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does store bought sauerkraut have probiotics
FAQs Fermented Foodie

Does store bought sauerkraut have probiotics?

Part of eating a nutritious diet includes making sure that you eat plenty of good bacteria, a.k.a probiotics. While you often think of food items like yogurt for your probiotic intake, that is far from the only food from which you can get probiotics. Sauerkraut can be an excellent source, but you should know that not all store-bought sauerkraut have the probiotics that you are looking for.

Here are some tips on which brands of sauerkraut have the probiotics you want for a health gut and what to avoid when buying sauerkraut. 

It is best to buy fresh sauerkraut (made without vinegar) to reap all the health benefits. To get the probiotics that you are looking for, stick to the refrigerated options. You should specifically look for labels that say “probiotic” or “raw” or “fermented” on the package.

Raw, fermented sauerkraut is full of probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that provide many powerful benefits for your body and brain. They help strengthen the immune system so it can fight off colds and illnesses. The gut-healthy bacteria also help promote overall digestive health, reduce depression, and promote heart health. 

Does Canned or Jarred Sauerkraut Have Probiotics?

can sauerkraut does not have probiotics
Sauerkraut in a can or jar has been pasteurized, which kills off the good bacteria.

Canned and jarred sauerkraut often do not contain probiotics, due to the pasteurization and canning/jarring process. The high heat is used to not only kill the bacteria, but it is also used to make sure that the cans and jars do not explode while they are being stored. The problem is that the high heat kills off the probiotics. Another problem is that due to the nature of the canning and jarring process, there are a lot more preservatives used to keep the sauerkraut longer, which can have negative effects on your health.

The same principle applies to any fermented foods that you buy, including kimchi. Stick to the fermented foods found in the refrigerated aisle and make sure that you read the label to make sure you are purchasing the healthiest product.

Does Cooking Sauerkraut Kill the Probiotics?

Yes, cooking sauerkraut can kill probiotics, which is one reason why some sauerkraut in the stores lack the probiotics that you want. The heat used during the pasteurization kills off the probiotics. As you cook sauerkraut to kill the harmful bacteria, you are also killing the good bacteria. Your best bet is not to cook it to get the most nutritional benefit of the sauerkraut.

Does Rinsing Sauerkraut Reduce Probiotics?

When you rinse the sauerkraut, you are also washing away some of the probiotics, but there will still be a good amount on the cabbage itself. There are a few reasons why people rinse their sauerkraut.

Some find the smell and flavor to be too pungent, so they rinse the sauerkraut to make it more palatable.

Others rinse the sauerkraut to reduce their sodium intake. Rinsed or not, you will still be getting a good dose of gut-healthy bacteria.

Make Your Own Probiotic Gut Shot

Instead of washing the brine down the drain, save it and turn it into a homemade probiotic gut shot.

With brand name probiotic gut shots costing on average $6 per bottle, why not save some money and make your own?

This is a great way to get all of the probiotic power from fermented foods in a simple shot.

It is so easy, drain the brine and mix it with purified water in a 1-1 ratio. You can drink this as a shot or mix into your favorite recipes for a quick health boost. 

Pick The Best Sauerkraut For Probiotics:

The first thing that you should know is how to find the sauerkraut with probiotics. Sauerkraut needs to be kept at a stable and cooler temperature to keep the probiotics alive. Keeping this probiotic-rich food at a steady and cooler temperature means that the most nutritious sauerkraut will be found in the refrigerated section of the store.

Sauerkraut is live, which is why it needs the cool temperatures of the refrigerator. Sauerkraut that you see in the regular aisles are dead and lack the probiotics that you need.

In many cases, you will notice that the best quality and most nutritious sauerkraut is in a pouche or bag rather than cans or jars.

You should also pay attention to the ingredients. Read the label and make sure that cabbage is the first ingredient listed. Other components to look for are other vegetables, spices, and salt.

