The Benefits of Eating Sauerkraut Daily

by Kaitlynn Fenley
a glass fermentation weight being placed on top of mineral rich sauerkraut to keep it submerged below the brine

There are many benefits of eating sauerkraut daily because probiotic foods contain probiotics, prebiotics, bioavailable vitamins, and bioavailable minerals. Enjoy my unique sauerkraut recipe that incorporates coconut water, kale, beet greens, seaweed, cabbage, and sea salt. Beneficial bacteria in sauerkraut transform these ingredients into bioavailable vitamins and minerals for optimal gut health. This recipe comes together in just 15 minutes and the fermentation process takes four weeks at room temperature.

How to Eat Sauerkraut for Gut Health

There are plenty of benefits of eating sauerkraut daily. Eating sauerkraut every day can help maintain regular and healthy digestion for two main reasons. First, sauerkraut provides natural probiotic bacteria to balance the gut microbiome. Second, sauerkraut contains a lot of enzymes, bioavailable nutrients, essential vitamins, and minerals. This is why I eat sauerkraut or kimchi every morning with breakfast. These foods help me maintain a healthy gut, but there’s more to it.

The microorganisms in your gut are essential for healthy digestion, but they are not the only factor. There are other aspects to proper digestion. Parts of your nervous and circulatory systems also help work with nerves, hormones, blood, and the other organs of your digestive system to efficiently digest the foods and liquids you eat and drink.

For all of these systems to work correctly in tandem with your gut microbiome, you have to supply your body with the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. A great way to give your body these necessary nutrients is to eat naturally fermented sauerkraut.

It’s easy to staring eating sauerkraut daily for gut health; incorporate it into recipes like these:

You can even use the sauerkraut brine in delicious recipes like this one: Summer Lemon Kale Salad with Brined Salmon

a glass fermentation weight being placed on top of mineral rich sauerkraut to keep it submerged below the brine

What Vitamins are good for digestion?

The most important vitamins for gut health are B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin D; but we also have to think about minerals for healthy digestion. I’m not particularly eager to take supplements, and I enjoy giving my body everything it needs through real food. Thus, the top four minerals I always make sure I get enough of with every meal are magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium. Also, I am making sure I get enough iodine and vitamin C. Holistic nutrition encompasses more than just these vitamins and minerals. Still, I want to focus on these top four critical minerals for this blog recipe.

What Minerals are in Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is rich in vitamins and minerals when you make it with cabbage, salt, and water. Sauerkraut vitamins and minerals include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K1
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Potassium
a glass fermentation weight being placed on top of mineral rich sauerkraut to keep it submerged below the brine
to ensure you receive the benefits of eating sauerkraut, a fermentation weight must be placed to keep the contents below the brine

Is sauerkraut high in magnesium?

The bacteria that ferment the cabbage into sauerkraut simply make vitamins and minerals already present in the ingredients more bioavailable. Therefore, if you want sauerkraut to be high in magnesium, the ingredients included in the sauerkraut need to be high in magnesium.

I decided a great way to boost essential minerals, like magnesium, would be to make a Mineral-Rich Fermented Sauerkraut. Here’s the breakdown of the ingredients I added to this recipe and why I added them:

  • Fresh leafy beet greens = calcium and magnesium
  • Sea salt = sodium
  • Coconut water = potassium and magnesium
  • Kale = vitamin C and calcium
  • Shredded Cabbage = magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  • Seaweed = iodine (necessary for thyroid function); the best seaweed to use would be kombu, but I used a nori sheet.

With all of these ingredients, this recipe is the most mineral-rich sauerkraut and great for your immune system. However, I want to note that this sauerkraut does not provide the total daily recommended value of essential minerals all by itself. Still, it is an excellent addition to breakfast for a boost of minerals to start the day. 

How long should you ferment cabbage?

To learn all about the optimal fermentation time for sauerkraut, click here. You can taste test this sauerkraut at 14 days, but you should continue to ferment for 21 to 28 days. A three to four-week fermentation time will yield kraut with the most beneficial bacteria for digestive health.

If you follow all the directions and this timeline, you don’t need to worry about harmful bacteria. The ratios in my recipe ensure you can cover the cabbage with enough brine to keep everything submerged throughout fermentation.

Here are the fermentation conditions for this recipe:

  • 4 weeks of fermentation
  • Approximate 2.5% total salt concentration
  • Room temperature (60-78° F)
  • Final pH around 3.7
  • Store in refrigerator after fermentation for up to 2 years
a jar of green sauerkraut in a mason jar with a silver lid.

