Tag Archives: digestion

9 Ways to Use Sauerkraut Juice

How to Use Sauerkraut Juice

Do you throw out sauerkraut juice after finishing your sauerkraut? If you do, you are throwing out a nutrient-dense and health-promoting (and delicious!) liquid that you could be using in so many different ways! Before going into all the various uses, let’s talk a bit more about sauerkraut, and how to get the best quality.

If you are a fermented food lover like me, you probably know the amazing health benefits of a properly made sauerkraut. Not only is it chock full of vitamin and nutrients, it has a high dose of fiber and probiotics to feed your healthy gut bacteria to improve your immune and digestive system. I love what a huge difference incorporating sauerkraut into my diet has made in my digestion and overall health, and I highly recommend you try it out. It has actually been the best remedy for my candida symptoms because it doesn’t contain sugar like kombucha or yogurt that can feed the yeast.

I always prefer making my own sauerkraut because it’s so cheap and easy, and contains way more gut healing nutrients and probiotic strains than the store-bought kind. However, if you do decide to purchase it, always buy it from the refrigerated section and make sure it has the words “fermented” and/or “live cultures” on the label. The ingredients should also be pretty simple, usually just cabbage, salt, and water, without sugar or vinegar. Bubbies is one of my favorite brands that makes quality fermented products.

If you regularly enjoy sauerkraut, you are probably left with a varying amount of sauerkraut juice or brine, and you may not know what to do with all of it. Don’t let it go to waste! These are 9 of my favorite ways to enjoy sauerkraut juice:

1. Drink it straight as a gut shot

Have you ever walked around a health food store and come across “gut shot” products by Farmhouse Culture? That’s just sauerkraut juice that’s been bottled up!

If you don’t mind the sour tangy taste of the sauerkraut juice, this is one of the ways to get a healthy dose of probiotics very quickly. Since the juice contains just as much beneficial nutrients as sauerkraut, but in a more concentrated form, drinking it straight can be a really healthy supplement to your diet. I love taking a “gut shot” first thing in the morning and before going to bed, instead of taking probiotic supplements. Remember: probiotics in food form is much more absorbable by your body  (and cheaper!) than trying to get it from a pill.

How to Use Sauerkraut Juice

2. Use it in salad dressing and other sauces

I love using sauerkraut juice to make dressings and various sauces. Almost all dressings and sauces need some kind of acid to make them tangy and more flavorful, like lemon juice or some kind of vinegar, and you can just substitute those ingredients with the same amount of sauerkraut juice. Not only does it give it a delicious flavor, it’s also way healthier!

3. Splash over cooked vegetables and meat

One of my favorite cooking tricks is, when you taste your food and you think it needs more salt, try adding vinegar instead. It’s an instant flavor boost, and your veggies and meat just taste so much better with a bit of acidity. Using sauerkraut juice as a vinegar substitute is a delicious and probiotic-rich way to elevate almost any savory dish and I do this for almost every one of my meals.

4. Make the next batch of sauerkraut or pickled veggies

Normally, you use cabbage, salt, the water “sweat out” from the cabbage, and/or a bit more water to make a new batch of sauerkraut at home (you can see the detailed instructions here). However, you can also use a bit of sauerkraut juice to mix into the new batch to give the new batch a boost with an active culture starter.

This helps the sauerkraut ferment faster, and helps ensure success if you ever failed at making sauerkraut in the past.

5. Add it to your favorite dip recipes

Another favorite method of mine! I love a good dip and they are usually so addicting because they have a delicious balance of salty and tangy. If you love salt and vinegar potato chips, you know what I’m talking about.

The next time you make a yummy dip like Caramelized Onion Bacon Dip, Paleo Pumpkin Hummus, or Dairy Free Salmon Cream “Cheese,” use sauerkraut juice instead of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for a fun, healthy twist!

caramelized onion bacon dip

paleo pumpkin hummus

Dairy-Free Salmon Cream Cheese

5. Give it to your pet

The probiotics and the nutrients in sauerkraut juice are just as beneficial for our pets as they are for humans! Just like us, we commonly administer medications and antibiotics for out pets starting at a young age, which compromise their digestion. Also, a typical store-bought kibble is quite dehydrating and deficient in necessary nutrients that are necessary for their optimal health. Supplementing with sauerkraut juice gives our pets enzymes and healthy nutrition, while repairing and restoring their gut, especially if they suffer from food allergies.

