bratwurst and sauerkraut

Bratwurst is rich in choline, which helps build cells in the brain and heart. But, don't over-do it.


Most of us grew up with the age-old German tale of Hansel and Gretel. If we don't remember the specifics, we can at least recall that the witch's house they discover in the woods isn't made of spinach, rice cakes or wheat grass. That wouldn't do in a German fairy tale. While it would be grim, it wouldn't be Grimm. No, what they find is a home built from pastries and desserts -- now that's enticing.

Such is the case with traditional German holiday fare. Creams, pastries, meats and potatoes bring the word "indulgent" to mind, but not "healthy." And it's true, German food, particularly on special occasions, tends to focus on taste and large portions rather than waistline concerns. But the fairytale can be reconstructed with a healthier bent if it focuses on the right dishes and if it tweaks others.

Doubtful? Consider the decadent dessert marzipan. The sweet, almond candy with chocolate accents doesn't have to be discarded from the healthy man or woman's festivities if sugar substitutes are used to keep calories low [source: Sukrin]. Blend egg whites (eliminating the yoke) with almond flour and then drizzle -- don't smother -- with chocolate. At approximately 30 calories per candy, you can enjoy a few of these dessert items without feeling guilty.

Dessert is, of course, out of the question if the main courses and side dishes have already overloaded your mid-section and sent your cholesterol soaring. Bratwurst, you would think, would certainly fit that description. But that's not necessarily true. Click ahead to learn more.