I've been having success with making sour kraut. Yum. We are finally feeling like it is winter here, and cold kraut is not appreciated any more. How much applied heat is too much for survival of the good bacteria?
If you need to have it on hot food, I would put it on the hot food, but not heat the sauerkraut itself. The point of the sauerkraut for health is the probiotic microbiology. Heating them ( I think beyond 120 F) kills them.
Yup John's right - stay below 120. Remember the digestive system is 98.6 to 107.6 (37°C to 42°C).
I usually warm gently, stirring and testing with my finger, but you can use a thermometer too. I shoot for slightly warm to the touch. I agree, warm foods in winter are more appealing - even slightly warmed can make the difference.
You can warm by placing in other heated foods, just watch the temps when combining. And in some cases just serving along side a hot food will make a colder item more tasty over all (think dipping a cold meat sandwich into warm soup, gravy or au jus). Could you put your kraut on a sandwich/cracker for dipping? One more idea - is making the cold 'hot' with spices, and allow to sit in a warm place until it's about 75+ degrees - now it won't be cold on the teeth or palette.
Just a few ideas . . . . let us know what you try and how it turns out.
Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
I never cook any of my ferments. I might leave them out at room temp to ripen and wars bit before adding to food that I cook. I add sour kraut or fermented veggies to almost every dinner we eat. Lately we have been on a big ginger carrot kick! It tastes great grated on top of most stews or soups.