You can start by starting out with a teaspoon of sauerkraut juice splashed over your pets food (or even less if they are especially small) and increase the amount as necessary. My dogs looked a bit confused when they first tasted it, but they now enjoy it regularly without a problem.

6. Use it as a pickleback or in a cocktail

If you don’t know what a pickleback is, it’s when you take a shot of liquor and chase it with a shot of pickle brine. I know, I know… This isn’t necessarily the healthiest way to use sauerkraut juice, but hey, if I’m going to enjoy a drink now and then, might as well keep my health in check by replenishing my body with nourishing and healing nutrients. Am I right, friends?

You can also add sauerkraut juice to a refreshing, savory cocktail like a Bloody Mary or a Michelada. Again, if you are going to indulge in an unhealthy habit, this is the to do it in the healthiest way possible!

7. Marinate meat with it

You’ll commonly find some kind of acid (vinegar, wine, citrus juice, or tomatoes) in a meat marinade recipe because it tenderizes the meat faster and cuts down on cooking time by breaking down the protein bonds. Try using sauerkraut juice instead next time and you’ll find that it brings out a delicious flavor to the meat. I especially love using sauerkraut juice when cooking pork as they complement each other really well.

One quick note about using sauerkraut juice as a marinade: you won’t get the same healthy benefits after heating up sauerkraut juice so this is for the flavor purpose only. For its full benefits, enjoy it in its raw form.

9. Use it as a facial toner

How to Use Sauerkraut Juice

You are probably thinking, ” What the f—??” But, it’s true! Sauerkraut juice makes a really great toner because of its acidity level, along with it beneficial nutrients.

The main purpose of a toner is to restore the pH level of the skin, which can be disrupted because of poor diet, stress, environmental toxins, and conventional skin products. Our skin should be on a slightly acidic side, but typically becomes more alkaline because of these disruptive factors. Using toners that are more acidic than our skin normalizes the pH level of our skin to where it should be.

Typical store-bought toners are filled with toxins and hormone disruptors that do more harm than good. By using naturally acidic sauerkraut juice, which is also filled with beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, it gently exfoliates the skin and can be quite helpful for skin conditions like acne and eczema.

I suggest you start out diluting 1 part sauerkraut juice with 4 parts water and building it up to 1:1 ratio depending on the sensitivity of your skin. Store this DIY potion in the refrigerator.

As you can see, there are so many different ways to use sauerkraut juice! The next time you have some leftover, I hope you save it to use in 1 or more ways listed above. It’s a delicious and health-promoting nutritional powerhouse! 

9 Ways to Use Probiotic-Rich Sauerkraut Juice

Digest & Detox Tea + FREE Apple Cider Vinegar

Scroll to the bottom of this post to grab a FREE bottle of apple cider vinegar from Thrive Market!
Paleo Vegan Digest & Detox Tea

Gosh, Christmas is still a week and a half away and I feel like I’m already indulging in too many sweets. Sugar is one of those all-or-nothing things for me, and once I have a small bite of cake, 20 minutes later, you’ll see me with an empty cake platter and looking for what other dessert I can get my sweet tooth on. The addiction is real! Thank goodness for my New Year sugar detox class! I will definitely be joining in with my participants.

Today, I want to talk about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, and how amazing incorporating this Digest & Detox Tea has been for my digestion, energy level, and just overall well-being. Especially during a time when we are all indulging a bit too much, it becomes even more important to take care of ours bodies and practice light detoxification. I usually feel pretty crappy with too much sugar from my candida issues but it has been quite manageable this season by drinking this tea every morning.

Paleo Vegan Digest & Detox Tea

The secret ingredient? Apple cider vinegar! Apple cider vinegar is one of my favorite cooking staples and I use it everyday, even in my skin care routine. It has so many health benefits and it differs from regular white vinegar in that it’s made from apples (duh) and that it’s been fermented. For true healing benefits, make sure that the label says “raw”, “unfiltered”, and “with the mother.” The “mother” means that it has gone through a true fermentation process.

