What is Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. To make it, cabbage is shredded, salted and left to ferment in a de-oxygenated environment for around 6 weeks. The salt, via osmosis, pulls water out of the cabbage to form brine that helps protect the kraut while it is fermenting. Three phases of microbial activity produce lactic acid and improve vitamin content while converting sugars in the cabbage. The enzymes break the cabbage down into smaller, more digestible molecules and the lactic acid kills unwanted organisms. The term “lacto-ferment” comes from the lactic acid secreting bacteria present in a batch.
Oops! I left my jar of Be Nourished cultured vegetables out of the fridge. What will happen and is it still safe to eat?
Yes, your product is safe to eat. These products are recommended to be refrigerated for longevity because they are “still alive”. When left out at room temperature, the fermentation process will slowly continue. This will produce more lactic-acid and C02, which may result in pressure build up in the jar and product expansion. If you leave your product out for a few days you may notice a more sour product, however, it will not spoil. Simply open up jar and push kraut down with a spoon and refrigerate.
Why have I noticed a difference in taste, color, and texture between two jars of the same Be Nourished product?
Each batch is different, this is just how it is .Be Nourished products are naturally fermented using vegetables grown from a variety of organic and/or local sustainable farms. This may be one reason why it is almost impossible to create a uniform product with every batch. Vegetables grown in different soil will contain different bacteria that will contribute to the fermentation process. And we don’t use use preservatives, vinegar, or pasteurization so a slight difference in batches might be noticed. For example, you may notice an minor variation in taste, color, juiciness and texture . We do what we can but the reality of things always tasting the same is a product of industrialized expectations of our food. Congratulations on embracing a realistic view of food products. Thank you:)
How long will a jar of Be Nourished products stay good after opening?
All vegetables have preservative and decaying bacteria on them in the field. Making sauerkraut favors the preservative bacteria by increasing lactic acid and lowering Ph. This low Ph kills off botchilic organisms as well. The bacteria actually preserve the cabbage as a medium for the purpose of increasing their numbers. The best before date is on the jar which is 6 months after jarring. It will be safe to eat after this date and the flavour still amazing but the probiotic bacteria will lessen. Tip: We recommend pushing the cultured vegetables down with a fork once you have removed your portion from the jar. Keeping vegetables pushed down in their juices helps preserve the product.
I bought a jar and it’ s bubbly or fizzy and lid is bulged, is it ok to eat?
Be Nourished products are all naturally fermented and not pasteurized so living organisms are present. Some batches are more active than others and have residual activity. This activity includes some creation of CO2, which will make the product bubbly and may fizz on opening. We recommend opening each jar slowly.
What is the difference between Be Nourished products and other sauerkraut and kimchi found on shop shelves?
Be Nourished products are raw and unpasteurized.(Pasteurizing destroys the enzymes and probiotic bacteria).
What is the recommended serving size?
We recommend eating 1-2 tablespoons with each meal. Many have found that upon introducing lactic acid fermented foods in their diet they notice a cleansing reaction as the bacteria push many of the undesirable bacteria out of the body. Most of these symptoms such as diarrhea and gurgle-y stomach, last for only a few days for most.
What foods should I eat them with?
You can use Be Nourished cultured vegetables like you would any other tangy condiment or relish. Spruce up a sandwich, toss it into a salad to add tanginess and crunch , add to any type of meat ,fish, eggs, cheese or grain dish as a great accompaniment.
Why can’t I double dip?
Our mouths are the dirtiest places around and if the mix of germs and bacteria present in our mouth get into a jar of kraut they could cause mold, rot and loss of texture. This double dipping is true with any food in your fridge.
Why use a culture starter?
While it is not necessary to add a “starter culture” to fermented vegetables, we use the very potent Body Ecology starter to ensure that the vegetables begin fermenting with very hardy strains of beneficial bacteria. These probiotic bacteria also stay at higher levels for longer. The culture starter contains a very robust bacterium called L. Plantarum. It is:
– a very strong strain of bacteria
– can withstand chemicals which can kill good bacteria such as antibiotics, even stomach acid, fluoride, chlorinated water
– removes pathogens
– aids in digestion
– essential for good intestinal health.
Because L.Plantarum is antiviral, once it colonizes in your intestines, not even antibiotics can destroy it.
For more information please refer to this article on the Body Ecology Website which explains the difference between wild and culture ferments. http://bodyecology.com/
What is chicory extract?
Chicory extract or FOS is a prebiotic ( I use Body Ecology ecobloom). Cultured foods become more potent when EcoBloom is added to the mixture. Just as people need food to thrive, so do organisms. Healthy organisms feed on nutrients to stay alive, and prebiotics supply them with those nutrients. Basically probiotics are beneficial bacteria and pre biotics help them grow and flourish.
For more information see Body Ecology website.
Where do our organic vegetables come from?
We try to source our vegetables locally as much as possible. One of our main suppliers being Organically Certified Fresh Gardens in Kumeu. We also have growers in Whangarei and Napier.