However, you will want to avoid any sauerkraut that contains vinegar, Sodium Benzoate/Sodium Bisulfate, any other scientific words, and sugar. Vinegar is a preservative, which means that the product has been pasteurized rather than allowing for the natural fermentation process.

The ingredients should be natural and straightforward. Otherwise, the product is not as healthy as you think it is.

Fortunately, there are some great store-bought options that you can trust to have the probiotics you want. Here are my top picks for the best brands of sauerkraut full of the gut-healthy probiotics we desire.

Bubbies Sauerkraut:

Bubbies is famous for its pickles but they also make amazing sauerkraut. Bubbies sauerkraut is Gluten-Free, abundant with live cultures, and absolutely delicious! Their line of products includes Kosher Dill Relish, Bread and Butter Pickles, Horseradish, and Pickled Herring Fillets. You can buy them on Amazon.

Farmhouse Culture Kraut:

One of the great features of this brand of sauerkraut is the fact that you have several flavors of kraut from which to choose. From the packaging, you can see that it says “Probiotics” so you know that this is a product that will give you the nutritional benefit you need. Try their Classic Sauerkraut with caraway and Garlic Dill Pickle flavored kraut.

Farmhouse Culture also makes a delicious  Ginger Beet Gut Shot and a line of Kraut Crisps which are chips packed full of probiotics, 1 billion to be exact.

Gold Mine Sauerkraut:

Raw, organic, and full of probiotics, Gold Mine’s sauerkraut is a nutritious sauerkraut option. This organic sauerkraut is not pasteurized and is full of the living microorganisms that are essential to great probiotics. It’s carefully packaged, hand-crafted in small batches with sea salt and aged in ceramic crocks to maximize the fermentation process. According to testing, this particular sauerkraut has about 468 million CFUs of live Lactobacillus and bifid bacterium species per ¼ serving. Order it online through Amazon and they will ship it refrigerated. Gold Mine Sauerkraut on Amazon.


Sauerkraut is an excellent food to add to your diet to make sure that you get the good bacteria that your body needs to thrive. Probiotics may seem like a buzzword, but these live microorganisms are incredibly helpful in ensuring that your digestive tract is working as it’s supposed to. Many health problems are associated with a lack of essential probiotics in the body, which can leave you feeling sluggish and uncomfortable.

To choose the right sauerkraut, make sure you only select options that are raw, non-pasteurized, and found in the refrigerated section at the grocery store.

Related Topics:

Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

Is Sauerkraut Keto-Friendly?

Can You Freeze Sauerkraut?

Why Sauerkraut Gets Salty & How To Fix It

10 Delightful Ways to Eat Sauerkraut

How to make Kefir
Fermented Drink Recipes Kefir

How to Make Kefir

How to Make Kefir

Kefir is a cultured milk drink that after fermentation acquires a wonderful sour, and sometimes effervescent, taste. This tanginess brings a whole new flavor to smoothies, lassis, and other drinks just as you would use yogurt or regular milk.

What are the health benefits of drinking Kefir?


Milk kefir is full of probiotics, similar to yogurt and other cultured and fermented products. The probiotics aid in healthy digestion. The fermenting process also changes some of the protein structures in the milk, making it easier to digest. Some people who can’t tolerate milk feel better drinking milk kefir.


Ingredients for making Kefir:


One tablespoon of Kefir Grains

2 cups of whole fresh Milk (raw milk is the best option, however, unhomogenized is also acceptable. Never use skimmed or low fat)

Milk kefir is full of probiotics, similar to yogurt and other cultured and fermented products
Milk Kefir is full of probiotics, similar to yogurt and other cultured and fermented foods.


Directions for making Kefir:


Place both the milk and kefir grains into a wide-mouth, quart-size jar. Toss the mixture by gently shaking the jar to ensure that the grains are completely coated in milk.

Loosely place the lid on the jar and cover with a fine cloth.

Store in a cupboard for between 24 hours (at least) and two days (for an excellent sour, tangy flavor!) – the longer you leave the milk to ferment the more lactose is consumed by the grains, and the more enzymes are created.