Here are just some of the benefits:

  • Aids in detoxification
  • Known to lower blood sugar
  • Improves digestion by increasing stomach acid production
  • Contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial components (that’s why it’s GREAT for candida overgrowth!)
  • May increase satiety so you avoid overeating
  • Balances the pH of the skin when used topically, making it a great toner!

Paleo Vegan Digest & Detox Tea

This Digest & Detox tea also includes ingredients that boosts these internal benefits and more, like ginger, lemon juice, cinnamon, honey, and cayenne. All of these have been shown to be especially health promoting for digestion and detox, and that’s why this powerhouse combination will help you feel amazing!

Digest & Detox Tea
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of water
  • 5 thinly sliced raw ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered)
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup (or more, to taste)
  • Pinch of cayenne
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine water, ginger slices, and cinnamon. Once it comes to boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, add the rest of the ingredients, and stir.
  3. Strain, pour into a mug, and serve warm.
Notes
As with any food that facilitates detoxification, you may or may not experience detox symptoms in the beginning which may make you feel sick in various degrees and ways. If this is the case for you, start out slow and increase you intake slowly over time!

 

Grab a FREE bottle of apple cider vinegar!

Grab Your Free Organic Apple Cider at Thrive Market!

If you are convinced that you NEED to try apple cider vinegar, you are in luck because one of my favorite online grocery stores, Thrive Market, is giving away free bottle with any order for a limited time! This doesn’t need to be your first time ordering from them for your to snag this offer. It’s really for anyone!

Grab Your Free Organic Apple Cider at Thrive Market!

If you’ve never heard of Thrive Market, it is an online shop that delivers high quality, organic groceries for a discounted price (25-50% off retail price!) to its members. I especially love their corporate messaging and their social mission of donating a free membership to a low-income family for every paid membership. I encourage you to sign up as a member because they have amazing products that cater to various dietary needs. I end saving so much money though them!

CLICK HERE or on the image above to sign up today and grab your FREE apple cider vinegar !

Paleo Vegan Digest & Detox Tea

Grab Your Free Organic Apple Cider at Thrive Market!

What Do My Food Cravings Mean?

What Do My Food Cravings Mean?Let’s talk about cravings! Because who doesn’t have them? We crave different kinds of foods for various reasons, and many times, it’s not obvious what those reasons are. I believe that it’s important to figure out why we are craving certain foods because it can help us determine what our body is trying to tell us.

First, let’s talk about the difference between hunger and craving because those 2 can be confusing. When you get a certain hankering for a specific food, think of eating a giant bowl of vegetables like roasted broccoli or sautéed spinach. Do those also sound good to you? If yes, it’s likely that what you are feeling is hunger. If not, you are probably experiencing a craving. Of course, there are some gray areas but this is the basic rule I use to distinguish between the two.

While it may take some investigative work (just like all things when it comes to our health!), once we do figure out what our cravings mean, we can then adjust our habits and nutrition to get rid of those cravings and feel much better. So, let’s get to it!

Blood sugar imbalance

This is probably the most common reasons for cravings. Most people crave sweets or crackers and chips. Sweets may be obvious but crackers and potato chips are also a sign of a sugar craving because those high carb chips rapidly turn to glucose in the body giving you that sugar high.

When you are on a high sugar diet, your blood sugar is constantly rising and dropping dramatically, making you crave more sweets to get your blood sugar back up. You’ve probably experienced that rapid heartbeat and lightheadedness, and needing something sweet in order to get your energy back. And after you do consume something high in sugar, you feel tired and lethargic (sugar coma). This is a classic sign of blood sugar imbalance and usually means you would probably benefit from a sugar detox to get your blood sugar back in balance and reset your taste buds.

Intestinal imbalances

Yes, leaky gut and imbalances in your intestinal bacteria will greatly influence your cravings. There are trillions of microbes in our gut, and in a healthy body, they all work in harmony keeping our digestion flowing optimally. However, stress, sugar, toxins, medications, and other lifestyle habits can all throw these microbes off in balance, causing the “bad” microbes to grow faster than the good kind. And guess what these “bad” microbes feed on?? Sugar!

