SAUERKRAUT: FORGOTTEN SUPERFOOD

Posted: October 9, 2012 in barbecue, lactic, probiotic, Recipes, sauerkraut, superfoods
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In a world where buzz words like “probiotics” rule every food product marketing campaign, comes word that good ol’ sauerkraut is actually really good for your health! Who knew? Apparently, some have for many years. 

Lactic acid and beneficial bacteria…those are the two main ingredients that make sauerkraut so good for you. Lactic acid fermented foods such as sauerkraut have made up a significant portion of food eaten by humans for a long time and still do in many developing countries. Lactic acid fermentation is one of the simplest and safest ways of preserving food. 

Archaeological digs have found that mankind has used this technique for thousands of years. (Korean kimchi is a perfect example.) Our forefathers must have consumed large numbers of live lactic acid bacteria in their daily diets. So it seems logical to think that the human gastrointestinal tract has evolved over the years to adapt to a regular supply of live lactic acid bacteria. But this supply slowed down or even stopped in industrialized countries during the 20th century, which may have led to the enormous increase in gastrointestinal and immunological problems that plague us today. 

Here are just a few of the benefits of eating sauerkraut: it provides vitamin C…it reduces bloating and pain to those stricken with irritable bowel syndrome…it significantly helps aid in the digestion of starches and proteins found in soy and grains…and lots, lots more. 

Sauerkraut has been used for hundreds of years to help cure upset stomachs and to increase beneficial flora in the intestinal tract.
It’s amazing how we’ve forgotten about so many things that kept us healthy naturally. Our crazy lifestyles deplete all the beneficial building blocks our bodies need, and then we think we need to take pills and supplements to get them back. All we really need is to eat the right foods again. 

So next time you grab a hotdog, ask for extra sauerkraut! Maybe the dog isn’t the best thing for you, but you can certainly justify the kraut! 

I love the taste of sauerkraut as is. But here’s a recipe that takes it to a whole new level. I make gallon-sized batches of the stuff when I have a cookout in the yard, but this recipe has been reduced to a quarter of that for normal home use. 

1 package (32 oz) sauerkraut
1/4 lb bacon, chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
salt and sugar to tasteOpen the package of sauerkraut and drain it in a colander. wash the sauerkraut with water to remove the brine. Let drain again.

In a large sauce pan, fry the chopped bacon until just crispy. Don’t drain the fat! Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Then add the sauerkraut and cook over medium heat until the sauerkraut has caramelized. This could take up to 30 minutes. Stir often.
If you see the sauerkraut sticking to the pot, add a little olive oil.

At the end, add a little salt and a touch of sugar, to taste.

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