My husband hates mayonnaise but loves potatoes, any creamy sauce and LOTS of flavour. To incorporate this tall order, I came up with a variation on a German potato salad: Gut Healthy Garlic-Dill Pickle Sauerkraut Potato Salad!
What Makes This Salad Gut-Healthy?
Aside from this salad’s nutritious and tasty fermented ingredients full of live microbial cultures, the cooked and cooled potatoes add extra nutrition, and a powerful component, resistant starch.
Resistant Starch: Food For Our Gut Bacteria
Potatoes have gotten a bad rap in light of the low carb diets that have grown in popularity. Potatoes do contain 17 grams of carbohydrates, but are an excellent source of vitamin C and fibre. Did you know that potatoes are also gut healthy? When cooked and cooled, potatoes are an excellent source of resistant starch . This complex carbohydrate essentially acts like a prebiotic. It cannot be digested by the small intestine, and therefore does not release glucose as with other types of carbohydrates. Resistant starch passes intact to the colon, where it is consumed by our gut bacteria that reside in the colon’s mucus layer. The bacteria ferment this resistant starch and produce butyrate, a beneficial short chain fatty acid.
Butyrate is the preferred fuel of colon cells. Studies have shown that butyrate can aid in protecting the colon’s defense barrier by increasing mucus production, decreasing cell permeability, promoting tight junctions, and decreasing the pH. Butyrate has also been found to be beneficial in preventing colon cancer.
Ferments Aren’t Just Condiments
I always have a stock of sauerkraut, kimchi and lacto-fermented vegetables (especially dill-garlic pickles!) on hand. They are some of my go-to snacks, but I love to add them to recipes and dishes when I need an extra kick of flavour and nutrition. Depending on the flavour profile, I like to use kombucha vinegar in place of white wine vinegar, and lacto-fermented vegetables to add extra tang and umami flavour.
For this potato salad, I used a basic vinaigrette as the sauce, substituting kombucha vinegar for white wine vinegar. I added delicious ferments that I had on hand in the fridge: lacto-fermented garlic-dill pickles and sauerkraut.
Not A PotatoFan, But Love Creamer Potatoes
I’m not a huge fan of potatoes, but I love creamer potatoes. They are a small, fully mature, thin-skinned variety of potato with a unique, buttery taste. These delectable little gems serve as an excellent base for the more robust and tangy fermented flavours and crisp vegetables in this potato salad. If you unfortunately can’t find creamer potatoes, try using “new”, “baby” or “fingerling” potatoes.
This salad is very easy to make and a delicious addition to your BBQ dinner, or as a side salad. You can also add your own protein to it, such as hardboiled eggs, tuna or tempeh and enjoy it as a light lunch or dinner. It is a definite must for dill pickle fans, and those who crave a lighter, tasty alternative to mayonnaise-based salads.
Gut-Healthy Dill Pickle & Sauerkraut Potato Salad
- 1 bag (1.5 lbs) creamer* potatoes (I like the Boomer Gold Creamer potatoes by The Little Potato Company)
- 2 tbsp dill pickle brine
- 2 tablespoons kombucha vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard (or Dijon)
- ? cup olive oil
- 1 cup diced lactofermented garlic-dill pickles
- 1 cup drained garlic-dill sauerkraut (or plain)
- ? cup celery finely chopped
- ? cup scallion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dill finely chopped
*substitute with fingerling, new or baby potatoes
- Add potatoes to a large pot of cold water. Turn heat to high and bring to boiling. Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Reduce heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil.
- Cook potatoes until just fork tender (approximately 10 minutes). Drain potatoes in a colander and let cool to room temperature. Cut potatoes in half.
- Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette. Add 1 tablespoon of grainy mustard to a large bowl. Whisk in pickle brine and vinegar. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking vigorously until the vinaigrette is light and creamy.
- Add cooled potatoes, diced pickles, sauerkraut, celery, scallion and dill to the bowl. Stir gently into the vinaigrette. Add salt to taste.
- Season with freshly cracked black pepper.