Whether you have Candida, SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth), or other imbalances in your gut, your biggest cravings will be carbs and sugar, because that’s what those “bad” microbes want in order to grow and proliferate. The important next step is instead of feeding them, starve and kill them by eliminating sugar and the cravings will disappear. This can be a slow and difficult process but so worth it in the end. Sugar detox programs like RESTART are a great place to start.

Food allergies and sensitivities

As crazy as this sounds, sometimes your biggest cravings are the foods you are allergic to or have sensitivities to. Many times, we actually end up developing food sensitivities to foods that we eat all the time. This is because in our modern world, many of us have compromised immune systems and many foods actually irritate our guts slightly. However, when our gut lining is constantly exposed to the same food over and over again, the slight irritation can turn into a sensitivity and even to a full-blown allergy. One of the questions I ask my clients when I try to figure out their food sensitivities is, “What is the one food that you eat all the time that you can’t give up?” Many times, sadly enough, it’s THAT food that they have to give up in order to feel better.

This is especially difficult because we become addicted to the foods that we are allergic to. When we are intolerant to a food, the inflammation triggers our body to release antihistamines and endorphins to protect the body. This protective response actually feels good to us and we can become addicted to that feeling, and associate that food to that response. We need to find out what our allergies and sensitivities are and address them, in order to prevent certain foods from damaging our gut and immune system even further.

Nutrient deficiencies

I love this one because I think it’s so interesting! Did you know that when you crave certain foods, you may be deficient in the nutrients that are in that specific food? For example, if you are craving chocolate, you may be deficient in magnesium, which is found in the cacao plant. You can try to incorporate other magnesium-rich foods like dark, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, avocados, and bananas.

Also, if you are constantly craving salty foods like potato chips or you regularly over-salt your food, this is also a sign of mineral deficiency. You may also be going through some type of stress, because mineral depletion is one of the ways the body reacts to a stressful situation. This is because high-quality salts from nature that are pink or gray in color are chock full of minerals and nutrients that are so beneficial. If you are constantly craving salty foods, switch to a colorful Himalayan or Celtic sea salt instead of white table salt while addressing your stress, and you may find that your salt cravings may reduce.

What Do My Food Cravings Mean?There are other nutrient deficiencies that correlate to your cravings. If you ladies have PMS-related cravings, you may be deficient in zinc and it’s worth trying supplementing or incorporating seafood, especially oysters, into your diet. Want to chew ice all the time? This correlates to iron deficiency. I’m actually not sure what the science behind this is but if this is you, up your intake of meat, fish, seaweed, and dark, leafy greens.

Fatty foods and/or carbonated drinks? You may be deficient in calcium. Bread and toast? Possibly a nitrogen deficiency. This is why it’s so important to try to figure out your cravings because they may be telling us about what our bodies need.

Emotional

There are 2 parts to this: habitual cravings and non-food cravings. Food is emotional, and this can work to our disadvantage many times.

Our habitual cravings are the foods that we must have because it’s a certain occasion. Popcorn at the movie theater, Grandma’s pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, or hot dogs and beer at the ball game. These habits can be embedded in us from early as childhood and that’s why these craving are so powerful. I don’t necessary think that all habitual cravings are bad, especially if it’s a 1-2x a year occasion, but it does become a problem when you have specific health goals in mind but there’s an excuse to indulge every week. It’s important to figure out what triggers these emotions, and make healthier substitutions and work on shifting the way you think about food (easier said then done, I know!).

Non-food cravings are when you crave food for comfort, because you can’t fulfill an emotional or mental craving in your life (yup, I went there). This can be loneliness, boredom, stress, anger, frustration, etc. The list goes on and you should know better than me what you might be unhappy with in your life. I know that when I’m in a fight with a friend or upset about something, I grab potato chips because that’s what gives me a type of satisfaction that temporarily fulfills my emotional needs. Your emotions and nutrition go hand in hand and this is just one of the countless examples of this.


As you can see, your cravings can tell a powerful story about the needs of your body and your emotions. This is why it’s so important not to shrug them off, but really delve into where they are coming from, especially if you are experiencing health issues. My RESTART sugar detox program is a great place to start to tackle some of the food craving and addiction issues.

What are YOUR biggest cravings? Comment below! Also, feel free to ask me questions or contact me if you want to work with me to address your health goals!

What Do My Food Cravings Mean