I really believe that food is the best way to deliver probiotics to the gut, and fermented foods not only contain probiotics, they also provide enzymes for digestion and B vitamins. Sauerkraut may not be well liked by your kids (although they must surprise you! In fact, the sooner you introduce this the more likely they are to accept the taste), so I created a savory sweet dressing to accompany it to disguise the sour taste without adding any refined sugar. If you are making the sauerkraut yourself, you can reduce the fermentation time (I only ferment for 3 days) so that the sauerkraut is not so sour.
I love this dressing as it is refined sugar free (apple provides natural sweetness) and super healthy! We have a little side of sauerkraut (or fermented radish/carrots) everyday with our meals.
Ingredients for dressing:
Half an apple – diced
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (if your child is allergic to sesame, replace with olive or coconut oil)
2 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon miso paste (leave this out if your child cannot tolerate soy)
Throw all the ingredients above in a container and blitz to a paste with hand blender or food processor.
Drizzle onto the sauerkraut and mix it in! Enjoy!
As for the sauerkraut, you can buy them or make them at home. If buying, make sure you buy those lacto-fermented rather than just picked in vinegar. If you are interested in making your own (which is what I do! and preparation time is only 15-20minutes) there are many youtube videos which I found to be the best way to learn as it is difficult to explain without visual aids! but here is a brief outline of what I do:
- shred the cabbage and place in a large bowl
- sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt (per small head of cabbage, if large use 2 tbsp)
- rub in the salt and let it sit for 1 hour
- boil some water and let it cool to room temperature
- after an hour of ‘sweating’ the cabbage, press down and release the liquid from the cabbage. transfer everything into a mason jar.
- wash your hands and press down on the cabbage so it is tightly compressed.
- you can use the outermost leave of the cabbage and place some weight on it, or a device which presses down the cabbage. The aim is to avoid any shredded cabbage coming into contact with air, and to keep everything submerged in brine water.
- cover with a cheesecloth and place in a warm place.
- check the jar every 24 hours and press down and make sure everything remains submerged. check for mould and discard if the mixture starts going mouldy.
- I eat my kraut after 3-4 days in warmer weather, or 7-10 days in colder weather.