People often confuse pickling with fermentation. This leads to the dilemma of choosing the right food for their needs such as sauerkraut vs pickled cabbage.
Here, my expertise as a nutritionist will guide you to find the difference between sauerkraut and pickled cabbage. It will also clear your doubt about pickling and fermenting.
Sauerkraut vs Pickled Cabbage: Are They Really That Different or Not?
Before I explain, let’s take a quick look at the various aspects of sauerkraut vs pickled cabbage.
Salt & Cabbage
Vinegar, Salt & Cabbage
Sweet, Salty & Sour
Sweet & Sour
|BEST TIME TO EAT
Morning or Noon
Morning or Noon
|TEETH AND BONE HEALTH OUTCOME
*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100 grams
Is Sauerkraut Just Pickled Cabbage?
Before answering, let’s find the difference between pickling and fermenting. While pickling an acidic brine is used to give food sourness, there is no acid involved in fermenting.
As mentioned in the ingredients above, sauerkraut is a fermented food made with salt and cabbage. However for pickled cabbage vinegar is also used with salt and cabbage. Hence, sauerkraut and pickled cabbage are not the same.
Taste and Texture of Sauerkraut vs Pickled Cabbage
Sauerkraut is a bit less sour compared to pickled cabbage. This difference is due to vinegar, which is used to make pickled cabbage.
Pickled cabbage has a prominent vinegary flavor which is not there in sauerkraut. Besides that, sauerkraut has a soft texture whereas pickled cabbage is more crunchy.
Sauerkraut vs Pickled Cabbage Fermentation Time
It takes around 3-4 weeks to prepare sauerkraut, whereas pickled cabbage gets ready in 1-2 weeks.
This duration can vary depending on weather. During summers both fermentation and pickling happens much faster compared to winters.
How Much Sauerkraut vs Pickled Cabbage Is Sufficient a Day?
Sauerkraut and pickled cabbage can be added to your regular diet in moderation as they provide you with many health benefits.
You can have 10-50 grams of sauerkraut a day. On the other hand, 100-150 grams of pickled cabbage can be added per day.
How Do Sauerkraut & Pickled Cabbage Fare Against Kimchi?
Sauerkraut or Pickled Cabbage: A Lower Caloric Option
Speaking of calories, sauerkraut and pickled cabbage are not high calorie foods. However, sauerkraut has much less calories in comparison to pickled cabbage.
If you are someone who is watchful of the calorie intake then sauerkraut is a better option for you.
What Is Better for Low Carbs: Sauerkraut or Pickled Cabbage?
Carbs work like the fuel for the body. Body needs carbs to stay active and for other functions as well. People who do not have a physically active lifestyle should opt for a low carb diet.
Comparing the carbs between sauerkraut and pickled cabbage, we find that sauerkraut contains less carbs compared to pickled cabbage. This makes sauerkraut a better choice for the low carbs diets.
Does Sauerkraut Have More Sodium Than Pickled Cabbage?
As evident in the table above, both sauerkraut and pickled cabbage are high in sodium. However, sodium in sauerkraut is significantly higher than pickled cabbage.
Due to this high sodium content, it is recommended to consume sauerkraut and pickled cabbage in moderation.
A High Fiber Choice: Sauerkraut or Pickled Cabbage
Sauerkraut and pickled cabbages both are made of vegetables, therefore they both are rich sources of fiber. Both of them have almost the same amount of fiber.
Fiber is a type of carbs which the body can’t digest. Vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fruits are excellent sources of fiber. For a healthy digestive system it is recommended to consume 25-30 grams of fiber a day.
Sauerkraut vs Pickled Cabbage: Know Their Nutritional Diversity
Sauerkraut is a low calorie food which contains iron and vitamin C. It also has vitamin K2, which promotes the strength of bones.
Pickled cabbage also contains a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. They provide almost the same nutrients, however a larger daily intake of pickled vegetables will be more beneficial compared to sauerkraut.
Right Time of the Day to Add Sauerkraut vs Pickled Cabbage to Your Diet
You can enjoy sauerkraut and pickled cabbage any time of the day. Both the dishes go well as a side dish with a variety of meal choices.
However, if you are new to their tangy and sour taste, having them in your lunch or breakfast will be a better idea.
Is Sauerkraut or Pickled Cabbage Easy on the Tummy?
Sauerkraut and pickled cabbage both are fiber rich foods, they help you to maintain a healthy bowel movement. Besides that they have friendly bacteria which promote gut flora and aid in digestion.
Some people might feel digestive discomfort after consuming these sodium rich foods. It is better to start with a smaller quantity.
A Better Pick for Oral and Bone Health: Sauerkraut or Pickled Cabbage
Sauerkraut and pickled cabbage contain vitamin K which is a significant vitamin for bone health. It is also crucial for blood clotting and heart health.
Pickled cabbage works as an antioxidant and helps to protect against cell damage. Whereas, sauerkraut is a probiotic which assists in maintaining a healthy mouth.
Sauerkraut or Pickled Cabbage: Which Is More Versatile?
You can also sprinkle them on your pizza or add in the salad to get a mouthful of flavors. They are excellent side dishes for grilled fish, chicken etc.
Shelf Life of Sauerkraut vs Pickled Cabbage
Sauerkraut has a longer shelf life compared to pickled cabbage because it has more salt. You can store sauerkraut for 4 to 6 months whereas pickled cabbage can stay up to 4 to 6 weeks.
Store them in the refrigerator after keeping an airtight glass or plastic container. Don’t store them in a metal container. It is important to sterilize the container before you store sauerkraut or pickle cabbage in it.
Overall, sauerkraut and pickled cabbage, both add flavors and nutrients to your food. You can choose either of them based on your specific preferences.
I hope that by understanding the differences between pickled cabbage and sauerkraut, you can pick the right one for yourself.