Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reuben sandwiches - health benefits of sauerkraut

I have always loved sandwiches. Good bread has always been my drug of choice. For some it is chocolate, ice cream or anything sugary. Not, me, I LOVE bread. Sadly, I have discovered that breads made with white flour & high fructose corn syrup were the main causes of inflammation in my body. I started noticing that every time I eat white flour or HFCS my hands, feet, legs, etc. began to swell within an hour. Eliminating those ingredients from my diet has greatly reduced the inflammation and pain in my body.

I still love bread. But, I have learned to be very careful about which breads I eat. It is getting easier as more companies are realizing that consumers want better quality ingredients in their food, so they are making healthier breads. On a recent trip to my local grocery store, I found a Jewish Rye bread that was calling out to me. It is made by Oroweat with unbleached wheat flour, malted barley flour & rye flour and NO HFCS. I thought this bread would be wonderful to make one of my all time favorite sandwiches, THE REUBEN. There are many variations of the reuben. Some people use roast beef, some pastrami, some corned beef. Some use rye bread, some pumpernickel. Some use thousand island or russian dressing. Some use swiss cheese or other white cheeses. But in order to be a reuben the sandwich must be grilled and have sauerkraut. YUM!

I always use either pastrami or corned beef. In my opinion, roast beef is not a reuben and roast beef does not go with sauerkraut. But, to each his own. Also, my family is partial to Provolone cheese and we do not like thousand island or russian dressing. I love pumpernickel bread with mine sometimes, but Kevin doesn't care for pumpernickel bread. We do like a good spicy brown mustard with our reubens. So, here is my version of one of my favorite sandwiches.


Oroweat Jewish Rye Bread
2-3 slices of pastrami
sauerkraut (drained)
provolone cheese
spicy brown mustard

1) Pour saurkraut in colander to drain off excess liquid.
2) Place skillet or griddle on medium-medium high heat.
3) While griddle is getting hot, butter both sides of bread.
4) Place bread on hot griddle. When first side is toasted, flip over & place pastrami, provolone & sauerkraut on toasted side of bread.
5) Place toasted side of other piece of bread on top.
6) After a few minutes, carefully flip sandwich over to toast the other side.
7) When cheese is melted & bread is toasted, remove from griddle, add spicy brown mustard & ENJOY.

Of course, if you have a panini or sandwich maker, you can skip the flipping over step.

I served with grilled asparagus on the side.

FYI - The only BAD ingredient here is the pastrami. Pastrami is a cured meat. Some people believe that cured meats cause cancer. I do limit my intake of cured meats, but for my body, that doesn't seem to affect me as much as the white flour, sugar & HFCS. So, again, it is all about choices and knowing what works for you.

Sauerkraut is SUPER healthy! It is anti inflammatory, anti fungal, high in Vitamins A & C, probiotic & cleans your "gut". I try to eat sauerkraut at least twice a week. And again, I only use real butter. The spicy brown mustard I use has turmeric in it, which is also anti inflammatory as well as being good for your liver & heart.

Here's a link to just one article on the healthy benefits of sauerkraut.

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