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Easy Recipe for Homemade Sauerkraut + 5 Amazing Gut Healing Benefits

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Homemade sauerkraut is a delicious and simple way to consume your daily dose of probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber. Even better, it’s easy enough to make your very own homemade batch!

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Sauerkraut, celebrated as a fermented superfood, has a captivating history spanning thousands of years and enjoyed by people from diverse cultures around the world. Despite its German-sounding name, sauerkraut’s story takes us back to ancient China during the construction of the Great Wall. Chinese laborers, looking for ways to nourish themselves during their challenging work, stumbled upon the art of fermenting cabbage with salt, inadvertently giving birth to what we now recognize as sauerkraut.

This ingenious fermentation technique eventually found its way to Europe, particularly Germany, where it became a beloved part of their cuisine. The name ‘sauerkraut’ itself means ‘sour cabbage’ in German. Over time, sauerkraut transformed from a humble food preservation method into a cherished culinary tradition, now renowned for its substantial health benefits. Its timeless appeal lies in its simplicity and versatility in the kitchen, making it both a flavorful addition to meals and a source of gut-friendly probiotics. It’s no wonder sauerkraut has stood the test of time!

Easy Recipe for Homemade Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a well-known type of fermented or pickled food, specifically made from cabbage. Its production involves a natural fermentation process where bacteria naturally present on the cabbage feed on its sugars and starches, resulting in the production of lactic acid. This lactic acid serves both as a natural preservative and as the key contributor to sauerkraut’s distinct tangy and zesty flavor. Beyond its taste, the fermentation process also brings about a wealth of health benefits. 

Saurkraut triggers the development of beneficial enzymes and a robust population of healthy bacteria, commonly referred to as probiotics. Among these probiotics, lactobacillus is a prevalent strain, recognized for its numerous health-promoting properties. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into all the science and health advantages of sauerkraut!


As we now know, the fermentation process of sauerkraut produces healthy bacteria, such as lactobacillus, which can benefit our health– more specifically, our gut. Five of the most impressive gut health benefits of sauerkraut, include:

Sauerkraut and Immune Health
Increases stomach acid production:

When sauerkraut encourages an increase in stomach acid production, it sets the stage for efficient nutrient absorption. Stomach acid, also known as gastric acid, plays a vital role in the digestive process. As it rises, it brings about several benefits. First and foremost, it helps break down the foods we eat, particularly proteins, into smaller components that are easier for the body to absorb and utilize. Think of it as a digestive aid, turning complex foods into more manageable, nutrient-rich forms.

Additionally, stomach acid maintains the optimal pH balance in the stomach, which is crucial for gut health. By keeping the stomach’s pH levels just right, it creates an environment that is inhospitable to harmful bacteria, safeguarding the delicate balance of the gut microbiome. This means that not only is your digestion more effective, but your gut is also better equipped to fend off potential disruptions.

Increases production of conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs):

Sauerkraut also offers notable health benefits through the promotion of conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs). These compounds are celebrated for their wide-ranging advantages, spanning from the reduction of blood pressure to a lowered risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. 

One standout benefit of CLAs is their potential to bolster cardiovascular well-being by aiding in the regulation of blood pressure. Recent attention has been drawn to the possible anti-cancer properties of CLAs, as emerging studies suggest their ability to hinder the growth of cancer cells. Additionally, CLAs may contribute to a reduced risk of diabetes and assist in managing blood sugar levels. Their anti-inflammatory attributes further decrease the likelihood of developing chronic conditions linked to inflammation. CLAs are the small but mighty components of sauerkraut! 

Provides a healthy dose of prebiotics and probiotics:

Sauerkraut offers a remarkable combination of prebiotics and probiotics that can significantly benefit your gut health. While probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that directly contribute to a well-balanced gut microbiome, prebiotics serve as their nourishment, creating a synergy that promotes digestive wellness.

