Many people eat and enjoy sauerkraut in their diets. Not only is it a beneficial courier for probiotics, but it can add a tasty and tangy spin on what would normally just be a savory or sweet dish. We’ve gathered a list of what we feel is the top five uses for this fabulous fermenter! Take a look.
Sauerkraut commonly comes packaged in a brine – usually the same liquid it was fermented in. There are many ways to use this juice, believe it or not, you can even just drink the liquid straight like a tonic! It can be used for a second ferment, throwing a new array of vegetables or cabbage into the brine can be a great kickstart for a second fermentation. The juice can also be used to make dressings – it is comparable to adding vinegar to a dressing due to the tangy acidic nature of the brine – think sauerkraut vinaigrette! Any sort of recipe that uses vinegar or some sort of acidic tasting liquid as an addition could use the brine as a substitute. For example, instead of lemon juice or a similar liquid when blending yolks for deviled eggs, try the brine! When you’re making tuna salad, egg salad, or even potato salad – use the brine instead of the normal liquid you’d use to give these a tangy kick. Using the brine included with your jar of sauerkraut is a great way to make use of everything you are getting when you purchase or make kraut.
One of the many ways to use Sauerkraut is obviously to eat it – its probiotic benefits have been seen to take hold inside of the gut. Sauerkraut provides many beneficial gut flora (probiotics) that help digestion and fight off bad bacteria. A great way to add sauerkraut to a dish is to use it as a condiment or a compliment to a main dish. Sauerkraut can be added as a side dish in the same way that coleslaw would be. Throw a handful or two of kraut to accompany a protein or carb dish and consider yourself set! The tangy and sourness of sauerkraut can definitely be a good way to cut through a savory or sweet primary food group on a dish. Not only are you adding additional (and much rarer) flavors to your dish, you are providing your body with much needed beneficial bacteria that will aid in digestion.
Believe it or not, sauerkraut can and has been used in baking! There are many cupcake and cake recipes that include sauerkraut. The sour taste of the sauerkraut is usually absent or close to absent in the cake when eaten – but you can definitely notice the texture! Think how coconut lends itself to the different realms of baking and the texture it brings to a dish. Sauerkraut acts in a similar way. Most of the recipes we found often use somewhere between ½ cup to 1 cup of sauerkraut in their recipes!
Mix and Match
Another way to use sauerkraut is also under the category of eating – but the fermented veggie can be mixed into a salad rather than appearing on your plate as a condiment. This is a good way to add a tangy bite to what would normally be a normal tasting salad. It is not ordinary for fermented goods to be tossed into salads, so this is a great way to get your gut healthy probiotics as well. Most popular recipes gather together sauerkraut (obviously), celery, bell peppers, onions, carrots, and possibly an added fruit like apple. It is personal preference whether or not you want to go with a vinaigrette because the kraut will also possess a slightly vinegary taste due to the fermentation process – so it may be beneficial to go with a dressing that is on the sweeter side.
Last but not least, we know that possibly the most popular inclusion of kraut into daily life is to throw it into the world-renowned Reuben sandwich. The sandwich originates from Reuben Kulakofsky, a Jewish Lithuanian-born grocer residing in Omaha, Nebraska. Reuben would play a weekly poker game at the Blackstone Hotel, and accrued a collective of guys who became gambling regulars. Reuben eventually shared the recipe with the hotel because one of the regulars was the owner of Blackstone. A former employee of the hotel took the recipe to a national contest and won. This was the catalyst for the sandwich’s fame spreading nationwide. The main ingredients in the famous sandwich include corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, rye bread and Russian dressing. If you are not shy to the idea of conforming to the most popular method for using kraut, definitely make yourself a Reuben!
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