Supplies You’ll Need to Ferment Sauerkraut

Here are all the supplies you need to make this recipe:

More Recipe to Reap the Benefits of Eating Sauerkraut Daily

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How to Make Mineral Rich Sauerkraut

There are many benefits of eating sauerkraut daily because fermented cabbage contains probiotics, prebiotics, bioavailable vitamins, and bioavailable minerals. Enjoy my unique sauerkraut recipe that incorporates coconut water, kale, beet greens, seaweed, cabbage, and sea salt. Beneficial bacteria in sauerkraut transform these ingredients into bioavailable vitamins and minerals for optimal gut health. This recipe comes together in just 15 minutes and takes four weeks of fermentation at room temperature.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Fermentation time: 28 days
  • Total Time: 672 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 30 servings 1x
  • Category: Fermented Vegetables
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: German
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 500 grams green cabbage
  • 50 grams beet greens or baby kale
  • 5 grams seaweed
  • 200 grams coconut water
  • 19 grams sea salt

Instructions

  1. Wash your fermentation equipment (jar, weight, and lid). For this recipe, I suggest sterilizing the jar, lid, and weight with a little bit of vodka).
  2. Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage and lightly rinse with cool water. Using a knife, chop the cabbage to your desired thickness.
  3. Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams.
  4. Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale.*
  5. Add the designated amounts of chopped cabbage, beet greens, seaweed, and coconut water into the bowl.
  6. Remove the bowl of cabbage from the scale and set it aside. Place a small, empty bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale. Weigh out 19 grams of sea salt.
  7. Add the 19 grams of salt into the bowl with the cabbage, and mix with your clean hands. I mixed for about two minutes.
  8. Starting with the liquid, add the entire contents of the bowl into your mason jar, and pack everything down using a tamper, wooden spoon, or your hand.
  9. Place your glass fermentation weight in the jar, making sure to submerge the cabbage pieces and weight fully into the liquid. If you don’t have quite enough liquid, place your glass fermentation weight in the jar and submerge as much as possible. Over the next 12 hours, the cabbage should release more liquid and you can press down your fermentation weight below the brine.
  10. Secure the standard mason jar lid to the mason jar.
  11. Ferment for at least 21 days before storing in the fridge.
  12. In the first week of fermentation, carefully burp the jar daily to release the gas.

Keywords: sauerkraut, fermented vegetables

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12 comments

Ursula March 19, 2022 - 1:32 am

Hi, I’m new here, but really interested in learning best fermenting techniques.
Before I dive in though, a question – the answer might be a deal breaker….:
I live in a tropical country, my room temperature is usually around 30⁰ C. Electricity is comparatively (as part of living expenses) expensive, and running an aircon all day long every day would easily double our electricity bill. So, I’m wondering about my options.
Looking forward to your reply.

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley March 21, 2022 - 9:02 am

That temperature is fine! Everything will just happen a little faster for you. So on our blog here, if I suggest 21-28 days, your fermented vegetables might be ready to eat after only 14 days.

Reply
Mike Dorfman March 24, 2022 - 3:18 am

This recipe is very effective in gut health, and it is vital also to take care of your immunity which this recipe can surely do.

Reply
Nancy April 8, 2022 - 6:51 am

Hi. I am enjoying your website. Can I use blanched, frozen beet greens for this recipe? Thanks!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley April 11, 2022 - 10:16 am

Yes, you can use frozen beet greens!

Reply
Cassandra May 30, 2022 - 11:12 am

Hello! I have enjoyed your recipes, and your knowledge! Thank you for sharing it.

I have a question- Since I have successfully made a batch of sauerkraut using your recipe( which has given me a great deal of confidence and opened me up to the idea of making my own fermented foods as part of our lifestyle!!!), can I use some of the brine from the original batch to jump start my next batch? Or do I need to wait another twenty one- twenty eight days from when I start the new batch?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley May 30, 2022 - 12:47 pm

You’re welcome! I’m happy to hear that you feel more confident after trying my recipe! You can use some of the brine to add to the next batch. It does help ensure good end results, but it doesn’t make things go much faster. I still recommend fermenting for 21 days even with some brine added. I usually make a quart every three weeks and that’s the perfect amount for two people.

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Laura June 14, 2022 - 12:21 pm

Can’t wait for it to finish fermenting! This recipe caught my eye because of it’s use of coconut water. I’m trying really hard to ~enjoy~ sauerkraut beyond just its wonderful probiotic benefits— and your recipes definitely help!
Thank you so much for sharing!

Reply
Hannah July 11, 2022 - 6:52 pm

This looks great, especially like the idea of using coconut water. What is the amount of kale to include? It’s not mentioned in the actual recipe. Thank you 🙂

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley July 12, 2022 - 2:33 pm

you can use 50 grams of beet greens, kale, or combination of both.

Reply
Sarah July 12, 2022 - 1:03 pm

Hi, Kaitlynn! Love your blog. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I want to clarify, though, do we not use a cloth to cover the jar and let the ferment “breathe?” I read somewhere else to do that. But you are saying to cover the jar completely, with the standard metal lid the jar comes with? I realize this might be a silly question, but I just wanted to make sure I’m reading the recipe right. Hope to hear from you!

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley July 12, 2022 - 2:37 pm

No, you do not use a cloth lid for fermented vegetables. Lactic acid fermentation of vegetables is an anaerobic process (meaning no oxygen) and you need to use a solid mason jar lid (two piece metal lid, one piece plastic lid, or metal lid with a plastic screw band etc.) You also have to loosen the lid daily to let some gas out.

Other types of fermented foods and drinks require cloth lids, like sourdough, or kombucha primary fermentation, but these are completely different fermentation processes.

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