LBN Spotlight: wildbrine®

Feature 2, 02/24

What do you think when you hear “probiotic?” 

Unique flavour combinations? Avant-garde recipes? Empowering current and future generations?

 If not, you haven’t heard about wildbrine®!

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In the Cabbage Patch – Image from wildbrine®

It all began with the humble cabbage

Based in Santa Rosa, California, wildbrine® founders Rick Goldberg and Chris Glab have established a business model dedicated to creating health-forward, nutritious, delicious products packed with good gut bacteria while prioritizing efforts to support their community and reduce food waste. 

wildbrine® originated in the Ceres Community Project’s kitchen as a fermented sauerkraut for the local non-profit’s client base of cancer patients. Ceres’ mission is to restore locally grown, organic whole food to its place as the foundation of health for people, communities, and the planet. Ceres empowers teens to develop culinary skills while deepening an understanding of how nutrition impacts health. The completed meals are then donated to low-income individuals facing health challenges. Rick was “chief mentor” for teens and helped create large quantities of naturally fermented kraut. The krauts were such a hit that Rick and Chris, business partners at the time, helped Ceres sell the products to a few local stores as a way to raise funds for Ceres.

When the success of the natural krauts grew beyond the scope of the Ceres mission, the executive director asked if Rick and Chris wanted to take over the kraut business. They agreed and in 2011, with the two original kraut recipes (Arame & Ginger and Garlic & Dill) and placement in a few local stores, wildbrine® was born. 

Want to find out more about the Founders?

Check out wildbrine’s introduction video!

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Harvest Salad – Image from wildbrine®

Giving back by integrating kindness into their business model. 

At wildbrine, no food is wasted. The unusable parts of their veggies are donated as feed to nearby farms, and are meals for happy cows, pigs, and chickens. The outer layers of the cabbage and the cores are donated to three different farms in Sonoma County, which change depending on need and time of year.

Read all about their food waste solutions here and here.

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Raw Organic Red Kraut, Sugar Awareness Week – Image from wildbrine® 

All about kraut

With seven dynamic flavour combinations, there’s a kraut for every occasion.

The sauerkraut process begins by harvesting fresh cabbage and other produce from local farms, ensuring that they’re made with the best nutrients. Every product uses organic, certified Non-GMO vegetables as its base before being processed at wildbrine’s own in-house 55K sq. ft plant.

Here’s what wildbrine have to say about their fermentation process:

“Our process starts with our partners—the local West Coast farmers. Just after the produce arrives onsite, we inspect every piece, then get it ready for production the hands-on-way, like you do at home—by chopping cabbage, hand peeling ginger, finely chopping beets, grating horseradish root, and hand stemming, seeding, and coring jalapeños. It really makes a difference. Once our fresh raw ingredients are ready, we add sea salt and spices, mix, then tuck them away in the proper environment to ferment.

We love what fermentation does to food. The process elevates the flavor of produce and brings their nutrient and probiotic power to life. We focus on bringing out the best flavor of our fermented vegetables, while still staying true to the wholeness of each ingredient. Our favorite part is spending hours in our kitchen playing with different vegetable and spice combinations until we get it just right.

Of course, the fermentation process happens under our watchful eye. We monitor our batches of krauts, kimchi’s, and salsas carefully and on a daily basis. Once everything is tart, tasty, and ready, our team hand packs our containers—then wildbrine® is off to the stores and you. That’s it!”

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Image from wildbrine® 

It’s all in the recipe

Top quality, real ingredients filled with flavour in unique combinations are at the heart of wildbrine’s excellent taste profile. wildbrine’s goal is to continue to develop new and innovative fermented creations that inspire your taste buds, yet hold true to the wild-fermentation tradition of using sea salt to kick off the birth of lactobacilli.  It’s easy to take good care of yourself when healthy food is so delicious.

