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How to make sauerkraut palatable?

by (2178)
Updated about 18 hours ago
Created March 06, 2012 at 2:02 AM

Despite my history of disliking the stuff, I'd really like to be able to take in some sauerkraut because of its health benefits. I just bought live sauerkraut at Whole Foods, and unfortunately, it's not much better than any other sauerkraut I've ever had.

So.....is there anything I can do to, or with, it to make it more yummy and less.....sour?

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8140 · July 31, 2014 at 9:44 PM

What country/culture? Do you heat it with the sunflower oil or eat it cold?

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41546 · July 31, 2014 at 4:36 PM

We don't appreciate spam (though does go well with sauerkraut!) All your links have been removed, and the blatant spam has been deleted.

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3979 · June 25, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Have you considered that it's not palatable for a reason? Maybe your body doesn't like it?

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122 · July 27, 2012 at 1:59 AM

The "health benefits" of fermented foods is way over blown. http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/probiotics/ Turns out the only way to get more healthy bugs in your belly is via fecobacteria transplant. Ew

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431 · July 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM

As discussed above, cooking kills the health benefits of sauerkraut, and why force yourself to eat something if its no longer good for you!

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2178 · April 28, 2012 at 5:22 PM

i wanted to avoid cooking it, though, so as to not damage (or lose, or whatever happens) the the probiotics.

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6229 · March 07, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Try eating it with bacon, sausage or red meat!

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4620 · March 06, 2012 at 11:13 PM

@syrahna: I just use salt. Bonus points if you use purple carrots.

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1614 · March 06, 2012 at 3:12 AM

Ditto for trying it with "traditional" meat pairings. I'd eat it on a Reuben sans bread-- ooh, maybe a Reuben hash with sweet or white potatoes, cubed and pan fried, chopped up corned beef, sauerkraut, and some Thousand Island dressing on top? Sounds delicious now that I'm thinking about it...

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7275 · March 06, 2012 at 3:10 AM

I don't like the stuff from the store, either. Homemade is way better, especially from farmer's market cabbage.

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1614 · March 06, 2012 at 3:04 AM

+1 for link... been craving ginger carrots from a Thai place in Chicago and hadn't thought to make them myself! duh!

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2417 · March 06, 2012 at 2:54 AM

Oh, I've got a bag of carrots with your name on it! Thank you! Do you use whey, or just salt?

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15 Answers

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15400 · March 06, 2012 at 3:23 AM

In my culture we make our own sauerkraut and we traditionally eat it almost every day. But it tastes differently than the one in Whole Foods.

This is what we do in our culture:

  1. If sauerkraut is too sour, it means it has been over fermented. Then you make soup out of it. Add some boiled potatoes, roasted garlic and onion, meat broth with chunks of meat - there you have it.

  2. We only eat it if it is a little on a raw side - it is called "ripe". We add sunflower oil. Nobody eats it without sunflower oil.

You need to choose the right sunflower oil. The right kind has to be cold pressed and not refined in any way. When you open the bottle, the smell should be very strong, and it should smell like roasted sunflower seeds. If there is no smell or it is not strong - it means there won't be any flavor to this oil.

  1. Some people add a granny Smith type of apple, sweet red onions and soft cranberries. Chop half of the apple, just one slice (ring) of red onions really thin, mush the cranberries, and add to your sauerkraut. Don't forget sunflower oil. It is called "sauerkraut provencal".

The best thing is to make your own sauerkraut. I will let you know the secret - you should have a very heavy press, the heavier, the better. Put a plate (or better yet a special wooden circle made out of oak) on top of a freshly made batch, and add at least 20 lb weight on top of it. Some people use special rocks. My grandmother used a glass jar with dumbbells inside.

Leave your sauerkraut at room temperature to ferment and taste it twice a day. When you like the taste, put it away in the fridge.

Good luck!!!

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8140 · July 31, 2014 at 9:44 PM

What country/culture? Do you heat it with the sunflower oil or eat it cold?

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4620 · March 06, 2012 at 2:41 AM

Have you tried other fermented goodies? Ginger carrots are my fav. Kimchi is another option. Your Whole Foods probably has Bubbies pickles which are pretty tasty.

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4620 · March 06, 2012 at 11:13 PM

@syrahna: I just use salt. Bonus points if you use purple carrots.

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1614 · March 06, 2012 at 3:04 AM

+1 for link... been craving ginger carrots from a Thai place in Chicago and hadn't thought to make them myself! duh!

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa
2417 · March 06, 2012 at 2:54 AM

Oh, I've got a bag of carrots with your name on it! Thank you! Do you use whey, or just salt?

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2417 · March 06, 2012 at 2:11 AM

Have you tried the traditional ways that the French and Germans eat it? If you braise it, you're going to lose the "live" aspect, but you could try very lightly cooking it, or kind of running with the traditional theme and just serving it alongside some of the traditional meats cooked with it - rich, fatty meat. Bratwurst, knockwurst, kielbasa, pork belly, pastrami, pork shoulder, etc - the kraut is a nice foil, and the sour is a little more welcome.

Have you tried eating it with some sauteed apples? That's pretty common and would sweeten it up.

Oddly enough, the way I've enjoyed it most is sort of as hangover/too much wine food with some non-red-meat-eating friends. After lots of wine all night, we had a late night snack of sauerkraut alongside some turkey pastrami. It was surprisingly good.

I'm making my first batch of "real" sauerkraut now, and I'm really curious to see the other answers. I also struggle with a lot of fermented veggies. They are just so...pungent!

