Sauerkraut in a jar

How to Drain Sauerkraut

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Sauerkraut is a very popular fermented dish in most parts of the world. There are often misconceptions about Sauerkraut, whether you should drain it before eating it or rinse it and stuff. For this, you must have a complete guide about Sauerkraut. So, let’s get to know about this savory and tasty food in detail!

To drain Sauerkraut, you can use a salad spinner. It helps to extract out all the juice. Also, you can use a potato ricer or strainer. Some even prefer to cook Sauerkraut, but it changes the nutrient values to a great extent.

So, to start your basics with Sauerkraut, you need to clear your doubts. Some of the most typical queries are whether you should rinse it before eating or if you can eat it raw. In this article, I will discuss all these in detail and give you some tips on how to drain the Sauerkraut properly. So, to analyze all these facts in detail, please read the entire article. 

How To Drain Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut can be drained very easily using the commonly available kitchen tools and supplies. You can drain the excess water using a salad spinner or a lemon squeezer. Besides, you can try using a potato ricer. Also, an unpopular tip would be to cook the Sauerkraut!

Sauerkraut is nothing but fermented cabbage. It is processed in a delicious way, and it has excellent nutritional value as well. Mostly, people like to have it on salads or as a topping on top of sandwich stuffings, or even on tacos! It tastes delicious and creates a juicy, mouthful combination with these foods!

Most importantly, Sauerkraut is sold in the market in canned jars or sealed tin cans. They are dipped in brine or juice, which preserves the quality of the Sauerkraut. 

So, if you want to have it on your sandwich right now, you need to drain off the excess liquid. Or your sandwich or tacos can get super soggy and melt even before having it! Below I have mentioned some ways by which you can drain your Sauerkraut-

  • Salad Spinner
Salad spinner from Amazon
Salad spinner from Amazon

The easiest way to drain Sauerkraut is to use a salad spinner. Almost all of us have a salad spinner lying anywhere near the kitchen counter. Just put your Sauerkraut in it and spin. You will notice the excess liquid separating from the fermented cabbage. 

Besides, you can use this liquid for many other purposes. You can use this broth in soup or even when cooking some cabbage dish. Also, you can use it while cooking meat. It will infuse a delicious cabbage-like flavor and make a contrast! You can also prepare your salad dressing with this brine. 

In this way, you can enjoy your drained Sauerkraut. Now, put it on top of your sandwich or burger or whatever you want to have it with!

  • Lemon Squeezer 

Basically, using lemon squeezers is a very clever way to drain Sauerkraut. A lemon squeezer that has many holes at the bottom can be used to drain Sauerkraut. Just make sure there are no holes sideways, or your entire kitchen counter will get drenched in cabbage juice!

Take a lemon squeezer. Then put your Sauerkraut in it. Add in portions. It will take some time as you can’t drain the whole of it in one go. Now, bring the two handles close together, exerting pressure, and the excess liquid will get separated. By this method, you can control how much moisture you want the Sauerkraut to retain.

However, if you drain too much, exerting a lot of pressure, you will end up with just dry flakes of cabbage with zero flavors. So, be careful about how much force you are exerting. It should not be too little or too much.

  • Potato Ricer
Potato ricer from Amazon
Potato ricer from Amazon

It looks similar to a large lemon squeezer. There are holes at the bottom of the ricer through which the excess juice drains off. Preserve this juice if you want to keep it for future usage.

With this multipurpose potato ricer, you can have dry Sauerkraut too. But it is up to you how dry you want them to be. Suppose you want it to be a little moist; press slowly and take time. You can modify the moisture content as per your choice.

  • Cooking

Cooking sauerkraut can be a good idea if you have a good recipe in mind. However, cooking can damage the probiotics in the Sauerkraut. Probiotics are what make sauerkrauts so healthy and nutritious. These are good enzymes for your gut metabolism. 

Now, when you cook the Sauerkraut, certain biochemical changes may occur. The protein enzymes get denatured, which declines the probiotic and nutritional value. However, it is not at all a terrible idea to cook your Sauerkraut. It can taste delicious too!

For this purpose, just toss it in some oil with a little spice. The Sauerkraut can cook in its own broth and become dry just how you want it! In this way, the flavors can infuse better. Then, you can use it as a topping in your sandwich or salad.

Should You Rinse The Sauerkraut Before You Eat?

To be fair, it is your choice whether you want to rinse the Sauerkraut or eat it as it is. There are no black and white rules that you must rinse. So, rinse or not, it’s totally your choice!

Sauerkraut is a fermented pickle-like dish. When it is packaged in sealed bags or refrigerated cans, it is already processed and flavorful. In addition, the brine or the broth in which it remains soaked helps to infuse the flavors better.

Now, if you rinse the Sauerkraut, most of these flavors will get washed away. However, there are no rules that you cannot or should not rinse. But it can be wasteful because all the flavors the broth was holding washes away by rinsing. 

However, if you do not rinse the Sauerkraut, it won’t bother you in any way either. The food that is canned has been fermented for months and then added with preservatives before it was canned. So, naturally, it is clean and safe to eat. It is best not to rinse it. Rather than rinsing, try to drain off the excess liquid and use the liquid for other purposes.

In many countries, sauerkraut brine is served as a beverage with a meal. In fact, in many households, it is a beloved drink! Most people love to have it for the pickled taste, a little savory, a little sour, a little salty. If you want to add sweetness, try adding jaggery or a little brown sugar. It will taste heavenly!

Can Sauerkraut Be Eaten Raw From Cans?

Yes, you can eat the Sauerkraut raw from the can. Some people prefer to use the liquid separately and cook the Sauerkraut a little. However, you can eat it in whatever way you like.

The best health benefits of Sauerkraut are achieved by eating it raw. This is due to the fact that it contains a lot of digestive enzymes that can help your digestion. There are good bacteria in Sauerkraut. When I say good, I mean they are healthy for your gastrointestinal health.

When you heat it, say at 45 degrees Celsius, the bacteria can get destroyed. So, if you want to retain the probiotics, you need to heat or cook them at very low-level temperatures. You can keep a digital cooking thermometer to keep track of the temperature. 

The fermented Sauerkraut is actually better than having raw cabbage. It contains lots of digestive fibers and is much easier to digest than raw cabbage. So, you can eat Sauerkraut directly from the can. It won’t harm your health; instead, it will provide you with some supplements that your gut needs!

Some people complain about having diarrhea after eating Sauerkraut. But this is basically due to an induced inflammation. It has no direct health association with eating Sauerkraut directly from the can.

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