Fermented Cabbage And Fermented Tea

Top 12 Fermented Foods With Fermented Sauerkraut
And Fermented Tea

Foods that Heal – Foods that Maintain Weight Loss

by Boyd Jentzsch

Today: We complete the Top 12 Fermented Foods with the best of the best.

2. Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
Fermenting foods is one of the oldest ways known to preserve foods. And one of the first to be fermented was cabbage. Sauerkraut, or “sour cabbage” in German, “choucroute” in French. Genghis Khan and Tartars are said to have brought it to Europe when they carried it in their saddlebags. It has lasted though the centuries for because of its amazing health benefits, and that it was easy to transport.

Fermented Cabbage Top Fermented Foods

Sauerkraut is Popular with Europeans. It’s often eaten with meats, potatoes, sauteed foods. Photos Courtesy thekitchn.com

The famous British explorer, Captain James Cook carried sauerkraut with him on his many breathtaking voyages. He served it to his crew to sustain their health, as they were confined to eating hardtack, briny lima beans, and salted pork on their long stays away form land. He is noted for his mapping expedition of the St. Lawrence River, and his three incredible Pacific Ocean voyages mapping the then unknown worlds of Australia, and New Zealand. It is not known if the Hawaiians who subsequently ate him also enjoyed his sauerkraut with their roasted meal.  

From Roman times to the present, the process of fermenting cabbage has been remarkably the same: The pickling of cabbage, through a “lacto-fermentation” process (not unlike for pickles), is finely cut cabbage leaves, layered with salt, and left to ferment, usually in ceramic jars.

My father, an immigrant from Germany, was so fond of it, the first planting at our home farm each Spring was of cabbage. Then all through the Fall and Winter, my dad would dip a big spoon into the huge earthen pot he fermented it in, and take a mouthful upon arriving home from work every day. He lived to be 90. And it was sauerkraut (or the stout German beer he drank) that he said kept him out of the hospital and doctor’s office his entire life.  

Sauerkraut is often eaten with meats, or in Russia it is combined with sautéed onions and potatoes.

This very old way of eating contained its own version of ancient wisdom, as we now know these particular food combinations with Sauerkraut are the best way to digest these foods, and to get the best out of them, while minimizing their less beneficial properties.

Fermented cabbage in jars

Sauerkraut is high in Vitamin C, Calcium and Magnesium, two important electrolytes needed for energy!) Photo Courtesy thekitchn.com

Sauerkraut is very high in Vitamin C, high in calcium and magnesium (two important electrolytes needed for energy), and a great dietary source of fiber, folate, iron, potassium, copper and manganese. It is high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both good for the eyes. Some recent research seems to indicate that it is anti-carcinogenic.

Rich in enzymes, and probiotics, there are few foods better for restoring the body, and keeping it healthy. For weight losers, it is also low in calories.

Because of how it is fermented, some versions are high in sodium, which can lead to water retention and may elevate blood pressure, if too much is eaten.

There are excellent commercial versions of Sauerkraut available. Or you can make it yourself. It’s remarkably easy to do, and not much to go wrong. Take a look here:

How To Make Homemade Sauerkraut

More Sauerkraut How-To’s

Homemade Sauerkraut

I snack on Sauerkraut (a heaping tablespoon full or two), add it to a meal, or put in on a wheat cracker, just like my Father did his entire, health-filled, “no-doctor-visits,” 90 year life. I am not sure I will live that long. But I am sure that Sauerkraut helps me, with its live active probiotics, to keep my weight off. I forgot to eat it when I was losing weight, but these years since I have worked to keep my excess weight from reappearing, it is part of my regular weight maintenance arsenal.

1. Kombucha
You may not of heard about this ancient drink, but you are going to love it, and that is why I put it at the very top of my Top 12. I can’t say enough good about Kombucha.

Kombucha Top Fermented Foods

Kombucha is considered the Best Fermented Food on the Planet.
Photo Courtesy thekitchn.com

This came into my life many years ago when I was formulating a line of herbal weight loss products for a French company. Oddly enough, that company had a PhD level herbalist on board, who happened to be from China. I had just closed my offices in Hong Kong and Taipei at the time (to move my base of operations back to the USA), so it was kind of weird that I first learned of this amazing, ancient Chinese drink in the US from a French company. But, I digress.

Kombucha is originally from China — at least that is what the Chinese say. Many other Asian peoples claim it as their own, too. In any case, we know the Chinese version is at least 2,000 years old, so the health benefits of it have really stood the test of time. The Tsin dynasty called it “The Elixir of Life.”

Kombucha is a naturally carbonated, fermented tea beverage. Full of enzymes, it is a natural energy booster. As a result, it pushes up your metabolism, leading to some additional weight loss benefits.

The key benefit for those in the process of losing weight is that it is a NATURAL DETOXIFIER. Why is that important? Because fat cells are places your body places toxins it cannot eliminate easily. As you lose pounds, your body is using up the other contents of these fat cells — fat — and the stored toxins get released right along with them. So, you need a continuous supply of detoxifiers to make sure the bad stuff doesn’t hand around and make you sick.

The next powerful benefit is that it boosts your Immune System because it is an excellent pre-biotic, and full of probiotics to feed and re-supply the good bacteria in your gut.

There is a lot more to say — and for you to learn about the superfood that is Kombucha. Do some research on your own. And get to brewing some.

Kombucha Glass Bottles Top Fermented Foods

Home-made Kombucha would be a great addition to your daily diet!
Photo Courtesy thekitchn.com

There are now some commercially bottled versions of Kombucha. I’ve tried only a few, so check for them in your food store, or in Whole Foods, or your health food stores. Just make sure they are organic.

