There is no condiment more attributed to German cuisine than sauerkraut. Served on sausage, as a side to schnitzel or under pork loin, sauerkraut provides a pungent, salty-sour component to dishes rich in meat and fat.

In addition to being versatile, sauerkraut is a very healthy food. The condiment is comprised of shredded cabbage, spices, a bit of sugar and water. It is then fermented, which imparts the distinct flavor. Fermenting cabbage also adds powerful bacteria that can help improve digestion. Each cup of sauerkraut contains 4.1 grams of fiber and healthy doses of iron, vitamin C and vitamin K at only 30 calories.

Health benefits abound, but making sauerkraut requires healthy doses of patience and time, two attributes that I don’t always have. That’s why I pick up a jar of sauerkraut at the supermarket and doctor it up before use. I prefer to take the overwhelming tang out of the sauerkraut by adding sautéed onions and apples to the vegetable. This altered version rounds out a healthy dinner of chicken sausages or pork tenderloin. – Jami Mattox

Tarted Up Sauerkraut

  • 2 c. jarred or canned sauerkraut
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 apple
  • 1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Thinly slice the onion and cored apple and add to the oil. Saute until apples soften and onion begins to brown.

In a medium saucepan, add sauerkraut and caraway seeds. Heat, but don’t boil. Add the sautéed apples and onions and cook the mixture until the sauerkraut melds with the mixture. Serve on top of sausage or as a side dish to a traditional German dinner.

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