You love it or you hate it: Sauerkraut elicits strong feelings either way.
Sauerkraut canning day came up for us this week. The salted cabbage had been fermenting in my laundry room for the past six weeks, until the aroma made it obvious that canning time was here. Thank goodness for sisters who are willing to help with that onerous chore. We share with the family, at least those who enjoy it; some give an immediate “No, thanks!”
Some have discovered the health benefits of sauerkraut and are changing their minds about it. However, heating sauerkraut kills the good bacteria that helps with digestive upset, but when we have made so much, canning is necessary for most of it, so we’ll just enjoy it for the taste and other health benefits. It is high in vitamin C; in the old days, sailors ate it to prevent scurvy. The downside is that it is also high in sodium.
There are many recipes online and in cookbooks for the use of sauerkraut. For example, make the sauerkraut salad below or even a chocolate cake with sauerkraut. The sauerkraut makes a deliciously moist cake that doesn’t taste like sauerkraut at all but gives the cake the texture of coconut.
• 1 quart sauerkraut, drained
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 stalks celery, chopped
• 1 green bell pepper, chopped
• 1 large carrots, chopped
• 1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimento peppers, drained
• 1 teaspoon mustard seed
• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup cider vinegar
In a large bowl, mix together sauerkraut, onion, celery, green bell pepper, carrot, pimientos, and mustard seed. Set aside this mixture.
In a small saucepan, mix together sugar, oil, and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
Pour sugar mixture over salad, cover, and leave it in the refrigerator for 2 days before serving to let the flavors meld.
Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake
• ½ cup butter, softened
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 3 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• ½ cup baking cocoa
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup water
• ¾ cup sauerkraut, drained, squeezed dry and chopped
Silk Chocolate Frosting:
• 1 1/3 cups butter, softened
• 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
• 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
• 4 cups confectioners' sugar
• ¼ cup whole milk
In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with water. Stir in sauerkraut. Pour into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round baking pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, beat butter, chocolate and vanilla in a bowl; add sugar and beat well. Add milk; beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake.
Lost a recipe? Have a recipe to share? Reach Betty Slowe at email@example.com.