When you consume sauerkraut, you’re also introducing prebiotic fiber, which acts as the fuel for these beneficial bacteria to thrive. This dynamic duo encourages the growth and activity of the good bacteria, contributing to a host of positive effects on your digestive system.

Prebiotics, found in sauerkraut, increase the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in your gut. These SCFAs are essential for maintaining a healthy gut lining, enhancing nutrient absorption, and reducing symptoms associated with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In essence, sauerkraut acts as a powerhouse for your gut health, ensuring that the  probiotics have the nourishment they need to flourish and keep your digestive system running smoothly. 

Aids in healthy weight management

Sauerkraut can be a valuable addition to a healthy weight management plan. Its low-calorie and low-fat content make it a satisfying yet calorie-friendly option for those looking to maintain or lose weight. Additionally, sauerkraut’s high dietary fiber content promotes a feeling of fullness, helping to control appetite and prevent overeating. 

Immune system support 

Sauerkraut can be a valuable supporter of your immune system. Rich in vitamin C, a well-known antioxidant with immune-boosting properties, sauerkraut can help support your body’s defenses. Vitamin C plays a critical role in stimulating the production of white blood cells, which are essential in combating infections. Additionally, sauerkraut’s probiotics contribute to a well-balanced gut microbiome which is closely linked to immune function. A healthy gut facilitates efficient nutrient absorption and regulates immune responses. 

All of these gut-healthy benefits collectively enhance the entire digestive process, resulting in more efficient nutrient absorption, bolstered immunity, diminished inflammation, and a noticeable reduction in digestive discomfort. By integrating sauerkraut into your dietary routine, you’re not only savoring its distinctive taste but also empowering your system to function at its best!


In the case of fermented foods, like many other things, more isn’t always better. To reap the most gut-healthy benefits from sauerkraut, it’s wise to start with a small serving, slowly increasing with time. When your body isn’t used to consuming and digesting fermented foods, it can cause unwanted side effects, such as bloating and gas. 

So, here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: start with 5g of sauerkraut per day. Over the course of a few weeks, slowly increase your serving by 5g until you reach 20-30g daily. This is the safest and most effective way to reap the benefits of sauerkraut, while preventing unwanted side effects.

Health Benefits of Homemade Sauerkraut

While sauerkraut definitely has its own distinct flavor and can be enjoyed on its own straight out of the jar, I’ve discovered that it can be a wonderful addition to a variety of dishes, making it a versatile and enjoyable ingredient that fits seamlessly into my daily meals. Whether I’m making a salad, a plant-based power bowl, or even breakfast, sauerkraut’s tangy twist adds a delightful dimension to my diet, ensuring I reap its benefits throughout the day.

Salad: Make a salad with a base of organic mixed greens, a variety of colorful vegetables, and a generous portion of sauerkraut. Top it off with a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing for a nourishing and refreshing meal.

Whole grain bowl: Build wholesome grain bowls using whole grains like quinoa or white rice as a base. Add sauerkraut along with roasted or steamed vegetables, and drizzle with a homemade tahini or avocado dressing for a nutrient-packed meal.

Sauerkraut wraps: Try whole-grain wraps or collard greens to make sauerkraut wraps. Fill them with grilled or roasted vegetables, hummus, and a generous portion of sauerkraut for a flavorful and fiber-rich meal.

Beef hot dogs: Prepare grass fed and finished beef hot dogs. Serve them topped with warmed sauerkraut and homemade ketchup. I love using Siete wraps or lettuce wraps in place of bread.

Sauerkraut Toast: This is my personal favorite way to enjoy sauerkraut. I slide a large sweet potato into thin slices to look like “toast”. Add a layer of fresh or homemade guacamole and top with sauerkraut. 

Grain-free option: For those following a grain-free diet, create a bowl with cauliflower rice or spiralized zucchini noodles. Add sauerkraut along with roasted or sautéed vegetables, and a creamy almond or cashew sauce for a wholesome, grain-free option.

Breakfast plate: Start your day with a holistic breakfast by adding a spoonful of sauerkraut to your avocado toast or alongside scrambled eggs and a side of fresh fruit.

