Tag Archives: fermentation

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

Beet Kvass

beet kvass

I can’t believe I never knew about beet kvass until a few months ago. I absolutely love beets and fermented foods, soooooo beet kvass should have been on my radar WAY before. I’m so happy to have found out about it now, because this fermented beet drink is one of the easiest fermented foods to make and contains so many health benefits!

What is beet kvass?

Beet kvass is a fermented drink originating from eastern Europe. In fact, Russians have been enjoying kvass for at least one thousand years. According to Weston A. Price foundation’s article:

“Russian soldiers took a ladle full of kvass before venturing from their barracks onto the Moscow streets during a cholera epidemic. Because kvass protects against infectious disease, there is no worry about sharing the glass… Folk medicine values beets and beet kvass for their liver cleansing properties and beet kvass is widely used in cancer therapy in Europe. Anecdotal reports indicate that beet kvass is an excellent therapy for chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems.”

Beets themselves have so many health benefits, and according to Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, beet kvass is:

“valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are loaded with nutrients. One glass morning and night is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.”

beet kvass

beet kvass

beet kvass

I’ve been drinking 1/2 cup of beet kvass every morning and night, and I love how much it has been helping with my digestion. Also, if you have trouble digesting fats, beets are one of the best foods that thin the bile. I highly recommend you try out beet kvass because it costs pennies to make, but the health benefits are so great and numerous!

beet kvass

How does it taste?

Slightly sweet, slightly salty, slightly sour, and very beet-y. If you are not a fan of beets, I don’t know if you’ll love beet kvass. Even for beet lovers, it may take some time to get used to. The first time I made it, I didn’t like how salty it tasted and that’s why I adjusted the original recipe to use less salt. SOME salt is necessary to avoid the formation of mold.

If you have a hard time stomaching it, you can try diluting it with water or soda water and even add some lemon juice until you get used to the taste. To be honest, I drank it more for its medicinal properties than its flavor at first. Now that I’ve been drinking it everyday, I actually love it and look forward to drinking it every day. Just pour into a wine class and pretend that you are drinking a fancy cocktail to make it more fun!

beet kvass

beet kvass

beet kvass

Beet Kvass
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ½ gallon glass jar
  • 3 medium organic beets
  • ¼ cup sauerkraut juice
  • 1½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Wash and chop beets into ½ inch cubes.
  2. Place beets, sauerkraut juice, and sea salt into the glass jar.
  3. Pour filtered water into the jar, leaving 1 inch at the top.
  4. Stir well, and cover with a cheesecloth.
  5. Leave at room temperature for 48 hours to ferment.
  6. Taste the liquid and if it's fermented enough, transfer to the fridge.
  7. Drink ½-1 cup each day.
Notes
You may repeat the process with the same beet cubes 1 more time. The resulting kvass will be less strong than the first and you may need to ferment for longer (about 3 days), but you will get the same health benefits. Discard the beet cubes after the 2nd fermentation.

Paleo Vegan Whole30 Beet Kvass

Easy Mason Jar Sauerkraut

sauerkraut5Can you tell I love fermented foods? Today, I’m bringing you a simple old classic, sauerkraut. I’ve had digestive issues for a long long time and eating fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and even hot sauce help me tremendously. You can also take probiotics supplements, but these food sources contain a much larger variety of probiotic strains and are better absorbed by the body. I really love sauerkraut because it’s mild enough to go with any savory dish.  

easy mason jar sauerkraut

easy mason jar sauerkraut

easy mason jar sauerkrautMaking your own sauerkraut is so easy. The hardest part is  breaking down the cabbage with your hands so it creates its own juices. This takes some strength and muscle, but I have faith that you are strong enough to get through it. I sometimes take breaks between the kneading and massaging because I’m a wuss and my arm get tired, but after about 15 minutes, you’ll have that cabbage owned.

As for the fermentation period, it usually takes a little over a week to get it fermented to your liking, but I’ve let it sit for about 3 weeks because I love the tangy flavor of a well-fermented sauerkraut. I encourage everyone to try making it at home because it’s extremely cost effective and so beneficial for your health!

sauerkraut1

sauerkraut3

sauerkraut4

sauerkraut2
Easy Mason Jar Sauerkraut
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium head of cabbage
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 qt clean mason jar
  • Jelly jar small enough to fit inside the mason jar
Instructions
  1. Wash the cabbage. Remove the outer layers and set aside.
  2. Quarter the cabbage and remove the core.
  3. Cut each quarter into thin slices down its length, about ⅛ inch thick.
  4. Place the cabbage slices in a large bowl.
  5. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Mix, squeeze, and massage the cabbage using some elbow grease for about 15 minutes. The cabbage slices will wilt and release liquid, and will look juicy at the end.
  7. Place the cabbage slices into the mason jar by a couple handfuls, packing it down every so often with your fist or a spoon to remove as many air bubbles as you can.
  8. Fill the jar up to 2 inches from the top.
  9. Pour any cabbage liquid from the bowl into the jar, so the cabbage slices are completely submerged in the liquid.
  10. Place an outer leaf you had set aside on top of the sliced cabbage to help keep everything under the liquid.
  11. Place a small jelly jar on top to weigh down the cabbage, then cover the jar with a cloth and a rubber band. Alternatively, if you use a flip-top mason jar, you can take out the rubber seal from the top then snap the lid closed. This will ensure that the cabbage breathes without being sealed air-tight.
  12. Store at room temperature away from sunlight. As the cabbage ferments, check to see that the cabbage stays under the liquid, and push down the jelly jar if you see it rising. Also, the liquid may bubble and foam at the top. It may even rise and spill out. This is all completely normal.
  13. Start tasting after 10 days. Ferment longer if it needed. When it's tangy enough to your liking, store in the refrigerator. It will keep for months.

Healthy and Easy Mason Jar Sauerkraut - Paleo, Vegan, Whole30