder bacterial growth and mitigate the risk of spoilage. Sauerkraut does not stay well in a hot and humid environment. Therefore, you must store the sauerkraut in cold storage. By keeping it in the fridge, you can improve the sauerkraut’s shelf life.
You can store the cabbage in the fridge in the original packet. But if the sauerkraut came in tins rather than glass containers, you must transfer it to the plastic or glass container. Moreover, cans are also not right for refrigerators. And, ensure to put the sauerkraut in the coldest spot in the refrigerator.
You can keep the sauerkraut in the refrigerator for six months when well stored in the fridge. In fact, if the temperature is stable, you can keep it safe for longer. Ensure that the container is tightly closed after you use it.
Additionally, it is also not a good idea to keep sauerkraut at room temperature. While the pickling solution can improve the shelf life of the vegetables, the storage life will not last long due to the unstable temperature.
Is Freezing Sauerkraut A Good Idea?
Similar to any food, you can increase the shelf life of sauerkraut by freezing it. Additionally, refrigeration is adequate enough to extend the shelf life of the Sauerkraut. But freezing can also slightly change the flavor or texture of the dish.
Frozen and thawed sauerkraut will not be as flavorful as refrigerated sauerkraut.
Is Sauerkraut Really Good For Health?
Sauerkraut is a popular fermented dish that has many health benefits that include:
It Is Highly Nutritious
One of the many benefits of sauerkraut is that it is filled with vital nutrients. 142 grams of sauerkraut provide:
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Calories: 27
- Copper: 15% of the DV
- Folate: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 9% of the DV
- Iron: 12% of the DV
- Vitamin K1: 15% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 23% of the DV
- Sodium: 41% of the DV
It is especially nutritious as the dish goes through a proper fermentation process. During the process, the microorganism on the cabbage tends to digest the natural sugars and convert them into organic acids. Moreover, the fermentation process produces a condition that promotes healthy bacterial growth (probiotics) that are found in products like yogurt.
Strengthens Your Immune System
Sauerkraut is an excellent source of nutrients and probiotics that can boost the immune system. The bacteria present in the gut can impact your immune system. Sauerkraut contains probiotics that help in improving the balance of bacteria in the gut. This helps in ensuring that your gut lining remains healthy. It helps prevent unwanted components from leaking into the body and resulting in an immune response.
Improves The Digestion
The gut is considered to contain more than 100 trillion microorganisms. These are over ten times the overall cells in the body. Unpasteurized sauerkraut has probiotics that are healthy bacteria that act as a strong defense against harmful bacteria. They can also improve digestion and your overall well being. Such probiotics in sauerkraut can help in improving the bacterial balance in the gut after it has been disturbed by the use of the antibiotic. It can prevent or reduce antibiotic-induced diarrhea.
Helps With Stress And Brain Health
Although mood impacts what you eat, the reverse is also considered to be accurate. The food you eat has a significant impact on your mood as well as brain function. The type of bacteria in the gut may contain the ability to send messages to the brain, impacting the way your brain functions and looks at the world.
May Help With Weight Loss
Sauerkraut consumption may assist you in losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. One of the reasons is because sauerkraut is high in fiber and low in calories. The high amount of fiber helps you feel fuller for a prolonged time. It may help in reducing your overall calorie intake. Therefore, probiotic content may contribute to a slim waistline.
The Fermented Conclusion
Sauerkraut is a highly nutritious and healthy dish. Above, we have mentioned some of the amazing health benefits of sauerkraut. But to ensure that you get all the health benefits, it is important that you store sauerkraut properly. It is better to avoid pasteurized sauerkraut because it kills the probiotics that are highly beneficial. Moreover, refrigerated options are not likely to be pasteurized but ensure to check the label. Additionally, many store-bought sauerkraut brands come with preservatives that may lower the count of probiotics.