Even children will love sauerkraut when it is prepared this way. The bacon, apple, and onion make it surprisingly sweet and mellow. Use it as a vegetable or side dish, or layer it with a variety of smoked meats, such as ham, smoked pork chops, hot dogs, or sausages to make the classic French one-pot meal called, Choucroute Garni. If you use sugar-free meats, the carb count will be the same as for sauerkraut alone.
Real, fermented sauerkraut is a traditional food that deserves its reputation as a superfood. When using sauerkraut in recipes, I reserve some of the liquid. After the dish is cooked and has cooled down a bit, I spoon some of the liquid over the plate to replenish the live microbes before serving. To get the full benefits of the active, live probiotics you must eat fermented foods cold or just warm.
1 package or jar of fresh sauerkraut (most brands come in 28 ounce jars),* drained, reserving liquid
¼ cup water or white wine
1 apple, cored but not peeled, cut in half
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
¼ pound (4 or 5 slices) bacon
Put sauerkraut in a deep pot, with about half the liquid. Add the water or white wine to the pot and bury the apple, cut side down, and the onion in the sauerkraut. Lay strips of bacon over the sauerkraut. Cover the pan and place over low heat. Cook for about an hour or until the apple and onion are very soft, checking occasionally and adding water if necessary. Remove the apple and onion before serving. If you are careful not to move them while cooking, they can be scooped out with a spoon, even if they have disintegrated. (You can eat them if you choose, they are delicious, but will add carbs to the dish.) Top each serving with some of the reserved juice after placing on plates, if desired.
Makes about 3¾ cups or 7½ servings of ½ cup sauerkraut.
Most sources list sauerkraut as having 1 gram of carbohydrate and 1 gram of fiber, giving it a net count of zero, probably because the numbers are rounded and the portions are usually small. The count below includes some of the sugar in the sauerkraut that will have been eaten during fermentation, so it may actually be very close to zero.
Per serving—Total carbs: 3.8g; Protein: 2.3g; Fiber: 3.1g; Fat: 8.8g; Calories: 104; Net carbs: 1.5g
Total weight: 1 pound 6 1/3 ounces or 631 grams
Weight per serving: 3 ounces or 84 grams
Preparation time: 10 minutes active, 1 hour and 10 minutes total
For this easy and delicious French one-pot meal, the sauerkraut is layered with a variety of cured or smoked meats and cooked until the meats are meltingly tender.
Add a variety of cured pork to the Bavarian Sauerkraut recipe above.such as smoked pork chops, sliced ham, hot dogs, and/or sausages. Use white wine rather than water. Place smoked pork chops, if using, in the bottom of a large, greased pot and cook on medium-high until just brown. Add onion and apple as in recipe above and layer with other meats. Cover with sauerkraut and lay bacon strips over top. Cover pot and cook on low heat for about an hour until apple and onion are tender and very soft. Spoon meat and sauerkraut onto plates and top each serving with some of reserved juice.
*Fresh, crisp, sauerkraut can be found in glass jars or plastic pouches in the refrigerated cases at most grocery stores, usually near the fresh pickles. Look for ones that are “naturally fermented,” like Bubbie’s. The ingredients list should say only, “cabbage and salt.” You can also buy it at a delicatessen. Better yet, you can also make your own sauerkraut from shredded cabbage. There are lots of recipes online for making it. Here’s one from Sarah Pope, a fermented food specialist with The Weston A. Price Foundation: http://realfoodeater.com/best-homemade-sauerkraut-recipe/
The liquid from naturally fermented sauerkraut can be used as a tonic. Dilute it with water, add a little sweetener, and serve over ice. Think of it as living lemonade! You can do the same thing with the juice from natural pickles or apple cider vinegar.
Recipe adapted from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance.
(c) 2015, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com