I made my first made a batch of Kombucha in my fridge when I first began my weight loss journey. The best thing I can say about it? I could really tell when I stopped drinking it.

Weight loss and improving your health go hand in hand. I don’t think I could have lost as much weight without Kombucha. I am equally sure I could not have kept it off without it being a regular staple in my life. Science is coming around to seeing it as the best Fermented Food on the planet. But my interest is just in losing weight, and keeping it off. Isn’t that yours, too?

A step-by-step Kombucha recipe is here. Here is a couple different recipes, plus a how-to video.

How To Make Kombucha Soda

The Chinese Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE), believed Kombucha was “a beverage with magical powers enabling people to live forever.” Perhaps you might want to see if they were right, don’t you think? Certainly can’t hurt to see if they were right.

Wine and Beer
Ok, technically these two should be on this list, but they are two very different subjects, best left for another time.

Starter Kits for many of these fermented, probiotic, “do-it-at-home” food cultures are very helpful. It’s important to check into a variety, if you want to get serious about any of the above. Here is one good source for kombucha starter kit, and there are many others. 

Tomorrow: We’ll conclude and wrap it all up and give possible directions for the future.

Top 12 Fermented Foods
Foods that Heal – Foods that Maintain Weight Loss

Here’s a List to the Top 12 Fermented Foods Admired Throughout the World

Fermented Foods that Heal & Maintain Weight
Chicha and Buttermilk
Kvass and Rejuvelac
Pickles and Yogurt
Kimchi and Tempeh
Miso and Kefir
Cabbage and Cambucha

Don’t forget to send me your weight loss questions.

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  1. Rebecca Swenor says

    I was going to ask about wine. My grandfather used to make it from grapes years ago.

  2. Wow! I didn’t realize there could be so many! I’ve heard of kombucha and all the awesome benefits too. Thanks for the great info!

  3. lisa jones says

    WOW What A List They Look Delicious & Refreshing Will Have To Try A Few Thank You\

  4. My significant other is Chinese and I have not heard of the Kombucha. But I will ask him. He could probably ask someone to make it for me 🙂

  5. Sorry for my ignorance but I have to ask, if it’s fermented, how long can it last?

  6. I’ve been trying to find fermented pickles but cannot find them anywhere in my area.

  7. This is a great post-I’ve never feremented anything ever before-you are giving me some bravery to try to it–thanks for sharing

  8. I’ve heard great things about Kombucha but I haven’t tried it.

    I do, however, love sauerkraut and kimchi! Yum.

  9. I love cabbage and it’s so healthy for you, but I never like sauerkraut. I luckily don’t have any digestive issues with cabbage. Thanks for the history. Enjoyed!

  10. I prefer cabbage any other way apart from saurkraut. We shared a flat in our final year at uni with a German girl who was there for a year – and she loved the stuff. The rest of us weren’t keen

  11. I am gonna check out the Kombucha, see what that’s all about! My husband loves fermented cabbage like sauerkraut.

  12. How delicious, and healthy! Thank you for sharing this!

  13. I love saurkraut. I should really make my own but have never tried.

  14. Maria Oller says

    My biggest craving this pregnancy was hotdogs and tons of sauerkraut on top omg so yummy

  15. Sauerkraut is a favorite of mine. We don’t have it near enough because I’m the only one in the house who likes it. 🙁

  16. I guess fermenting is a time tested process already. I think it’s also a good way to preserve the taste and nutrients,

  17. I love sauerkraut. We have a restaurant where I’m from, me and my Mom used to order Canadian bacon and sauerkraut pizza. It used to make my Dad mad bc he hated the smell. lol I did not know there were so many health benefits of sauerkraut though. I’ll have to go get some now. Thanks for the post.

  18. Savannah miller says

    We eat a lot of sauerkraut at my house! Pork and sauerkraut, we eat it on hot dogs and m nanny even makes sauerkraut and dumplings :). I never knew it has so many benefits!

  19. I have had sauerkraut on my hot dogs and love the tangy taste.

  20. I’ve never made sauerkraut before but this recipe looks delicious! I’ll have to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Just the smell of Sauerkraut makes me want to gag. I had to use it a lot where I used to work, it was so nasty.

  22. I have always loved Sauerkraut. I have been known to just eat it as a side veggie–but I live it when I make stuffed cabbage!!

  23. I love sauerkraut! I don’t make it though as noone else eats it.

  24. Hmm. My husband makes beer so I know he may be able to whip me up a batch of the Kombucha. I would love to give it a try.

  25. Wow! I didn’t realize there could be so many! I’ve never heard of kombucha and all the awesome benefits. Thanks for the info!

  26. That Kombucha tea looks interesting. I have wanted to try to make it. And my husband loves sauerkraut.

  27. Wow! Never heard of kambucha before and I am very eager to learn more about this. I might even make my own, reading the health benefits of it, sounds like it can work wonder.

  28. I love cabbage, and I used to love kombucha until I found out of the alcohol percentage, then it was a turn off. I usually eat fresh and not fermented, but the sourkrout sounds interesting and very beneficial!

  29. What an amazing post! I never knew all of this about fermented cabbage and fermented tea. Thanks for sharing it and the recipes.

  30. I snack on Sauerkraut (a heaping tablespoon full or two), add it to a meal, or put in on a wheat cracker, just like my Father did his entire, health-filled, “no-doctor-visits,” 90 year life. I am not sure I will live that long. But I am sure that Sauerkraut helps me, with its live active probiotics, to keep my weight off. I forgot to eat it when I was losing weight, but these years since I have worked to keep my excess weight from reappearing, it is part of my regular weight maintenance arsenal.

  31. This is a great article thanks for sharing this information I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.

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