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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Gluten-Free German-Style Sauerkraut Soup

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    This German-style sauerkraut soup is delicious, nutritious, probiotic-rich and gluten-free.

    Gluten-Free German-Style Sauerkraut Soup - Image: CC BY 2.0--wuestenigel
    Caption: Image: CC BY 2.0--wuestenigel

    Celiac.com 04/01/2021 - These days, probiotic foods are big business. Well, sauerkraut is one of the original probiotic foods, and it remains one of the best.

    Now, you may be familiar with sauerkraut as a side or topping for hot dogs, sausages, pork chops, and countless other German-style dishes. But sauerkraut soup may have eluded you. If you're a not German, or unfamiliar with the dish, you might wonder how sauerkraut soup could be as delicious as it turns out to be. Make some and you'll find a tasty new dinner friend. 



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    The first time someone asked if I'd like sauerkraut soup for dinner, I looked at them sideways. My bad. The soup that I at first regarded with the skepticism of the uninitiated has become a regular staple in our soup rotation. This recipe delivers a fresh and easy take on this traditional German soup. And don't let the sauerkraut part fool you, the soup isn't sour, or watery. It's rich and savory and delicious. Serve it with toasted gluten-free sourdough bread for a hearty and delicious meal.

    Gluten-Free German Style Sauerkraut Soup

    Ingredients:

    • 2 pounds pork spareribs
    • 3 quarts water
    • 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 4 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
    • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
    • 5 bacon strips, diced
    • 1 large onion, chopped

    Directions:
    In a stock pot, cook ribs in water until tender, about 1½ hours. Skim off foam. Remove ribs from broth; strain broth and skim fat.

    Return broth to the heat. 

    Add the potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper; simmer until vegetables are tender. 

    Remove meat from bones and add to broth with the sauerkraut and sausage.

    Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp; remove to paper towels to drain. 

    Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. 

    Cook onion in drippings until tender. 

    Add to soup; cook 20-30 minutes longer.

    Ladle into bowls. Garnish with bacon.


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  • About Me

    Scott Adams

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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    Scott Adams
    This recipe come to us from "GermanMia" in the Gluten-Free Forum.
    Ingredients/Items Needed:

    Cabbage. Salt (No pickling salt. We found that either sea salt, Himalayan salt or raw stone salt works best). Sauerkraut crock: a ceramic jar the rim of which has a water trough to fit the lid in ceramic or stone weights. Clean cloth. Sharp knife. Cabbage shredder, if you have, otherwise just shred with sharp knife. Wooden paddle or any other device suited for stomping the cabbage (we did it with our fists the first time, it just works all right.

    All items have to be really, really clean - you don’t want to grow something orange or green-blue in your cabbage...I’m not sure about the availability of sauerkraut crocks in the US, Canada, Australia or England. This special crock for lacto-fermentation has a trough where you fill in water so that the lid swims in it. That means, the jar is sealed airtight but any gas can get out. It’s important to exclude any oxygen because lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic process! On the other hand it’s important to let surplus gas out - like in grape fermentation to make wine.
    We tried to make sauerkraut without such jars; in this case it’s best to use a small jar (no more than 5 liters) so that the sauerkraut gets used up faster. I’ll explain that after describing the making.
    Directions:

    Remove the first layer of leaves from the cabbage until you reach a layer that looks clean and is not bruised. Usually you need not wash the cabbage, but if it seems too muddy, wash the surface and make it dry - that is important! That cabbage should not be wet when you process it. Take a couple of clean cabbage leaves to layer the ground of the jar and some to layer the surface of the finished kraut. Half and then quarter the cabbage, remove the core. Either shred the cabbage with a shredder or cut it into fine stripes (1/2 cm) with a sharp knife. I know of Turkish kebab houses who make their own coleslaw and have a cabbage shredder. Maybe if you know some Turkish people you could ask them about that. Layer the ground of the crock with one layer of cabbage leaves. Measure first batch of shredded cabbage: 4 pounds of cabbage require 25 gram salt. Mix 4 pounds cabbage with 25 gram salt well, then either fill it in your jar and crush it in the jar or crush it in an unbreakable jar or crock. Crush until it feels and sounds very wet and you have brine on top of the cabbage. Then press the crushed cabbage firmly into the jar.It has to be firmly packed because otherwise you might have air bubbles between the cabbage which lead to spoilage. Repeat steps 1-5 until the jar is filled up to 10 cm under the rim. It must not be packed higher or it will come out of the jar during fermentation! Cover the firmly packed cabbage with whole leaves so that no stripes of kraut swim to the top. Cover it with the clean, dry cloth which you firmly stuff down the sides of the pot so that nothing of the cabbage can get out. The cloth has to be completely covered by the liquid. Either put the weights on top of the cloth or substitute them with a plate which you weight with a (again very clean) stone. I tried everything from a piece of marble decoration to a stone from the garden which I put into a plastic freezer bag. It only must be clean and heavy enough to press the cabbage down so that it is always covered with liquid. No bricks, though, as they take in liquid. Cover the jar with the lid and pour water into the trough so that the lid rests in water. Store at room temperature. It will start to bubble after the first 12 to 24 hours. Don’t lift the lid during the first week, only check that there is always enough water in the trough. After one week or 10 days carefully lift the lid to check if there is still enough brine covering the cabbage—if it isn’t, just pour in a little clean, filtered water with some salt (so that it just tastes a bit salty) to cover the cabbage. As soon as it stops bubbling, most of the fermentation process will be finished. This may be 10 to 14 days, depending on the surrounding temperature. If it’s cooler than normal room temperature, it may take three weeks until fermentation is completed. You might then place the jar or crock in the cellar or at some other place cooler than room temperature (12-16 degrees Celsius are fine); the sauerkraut will keep longer then. When you start eating the sauerkraut, always be careful to replace leaves, cloth and weights tightly and press down the kraut to avoid too much air to get in and to get liquid cover the contents of the jar. You should replace the cloth at least once a week as soon as you start consuming the sauerkraut. With opening the jar and introducing air you also start to transfer all kinds of bacteria and germs into the jar which might settle on the cloth. There may be yeasts which you have to scum. They don’t do harm but are a very nice culture-medium for mold, and you should clean the trough every now and then because the water in it also is a nice culture medium for mold. You should see that the space under the rim is clean, too, if you use a crock with a trough, because under the trough there might develop yeast and then maybe mold.
    If you don’t find a crock or jar with a trough, try to find something with a loose lid. Don’t take an airtight glass jar or something like that because the gas, which develops during fermentation, must come out. Last year we smashed one of our crocks so we had to make up something to store the surplus cabbage. We took a plastic tub with a lid that can be fastened by two metal clips and threw the cabbage in - and it worked. Plastic is not what I’d prefer, but it worked and the sauerkraut didn’t taste like plastic but turned out completely normal. Anyway the crock or jar should have a lid of any kind. If it hasn’t, find a board, a plate or something else that can be used to cover the crock.Usually we have the sauerkraut from October to April; if stored in a sauerkraut crock in a cool place, it keeps very good until end of April. If stored in a crock without trough, it should be eaten within two months, maybe three, depending on how cool it is stored. In any case it’s essential that you always have the sauerkraut covered with brine.
    If the sauerkraut has a very strong vinegar smell and tastes extremely sour, it’s probably not lacto-fermented but acetic. It may not be dangerous to eat then, but it won’t have probiotic qualities. If it gets slimy and smells like bad cheese, it has gone bad - discard it. This could happen if you keep it for more than three months or if you use a jar without trough.
    I think that’s it - although this is almost a novel, the whole thing is very, very simple. Never mind which vessel is used, I never had a batch that didn’t start wonderfully. Just be careful with keeping everything as clean as possible and you will have a great time eating fresh, fruity tasting sauerkraut!