Each product is packed with prebiotics and probiotics with no added sweeteners, vinegar, or lab cultures. Each product is plant-based, gluten free, dairy free, certified Non-GMO, crafted and fermented in-house with wildbrine’s own cultures.

Sauerkraut flavours at your fingertips:

Organic Arame Ginger Kraut

A nutrient and flavor-rich Japanese sea veggie teams up with fresh ginger and green cabbage to make a naturally probiotic, unpasteurized kraut that is a little sweet, a little gingery, totally probiotic, and all the way organic.

Great on hot dogs, sausages, veggie dogs, or serve over an ancient grain, rice, or quinoa for a healthy “rice” bowl. Or try one of wildbrine’s recipes, like wild Wontons.

Caraway Apple Organic Kraut

A wild twist on a classic Eastern European recipe. The sweetness of the apples lightens up the sour in the sauerkraut, and earthy caraway jumps out and says hello. Say hello back, will ya?

Dill & Garlic Organic Kraut 

Aromatic dill and zesty garlic are “consciously coupled” in this fresh and simply tasty sauerkraut chock full of probiotics. Spice up your potato salad with this sauerkraut for a flavourful picnic!

Jalapeno Lime Organic Kraut

An ode to all things spicy and delicious, our Jalapeño Lime Organic Kraut makes your mouth stand up and take notice. Tart with just a hint of heat and quite versatile with food. Want some probiotics with your frijoles? Yes please. Or bring a whole new meaning to “hot” dogs and kraut.

Raw Organic Green Kraut 

A certified organic, back-to-basics kraut that gives you total Grandma root cellar vibes! We keep true to tradition by fermenting green cabbage with salt to produce an organic sauerkraut with that original tartness and home-style crunch you crave – oh, and a ton of naturally occurring probiotics to boot. Oh hey Lactobacillus!

Raw Organic Red Kraut

Antioxidant-rich and wildly fermented to ensure a complete suite of probiotic benefits, this sanguine red cabbage sauerkraut beauty is certified organic, and as always, completely raw. It’s a crowd pleaser for your tongue and gut and one of our most attractive krauts. Are you ready to get instant ooohs and aaahs from your guests? Check out recipe ideas on our Get wilder blog

Red Cabbage & Red Beet Organic Kraut

The earthiness of beets are balanced and mellowed by the crunchy, mild sweetness of organic cabbage and hints of pear and ginger. Like all our products, our red cabbage and red beet sauerkraut is unpasteurized to preserve its probiotic benefits

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Image from wildbrine® 

Did you know? 

Sauerkraut may have been the first of wildbrine’s product line, but their world of handcrafted fermented foods includes kimchi, srirachas, salsas, and a new line of plant-based creamery products!

Find out other crazy wonderful ways people are using sauerkraut in their cuisine! 

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Healthy Green Goddess Dressing with Probiotics

Wild Recipes | BY: the Wild Bunch

This healthy Green Goddess dressing recipe adds a little gut goodness to your salad. 

This versatile, and dare we say, deliciously healthy Green Goddess dressing recipe is packed full of nutrients from the fresh herbs and plenty of probiotics from raw fermented sauerkraut. You can try out many different krauts to suit your taste but we do like the tartness of our Dill & Garlic variety. Use this Green Goddess as you would any other, on salads, as a dip or slathered over fresh pasta. Who says gut healthy has to be bland? Not us. Ever.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

1 18 oz. jar wildbrine Dill & Garlic Sauerkraut

2 garlic cloves

4 TBSP chopped fresh parsley, packed

2 TBSP chopped fresh dill

3 TBSP chives

1 TBSP fresh tarragon

2/3 cup olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

TIME: 5 minutes 

DIRECTIONS

Place first 6 ingredients in a blender and blend. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender with a rubber spatula. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Refrigerate in a container with a tight-fitting lid for up to 1 week.

