Does Cooking Sauerkraut Lose its Probiotic Benefits?
Temperatures around 115°F will kill the good bacteria in sauerkraut. If your goal is to reap the benefits of gut-healthy probiotics, it is best to add sauerkraut, kimchi, or miso to a dish at the end of cooking. Or simply top meals or stir into soups or sauces at the last minute. Or serve as a side dish.
Is Cooked Sauerkraut Good for You?
Cooked sauerkraut is good for you if you cook it at a temperature below 115°F. And remember, the health benefits of cabbage, cooked or raw, are still great. So don’t despair about cooking your sauerkraut every once in a while; it’s more important to simply enjoy the taste of good sauerkraut with your family.
Avoid Heating Your Sauerkraut
If you want the benefits of your naturally fermented sauerkraut, don’t destroy the good enzymes and probiotics by heating it. It’s OK to stir sauerkraut into a soup right before eating it or sprinkle on top of your meal. Just don’t cook it.
Three Tips for Cooking Sauerkraut:
- Cook pasteurized sauerkraut, the kind in a can that is found in the condiment aisle. Canned sauerkraut is pasteurized to give it a longer shelf life. The process of pasteurization kills off all the friendly bacteria. Cooking canned sauerkraut will add flavor to any dish, and you don’t have to worry about losing the good stuff.
- Make extra batches of sauerkraut, so you have enough for cooking and eating raw.
- Make the recipe with added sauerkraut and chase it with a tablespoon or two of raw sauerkraut. Do the same for any other ferments, and you are good to go.
Check out some of our favorite ways to eat sauerkraut: