British Columbia

Sauerkraut, fermented foods make top 2015 trends

You know your craft beers, but are you on trend with your craft cabbage?

Fermented foods are one of the latest healthy eating trends

A bottle of raw, fermented garlic sauerkraut (Jonathan Pinto/CBC News)

You know your craft beers, but are you on trend with your craft cabbage?

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut are set to make news in 2015, as nutritionists extol their apparent benefits to digestive health.

Though some people negatively associate the word "fermented" with food that has gone bad, everyday foods such as bread, yogurt and kimchi have all gone through the natural ripening process .

Vancouver nutritionist and chef, Andrea Potter, told On The Coast that the idea sauerkraut is good for you is not exactly new.

"[Older] people are just like, 'Well, we always knew that that this stuff was good for us, we eat it, [it] keeps us healthy in the winter,'" she noted.

"Now science is backing it up because the research on probiotics in these foods are actually pretty recent, and now young people are like, 'Probiotics — I buy those. I get why they're good for me.'"

Making good fermented foods is not hard, Potter insists, and suggests sauerkraut as a good place to start.

How to make your own sauerkraut

  • All you need is cabbage and salt. Once you are happy with your recipe, play around with other vegetables — carrots and apples, perhaps — and fresh herbs to enhance flavour.
  • Slice up a head of Napa cabbage put it into a crock pot and add a handful of salt.
  • Be sure to use a good quality salt.
  • Once the water released from the vegetables starts to rise, press down with a weighted plate 
  • Cover the top and allow to ferment for at least a week. 

With files from Jennifer Chen

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