This is the fermentation stage. During this time, the healthy bacteria and yeast in the kefir grains will ferment the milk, preventing it from spoiling while transforming it into kefir.

During this stage, it is important to gently shake the jar every now and again to ensure a proper and even fermentation.

Don’t be alarmed when your milk separates into a thick white yogurt (on the way to becoming curd) and a yellowish clear liquid (whey). This is a sign that the process is successful.

Strain out the kefir grains from the liquid: Place a small strainer over the container you’ll use to store the kefir. Strain the kefir liquid into the container and catching the grains in the strainer.

The whey liquid it the finished product that you will drink or add to your favorite kefir smoothie recipe.

Once you are satisfied with the consistency of the kefir (thickness and fermentation) you can either drink it immediately in its natural state or turn it into your favorite smoothie! Check out my kefir smoothie recipe with bananas.

The good news is that as long as they stay healthy, you can reuse kefir grains indefinitely to make more kefir. The best way to keep them healthy is to keep making kefir! You can make a new batch of kefir roughly every 24 hours (the temperature of your kitchen can affect the exact time) just by putting the kefir grains in a fresh cup of milk.

Over time, the grains will multiply and you can either discard the extra or share it with friends & family. You can also take a break from making kefir by putting the grains in a new cup of milk and storing it in the fridge.


Want to know more about the health benefits and differences between kefir and buttermilk? Read my post Kefir vs. Buttermilk.

health benefits of Kombucha Tea

What are the health benefits of Kombucha Tea?

What are the health benefits of Kombucha Tea?

Kombucha is a living probiotic tea packed with beneficial bacteria that help detoxify the body and energize the mind. Kombucha aids the body in healing and restoring gut health and integrity. Fans often tout it for having a fuzzy effervescent quality like a natural soda. The fuzziness is a result of the fermentation process.

“Death begins in the colon” ~ Dr. Bernard Jensen

The intestine is sometimes referred to as the second immune system because of its content and potential for harmful bacteria growth. It has such an active role in our health and immunity. The beneficial bacteria in kombucha help keep harmful bacteria in check resulting in a clean digestive system and well-functioning intestinal track.

Similar to apple cider vinegar, it’s an excellent digestive tonic, which is produced by a similar process. Taken around mealtime, it helps assist stomach acid with breaking down proteins and digest in other foods and prevents bloating, heartburn, and indigestion.

Some people notice a cleansing effect with kombucha that it aids constipation with its gentle laxative action.

It’s not a magic elixir

People who drink kombucha regularly claim that after one week of drinking it daily they notice an improvement in immune system function and energy levels.

However, if you continue to eat foods that are toxic and poisonous to your bodies such as junk foods and highly processed food then just adding the kombucha tea alone will probably not be enough to experience the benefits.

The best way to heal your body is to remove as much of the toxic things that go into our bodies and are around bodies, and then nourish it and feed it with all it needs to give it every opportunity to rebuild itself.

I’ll step down off my soapbox now.

The tea portion of the kombucha, whether it’s from black tea or green tea contains l-theanine, a compound which naturally counteracts the tea’s caffeine content with a calming effect.

Both green and black tea come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The difference is in the process; Black tea is roasted and aged longer than green tea. Tea (especially green) is also high in antioxidants and is often used in natural weight-loss formulas.

The caffeine in Kombucha tea is much lower than what’s found in coffee and does have some beneficial effects, which include a temporary boost in energy, alertness, and mental acuity.

There are so many unique and different health benefits that can come about from drinking kombucha regularly.

More Health Benefits of Kombucha

Kombucha tea contains a range of B Vitamins: B1, B2, B6, and B12 which provide the body with energy and helps process fats and proteins, which are vital for your nervous system.

Kombucha contains antioxidants that help fight molecules in the body that can damage cells. It has one of the few agents that can cope with the pollutive products of the petroleum industry, including plastics, herbicides, pesticides, and resins.

