Can You Freeze Sauerkraut? Follow These Simple Steps
Let me guess: you’ve once again made the mistake of preparing too much sauerkraut? Sure, while it remains true that this fermented vegetable has a long shelf life, knowing where to store it without compromising its quality could be a bit tricky.
If you’re in this predicament, you may have considered putting your extra sauerkraut in the freezer. But, is that method really viable? Can you really freeze your sauerkraut without negatively impacting its quality?
The answer is, yes, you can freeze your extra jars of sauerkraut. However, just like in the case of any other food, you need to store it properly.
To help prolong the life of your favorite fermented cabbage, we have rounded up the best ways to freeze it.
What is Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is a fermented dish that originates in China. It is made by shredding raw cabbage into fine cuts, layering them with salt, and leaving them to ferment via lactic acid bacteria.
Due to the fermentation it undergoes, it can last for a few months and comes with beneficial probiotics, which help eliminate toxins and harmful bacteria.
It also has several health benefits. Specifically, sauerkraut contains a number of nutrients, including vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
Like most fermented food, it also carries a variety of enzymes that help break down food into smaller and more easily digestible molecules allowing the body to absorb more nutrients.
To date, sauerkraut makes a good side dish and condiment across varying cultures.
How to Freeze Sauerkraut
Step 1: Get freezer bags
When it comes to storing your sauerkraut in the freezer, merely stashing each jar directly into the icebox doesn’t count as a good practice.
Instead, you first need enough freezer bags to accommodate all your extra sauerkraut. This way, you can save room in your freezer while ensuring that all your fermented cabbage is stored properly.
Step 2: Put sauerkraut into the bags
Once you’ve secured enough containers, you can now put your fermented goods into them. Ideally, you should do this by opening the container wide and then spooning the sauerkraut in.
To ensure that your food won’t end up spilling even when left in the freezer, avoid filling the bag up to the top.
Instead, leave 1 to 2 inches of free space. As your fermented cabbage freezes, this will allow enough room for the water content to expand.
Step 3: Remove the extra air from your freezer bag and seal it.
Before you close the bag, make sure that no extra air remains in the container. Excess air may allow frost to form inside and could, therefore, shorten the life of your fermented cabbage.
To do so, squeeze out all the extra air inside by gliding your hands up towards the lock.
You may repeat this step until no extra air remains inside the freezer bag. Then proceed by immediately locking the container.
Step 4: Put the bags in a deep freezer.
Now that you’ve ensured that each container has sealed properly with no extra air inside, you may now put each bag into your freezer.
Typically, fermented cabbage can last for 8 to 12 months in the freezer when stored properly.
How to Defrost Frozen Sauerkraut?
Similar to other types of other fermented food, you can defrost your fermented cabbage in a variety of ways. Among these include:
- Pulling the bags out of the freezer and putting them into the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
- Leaving the bags on the countertop for a few hours to defrost. You may speed up the process by soaking them in cold water.
- Microwave in small (10-30 seconds) increments.
- Add directly into a cooked dish.
The Bottom Line
As the saying goes, when life gives you cabbages, make sauerkraut! Widely recognized as a good side dish and condiment, this fermented cabbage that boasts a lengthy list of nutritional benefits is sure to make your eating time even more worthwhile.
Be sure to store your extra sauerkraut properly to enjoy its distinctive sour flavor in days to come. I hope you enjoyed our tips on how to freeze sauerkraut. Cheers!