Can You Freeze Sauerkraut?

by Charlie

Sauerkraut is one of my favorite DIY meals. It is a fermented cabbage dish that’s actually good for our health. Sauerkraut has been around for a really long time and people have reaped the many benefits of eating it all along. One of the major advantages of adding sauerkraut to your diet is that it’s very cheap. In addition to its cheapness, sauerkraut is a simple dish to prepare that potently heals your body of many ailments. 

You can customize your dish of sauerkraut with your favorite herbs and spices to make it as delicious as possible. Sauerkraut improves digestion, combats Alzheimer’s, improves skin beauty, facilitates weight reduction, and lots more. 

Typically, sauerkraut will last for quite some time on the shelf. However, you may need to preserve it longer than its natural shelf life. So, what do you do? 

Can you freeze sauerkraut? Yes, you can freeze sauerkraut. In fact, correctly freezing sauerkraut can preserve its life for up to 12 months. However, there are certain things which you must consider before freezing your sauerkraut. For instance, sauerkraut is made up of healthy bacteria that could be affected when subjected to low freezer temperatures – proper steps need to be followed to preserve sauerkraut’s best qualities over a long period of time. 

This article contains the necessary information to assist you in freezing your batch of delicious sauerkraut correctly. Keep reading to know more.      

Freezing Sauerkraut 

Sauerkraut is actually easy to make. However, you’d have to wait for weeks before the fermentation process can be successfully completed. For this reason, I don’t believe anyone would want to spend all that time fermenting just a small portion of sauerkraut that’ll be finished in one serving. Instead, it would make a lot more sense to ferment a large batch of sauerkraut that you can store and use on later dates. 

It is this need for long-term storage or preservation that makes us consider freezing sauerkraut. When done correctly, the health benefits of sauerkraut and its delicious taste will be preserved. It is best to freeze your large batch of sauerkraut in smaller portions that can be taken out, defrosted, and finished all at once; that way you wouldn’t have to refreeze sauerkraut that has already been thawed. 

Your sauerkraut portions can be used in sandwiches, served alongside sausages, meats, and lots more.  

How to Freeze Sauerkraut  

After making your fresh batch of sauerkraut, you can actually leave it on the shelf for a couple of days without it going bad. However, the best long-term preservation method you can use is freezing. 

You should know that the best qualities of frozen sauerkraut can be gotten at the earlier periods of freezing; try to make use of the frozen sauerkraut early.

Here are some simple steps to follow when freezing sauerkraut:

  1. Sauerkraut is usually fermented in a glass jar. Once you’re ready to store the sauerkraut in your freezer, transfer it from the glass jar into a resealable freezer-safe bag. 
  2. Depending on how much sauerkraut you intend to freeze, you may need more than one freezer-safe bag. Make sure that each freezer safe bag isn’t filled to the brim with the portions of sauerkraut. You must leave some space in the bags for possible expansion of the sauerkraut’s fluids in the freezer. 
  3. After filling the freezer-safe bags with the sauerkraut, remove as much air as possible from the bags and seal them off tightly. 
  4. After packing the sauerkraut in freezer-safe bags, go ahead to write the present date on the bags with a marker. It is important for you to always know how long your portions of sauerkraut have been frozen for.  
  5. Alternatively, you can pre-freeze smaller portions of the sauerkraut inside ice cube trays. To do that, you’ll need to measure portions of the sauerkraut into sufficient ice cube trays and leave them to freeze totally in the freezer. 
  6. After the sauerkraut is totally frozen in the ice cube trays, take them out of the freezer and start popping the cubes into a freezer-safe bag. 
  7. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags and seal them off tightly. 
  8. Write the current date on the bags and keep safely in the freezer for future use.   

How to Defrost Frozen Sauerkraut 

Defrosting frozen sauerkraut can be done in different ways. Make sure that you only defrost a portion that you can finish at once. The common methods of defrosting frozen sauerkraut are in the refrigerator, on the countertop, and in a microwave. Here’s more information on each method: 

  • Defrosting Sauerkraut in the Refrigerator – all you need do is take out the frozen portions you want to defrost and place them in the refrigerator overnight. It is advised to leave them in the fridge overnight because this method takes several hours. Make sure you consume the thawed sauerkraut within 5 days of keeping in the refrigerator. 
  • Defrosting Sauerkraut on the Countertop – this is a very simple method. After removing the portions of sauerkraut to be eaten from the freezer, leave it out on the countertop to defrost at room temperature. The sauerkraut shouldn’t be left exposed to room temperature for too long. 
  • Defrosting Sauerkraut in the Microwave – set the microwave’s heat to high. Place the sauerkraut in the microwave and leave it in for about 20 seconds. Check to see if it’s completely thawed; if it isn’t just heat it for another 10 – 20 seconds and check again.  

How to Know if Sauerkraut has Gone Bad?     

It is never a good idea to eat spoiled food. So how do you know if sauerkraut has gone bad? Typically, spoilt sauerkraut will have a foul smell that’s clearly distinct from its usual healthy smell. Another detectable indicator is a change in sauerkraut’s original color. Bad sauerkraut will have some sort of discolorations.  

What are the Side-effects of Freezing Sauerkraut?     

Sauerkraut contains healthy bacteria that protect us against certain illnesses. However, although freezing prolongs the life of sauerkraut, it also kills off a portion of these healthy bacteria. Some of the bacteria are rendered dormant when subjected to the low temperature of a freezer, but they’ll be reactivated when thawed and re-exposed to room temperature. 

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