How To Change The Taste Of Your Sauerkraut? For All Tastes
Sauerkraut undergoes fermentation for around 20 days, this enriches the superfood with billions of probiotics but also gives it a mildly acidic flavor. Unfortunately, these taste notes do not sit well with some consumers leaving a number of them wondering if there’s a way to change the taste of sauerkraut. Wonder no more, this guide will take you through the various ways you can change the taste of sauerkraut and recipes that can be used to improve the flavor of sauerkraut.
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What Is Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut refers to thinly sliced fresh cabbages that have been pickled with brine for at least 20 days leading to fermentation. Raw cabbages contain naturally occurring bacteria and yeast cultures which break down the carbs found in cabbages. This leads to the production of lactic acid, which prevents harmful bacteria from infesting the fermenting sauerkraut. The result is a superfood that’s packed full of dietary fibers, minerals, vitamins, and essential probiotics.
What Are The Ingredients Of Sauerkraut And How Do They Affect The Taste?
How does it affect the taste: increases the sour flavor.
Fresh raw cabbages produce the best sauerkraut due to their high nutrient content. The substantial amount of carbs also serves as food for the bacteria culture during fermentation. Avoid using fully matured cabbages as they have more carb content, which results in increased lactic acid production hence more acidic notes.
How does it affect the taste: adds saltiness and hints of umami.
Salt pulls the water molecules from the cabbages to form brine, which supports the growing probiotics while also flavoring the sauerkraut.
Cabbage Weight In Grams
Salt In Teaspoons
What Should Sauerkraut Taste Like?
Properly fermented sauerkraut develops a slightly sour, vinegary, salty taste with hints of umami. Some cabbage varieties have a sweeter taste that gets passed on to the sauerkraut.
How To Change The Taste
Sauerkraut Too Sour
1. Drain the sauerkraut in a large colander and rinse well under running cold water. This reduces the amount of lactic acid content in the sauerkraut to make it less sour. If this is not enough, you can proceed to the next flavoring steps:
2. Place the sauerkraut in a large glass bowl and cover it with apple juice and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain and press out the excess moisture. The apple flavor will reduce the sourness in the sauerkraut, making it much more fun to eat.
Sauerkraut Too Sweet
1. Top up the sauerkraut with brine and ferment for another five days. This will drastically increase the probiotic population, which feeds on the sugars to release lactic acid.
Sauerkraut Too Salty
1. Spread out the sauerkraut in a casserole or heatproof baking dish and add in a small amount of water mixed with any other preferred liquid such as white wine, chicken broth, or beer.
2. Bake the sauerkraut at 275- 300 F until it softens and forms a deep mellow flavor.
What To Do If Sauerkraut Too Dry
1. Mix salt and water to form brine depending on the amount of sauerkraut you want to use.
2. Add the brine to the sauerkraut and allow ferment for at least 48 hours.
What to Do If Sauerkraut Too Crunchy
The crunchy texture of sauerkraut can be softened by cooking it or to use thinner cabbages when preparing sauerkraut. Cooking is not recommendable as it exposes the probiotics to high heat which effectively eliminates all probiotic benefits.
1. Use a mandoline style slicer to cut thin slices of raw cabbages before preparing sauerkraut. This reduces the size of the cabbage slices making them much softer.
What To Do If Sauerkraut Is Too Soft
1. Drain the sauerkraut and gently lay out the individual cabbage strips on an oven sheet.
2. Set the air dryer to the lowest possible temperature and use it to dry the sauerkraut to a crispy texture. Avoid using high temperatures to air dry sauerkraut as the probiotics will be denatured by the increased temperatures.
The taste of your sauerkraut should never be the reason why you can’t consume it. Simply change the flavor of your sauerkraut and get right back to consuming this rich probiotic superfood.