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1614 · March 06, 2012 at 3:12 AM

Ditto for trying it with "traditional" meat pairings. I'd eat it on a Reuben sans bread-- ooh, maybe a Reuben hash with sweet or white potatoes, cubed and pan fried, chopped up corned beef, sauerkraut, and some Thousand Island dressing on top? Sounds delicious now that I'm thinking about it...

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774 · April 27, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Saut?? your SK with fennel- or aniseed, add raisins or braised apple to cut the acidity. Braised Pork belly or a slow cooked fatty part of beef will do perfectly. Mashed (sweet) potato as a side works well. If slow-cooingk, use rather starchy veggies to add some texture and sweetness.

Happy cooking :)

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe
431 · July 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM

As discussed above, cooking kills the health benefits of sauerkraut, and why force yourself to eat something if its no longer good for you!

20aee218ca5bce816122348144db9792
122 · July 27, 2012 at 1:59 AM

The "health benefits" of fermented foods is way over blown. http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/probiotics/ Turns out the only way to get more healthy bugs in your belly is via fecobacteria transplant. Ew

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2056 · April 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Try this one before you scoff. You can change the sauerkraut itself--or you can change your palate.

Wait until you're really really hungry and then have some sauerkraut--just a little--before you eat anything else. Then you go ahead and eat whatever else you want for your meal.

Do this repeatedly. By which I mean: every day (once a day) for two weeks or more.

You can add a few caraway seeds or celery seeds to make the flavor a little different.

There really is something to the saying "hunger is the best sauce."

(By the way, this process can work in reverse--if you have a treat that you can't trust yourself around, try eating a little bit of it every day immediately after a meal when you are already full. You should find it easier to control yourself around it.)

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1040 · March 06, 2012 at 3:20 AM

Sausage.... lots of Sausage....

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18635 · March 06, 2012 at 3:00 AM

I dunno...I never liked it until I made my own. Its easy to make at home and tastes AWESOME. I like it in the morning with scrambled eggs. I'll admit would not want it every single day, but hey It'll keep for months in the fridge :)

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7275 · March 06, 2012 at 3:10 AM

I don't like the stuff from the store, either. Homemade is way better, especially from farmer's market cabbage.

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320 · March 06, 2012 at 2:23 AM

Rinse it under in a colander until a lot of the sour is gone. Melt a stick of kerrygold butter in a pan. Then, chop an onion and add it to a butter. When onion begins to brown, add rinsed sauerkrat. At this point, you could throw in some sort of meat or sausage, cover and simmer on low for about 1-2 hours. Or you can just eat it with the onions and butter. If no meat is added, simmer on low for 10-15 mins.

And yes, you will lose the live aspect of it with this recipe. But you asked for a recipe to make it palatable, and this will do it. Another option might be rinsing it, and then adding some melted butter and just tossing together and eating.

I meant to say above to rinse it in a colander under running water.

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0 · July 31, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Try incorporating flavors like jalapeno, garlic, beets or spices to go with the sauerkraut.

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41546 · July 31, 2014 at 4:36 PM

We don't appreciate spam (though does go well with sauerkraut!) All your links have been removed, and the blatant spam has been deleted.

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0 · June 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

I make tuna and chicken salad with Sauerkraut because pickles and relish upset my stomach. Take your favorite recipe and substitute 2 parts sauerkraut and 1 part apple sauce for the sweet pickles/relish.

This is my recipe;


8 oz caned tuna or 8 oz cooked finely-chopped chicken, 1 cup sauerkraut, 1/2 cup cinnamon apple sauce, 4-oz jar diced pimento pepper (drained), 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup diced sweet onion, 1 large stalk celery finely diced, 2 diced boiled eggs, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional; I use pecans), 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries or grapes, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 2 heaping Tbsp dried parsley, 2-4 heaping tablespoons of Mayonaise or salad dressing (adjust to taste)

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130 · April 28, 2012 at 1:04 AM

That's easy. Cook the sauerkraut with a few cut up apples. Then fry up a bunch of pork chops and pour the sauerkraut on top as if it were sauce. Alternatively, cut up the pork and throw it in with the sauerkraut and mindlessly consume while watching late night TV. It's great cold, too, if the pork is greasy enough.

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2178 · April 28, 2012 at 5:22 PM

i wanted to avoid cooking it, though, so as to not damage (or lose, or whatever happens) the the probiotics.

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1670 · April 27, 2012 at 10:26 PM

I make it a dressing to a kale salad with carrots, tomato, onion and olive oil. It makes it delicious! Especially if you serve it chilled out of the fridge

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14877 · April 27, 2012 at 10:06 PM

I've heard adding olive oil and black pepper to it will kick the flavor notch up a bit. Haven't tried it myself though.

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3850 · April 27, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Traditionally, soaking the sauerkraut in cold water then squeezing it really curbs the acidity without sacrificing the probiotics.

If you want amazing tasting sauerkraut, take the soaked kraut and add it to a mix of grated carrot, grated apple, and onion sauteed in bacon fat (and the bacon). Add parsley and peppercorns and juniper berries. Put in a roasting pan and add a cup of white wine and some broth to the top of the kraut, cover with parchment paper and roast covered for about 4 hours until it's all brown. You can remove the parchment add a pork roast or some sausages an hour before it's done. Serve with buttery mashed potatoes.

This is 100% amazing and even sauerkraut-haters will devour it. I make it every New Years Day.

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15226 · March 06, 2012 at 3:34 AM

mash it up with an avocado and possibly some cayenne!

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