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Crockpot Pork and Sauerkraut: A Healthier Version of a New Year's Favorite

Crockpot pork and sauerkraut

It's a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. Pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day is said to bring good luck and good health in the new year. And what could be more hoped for in 2021? This dish normally comes loaded with salt and fat. We’ve found a way to make it healthier.

A Recipe for a Healthy New Year

By choosing the lean and healthier pork loin over the fattier pork butt, shoulder or roast, we reduced the cholesterol and sodium by half and the calories and fat by more than half per serving.

Cabbage, the plentiful winter workhorse of a vegetable, became a perfect culinary pairing for pork. Made into sauerkraut, it was seen as a sign of longevity, wealth and happiness, and stored well for the entire winter.

Sauerkraut is high in fiber, vitamins A and K, and boosts the immune system with energy and iron. The fermentation needed to make sauerkraut produces live bacteria, or probiotics, which replenishes good bacteria in your gut and helps stop the growth of bad bacteria. Unfortunately, the fermentation requires a lot of salt, so we thoroughly drained and rinsed the sauerkraut in cold water to significantly reduce the amount of sodium.

Pork and Sauerkraut would not be the same without mashed potatoes on the side. While potatoes add carbohydrates, this gluten-free vegetable has many health benefits, and with the flavorful sauerkraut, there is no need to add any other ingredients than a little skim milk. In other words, no butter, cream or salt! See our recipe below. 

Pork, Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes make an easy, gluten-free New Year’s Day meal. Enjoy in moderation.

INGREDIENTS

Pork and Sauerkraut
  • 4 lbs. pork loin, fat trimmed off top
  • 1, 2 lb bag fresh sauerkraut, or 1, 1 lb. 11 oz. can (can be doubled)
  • 1-2 apples, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 onion sliced (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (optional)
  • ½ to 1 cup water
Mashed Potatoes
  • 3 lbs. (12 medium or 6 large) potatoes

  • 1 cup skim milk, heated

INSTRUCTIONS

Pork and Sauerkraut
  1. Heat large skillet to medium high and add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the pork loin on each side for a few minutes until nicely browned.
  2. If using onion, place slices on bottom of Crockpot.
  3. Place pork loin on top of onion.
  4. Mix together apples, sauerkraut and brown sugar. Make sure sauerkraut has been thoroughly rinsed in cold water and drained to reduce salt.
  5. Layer sauerkraut mixture over pork loin.
  6. Sprinkle with caraway seeds and black pepper, if desired.
  7. Pour water over the pork and sauerkraut.
  8. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes and applesauce, if desired.

Makes about 16 servings.

Mashed Potatoes
  1. Peel and dice potatoes.
  2. Place potatoes in large pot and cover with water.
  3. Bring water to a boil, then turn to medium low and simmer potatoes for about 20 minutes, or until they are very soft when pricked with a fork.
  4. Drain potatoes then place in mixing bowl.
  5. Beat with potato masher (preferred method) or electric mixer, add hot milk gradually until potatoes are the consistency you like.

Makes about 12, ½ cup servings.

Nutritional Information
Pork and Sauerkraut: Per 4 oz. serving of pork and 1 cup sauerkraut: 215 calories; 8.3g total fat (3.2g saturated, 0.8g polyunsaturated, 3.8g monounsaturated); about 800mg sodium; 55mg cholesterol; 14.7g carbohydrate; 4.2g fiber; 9.5g sugars; 22.7g protein; 628.5mg potassium.

Mashed Potatoes: Per ½ cup mashed potatoes with skim milk only: 154 calories; 0.1g total fat (0.1g saturated, 0.1g polyunsaturated, 0.0g monounsaturated); about 42.5mg sodium; 55mg cholesterol; 34.5g carbohydrate; 5.1g fiber; 3.4g sugars; 4.3g protein; 899mg potassium.

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.

 

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