So you've eaten up all of your delicious, naturally fermented kraut – now what to do with the leftover sauerkraut juice?
Most folks devour the cabbage component of sauerkraut and toss the rest. The truth is that your fermented cabbage's briny habitat is a big piece of the probiotic picture. When we add sea salt to organic cabbage and seal it all up, a chemical reaction happens. The vegetable itself releases a nutrient-rich brine that feeds the micro-organisms who perform fermentation duties. Those organisms produce lactic acid, which, in turn, preserves the kraut while stopping the growth of unsavory bacterial characters. These characters can give your gut a rough time. Basically, kraut juice is rich in probiotics; it activates your digestion-relieving constipation; and it generally keeps your belly at ease.
Sauerkraut juice is also a nutrient-dense by-product of the fermentation process. Within the krauty brine you'll find loads of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight cell-harming free radicals in the body. In addition, the tart brine also contains potassium and a heaping helping of iron which helps transport oxygen all throughout your living vessel. You don't really need more reasons to sip on this delicious nectar, do you?
Let’s Drink that Sauerkraut Juice!
Here are a few suggestions on what to do with your leftover brine.
- Drink it Straight: If you want to start your day with a tart probiotic kick, kickback some of that leftover brine straight up. Luckily, we make a variety of flavor profiles, so if you want some aromatic notes that are a little less "krauty," you'll have plenty of options to choose from.
- Use It as a Base for Salad Dressing: Another simple way to use some of that tasty kraut juice is to use it as a base for a salad dressing. Simply add olive oil and whatever seasonings tickle your fancy.
- Marinate Meat: Fermented goodies have a depth of flavor only achievable in foods that are allowed to sit undisturbed for long periods of the time. The lactic acid in kraut juice will help tenderize raw meat while infusing it with flavor. Add a helping of sauerkraut juice to any meat for a tender kick, but we think the fermented flavor profiles pairs best with pork. One tip: Marinate overnight but no longer (don’t want the kraut juice fermenting the meat!).
- Give Veggies a Quick Pickle: Sauerkraut brine is deliciously sharp and makes an excellent, ready-made pickling liquid. Thinly slice carrots, cucumbers, onions and whatever else sounds tasty and soak it with the juice. Let it sit overnight and enjoy the crunchy goodness! (A note from Chris, wildbrine’s fermentation geek: You don’t want to try to re-ferment vegetables using only the kraut juice. The proportions of salt and vegetables won’t be correct to conduct a proper fermentation.)
- Throw it in a Soup: It’s important to note that this use will lower the probiotic benefits of the brine, unless you are making a cold soup like gazpacho. However, adding sauerkraut juice to a soup broth adds a delicious umami flavor profile, especially if you are using brine from our Japanese Kimchi.
- Buzz it Up: Making a Sauer Martini is easy. Just follow the recipe shared with us by one of our fans, Charla.
Sauerkraut Juice Martini Recipe
• A chilled martini glass
• 1 shot Silver tequila
• 1 shot fresh lime
• 2 shots strained wildbrine Sauerkraut juice
Directions: Stir ingredients with ice, strain, pour into martini glass, and enjoy!