    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 10/14/2016 - It's almost October, and that means beer, or, at least it means Oktoberfest is near. And in so many ways, gluten-free beer lovers have never had it better, with dozens of selections now available commercially, and more on the way every month, it seems.
    So grab a beer, and celebrate Oktoberfest. But before we get to the list of beer purveyors, let's quickly review some basics of gluten-free versus gluten removed.
    Naturally Gluten-free Beers—Naturally gluten-free beers are made with all gluten-free source ingredients, and use grains like sorghum instead of barley. This is important to many people, especially those with high sensitivity, or the belief that gluten-removed beers may trigger celiac-related problems.
    Pros: Guaranteed gluten-free from start to finish. As close to 100% gluten-free final product as it gets. Cons: Beers made without barley can taste tart, or have a shallow flavor profile. Aren't considered beer under German standards. Gluten-removed beers—Use traditional source ingredients like barley to brew beer traditionally, then use various enzyme processes to break down the gluten.
    Pros: Traditional source ingredients. Traditional beer flavor. Test under 20 ppm gluten. Can be labeled as beer according to German purity laws. Cons: While many people with celiac disease seem to be able to tolerate gluten-removed beers, many claim that these beers trigger adverse symptoms. The jury is still out on whether gluten-reduced beers are safe for people with celiac disease. From a purely technical standpoint, beers brewed from all gluten-free source ingredients cannot be called beer in Germany, due to strict labeling laws in effect since the 14th century.
    The standard set by the FDA for gluten-free labeling in the United States requires that products be made with gluten-free ingredients, and must contain less than 20ppm of gluten.
    The standard set in Europe allows manufacturers to use gluten, rye, or barley in the manufacturing process, so long as the final product tests below 20 ppm gluten.
    Many European beers follow that method, and use wheat and or barley to brew their gluten-free beers. The beers are then treated with enzymes to break down and filter out any gluten. The result is a beer that looks and tastes like a traditional beer, but which is also gluten-free, according to the European labeling standard.
    A List of Naturally Gluten-free Beers
    Anheuser-Busch Redbridge Bard's Gold Bard's Tale Beer Brasserie Dupont Forêt Libre Brasseurs Sans Gluten Glutenberg Blanche Brunehaut Bio Ambrée Brunehaut Blonde Bio Brunehaut Blanche Burning Brothers Brewing Coors Peak Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales: Tweason'ale Drummond Gluten Free Epic Brewing Company: Glutenator Ghostfish Brewery Glutenberg American Pale Ale Glutenberg Blonde Glutenberg Belgian Double Glutenberg India Pale Ale Glutenberg Rousse Green's Discovery Amber Ale Green's Endeavour Green's Enterprise Dry-Hopped Lager Green's India Pale Ale Green's Quest Tripel Blonde Ale Ground Breaker Corsa Rose Gold Ale Ground Breaker IPA No. 5 Ground Breaker Dark Ale Ipswich Ale Brewery: Celia Saison Joseph James Brewing Fox Tail Lakefront New Grist Ginger Style Ale Lakefront New Grist Pilsner Style Minhas Lazy Mutt Gluten Free Mongozo Premium Pilsener New Planet Belgian Style Ale New Planet Blonde Ale New Planet Pale Ale New Planet Raspberry Ale New Planet Seclusion IPA New Planet Tread Lightly Session Ale Nickel Brook Gluten Free Nouvelle France La Messagère Nouvelle-France Messagère Aux Fruits Nouvelle-France Messagère Red Ale Schnitzer Bräu Hirse Lemon Schnitzer Bräu Hirse Premium Sprecher Brewing Company's Shakparo Ale Steadfast Beer gluten-free Blonde and Pale Ales Steadfast Beer Company's Oatmeal Cream Stout To Øl Reparationsbajer Gluten Free Whistler Forager A List of Gluten-Removed Beers
    Alley Kat Scona Gold Kölsch Brunehaut Bio Tripel Estrella Damm Daura Estrella Damm Daura Marzen Lammsbräu Glutenfrei Lager Beer Mikkeller American Dream Gluten Free Mikkeller Green Gold Gluten Free Mikkeller I Wish Gluten Free IPA Mikkeller Peter, Pale And Mary Gluten Free New Belgium Glutiny brand Golden and Pale Ales Short's Brewing Space Rock Stone Delicious IPA Sufferfest Brewing Company Pale Ale and Lager Widmer Omission Lager Widmer Omission IPA Widmer Omission Pale Ale Wold Top Against The Grain Wold Top Marmalade Porter Wold Top Scarborough Fair IPA Resources:
    Germans Brewing Beer with New Gluten-free Barley Storied Czech Brewery Quietly Brews Great Gluten-free Dark Beer Ghostfish Brewing Wins Gluten-free Gold at Great American Beer Festival Gluten-free Beer Guide at The Beer Diaries 17 Gluten-Free Beers That Actually Taste Good [updated for 2016!]


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/16/2017 - One nice thing about spring is that one day you can be cooking outside, and the next, it's cold again. It was snowing in Denver recently, so I figure an easy, tasty slow-cook dish is still good to have on hand.
    I like to serve this garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. Just grab some apple sauce as a garnish, and you are good to go.
    Ingredients:
    1 Pork shoulder (about 2.5 pounds) 1 jar gluten-free sauerkraut 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar 1 cup apple sauce, as garnish Directions:
    Rinse and dry the pork shoulder, and place in a plastic bag.
    To the bag, add sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup or brown sugar.
    Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
    The next day, pour ingredients into the slow cooker on low setting, and cook for 5–8 hours.
    Throw down some garlic mashed potatoes and a simple green vegetable, like green beans, garnish with apple sauce and serve.


    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 02/06/2021 - This easy gluten-free skillet dinner is a perfectly satisfying winter dish. It's nutritious, delicious, and a snap to make. Enjoy!
    Ingredients:
    2 tablespoons canola oil ½ cup chopped onion 4 fully cooked chicken apple sausages, sliced 1½ cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts 1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, as desired ¼ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard 1 tablespoon cider vinegar Directions:
    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté onion until tender, 1-2 minutes. 
    Add sausages, Brussels sprouts, apple and seasonings, and sauté about 6-8 minutes, until lightly browned.
    Stir in pecans, brown sugar, mustard and vinegar; cook and stir 2 minutes.
    Serve immediately.


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