Maybe it’s because I’m part German that I have always LOVED sauerkraut. When I did eat hotdogs (many years ago) it was the best part of the hot dog experience for me. At a friend’s pizza party in grade school, her dad made us get sauerkraut on top of our pizza. We groaned until we tasted it — all crispy and crunchy on top, and we were hooked. To this day it’s still one of my favorite pizza toppings when I can find it. It adds a nice crunch mixed into green salads too.
Sauerkraut is one of the top “Super-foods”. So what can sauerkraut do for you? For starters, it’s made from cabbage, one of the top cancer-fighters on the planet. Cabbage has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk by 74%, and very helpful in fighting prostate cancer. It’s also a fermented food*, and fermented foods are one of the best types of food you can eat. This is because fermented foods contain live cultures (lactobacillus – a natural probiotic) created during the fermentation process, which help feed the good bacteria of your gut.
Many cultures around the globe have a traditional fermented food (e.g.: miso, yogurt, soy sauce, kimchi and some pickles), which they eat a small amount of before or with each meal. Besides aiding digestion, fermented foods also help improve immune function, absorption and assimilation of nutrients, control inflammation, help increase natural killer (NK) immune system cells, fight against cancers, and reduce bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol.
With so many fabulous health benefits, sauerkraut should be a part of everyone’s meals. Here’s a recipe to make your own sauerkraut from scratch, it’s super easy to do.
*Not all sauerkraut is fermented, be sure to buy it from the refrigerated section and ensure that it says “fermented” on the label. Also look for fermented pickles, kimchi, and other new fermented flavors like pickled carrots with ginger, one of my favs.