Rachel Carlson is a featured guest blogger for Krautlook. As an avid cook, recipe experimenter, and lover of all foods healthy, she shares her experience of how eating well can be tasty, and more simple than you think.
I used to be vegan. Keywords, “used to be.” I liked that I only consumed plant-based materials, but I didn’t enjoy all the mock foods and replacements the vegan diet recommended. All too often, I missed the variety of foods I was accustomed to having every day. My perspective is that you should eat what you want. I believe good food makes you feel good. I’m not saying that eating an entire supreme pizza alone will make you want to pat yourself on the back (well, maybe), I’m saying that making healthy choices makes you feel great—physically and mentally. And, with each healthy choice you make, the easier it becomes to make even more.
While I’m always trying to make healthy choices for myself, I’m also trying to do it while staying on a budget. My goal is to simplify my weekly shopping list into a select few products in order to save time and money, and stay healthy. Unfortunately, good-for-you food can be expensive sometimes. I am constantly on the hunt for the holy grail of food products: the one that will be cheap, easy to find, delicious, and can be used in a lot of different meals.
There are a few products I’ve found that are guaranteed to show up on my grocery list. Believe it or not, one of them is sauerkraut. I feel bad for sauerkraut; it’s so underappreciated even though it’s crazy good for you. I always hear the same anti-kraut comments over and over again. Though I’m sure you’ve heard these before (maybe you’ve even said them), I’m going to tell you two big hang-ups people have against sauerkraut and why they should reconsider. Pssst—I’m not going to include “it smells bad.” Hard-boiled eggs and bleu cheese smell weird, but we eat those! Why are people sour on sauerkraut?
1.) “It loses the probiotics when you cook it.”
I understand, but it still has a ton of health benefits. If you want probiotics, buy your sauerkraut bagged and eat it raw in a salad or by itself. Personally, I prefer bagged sauerkraut because it’s extra crunchy! If you don’t care about probiotics, there are a lot of ways to cook bagged or canned sauerkraut into dinners, appetizers, and desserts. (I’m not even kidding. Sauerkraut brownies are a thing. A seriously good thing.)
2.) “There is too much sodium in it.”
The majority of the salt is in the juice. Sauerkraut can still be enjoyed without having to worry about salt—all you need to do is rinse it. That’s it! Though it’s a little wild for my taste, I’ve heard some people swear by drinking sauerkraut juice for digestion. There are a surprising number of sauerkraut cocktail recipes out there. Who would have thought?
I’ve been reading so much lately about how much your health can benefit by eating fermented foods like sauerkraut. I truly believe that anyone can eat his or her way to health, and sauerkraut is a simple way to start. I hope by demystifying the two most common objections to sauerkraut, I’ve opened some people’s minds to giving sauerkraut another try. Once you discover how cheap, healthy, and tasty it is, you might find yourself adding it to your grocery list, too!