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 Post subject: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:43 am 
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Hi everyone,

I need some people to tell me about sauerkraut, why it's great, and how it's commonly eaten (as a vegan). I remember reading that it's supposed to be really healthy for some reason - but I can't remember why :( I finally bought a jar and don't mind the flavour. We've just been eating it in salads or on the sides of salads and meals. It's our summer here so we're getting into all the salads. Tonight it's in a salad with tempeh and pear and sweetcorn and green leaves and beans and it's quite nice, not noticable. I've heard of it in the tempeh reuben recipes but I've never had a reuben before either. It's really not a common ingredient here at all!

So please let me know what you know about sauerkraut!

(I checked wiki and did a forum search, but couldn't find the info I was looking for)

Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:11 am 
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The other place I use it, besides the reuben, is on top of hot dogs or other sausages on rolls.


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:15 am 
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Mix it into some mashed potatoes!


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:28 am 
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pickledtreats wrote:
Mix it into some mashed potatoes!


I'm finishing the last of this for lunch today!

But I bought some veggie sausage and I'm gonna stew the sausage in the kraut for a bit, and add some caraway and maybe beer.

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:32 am 
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I can't tell you anything except that it ROCKS!
I love the stuff and eat it neat quite often.

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:20 am 
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I think its healthfulness (other than just being a veggie) comes from it being fermented. I think a lot of at least naturally fermented sauerkraut has cultures like yogurt does.

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:01 am 
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rabidchild wrote:
I think its healthfulness (other than just being a veggie) comes from it being fermented. I think a lot of at least naturally fermented sauerkraut has cultures like yogurt does.


This. It's made by fermenting cabbage. I think all it is is cabbage and salt.


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:35 am 
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Fermented vegetables are sooooo healthy! They are very alkalizing and help maintain a good bacterial balance in your tummy, good for digestion and generally awesome.

You make sauerkraut from the same basic principle of making sourdough bread, by letting cabbage sit in a jar with salt and a little bit of water until its done (not really that simple, please read a proper recipe before trying at home!).

BUT you wanna make sure the sauerkraut you get at the store is acutally fermented and not just soaking in vinegare and whatnot. Recommend you get a decent organic/holistic/hippie-looking brand of kraut for guaranteed sauer-ness and proper fermentation

Kim-chee is the Korean version of sauerkraut, and (at least over here) there are lots of other "sauer" veggies avaliable

I make a sauer-slaw by mixing the cabbage with soy yoghurt and some nooch. It's delish with soy sausage, and on veggie burgers!!

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:59 am 
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I LOVE 'KRAUT! I just eat it out of the jar (or can) but if you want to make anything with it, I've heard of it being an ingredient in some recipes for borscht. I also make a sandwhich by sauteeing mushrooms and onions in some oil, toasting some pumpernickle or rye bread, putting some sauerkraut on it and adding the mushrooms and onions. If they flavor is too strong for you than you can sautee it with the mushroom and onions. Other than that, you can use 'kraut in pretty much everything!

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:18 am 
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Sauerkraut is so healthy for you. All those yummy beneficial bacteria for your tummy from the fermentation process of the cabbage.

I too have sort of suffered from yummy ways to use it since becoming vegan. It does taste good with mashed potatoes though. I really need to work on putting more of it back into my life.


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:38 am 
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I forking love sauerkraut.

This probs kills the health benefits much like boiling miso does, but it is delicious in borscht. I suppose you could put some in after the soup has cooled to keep the health benefits. I also put it in nearly all my sammiches!

Yes, it is very healthy, but also quite high in sodium, so drink lots of water if you're eating it frequently!


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:30 pm 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
I LOVE 'KRAUT! I just eat it out of the jar (or can)


I'm so glad to hear someone else does this! I only eat it right out of the can/jar in private because I don't want to gross other people out.

I put it on everything also. Sandwiches, veggie dogs/sausages, veggieburgers, salads, etc.
Plus because I'm a total salt addict I'll add tons of pickles, mustard, ketchup and hot sauce to my kraut.

The stuff totally reeks and makes my stomach hate me sometimes but it's worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:52 pm 
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I think it's different that people eat it in/on stuff.

One side of my family eats it a lot with dumplings and breaded meat with gravy. I tried to veganize some for myself one year. I mean, I guess you can just eat it out of a jar, but I'm used to my mother/grandmother/aunt putting stuff in it- caraway seeds, usually bacon, etc (I used Bac-O's).

So this thread is interesting. I thought I had to be 'kraut-less since veganism because of the way my family cooked it/added stuff to it. I didn't know that people ate sauerkraut without adding extra ingredients to it.


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:35 pm 
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I've just been thinking about sauerkraut recipes as our family always ate it with pork for good luck on New Years Day. I'm not crazy about it, but I was thinking about having some as a side dish with mashed potatoes and maybe a celebration roast or veggie loaf. I haven't had it for years as I haven't been home for New Years Day, but I'd like to restart the tradition.

(I think I've heard it's a Pennsylvania Dutch thing to eat it New Years Day for luck.) I'm also curious if anyone else does this? Maybe I'm on the wrong thread...

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:42 pm 
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vijita wrote:
I forking love sauerkraut.

