- fermented sauerkraut
My family travels a lot. This summer, we spent two months in a small town we love, and rented a small apartment for our stay. Not a fan of wasting food, I tried to budget our food purchases to fit our needs without going overboard – and that led to one of summer’s most interesting adventures… sauerkraut and eggs.
If you think about it, cultured sauerkraut and eggs is a very healthy combo. It has everything I look for in a meal, including lean proteins, probiotic-rich vegetables, and plenty of fiber. But when I realized that was what I had left in the fridge, I was petrified. Something about the idea boggled my mind and terrified my taste buds. Call me cautious, but as much as I love to experiment with flavors, I tend to opt for semi-traditional combinations. A quick Google search soon proved my fears wrong, however.
Outside of the expected kimchi and egg combo, sauerkraut and eggs actually has a fairly solid cult following. A post on Food in Jars convinced me to give it a whirl. Not only did the dish look good, the post’s author, Marisa, made it sound oddly enticing.
Experiments with Sauerkraut and Eggs
The recipe I made up on the fly was quick and easy.
- 1 cup fermented sauerkraut
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup shredded fresh carrots
- 2-4 tbsp. sauerkraut juice
- Caraway seeds (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
1.Heat the sauerkraut, carrots, sauerkraut juice, and caraway seeds in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
2.Break the eggs on top of the kraut and cover immediately.
3.Cook covered for 3-5 minutes, or until yolk reaches desired level of doneness.
4.Eat and enjoy.
That First Bite…
It sounds easy to cook, but I bet you’re wondering how easy it was to eat. I’ll admit, I was apprehensive about that first bite. When I cut into the egg, I realized it was almost perfectly steamed. I’m a huge fan of steamed and poached eggs, so that was a good sign. But what was it going to taste like?
This was my first week on a Whole 30, so I forced myself to stick with it. It couldn’t be that bad, right? And after all, there was nothing else in the house to eat, and I really didn’t want to buy more food before we took off…so sauerkraut and eggs it would have to be.
I’ve heard people say that before you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes. While I’ve never had a near death experience, I can vouch for similar moments in the kitchen. Before a big flop (and a big hit), every bad dish I ever cooked flashes before my eyes. My taste buds get confused, I second-guess my decisions, and – when circumstances drive me to cook something that I would never think to combine – I have to talk myself through proceeding.
This was one of those moments…
Eventually, after giving myself an internal pep talk, I took that irreversible step. The one my palate would either hate or praise me for. My breakfasts will never be the same.
It’s Not What You Imagine
Fermented sauerkraut and eggs sounds like something you’d find served in college dorms. The combination smacks of desperation. Eggs, with their sulfuric edge and mild flavor don’t seem like a good match for the pungent, acidic flavor of a good home-fermented sauerkraut. Give in to that way of thinking, and you’ll miss out.
The first thing I noticed was the pan. I didn’t use any cooking fat (although a little tallow or ghee would pair well), but my stainless steel pan came out unscathed. And no, I do NOT use nonstick ware. A few straggly strands of sauerkraut clung to the bottom of the pan, but there was no hard-to-scrub, eggy mess clinging to the bottom of the frying pan.
Not bad, sauerkraut and eggs. Not bad.
When I finally gathered the courage to eat a forkful, I was pleasantly surprised. Cultured sauerkraut’s strong acidic flavor profile minimizes the sulfuric edge of the eggs, without dominating the flavor. This crazy combination is actually delicious! The eggs, if you watch closely and don’t let them overcook, steam beautifully. The sauerkraut cooks down and the flavor rounds out, making it a pleasant choice even for people who don’t normally like kraut.
Cabbage, Eggs, and Eating Healthy
Apart from the surprisingly pleasant flavor, there are several reasons to consider giving sauerkraut and eggs a try. Cabbage is in the same family as many vegetables that are known for their healthy properties: cauliflower, collard greens, broccoli, mustard greens, Brussel sprouts, turnips, and arugula, to name a few. Even before it’s turned into the cultured sauerkraut that draws healthy eaters around the globe, cabbage is a strong cancer fighter, helps fight some types of heart disease, alleviates ulcers, slows the progression of Alzheimer’s, and eases gastrointestinal problems. It’s also one of the closest relatives of kale, but is milder and more versatile in the kitchen…so if you aren’t eating it already, start.
Eggs get volleyed back and forth between healthy and unhealthy on a regular basis, based on whose nutrition advice you seek to follow. Most nutritionists agree that they’re a great lean protein choice for most diets, and aren’t the evil harbinger of bad cholesterol that they’re often accused of being. In fact, the fats in eggs include heart-healthy omega 3s, and the ratio of fats they offer is good.
A portion of sauerkraut and eggs contains something else your body needs. Fiber - 4.8 grams of fiber. And the total calorie content of the recipe I listed above is a paltry 164 calories. Not bad for a full plate that keeps you energized for hours.
You don’t have to take my word for it on the sauerkraut and eggs. Fermented sauerkraut isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and neither are eggs. If you’re curious in the least, however, dare yourself or a friend to try it. You won’t be sorry, and you might just find a go-to breakfast recipe that’s quick, easy, hot, and healthy. Are you a sauerkraut and eggs fanatic? Tell us about it. Share your recipes on our Facebook page or our Twitter feed with the hashtag #krautneggs.
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