When I think health food, the word “German” usually doesn’t pop into my head.
But amidst a sea of spaetzle, wurst and cheesy kartoffeln lies the oasis of Rohkost (pronounced Ro-Coast).
Introduced to me by my sister who lived in Germany for several years, Rohkost is as classic as German food gets, yet it is also vegan, raw, delicious and easy to make. Go figure.
Because Rohkost includes sauerkraut as one of its main ingredients, it promotes a healthy gut by balancing PH levels and it also calls for lots of parsley which is anti-inflammatory, high in folic acid and said to prevent cancer.
This dish keeps well in the fridge for five days, so it’s the perfect make ahead side for parties, and it pairs well with just about anything.
I keep it authentic (kinda) by piling it on Tofurkey Italian sausage or veggie burgers (instead of brats or regular burgers)—but I also eat it as a snack on rice cakes, add it to sandwiches or just scoop it unabashedly from its container in the fridge into my mouth.
Rohkost is easy to make if you have a food processor, but don’t worry if you don’t—it’ll just take a little extra time. Time well spent, might I add, as you contemplate with monk-like mindfulness the details of each individual vegetable passing over your grater or under your knife.
Here is the magic recipe:
1 small bag of sauerkraut, drained
1/2 small cabbage shredded
1 large apple, shredded (no need to peel)
3-4 carrots, peeled and shredded
3 stalks celery, minced
5-8 radishes, shredded
1/2 red onion, minced
1/2 cup raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1 large bunch parsley, chopped
1-2 t/l olive oil
2-4 t/l rice wine or champagne vinegar
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients well and chill in the fridge at least one hour.
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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
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