Weekly Ways to Replenish Yourself

The kitchen is my meditation room. There I make the food that will allow me to thrive, nourish my family's health, delight friends, and hopefully inspire you to try the same. The Archives section of Replenish PDX houses the newsletters where I write about recipes, nutrition information and the wellspring of reflections that come from those kitchen meditations. With these words, my hope is to bring you deeper into the connection with food your body and your understanding of how you feel and function. This is where you get to take it all home.

Crazy for kraut!

Posted on: September 18th 2014

Sometimes you just don’t have time to make it yourself.

Consumer’s Report, from Replenish PDX, offers recommendations and reviews for foodstuff you can purchase while aiming to achieve your optimal health and wellness.

this month: favorite ferments

We’re knee deep into the Hashimoto’s Institute trainings and I’ll come right out and say it. . . I’m so proud!

Seriously, if you have any interest in health, Hashi’s or otherwise, the presenters and content we’ve assembled are stellar. Today’s focus at the Institute is Diet & Digestion, a topic that matters to each and every one of us.

Don’t be afraid to tune in for just one day!
Click here to listen to today’s phenomenal interviews covering:

gluten sensitivity
the importance of phytonutrients
the role of brassica (that’s your broccoli!) in liver detoxification
the autoimmune paleo diet
and. . . the very thing I want to talk to you about today: FERMENTS!

As part of the Replenish community, you know that we’re dedicated to the health of your good gut bacteria.

You also already know that your bacteria sets the stage for every single health situation you may encounter ~ whether it’s your focus and drive, your digestive wellness or your immune function.

But why are we so crazy for kraut?

Sauerkraut, along with other fermented foods such as kimchi, pickles, kefir, miso and more, have been staples of the human diet throughout time. Without knowing it, our ancestors were eating to shift their microbiome, and therefore their health, for the better.

They ate for survival and protection. These fermented foods helped to bolster the population of their internal bacteria to best serve their ability to ward off infection and disease. And many of us (again, Hashi’s or otherwise), would benefit from the same.


Yet these [consumer report] pages are all about how we can spend less time in the kitchen, when we don’t have it, and more time trusting what we can procure off the shelves. The truth is, though we’re similar physiological specimens, our survival needs look very different than those of our ancestors. We need to borrow from their wisdom and adapt to our current demands.

It’s A-OK to get out to get your kraut!

Ready, Set, Ferment!

~ Kraut is typically made with green or red cabbage and salt (plus the good bacteria that come along with the cabbage). Yup, it’s that simple! But other veggies like carrots, beets, and cauliflower are also good fermenters. You can experiment at home or treat yourself to a “fancy” kraut that includes other veggies or unique combinations like curry, jalapeño, garlic, sea vegetables or ginger.

~ If you buy your kraut, make sure it’s raw and has live cultures. How do you know? First, it will be in the refrigerated section (usually with the tofu and tempeh). If it’s not refrigerated or it’s in a can, it’s been pasteurized. That means the good bacteria deprived (and that’s not what you want!)

~ Kimchi is fermented like kraut but it’s a traditional Korean food, usually made with Nappa cabbage, carrots, and a blend of spices. If you like spicy, kimchi might be the fermented food for you. Even “normal” grocery stores often carry kimchi (look for it in the produce section) if you don’t have a health food store in your home town or when you’re traveling.

~ Kraut and other ferments will last quite a long time in the fridge. Probably up to a year, but hopefully you’ll eat it much faster!

~ A little goes a long way when it comes to kraut. Think of kraut more as a condiment not a side dish. Have a one to three forkfuls with each meal to boost digestion and give yourself a steady, daily dose of the good guys your gut needs.

~ Don’t forget to eat ‘em! Maintaining bacterial health means staying in touch ~ with your ferments that is. As one of my colleagues likes to say: they’re not a “one and done deal”. Get in the habit of dishing some up daily with dinner and your digestion will dig it.


Let’s get some kraut!

If you’re willing to do some kitchen experimenting (and have crocks of veggies scattered around your house), it’s actually quite easy to make your own kraut and fermented veggies. But it does take patience and time (usually at least 5 days, but longer is better).

But sometimes you want kraut right away. Or maybe you’re just not that into fermentation experimentation.

If that’s the case, there’s good news! There are more and more raw, delicious krauts available for you to buy. Head to your local health food store and see what you can find. Experiment and explore, your tastebuds (and digestion) will guide you and thank you.

And you might be really lucky and have a fermentation artisan in your town, so don’t forget to scan your Farmer’s Market for a local find.

Curious to know which krauts are in the kitchens of the Replenish Nutrition Team? Check out our favorites below. And if we missed one of your favorites, let us know over on theReplenish Facebook page.

We’re always on the look-out for fun new fermented veggies!



Hailing from Portland, my friend Summer Bock is one of the original founders and fermentation artists behind OlyKraut. They offer basic krauts year round including, original, eastern european (with caraway and apples), and spicy garlic chile.

They also feature seasonal blends periodically through the year including curry, cumin jalapeño, spring nettle, fire chile, sea vegetable and sour pickles.

OlyKraut is only in Portland right now (sorry for those of you not in PDX) but they hope to be shipping to a larger span soon. Keep an eye out for it in your local health food store or maybe it merits a trip to Portland to stock up (yup, it’s that good!)


Available in most Whole Foods and other health food stores, their tag line, Fermentation is Wild says it all.

With unique flavor combinations, this kraut will surely tickle your tastebuds while keeping your belly happy. Arame Ginger, Dill and Garlic , Madras Curry Cauliflower, Red Beet and Red Cabbage. Hungry yet?

WildBrine also has 3 varieties of Kimchi (Japanese, Thai, and Korean) plus fermented salsas and pickles. Wild indeed!

Farmhouse Culturefarmhouse kraut

Inspired by the slow food movement, professional chef, Kathryn Lukas founded Farmhouse Culture after years of experimenting with krauts in her kitchen. Her blends are as unique as her packaging (which she designed after working with traditional kraut artists in Europe.)

If you’re a pickle lover, try the Garlic Dill Pickle (tastes just like you think it will!) Or one of the other flavorful blends including Ginger Beet, Kimchi, Smoked Jalapeño, Horseradish Leek or Classic Caraway.

Bubbie’sBubbies2014 ILLO SAUERKRAUT

If you prefer economical over exotic, Bubbie’s might be the kraut for you. It’s just the basics (green cabbage and salt) and typically more affordable than its store-bought kraut cousins.

It’s available at most Whole Foods and other health foods stores so you should be able to find it even if the others haven’t yet hit the shelves in your area.

Bubbie’s also has pickles but do note that their Bread and Butter pickles have sugar added. The Kosher Dills are sugar-free so a-ok if you’re a pickle fan.

Next time you head to the store, put kraut on your grocery list and say hello good gut health!

And if you want to learn more about why this is important to you, listen in to Donna Gates at the Hashimoto’s Institute today! (Remember, it’s free to listen and you can pick and choose the sessions you’d like.)

(Don’t forget to share your favorite ferments with us on Facebook!)



P.S. After the Hashimoto’s Institute, are you ready to get “workshoppy” with your health and do some mapping of your history and your signs & symptoms? The time is right! Join me on Thursday, September 25th at 5:30 for a special edition of Mapping My Signs & Symptoms. Click here to reserve your spot.


replenishlogoflowerYour comments and feedback are always welcome.
Is there an ingredient you’d like to learn more about?
Is there a nutrition class you always wish existed?
Let me know!
Andrea Nakayama
Nutrition Counselor
503 866.8079