Smoothie booster: For a unique twist, add a small amount of sauerkraut to your green smoothie for added probiotics and a hint of tanginess. Combine it with spinach, kale, banana, and almond milk for a power-packed morning blend.

Add Homemade Sauerkraut to Your Plate

While it might come as a surprise to you, it’s not recommended that everyone consume sauerkraut regularly. In some individuals with gut imbalances, it can cause more harm than good. For example, those with SIBO or other bacteria overgrowth can experience digestive discomfort from the enzymes and bacteria in sauerkraut. My recommendation is to heal your bacteria overgrowth before introducing sauerkraut or other fermented foods into your diet. 

  • If you’re struggling with continuous gut distress (and fermented foods seems to make it worse), I highly recommend testing your gut microbiome using a GI map. My Microbiome Makeover, does just that. It’s a an aggressive 12-week program that delves deep into your unique chemistry through specialty functional medicine testing. My comprehensive approach covers everything from identifying deficiencies, gut infections, and food intolerances to assessing genetic factors, hormones, stress, and toxins. 
  • With in-depth lab analysis, you’ll receive a personalized blueprint and step-by-step protocol. Alongside structured coaching, bonus sessions, and a wealth of resources, including guides, recipes, and meal plans, you’ll experience unwavering support from anywhere in the world. If you struggle with any level of GI distress, this was made JUST for you.

When it comes to the quality of sauerkraut, homemade is best. Here’s why; homemade sauerkraut is free of added sugars and preservatives, while also providing the greatest dose of beneficial bacteria. 

Unfortunately, many store bought sauerkrauts use vinegar, which means it’s not actually fermented and, therefore, won’t provide any of the gut healthy benefits you’re looking for. That said, there are few store-bought sauerkrauts that contain quality ingredients and were fermented the proper way. When browsing sauerkraut at your local grocery store, make sure the only ingredients are: cabbage, salt, and maybe a few herbs and spices.


Coming from someone who doesn’t have a lot of free time to spend in the kitchen, making your own sauerkraut is actually extremely easy and time-efficient. Use this easy homemade sauerkraut recipe to make your own:

  • Thoroughly clean a large glass mason with soap and water. 
  • Shred 1 head of raw cabbage (average weight 2-3lbs) into thin slices. In a large bowl, mix with salt (2 tsp of salt per lb of cabbage) and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Massage the salt into the cabbage with your hands for 5 minutes. This will release water from the cabbage. Add seasonings if desired.
  • Once plenty of water has been released from the cabbage, transfer the cabbage and water to the large jar. 
  • Starting at the bottom of the jar, pack the cabbage very tightly. 
  • Place a large cabbage leaf on top of the packed mixture. Then, cover the jar securely with a towel and a rubber band. 
  • For the next 24 hours, press the cabbage down to release more liquid. If liquid isn’t covering the cabbage fully, add more salt and water.  
  • Let sit at room temperature for anywhere between 7-20 days. The more time that passes, the more intense the flavor.
  • Once fermented to your liking, store in the fridge.

That’s it! Congratulations, you’ve made your first jar of sauerkraut! Sauerkraut is a delicious and simple way to consume your daily dose of probiotics, prebiotics, and fiber. Even better, it’s easy enough to make your very own homemade batch!


As you can see, sauerkraut isn’t just a yummy delight; it champions your gut health in a noteworthy way. It’s a go-to for better nutrient absorption, heart health support through CLAs, and digestive well-being thanks to its prebiotic-probiotic combo that reduces inflammation and soothes discomfort. It’s even there to help you with weight management and boost your immune system with vitamin C. 

Remember, everyone’s gut is unique, so consider your own gut health before ingesting. Enjoy your very own homemade sauerkraut and let it be your partner on the path to a healthier, happier gut!
If you need more support along your health journey, join me inside my signature Microbiome Makeover program. Here we dive deep and heal the gut once and for all!

Easy Recipe for Homemade Sauerkraut

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