A study done in 2011, found that the antioxidant-rich kombucha reduces toxins in the liver, suggesting that kombucha may play an important role in promoting liver health and reducing liver inflammation.

However, these studies were conducted on rats, and more research is needed to say with certainty how kombucha can support liver health in humans.

It helps with the structure of cartilage, collagen and the fluid that lubricates the joints. Collagen reduces wrinkles and helps with arthritis.

It helps the body to make Glutathione, which is made up of 3 amino acids and is produced naturally in the liver. It is vital for cellular metabolism. It protects our bodies against oxidative stress caused by free radicals and is also required for the immune system to function correctly and is a potent detoxifier.
health benefits of kombucha tea and why you should drink it

Kombucha can cure a hangover:

I was so excited by this claim, I wrote a whole post just about how kombucha can cure a hangover.

Medicinal benefits of Kombucha:

SCOBY’s and kombucha tea can be used to treat stings, bites, infections on the skin and rash, irritation, eczema and external fungi (e.g., ring work, nail fungi).

Kombucha and SCOBYs can be added to bathwater as the bacteria and goodness absorb straight into the skin. It’s beneficial for sick children, or just a relaxing, nourishing time in the bath. You can even use it as a probiotic gargle for sore throats and infections.

Afterward consider dumping the bathwater in the garden, instead of letting all that beneficial bacteria go down the drain.

SCOBY is useful in garden compost. The bacteria and minerals nourish the soil, and the goodness absorbs into your plants and vegetables.

How Kombucha can help around the house:

Like vinegar, kombucha has acetic acid in it, but in smaller amounts. Because of this, kombucha can be used as a surface cleaner (just pour some into a spray bottle) or even as a hand sanitizer by adding a little to your liquid hand soap.

How Kombucha can help you with cosmetics:

The SCOBY can be pulverized in a food processor and kept refrigerated to use as face mask applied directly to the skin allowed to leave for 10 mins or longer until dried and absorbed into the skin and thoroughly washed off.

How Kombucha can benefit your pet:

The SCOBY can be fed to animals. It will assist them with a variety of ailments such as arthritis, gut issues, cancer, skin issues, ear issues, and more.

How Kombucha kills fleas and ticks:

Kombucha will help eliminate fleas and ticks on your pets. However, a stronger batch of kombucha will be needed for this application. To make a stronger brew, merely let your kombucha ferment for two extra weeks. This will create an extra strength brew, similar to a tincture.

Next, apply your stronger brewed batch of flea and tick spray to the affected areas on your dog, cat, or livestock to decrease the irritation and discourage those pesky little buggers. For severe cases, you can also use it as a bath! It will also help them retain a shiny coat.

How Kombucha gets rid of your pet worms:

Kombucha is a natural way of getting rid of worms in dogs and cats. Dogs and cats get infected with roundworms by ingesting worm eggs found in soil or stool. Start by giving your pet a dried SCOBY as a chew toy. As you know cats can be very finicky if they refuse the new chew toy try mixing it with their food or in their drinking water.

More about the benefits of Kombucha tea:

  • May Balances hormones
  • Can help Lose weight
  • Improves Skin and hair
  • May help ease the symptoms of anxiety, eczema, food allergies if ingested and applied topically.
  • Behavioral issues, ADHD, Dyslexia, autism
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Kombucha is chock-full of trillions and billions of good bacteria that can strengthen the wall of the gut.
  • Vitamin C potent detoxifier and immune booster and enhancer of vitality.
  • Antibiotic qualities which help deactivate viruses.
  • Encourages the intercellular production of energy.
  • Protects human cellular membranes.

How to make Kombucha:

If you are interested in making a batch of kombucha yourself, check out my one-gallon kombucha recipe.

Disclaimer about the benefits of Kombucha:

After researching the benefits of kombucha tea for several months and consuming it myself, I have found quite an array of claims and lists of benefits the tea can offer up. But let it be known I have not researched all of these claims individually and I am not suggesting the use of kombucha tea over anything your doctor has recommended.

