How to Reduce the Strong Taste of Sauerkraut

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Sauerkraut was a lifesaving winter staple for generations of Europeans, providing not only a full belly but plentiful quantities of healthful vitamins, minerals and fiber. It remains a flavorful and versatile food, much-loved and still made even though fresh vegetables are now available all winter. In its natural state, sauerkraut has a potent flavor and aroma. Cooks can take several steps to reduce its strong taste, whether it's to be served raw or cooked.

Drain your sauerkraut in a colander, and rinse it well with cold running water.

Taste a few shreds of the kraut. If it's unusually strong-flavored, as some artisanal brands often are, place it in a large glass or plastic mixing bowl. Cover the kraut with water or apple juice and let it soak for 30 minutes. Drain it again, pressing out any excess moisture.

Place the sauerkraut in a heat-proof baking dish or casserole. Add a small amount of water, white wine, beer, chicken broth or other liquid, depending on your personal taste. Bake the kraut at 275 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit until it's softened and its flavor is deep and mellow.

Enrich the cooked sauerkraut by adding sliced apples or onions at the beginning of the cooking time to make the kraut sweeter and mellower. Traditional recipes often include other flavorings, including peppercorns, bay leaves, juniper berries and caraway or anise seeds.