Pasta Salad Recipe with Green Goddess Dressing

Wild Recipes | BY: the Wild Bunch

Perfect for picnics or for a filling and fast weeknight meal, this pasta salad can be assembled with whatever protein floats your boat as a main dish or as a side dish without. But it’s pretty tasty with grilled shrimp, if that’s your thing. The raw, live probiotics come into play by tossing the salad with our Green Goddess Dressing, rich with fermented goodness and flavor from our Dill & Garlic Sauerkraut.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

8 oz. uncooked bow tie pasta

1 pound shrimp, peeled

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

2 TBSP red onion, finely diced

1/2 cup cucumber, chopped

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

Salt and pepper to taste

Green Goddess Dressing (see link above)

Chopped parsley for garnish

TIME: 30 minutes YIELDS: 4, as a main dish 

DIRECTIONS

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water as directed on the package.

Heat grill to high. Brush shrimp with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for approximately 2 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Cut shrimp into thirds. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the shrimp for garnishing the top.

Place cooked pasta, shrimp, cucumber, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and red onion in a large bowl. Toss with Fermented Green Goddess dressing, and garnish with reserved shrimp and chopped parsley.

Recipe: Red, White and Blue Cheese Salad

Wild Recipes | BY: the Wild Bunch

Sometimes delicious doesn’t have to be time consuming. This definitely photo-worthy recipe throws together healthy sauerkraut with Napa cabbage and blue cheese plus a few other fixins. Pair this up with any protein and you have a fast, nutritious meal.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

1 18-oz. jar wildbrine® Red Beet and Red Cabbage kraut, drained

1-2 c. Napa cabbage, shredded

2 avocados, cubed

1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese

2-3 T. sesame oil

2 T. sesame seeds

Recipe Contest Winner: Salmon Ceviche

Wild Recipes | BY: the Wild Bunch

Alise Porter won our How Wild Do You Like It recipe contest with this incredibly flavorful ceviche creation. Our chef and owner, Rick Goldberg, called the flavors “fresh” and “perfectly balanced.” We all liked it for its simplicity and flexibility for use with any of our sauerkrauts. Enjoy this salmon ceviche recipe as an appetizer or a light dinner. But definitely enjoy it. We sure did!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

1/2 lb wild salmon or any white fish, skin removed and cubed

1/3 medium onion, finely diced

1 stalk celery, finely diced

¼ – ½ t. salt or to taste

2 T. fresh dill, finely chopped

Fresh lemon juice to cover mixture, about 3 whole lemons

1 mango, cubed

1 avocado, sliced or cubed

3/4 cup wildbrine Arame & Ginger Organic Kraut (or whatever flavor you like)

Red cabbage, shredded, or salad greens

Black sesame seeds, as a garnish

Healthy Desserts: Sauerkraut Brownies

Wild Recipes | BY: the Wild Bunch

Think raw sauerkraut can only be used in savory dishes? Think again and embrace your sweet side with these amazing, no-bake sauerkraut brownies. Raw nuts, sweet dates, cocoa powder and our Green Organic Sauerkraut come together to form a perfect union of chewy, healthy deliciousness. Go ahead, have two! This recipe comes to us from Ashley Dekam over at Craving4More.com, a blog site we’re crushing on right now. We love that she kept the sauerkraut brownies raw, to preserve the gut-healthy probiotics.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

1 cup almonds

½ cup raw cashews

1 ½ cup pitted dates

¼ cup wildbrine raw Green organic sauerkraut

4-5 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 Tbsp. cashew butter

1 Tbsp. raw honey

TIME: 10 minutes YIELDS: 8 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in the food processor. Whir until somewhat smooth. Press into 8” x 8” baking dish, lined with parchment. Chill until ready to serve.

Built on a foundation of health for people, the planet, and their community, wildbrine proves that a little care – and a lot of cabbage – can go a long way!

Looking for more

Check out wildbrine’s extensive Get Wilder Blog for recipes, tips, tricks, and behind the scenes info!

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