If you are looking for help resolving any of these ailments or conditions it is always best to consult a doctor.


What’s the Difference Between Fermenting and Rotting?

Ever wonder what is the difference is between fermenting and rotting food?

Short Answer:

Rotting is an uncontrolled act of a food decomposing. Dangerous bacteria take over the food in question, breaking it down to a dangerous and foul state. Rotting kills the food.

Fermenting is just the opposite. Fermentation is a controlled process that creates an environment in which the food is placed (jar, crock…); when done correctly, beneficial bacteria are produced that discourage the growth of harmful bacteria allowing you to eat it well past its usual shelf life.

If you are in the middle of making a batch of fermented vegetables and are wondering if it has spoiled or not, check out my post “How To Tell If Fermented Food Has Gone Bad.

Is fermented food rotten or spoiled?

No, fermented food is not spoiled food. The process of fermenting food is a method of preservation that raises the population of beneficial bacteria and breaks down the properties of the food so that they remain edible.

How fermentation starts:

  1. The process starts with the pH lowering, which creates an inhospitable environment for the harmful bacteria.
  2. They no longer thrive.
  3. The beneficial bacteria will then outcompete the harmful bacteria.

It’s the survival of the fittest on the microscopic level.

The results are delicious fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and so on.

In fact, because humans have generally moved away from eating unpasteurized fermented foods, which we have been doing for thousands of years. Studies indicate this has negatively impacted our systems.

What is Spoiled or Rotten Food?

Food spoilage takes place when microscopic organisms feast on food items that you leave unattended.

Ferment foods are a type of preservation of food which prevents spoilage from happening.

If you don’t take adequate preventative measures, the food will spoil quickly.

The microscopic bacteria are what cause food to spoil. These tiny organisms, called spoilage bacteria, eat unprotected food and produce waste products.

Bacterial waste is the cause of the foul smell and rotten appearance of spoiled food.

Spoiled implies that it is harmful to your health and should not be eaten. Now while there are varying degrees of decomposition that occur, this doesn’t mean you will be harmed from a food that has begun to decompose.

It’s all relative to the process, and humans have developed senses that warn us of harmful things. Think of how you react to a putrefying smell; you start to gag uncontrollably. That is your body protecting itself.

It really just boils down to if the food is harmful to your system or not.

Break it down.

During the fermentation process, microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast or fungi convert organic compounds, such as sugars and starch into alcohol or acids.

For example, starches and sugars (carbohydrates) in vegetables and fruits are converted to lactic acid, and this lactic acid acts as a natural preservative.

The lactic acid is how the food gets its good stuff, the distinctive, intense, slightly sour flavors to common in kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, beet kvass, and the like.

what is the difference between fermenting and rotting foods

It’s a balancing act.

The challenge is to balance both the good and bad bacteria.

Humans have both good and bad bacteria living in their guts. The good bacteria are called Probiotics. Probiotics are what line your gut and support nutrient absorption and a healthy immune system.

Eating fermented foods on a daily basis will help you build up the colonies of good bacteria and achieve a healthy gut.

It will help your body digest, absorb, and get better use of the foods you’re eating.

More health benefits of eating fermented foods include:

Stronger immune system

Promote repair of damaged tissues

Improved digestion

Increased energy from the production of vitamin B12

Better breath because probiotics destroy candida

Healthier skin, since probiotics improve eczema and psoriasis

Reduced cold and flu

Healing from leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease

Weight loss

Probiotics have also been shown to help slow or reverse some diseases, improve bowel health, aid digestion, and improve immunity!

Signs you have too much bad gut bacteria:


Excess intestinal gas

Too little or no intestinal gas

Chronic diarrhea

Chronic bad breath

To learn more about how to improve your gut health, read this article “How to Restore and Improve Your Gut Bacteria” by Dr. David Williams.