Superfood: Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is fermented and pickled cabbage that is quite popular as a condiment to hot dogs, sausage, corn beef, and other meat dishes. Sauerkraut is made by a process of pickling called lacto-fermentation and if properly made and air-sealed does not require refrigeration until once opened. The German method of making sauerkraut uses Juniper berries.

There are many great health benefits to eating fermented foods. Some of the awesome benefits of sauerkraut include:

1. Immune Booster – The naturally occurring phytochemical by-products of sauerkraut help boost the immune system which leads to a decrease in a number of health problems. The common cold, skin problems, and even weight gain are all aided by a healthy functioning immune system.

2. Cancer Fighter – The results of a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that the fermentation of cabbage produced a substance called isothiocynates, which prevents cancer growth, particularly in the breast, colon, lung, and liver. A recent study by the American Center for Cancer Research found that the lack of consuming sauerkraut, a traditional part of the Polish diet has a profound effect among Polish women in the United States who have much higher breast cancer rates due to the “Americanizing” of their diets. This dietary change was especially significant while they were in still in adolescence.

3. Digestive Aid – Sauerkraut is one of the few foods that contain the bacterium Lactobacilli plantarum. L. planatarum is a very dominant strain of healthful bacteria which helps your digestive system in the following ways: boost the immune system by increasing antibodies that fight infectious disease help inhibit pathogenic organisms including E.coli, salmonella, and unhealthy overgrowth of candida (yeast). It also creates antioxidants (glutathione and superoxide dismutase) that scavenge free radicals which are a cancer precursor. Sauerkraut transforms hard-to-digest lactose from milk to the more easily digested lactic acid. It neutralizes the antinutrients found in many foods including the phytic acid found in all grains.

4. Constipation reliever – A long standing folk remedy to keep the intestines clean and regular leading to an overall feeling of well-being. The fermentation process increases the nutrient value of cabbage, particularly the vitamin C levels. It also assists the breakdown and assimilation of proteins.

Interested in making your own sauerkraut? Alton Brown has an easy recipe that we love.

Try substituting sauerkraut as a side for any protein based meal particularly pork.

Try adding it to your regular grilled cheese sandwich. Try it in the morning alongside scrambled eggs with a piece of your favourite grain bread.

Snack, Dinner: Irresistible Baked Gluten and Nut-free Onion Rings

There are a lot of recipes for baked onion rings, but most are still quite unhealthy due to the “breading” component. The best ones I have come across actually use almond meal. We like pumpkin instead as it is both gluten and nut-free, and also a good protein source.

Makes about 3 servings

Base Ingredients
• 1 large onion, cut into thick slices
• 1/2 cup organic pumpkin seed meal (just raw pumpkin seeds ground up in the mini-chop pro)
• 1 tsp. piripiri or cayenne (less if you don’t like kick)
• 2 tsp. dried minced shallots
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt
• 1 tsp. dried parsley or oregano
• 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 organic Meyer lemon (if in season) juiced
• 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
• Olive oil sprayContinue reading

Easy Oat and Protein Muffins

Everyone should have a simple base muffin recipe in their arsenal – this is a good one. The use of a high quality protein flour mix goes a long way to ensuring breakfast fuels you through to lunch and keeps you focused and tuned in to whatever you are up to. Add what you like into the mixture – just try and make it something nutritionally worthy to your day*.

These are an excellent “take on the plane” snack/meal as well!

Base Ingredients
• 1 cup 2% organic milk**
• 1 cup quick cook organic oats
• 1 free range egg
• 1/4 cup light olive oil
• 1 cup mix kamut/quinoa flour
• 1/4 cup organic liquid honey
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla

**if you are dairy intolerant substitute coconut milk.

Optional Ingredients
1/2 cup mix raisins and raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup mix dried cherries and organic dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup mix chopped up dried apricots and toasted flaked coconut
1/2 cup diced pineapple and toasted flaked coconut*
1/2 cup organic raspberries or blueberriesContinue reading