Fermentation is the process of converting carbohydrates to alcohol or organic acids using microorganisms—yeasts or bacteria—under anaerobic conditions. Sounds complicated ? Moritz from Sauercrowd explains fermentation and his production of Sauerkraut & Kimchi in an easy and understandable way. Learn more about the process of fermentation, how this is beneficial for your own health and our planet's health. And last but not least, explore the endless possibilities of including Sauerkraut & Kimchi to your diet.
At Little Plant Pantry, we had the pleasure of interviewing Moritz to learn more about his work and products. Read the full Q & A to know more about why he does what he does, how his sauercrowd is produced and what you can do with it.
Q: How is your Sauerkraut & Kimchi made ?
A: Our Sauerkraut & Kimchi is made through the process of lacto-fermentation. Our vegetables come from mainly local biodynamic and organic farmers here and in the summer cabbage season we harvest them ourselves at the biodynamic city farm in Almere.
After that we cut and prepare the different flavors for the slow process of fermentation. Most important hereby are 4 factors (salt content, Temperature, Fermentation time, and Bacteria). I always like to say it's not me fermenting the vegetables, it's our friends the microbes, I only give them the right conditions and fuel to strive. The microbes originate from various locations (microbiome of: air/environment, soil/vegetable, skin of fermentista)
The process of fermentation is anaerobic (meaning without oxygen). And if all factors are considered, the bacteria will reach different stages within 1-3 weeks of fermentation time in our kitchen. From Leuconostoc to Lactobacillus species (acid producing microbes) the process is going through different stages and only when correctly fermented we can enjoy a food safe, gut-friendly, and tasty fermented Kraut or kimchi.
Q: How is Sauerkraut & Kimchi beneficial for gut, mind and soil ?
A: History and traditional fermentation practices have proven that fermented vegetables are wonderful for health, and that fermentation is a beneficial, natural way to preserve vegetables. Science is now verifying that fermented vegetables exhibit promising opportunities for nutrition, better overall health, and disease prevention.
The health benefits of fermented vegetables are vast and dependent on the fermentation process and ingredients. I will name you a number of benefits which derive from a correctly slow fermented kraut or kimchi (it is important to highlight that correctly part because time, salt, environment etc has the perfectly aligned to reach these benefits):
- GABA: The inhibitory effects of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) helps to facilitate sleep, reduce mental and physical stress, lowers anxiety and calms your mood. And a GABA is amongst other, produced by lactobacillus spp. during lactic acid fermentation of vegetables (especially cabbage)! The bacteria can use this enzyme to break down L-glutamate in plant matter from GABA.
- Melatonin Bacterial fermentation can greatly increase the melatonin content in plantbased foods. This may be beneficial for us, especially if we need help regulating stress, circadian rhythms and sleep.
- Probiotics & Prebiotics
One of the most important messages that had come from science in the last decade is that the gut microbiome is essential and key to our health (Dr. R.Kellman).
But how should we feed our gut microbiome? Pro/Prebiotics seem to be on top of the list when it comes to good gut health!
Let me explain to you both on the example for a garden in nature:
Probiotics are the seed and resemble the actual alive bacteria that we feed our gut (which is our garden in this example).
Prebiotics (the fertilizer) are the foods which the probiotics nourish on. These consist mainly out of digestible fibers (from plant foods such as broccoli, aspargus, leafy greens, fermented vegetables etc.)
They work together in symbiosis and can’t function without each other just like healthy soil in nature needs alive bacteria and microorganisms we humans need that as well to build resilience and health from within.
Here comes the good news! Within properly raw Lacto-fermented vegetables, which have a sufficient amount of alive bacteria to reach the large intestine, you may find both pro/prebiotics. These include lactic acid bacteria and plant fibers.
- Vitamins Fermented foods contain beneficial vitamins and minerals, Sauerkraut is most famous for its increased vitamin C and K content as well as riboflavin & folate. The fermentation process can make vitamins and minerals also more bioavailable (can be absorbed better by the bod). For example in legume fermentation phytic acid is greatly reduced, increasing mineral bioavailability.
- Antioxidants & Bioactive compounds
One significant way fermented foods provide health benefits to those who consume them is through bioactive compounds. Bioactive compounds are small molecules that confer biological action in the body once the molecule is converted through microbial enzymatic and metabolic actions in fermentation. The health benefits of phenolic compounds depends on their bioavailability.
The gut-healthy microbes that convert phenolic compounds to more easily used forms in your gut are also found in fermented vegetables. Lactobacillus spp. can convert bound phenolic compounds in vegetables into bioactive forms in the last stage of vegetable fermentation. Consuming vegetables in a fermented form allows you to consume more bioavailable phenolic compounds with enhanced functional and antioxidant properties.
- SCFAs (Short chain fatty acids) they are produced via microbial fermentation of fibers. These fatty acids are the main nutrients utilized by the cells of your colon. SCFA´s may reduce the risk of inflammatory disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and other conditions.
Please let me know if you want to include all the sources which lead to peer reviewed article stating the benefits and lab results in relation to sauerkraut and kimchi raw, fermented.
Q: What are recipes with Sauerkraut ?
A: We have a wide range of recipes on our food blog at https://sauercrowd.nl/blogs/recipes
In general, it is to say that sauerkraut and kimchi raw, fermented is best consumed unpasteurized (so not heated over 73 degrees for longer than 45 seconds. This way you can ensure that all vitamins, minerals and alive bacteria are still in the product.
So perfect as a topping on sandwiches, burgers, salads, curries, toasties, stews for your everyday kitchen.
THANK YOU, Moritz for the Interview !
Wanna learn more about sauerkraut & kimchi. Watch the video on top of the blogpost to learn more about Moritz story, why sauerkraut & kimchi are so beneficial for your gut health and how this is even beneficial for our environment.
Feel like eating sauerkraut & kimchi now 🙂 ? Come visit us in our shop or order Moritz fermented products online: