How are you? Is it already Spring where you live?
Here in Cornwall it’s slowly starting to get warmer. So I figured, before it gets too warm for this, I'd better learn how to make Sauerkraut at home.
Why should you be making Sauerkraut?
Because Sauerkraut has natural probiotic properties and is full of vitamin C and enzymes that promote healthy digestion.
And since Candida can only thrive if your digestive system is compromised and the probiotics count is low, it’s a good idea to get into fermented foods, to stock up on the goodies!
Sure, if you have a place where you can buy ready-made Sauerkraut, that’s great, too.
Just make sure you don’t buy pasteurized Sauerkraut, as the heat during the pasteurization process destroys a fair amount of the beneficial bacteria in it.
Top Tip: Keep a few of the jars - They might come in handy when you are making Sauerkraut
They are also brilliant for using sunflower seeds, almond butter, hummus or coconut milk or veggy dips.
Benefits of Making Sauerkraut at home:
- It’s fresh - giving you maximum amounts of vitamins, enzymes and probiotics.
- It’s generally healthier - bought Sauerkraut often contains bucket loads of salt, which isn’t healthy.
- It’s quicker than you think and good fun - it's very therapeutical in fact with all the bashing
- It works out cheaper - if you’re eating Sauerkraut a lot that is.
- You save on expensive Probiotic supplements in the long run.
I’m a big believer in real food though and in being independent. I don’t want to take supplements unless it is absolutely necessary.
And as someone who has been faithfully buying probiotic supplements for the past 2-3 years, I gotta say - that must have added up to a small fortune by now!
Not my fortune, it seems, hehe!
Otherwise I probably wouldn't be looking into learning how to make Sauerkraut myself!
I don’t know about you but I’d rather eat a bit of cabbage here and there if it means I can wean myself of the expensive supplements. Don’t you?!
I really think this can be done.
For the same purpose I have just ordered some Kefir grains to make my own Kefir, since that is meant to be oh so good for you and full of minerals and probiotics, too.
Hah, I’m going ALL Probio crazy & rebelling the pharma industry
I’ll report my findings on "Kefir making" back to you next week. Put your email address in the box below if you want to hear how it went...
A couple of Things to Watch out for - Side Effects of Sauerkraut:
- It’s an acquired taste - your family might look at you funny. But I'm guessing you're probably used to getting a bit of grief from your loved ones for the greens and grains you've been bringing out lately, am I right
To be honest you’ll get used to the taste pretty quickly. After all you don’t have to eat tons of it, just 1-2 tablespoons every other day goes along way towards improving your immune system.
- It’s very sour - it can aggravate your gum, mouth ulcers, cold sores - basically any wounds in or around your mouth.
So if you have sensitive gums... don’t eat Sauerkraut. It’s as simple as that. I learned that the hard way unfortunately, when I made my cold sores ten times worse from eating Sauerkraut - very painful and not clever at all.
So go gentle on yourself. I presume the same applies if you have a stomach condition or acid reflux... then it might be better to heal that condition first before you get into Sauerkraut munching.
- Sauerkraut can cause Flu like Die Off Symptoms
Because the probiotics naturally kill Candida, you might experience a lot more symptoms. This happens when your liver might be clogged up with Candida by-products. So if you notice you’ll feel worse for wear for eating Sauerkraut, then just eat less and wait a few days before eating more.
- Uhm, and a boost in Bowel Activity
Without going into too much detail here... as you can imagine... the fermented vegetables can have quite an explosive effect on your digestive system.
So brace yourself for a little "cabbage-y smelliness" or a newly developed "sense or urgency" when you eat tons of Sauerkraut.
But generally your body should adjust pretty quickly.
The good news is, that Sauerkraut is a natural remedy against constipation. So it really is a wonder weapon against Candida and an all round immune system booster.
What Can You eat with Sauerkraut?
I’m quite lucky in the sense that I grew up in Germany where it is tradition to eat fermented vegetables.
