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Sauerkraut is my super power, one of the world’s oldest superfoods



You might say, 'well it's only cabbage...' actually its moire than cabbage, packed with essential nutrients and probiotics while boasting low calorie content, sauerkraut earns its superfood status. Brimming with fiber, vital minerals, vitamins, and folate, it's a powerhouse for sustaining both body and mind. Plus, at just 30 calories per cup, it's a guilt-free addition to any diet. Becoming a staple in Central and Eastern European cuisine, sauerkraut gained renown for its robustness and health benefits. Ancient healers prized its medicinal qualities, while military figures toted barrels to stave off scurvy, hence the nickname "Krauts" for Germans. Among the populace, sauerkraut was esteemed for its longevity properties. Its distinctive tang made it a cherished addition to New Year's festivities, symbolising auspicious beginnings.


Did you ever try sauerkraut as part of hot dish? If you didn't here is amazing recipe for classic Polish meal called BIGOS, if you were in Poland, then you definitely tried on, if not, I believe now its time to get cooking!


Here's a recipe for traditional Polish bigos, a hearty hunter's stew:

Ingredients:


  • 1 lb sauerkraut, drained, you can buy Organic Sauerkraut from my shop

  • 1 lb fresh cabbage, shredded

  • 1 lb mixed meats (such as pork shoulder, bacon, kielbasa), diced

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup dried wild mushrooms, soaked in warm water and chopped

  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth

  • 1 cup red wine (optional)

  • 2-3 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

Instructions:


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the diced meats and brown them on all sides.

  2. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pot. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent.

  3. Stir in the drained sauerkraut and shredded cabbage. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the cabbage starts to wilt.

  4. Pour in the beef or chicken broth, and if using, the red wine. Add the chopped mushrooms, bay leaves, and caraway seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Bring the stew to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let it cook gently for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If the stew is too thick, you can add more broth or water.

  7. Serve the bigos hot, preferably with crusty bread or boiled potatoes.

Enjoy your hearty and flavourful bigos!




If you have no intention to cook but looking forward to try this amazing dish, worry not as I have prepped plenty of bigos at my Meal in a Jar, its only £6 and all you need to do is heat it up at home - yes, we deliver nationwide!


The most beneficial sauerkraut varieties are those that contain active cultures!


Sauerkraut, a beloved fermented cabbage dish, has garnered attention not just for its tangy flavour but also for its potential health benefits. Among its many virtues, one key factor stands out: the presence of live cultures. These beneficial bacteria, when present in sauerkraut, can contribute to improved gut health and overall well-being.

Live cultures, also known as probiotics, are living microorganisms that provide numerous health advantages when consumed. In sauerkraut, these cultures occur naturally during the fermentation process. As the cabbage undergoes fermentation, beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus populate the mixture, transforming it into a probiotic-rich food.


priobiotic rich food

The health benefits of live cultures in sauerkraut are extensive. Firstly, they promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which is crucial for digestion and immune function. Additionally, consuming foods rich in probiotics may alleviate digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation.

Furthermore, research suggests that live cultures in sauerkraut could have a positive impact on mental health. The gut-brain connection is a burgeoning field of study, and evidence indicates that a healthy gut microbiome may contribute to reduced anxiety and depression symptoms.



When choosing sauerkraut for its live cultures, opt for varieties that are unpasteurised and refrigerated. Pasteurisation, a process that involves heating foods to kill harmful bacteria, can also destroy beneficial probiotics. Refrigerated sauerkraut, on the other hand, typically retains its live cultures and maximum nutritional value.


Reading labels is essential when selecting sauerkraut with live cultures. Look for phrases like "raw," "unpasteurised," or "contains live cultures" on the packaging. These indicators signal that the sauerkraut has undergone minimal processing and is likely to contain beneficial bacteria.

Homemade sauerkraut is another excellent option for obtaining live cultures. By fermenting cabbage at home using salt and water, individuals can ensure the presence of probiotics in their sauerkraut. Plus, homemade versions allow for customisation with additional ingredients like herbs and spices.



Incorporating sauerkraut with live cultures into your diet is simple and versatile. Enjoy it as a side dish alongside meats, sandwiches, or salads. Alternatively, use it as a topping for hot dogs or bratwurst, or incorporate it into recipes like soups, stews, and stir-fries for added flavour and probiotic benefits. Anything about sauerkraut is good, from fermentation to final meal preparation, some topics of how to ferment could sound difficult but believe me, its very easy to make - if you require any help, please contact me and I will be very happy to come to your home and set you special culinary plan which would include sauerkraut and most of superfoods required in your diet.


For those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, sauerkraut offers a dairy-free source of probiotics. Unlike some other fermented foods like yogurt or kefir, sauerkraut contains no dairy ingredients, making it suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions.

In conclusion, when seeking the healthiest sauerkraut options, prioritise varieties that contain live cultures. These probiotic-rich foods offer a myriad of benefits for gut health, digestion, immunity, and even mental well-being. By incorporating sauerkraut with live cultures into your diet, you can enjoy both its delicious flavour and its potential to support overall health.




Sauerkraut also fits perfectly in to soups...


Here's a recipe for Kapusniak, a traditional Polish cabbage soup:


Ingredients:


  • 1 lb pork shoulder or bacon, diced

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 1 medium head of cabbage, shredded

  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh parsley or dill for garnish

  • Sour cream or yogurt (optional) for serving


Instructions:


  1. In a large pot, cook the diced pork shoulder or bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy. If using bacon, you may need to drain excess fat.

  2. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.

  3. Stir in the shredded cabbage and diced potatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the cabbage to wilt slightly.

  4. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) to the pot, along with the chicken or vegetable broth. Stir to combine.

  5. Add the bay leaves and caraway seeds to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the flavors have melded together.

  7. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

  8. Ladle the kapusniak into bowls and garnish with freshly chopped parsley or dill. Serve hot, optionally with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top.

Enjoy your hearty and flavourful Kapusniak soup!


That's not even half of nutritional information about sauerkraut, but there are also some records...


In 2018, Joanna Webster, Katie Venner, and a dedicated team of volunteers achieved an extraordinary feat by setting the Guinness World Record for producing a staggering 792 pounds of sauerkraut within a mere six-hour timeframe. This remarkable accomplishment underscores the immense effort involved in processing such a vast quantity of chopped cabbage. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that, according to USDA data, the average American consumes only about 1.3 pounds of sauerkraut annually. However, it's plausible that this figure is steadily increasing, given the growing trend toward plant-based diets and healthier lifestyle choices.


If you didn't try sauerkraut on Reuben in NYC, then you have to do it now - please don't book flights to USA, you can easily make one of those sandwiches at home, with little help of mine of course :)

Reuben or pastrami is legendary sandwich originated by Jewish community, many moons ago. I have taken some steps and incorporated my own version in to this tasty MEGA BITE!


How it's done? Its simple to put together, but not so simpler to prepare it and I really mean it.





Smoked Pastrami Sandwich


Ingredients



Most of the items are available via our online shop, I have also included products from Waitrose, and Ocado (M&S)


Method


Speed each slice with layer of mustard, please around 150g of pastrami, cover with few slices of fermented , plenty of sauerkraut and cheese, place second slice of bread, press and toast!


This is not just toasted sandwich, this is ultimate pastrami sandwich


ENJOY!


As you ca see sauerkraut is quite versatile, healthy and super tasty! You can eat it raw, pan fried, cooked as part of stews or soups, I hope sauerkraut will now become part of your diet.


Culinary regards,

Damian

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