Enjoying your wildbrine should be pretty straightforward. But if questions pop up as you’re crunching away, feel free to read below!
FAQs: wild Facts
Who should eat fermented foods and why?
What is wild fermentation & why should I care?
Wild fermentation is just that— the process of letting fermentation happen on its own time and in its own way. We add sea salt to our veggie and spice mix, and provide the right, cozy environment for the naturally occurring probiotic microorganisms. Then, we let the lactic acid created through natural wildness preserve the vegetables, create bright flavors, and produce a sauerkraut and brine that’s teeming with robust probiotics.
You should care because the kraut produced through natural fermentation is raw, alive, and contains a diverse range of acid-buffered probiotics that are ready to boost your full body system with all their bio-available nutrients. Plus there is no vinegar, added sugar or any kind of lab culture in our products. wildbrine is simply delicious and healthy just like mother nature decides. Want more details? Check out our wild fermentation blog post.
How long do wildbrine® products last after opening the jar?
As long as your wildbrine products are kept in the fridge with the brine covering all of the solids – the brine is a natural preservative – it’ll be good until at least 1-2 months past the expiration date printed on the package. But even then, they’re still good to go, although the crunch might dull a bit and, since wildbrine is alive and actively fermenting, expect the flavors to continue to deepen as they chill out in your fridge. Just a side note: Make sure and always use a clean spoon when digging into the krauts and kimchis.
What strains of probiotics are in wildbrine® products?
Since our products are wild-fermented, we do not know exactly. Wild fermentation means that we nurture the naturally occurring bacteria (lactobacillus) that drive the fermentation process. This is called lacto-fermentation. The strains of probiotics in the lactobacillus are dependent on where the vegetables are grown and what type of vegetables they are. Learn more about probiotic strains.
Why does wildbrine® use plastic jars?
We choose plastic jars for three reasons:
- Glass doesn’t allow gases to release – our BPA-free plastic containers let carbon dioxide out but no oxygen in. They are also rated PET 1, one of most highly chemical resistant, recyclable types of plastic available.
- Our jars are lower in weight, saving on fuel and greenhouse gases during shipping.
- Glass is very expensive, and plastic containers allow us to sell our product at an affordable price. In addition, some retailers ask us to refrain from glass for breakage reasons.
Why does wildbrine® use salt to ferment?
First, it’s tradition. Salt has been used to preserve and ferment food for thousands of years. Salt is a powerful agent that kills the organisms that spoil produce and extracts nutrients from the produce to fuel the microorganisms that do the work of fermentation.
Where can I buy wildbrine® products?
wildbrine® is sold in supermarkets & natural food retailers throughout the United States and Canada. Check out our store finder to see if we are available in a store near you.
Do you sell wildbrine® products directly?
We do not currently sell our products directly. Fermented foods require refrigeration from beginning to end so we’re investigating the options out there to make sure the healthy probiotics intact, and to make the shipping affordable. Stay tuned.
Are wildbrine® products pasteurized?
No, all of our fermented foods are raw. We do not cook, blanch, or pressure-treat any of our ingredients. The fermentation creates lactic acid, which preserves the product naturally, kills any bad stuff, and keeps the nurturing lactobacilli alive.
Are wildbrine® ingredients non-GMO?
Yes! Absolutely all of our ingredients are non-GMO! All our products were certified by the Non-GMO Project back in 2013 (and regularly maintain that certification).
Are wildbrine® products organic?
Quite a few are! We have many deliciously organic kraut varieties: Raw Organic Green, Raw Organic Red, Organic Red Beet Red Cabbage Kraut, Arame Ginger Kraut, Organic Dill & Garlic Kraut, and Organic Curry Cauliflower Kraut. As organic farming becomes more widespread and cost effective, we will continue to develop and expand our line of organic krauts.
Are wildbrine® products gluten-free and vegan?
Oh yeah. All of our products and every ingredient in them (including the soy) are absolutely gluten-free and 100% vegan. Even our kimchi is vegan!
Is wildbrine® paleo?
Sure thing! Well, except our Japanese Kimchi, which has miso. But the rest, yes!
Sometimes it is difficult to get the lid off my jar. What should I do?
wildbrine® products continue to ferment in their jars and can release extra gas, causing pressure that can sometimes make it difficult to unscrew the lid. If that happens, try the following:
- Let your kraut hang out on the counter for five minutes—the change in temperature relieves some of the pressure!
- Try running the lid edge of the wildbrine® container (where the lid meets the threads of the jar) under some warm water. Then try again to unscrew the lid.
Do wildbrine® products need to be refrigerated?
Yes they do! Otherwise, the beneficial probiotics might not last.
What can I do with the extra brine?
After you’ve eaten up all those delicious fermented veggies, use the brine in salad dressings or sauces, drink it straight for a potent digestive boost, or use it as a flavor enhancer in a Bloody Mary cocktail. However, be sure to keep enough brine in your jar to cover the vegetables. This helps keep fermented foods fresh for a longer period of time. Plenty of ideas in our blog post featuring uses for leftover sauerkraut juice.
What is the optimal amount of fermented products to eat each day?
Please understand that the serving size shown in the Nutritional Facts on the label is just a standard size for analyzing the nutritional content of a product. All similar products are required to use the same serving size so a consumer can compare. It’s not necessarily a recommendation of the amount that should be eaten per day. All similar products are required to use the same serving size so a consumer can compare. For sauerkraut, the serving size is set by the FDA at 2 tablespoons. As far as nutritional benefit, it differs for everyone. Here are some recommendations from some authorities:
“According to personal clinical experience, regular intake of small doses of sauerkraut—7 g to 10 g (or about 1 T) daily—has a very good effect on many patients’ gastrointestinal tract.” from the National Center for Biotechnical Information
“Little and often is better than consuming a large amount of fermented food once a week because you need to keep energizing the microbes in your gut,” according to Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, and author of The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat.
We recommend you start one or two servings of fermented products in the beginning, and see how your body reacts. It will naturally adjust to the addition of good bacteria. Then, you can add a little more each day to see how your body reacts (remember those probiotics are live and active) until you find the right balance. Also, if you have an immune-related illness, please check with your healthcare practitioner before making any changes to your diet.
Does heating sauerkraut destroy the probiotics?
The kraut can be very tasty when warmed up, but there is a good chance of killing off the beneficial probiotic bacteria at temperatures above 115 degrees F. In order to preserve the probiotic benefits, we suggest waiting to add our fermented products to your dish until just before serving. Keeping those bacteria happy will keep your gut happy as well.
Can you freeze sauerkraut?
We do not know the exact effect on the probiotics when frozen. Research shows some strains of live bacteria will go into a dormant state if frozen, and will return to an active state after being thawed or eaten, while frozen storage can cause a reduction in the counts of some bacterial strains. Freezing will alter the great texture of our kraut and fermented vegetables and since the live cultures in our products will last a very long time in the refrigerator, we recommend refrigeration to get the full benefit of the probiotics.