Every winter my mum would make Sauerkraut with pork, gammon or some hearty sausages as you can see in the picture below. So for me that salty sour taste is absolutely normal.
Sauerkraut is delicious when cooked with a little white wine, fried onion, apple slices and served with a buttery potato puree and thin slices of gammon.
Should You Eat Sauerkraut When Starting the Candida Diet?
When you’re in the initial stages of the Candida Diet your immune system is generally very low and your body is struggling with a lot of symptoms. While all that is going on and your body is cleansing itself, it’s best to eat as light and easy to digest as possible.
Sauerkraut, as fabulous as it is in terms of digestive health, it’s not easy to digest at all. The same goes for any kind of cabbage and even onion and garlic.
Key with all those healthy foods is to eat little and regularly, when your body is not feeling overwhelmed. I would personally wait at least 2-3 weeks before starting to re-introduce these foods into your diet, maybe even longer, if you are really suffering.
If you just have a minor yeast infection and you are not experiencing any food sensitivities, sneezing or bloating, then there is nothing wrong with eating those foods though.
Sauerkraut is useful in the fight against Candida, but best enjoyed from Stage 3 onwards.
As alcohol and fruit are off the menu, it’s best not to prepare your Sauerkraut with wine or apple. It’s best to eat it pure just with some meat of your choice. That said, when I did eat it with apples and potato puree (when visiting my parents in Germany) I felt fine - no side effects. That was a few months into the diet mind you.
1-2-3 Step Process of Making Sauerkraut
- ¼ white cabbage sliced thinly
- sea salt
- filtered water
- a few juniper berries (optional)
- jam jar with screw top (350g)
- Chop the cabbage finely.
- Rinse your jam jar out with boiling water.
- Then layer the bottom of your jam jar out with cabbage. Bash it with
- the back of a kitchen utensil. A wooden spoon or potato masher works well for this. You want to bruise the cabbage so the juices are coming out.
- Sprinkle a little salt over it and a juniper berry.
- Then add more cabbage and start bashing again.
- Squish the cabbage tight into the jam jar, so there are no gaps. Add a little water and continue bashing. Then add a little more salt and juniper berries. Rinse repeat until the jar is filled.
- Add enough brine (water and salt) until all the cabbage is immersed. To make sure the cabbage doesn't rise to the top, take a small cabbage leaf and squish it in between your sliced cabbage and the lid, so that there is no air coming in contact with your fermenting "kraut" to spoil it.
- Close the lid tight, label with the date when you made it and store in a cool dry place.
- As a rule of thumb your Sauerkraut will be ready to eat in about a week. Once opened discard any black leaves and consume within 3-5 days. Unopened the Sauerkraut will keep for months.
Chop & Bash Cabbage - Add Salt - Add Water - Add Juniper Berries
Close the gap between lid and Kraut with a cabbage leaf.
Ready to Enjoy in 1 Week!
What my 1st batch of homemade Sauerkraut was like:
The making of it was super exciting, so naturally after 7 days of waiting, I was really looking forward to eating it.
But when I opened the jar, a distinct vinegary smell hit me, which I'm not sure if that's supposed to be like that, or if my jar got a bit warm perhaps or there wasn't enough brine in there?
Maybe that's normal for fresh Sauerkraut?! After all, the shop bought stuff usually sits there for ages before anyone eats it.
At least the kraut doesn't look or smell gone off and there is no visible mould. It just doesn't smell or taste like the shop bought stuff, hmpf!
I have decided to let it ferment for another 1-2 weeks and keep checking on it to see whether the smell has changed. If it doesn't, then I might launch it.
How to Make Sauerkraut Video
Here's a cool video from Kim Snyder how she makes Sauerkraut. She calls it "Probiotic Enzyme Salad" but it's just good old Sauerkraut.
If you liked this post then you might also like my step by step photo tutorial How to Make Kefir. And as always, if you'd like to get general updates from my latest culinary and candida diet adventures, then sign up for free weekly updates below