This probs kills the health benefits much like boiling miso does, but it is delicious in borscht. I suppose you could put some in after the soup has cooled to keep the health benefits. I also put it in nearly all my sammiches!

Yes, it is very healthy, but also quite high in sodium, so drink lots of water if you're eating it frequently!

twinsies!! <3

I like to dip potato chips in kraut. I also like to put it on sandwiches and brats and other vegan-y sausages.

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Wow! Lots of great ideas here guys, thanks for all of that! I think we just had common tinned sauerkraut, which obviously would have been heat treated in the canning. I have no idea if I can get any better stuff, I think I've seen it in glass jars but I guess that would have been almost the same. I'm not sure if I'm game to try fermenting stuff myself!! :) I can at least try out more of these ideas though!


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:08 pm 
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I'm not a huge fan of sauerkraut alone, but I certainly love it in some recipes. An excellent and simple one I just tried recently to use up my jar of kraut was tempeh simmered with tomatoes and sauerkraut in Vegan Planet.

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:09 pm 
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If you've ever fermented kimchi before, fermenting kraut is pretty much the same thing just with less ingredients.

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:14 pm 
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bionic-chocolate wrote:
Wow! Lots of great ideas here guys, thanks for all of that! I think we just had common tinned sauerkraut, which obviously would have been heat treated in the canning. I have no idea if I can get any better stuff, I think I've seen it in glass jars but I guess that would have been almost the same. I'm not sure if I'm game to try fermenting stuff myself!! :) I can at least try out more of these ideas though!


DIY sauerkraut is super easy so long as you have a coolish place to keep it while it ferments. I put mine in the garage and it was fine. A basement would be ideal, since the temperature would be more constant. Probably best to wait until later in the year when the weather cools down there since it should be about 15-18C while it ferments.

All you need is a large food-safe vessel (I used a bucket purchased at a brewing supply shop), kosher salt and cabbage. This article has information about making kraut and a link to the "recipe" (more of a method really) that I use.

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:54 pm 
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My dad makes his own (our basement always smelled like fermenting cabbage when I was a kid). I like it all kinds of ways, but we usually have it alongside boiled or mashed potatoes and fried seitan sausage.

I want to dip chips in it now, katiejayne! That sounds like some salty awesomeness!


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:02 pm 
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BluePlasticStraw wrote:
DIY sauerkraut is super easy so long as you have a coolish place to keep it while it ferments. I put mine in the garage and it was fine. A basement would be ideal, since the temperature would be more constant. Probably best to wait until later in the year when the weather cools down there since it should be about 15-18C while it ferments.

All you need is a large food-safe vessel (I used a bucket purchased at a brewing supply shop), kosher salt and cabbage. This article has information about making kraut and a link to the "recipe" (more of a method really) that I use.


Sorry if this comes across as a really stupid question, but I don't think we have 'kosher salt' here, which Wiki tells me is a flat flake. We get table salt or little rocks for grinders. Will the rocks (or ground rock) work or should it be that particular sort of salt?? :)

And if I waited until a cooler time of year (it's 20-30C here in the house usually at the moment), do I need to use my fermented kraut at the time or is it possible to make it and keep it for a long period so that I can eat it all year round?

Thanks for the link to that article - interesting to read that the raw one would be crunchy, as the canned sort we had was very soft and a bit translucent. It reminded me a little of cheese for some reason. At the end it mentions something about the smell - is there a big smell? We don't have basements or anything, so I'd have no choice but to keep it in a cupboard in the house.


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:21 am 
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Fermenting sauerkraut seems to have a slight odour, but I've always done it in the kitchen and it's never taken over the space or been oppressive.
Don't worry about the kosher salt - the important thing is that you use non-iodised salt, something like sea salt is ideal. Also, re: the crunch, the cabbage will soften as the ferment ages, so younger ferments are crunchier, but as they start to get a little old the cabbage will lose its crunch.
I've made several batches of sauerkraut (and kimchi, actually), and it's always been really simple, never required any difficult or complex steps (which I'm not a fan of, as I'm not the most precise cook - I'm not much of a baker for that reason), and has always turned out great, even without much temperature regulation.

One of my favourite ways to eat sauerkraut is to make it into a salad with some diced tomato, a splash of olive oil, and plenty of freshly-ground black pepper. A friend introduced it to me that way, and I really love it.

Good luck with the fermenting fun, if you decide to give it a try! Feel free to PM me with questions if you have them.

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:06 pm 
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bionic-chocolate wrote:
At the end it mentions something about the smell - is there a big smell? We don't have basements or anything, so I'd have no choice but to keep it in a cupboard in the house.


My dad makes giant vats of it to can, so there was a smell. But I think if you're just making a personal consumption type amount it wouldn't be overwhelming. And the smell isn't awful, but maybe I'm just used to it!


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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:00 pm 
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i also eat it straight. love it.

if i have to go to a BBQ where there are no vegan alternatives, i will have a hotdog roll filled with sauerkraut and then covered with ketchup and mustard..... droool

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 Post subject: Re: please tell me about sauerkraut
PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:16 pm 
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My grandma makes a traditional Istrian soup with sauerkrauts, beans, and potatoes. It's called "Jota", and is delicious!

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