Sunday is always the day I go through my fridge to see what I have, and make a shopping list for the week to come. I happen to have two fridges, since I’m a personal chef, I keep on fridge to store ingredients for clients. With a gig coming up next week, I went through the client fridge and happened to come across a head of cabbage I had mistakenly placed there, that was for me. So needing to use it, I shredded it in my Cuisinart and made sauerkraut! As a Norwegian, I grew up with this flavorful side dish, and eating it brings me back to Norway.
Yucky you say? I hope you’ll reconsider, after I give you a delicious recipe below. If that won’t sway your decision, I happened to come across an article online from SHAPE Magazine by Dr. Mike, where he lists sauerkraut as one of the top six super foods you are not eating. I quote:
“Considering cabbage is low-carb, high-fiber, and contains cancer-fighting 3-indole carbinol and d-glucarate, a compound that works to clear excess estrogen, the veggie is already a superfood. Fermenting it into sauerkraut, however, puts it on nutritional steroids. The probiotics that drive fermentation also help repopulate your digestive system with healthy, hardworking good bacteria that lower inflammation, improve digestion, and maybe even aid in weight loss. Plus fermentation increases the bioavailablity of the antioxidants found in cabbage, and the longer cabbage ferments, the higher the levels of antioxidants become, meaning your body can better absorb and use them.”
What do you say about THAT?? I was super happy to find out that cooking the cabbage down makes it even better for you, as I’m always worried about boiling vegetables too much, so that they lose their nutritional value. I always loved cabbage, and you can make raw slaw from it too, adding vinegar of your choice, spices/herbs and some pickled cucumbers for instance:
If you don’t feel like making sauerkraut from scratch, you can buy it ready-to-eat at the store but the homemade version always wins! Salty, sweet and tangy it is a tasty companion to any protein and starch.. another way to spice up your meal!
1 head cabbage (about 2 lbs)
1 tbsp whole juniper berries, crushed
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp caraway seeds (can be omitted if you don’t enjoy this taste)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, cubed
Spray large pot over medium heat, add cabbage and sauté while constantly stirring. Add the apple chunks and shallots, continuing to stir. Towards the end once the cabbage is getting soft (about 10-15 minutes), turn up the heat to extract as much water as possible from the cabbage. Add the cider vinegar, juniper berries, cumin, caraway, stevia and salt and pepper to taste.
Here’s my humble, but flavorful lunch today: 5 1/2 oz grilled chicken, 1/2 sweet potato and TONS of sauerkraut!! (oh and a dollop of calorie free BBQ Sauce… )