While the Mediterranean cuisine is widely known as the cornerstone of a healthy diet, the cuisine of Central Europe (which includes German, Austria, Switzerland, as well as parts of Eastern, Northern and Western Europe) is no less nutritious and good for body and soul. Here is our recommendation of unique specialty foods and recipes from the lands northeast of the Danube river.
- Lean Protein Pork is the predominant choice of meat in the moderate climates of “Middle Europe.” Every part is used: even brains, and innards and hoofs find culinary uses. The variety of lean, delicious hams, sausages, schnitzels, steaks derived from domesticated and wild pork seem endless. Raising pigs is also better for the environment as they don’t generate as much methane (green house gases) as their bovine cousins.
Recipe Collection – Asparagus and Hams
- Baltic Sea Fish The Nordsee (North Sea) and Ostsee (Baltic Sea) are still full of heart-healthy herrings, sprats, and mackerels. Pickled and smoked, they taste great on toast or accompanied by quark potatoes.
Recipe Collection- Herrings and Mackerels)
- Super BerriesThe climates of Central and Northern Europe are perfect to grow a great variety of super-healthy, tasty berries. Some of the vitamin superstars are rosehip (a Bavarian specialty) and sea-buckthorn (which grows along the coastline of the Baltic Sea) with a wide variety of culinary applications, such as jam, tea, juice, cakes topping, desserts and sauces. Other fruit/berry favorites are plums, blueberry, red currant or gooseberry.
Recipe Collection -Sweet Summer Fruit Ideas
- Pickled Vegetables
Pickled Gherkins, Red Beets, Sauerkraut, Red Cabbage, and Cocktail Onion all play a part in the Middle European cuisine. They make great garnishes, sandwich toppers, salad ingredients or healthy snacks. Between a great number of suppliers from many nations, you can find great differences in quality and taste, based on the choice of root vegetables and the choice of salt and vinegar brine for pickling.
Recipe Collection – Pickled Vegetables
- Crusty Whole Grain Breads Germans are especially proud of the country’s baking guild. An application to the UNESCO is pending to include Germany’s bread making craft into the world’s cultural heritage register. Shop a few of the artisan bakeries and you’ll find close to 300 kinds of breads on the shelves.Recipe Collection – Whole Grain Breads
Recipe Collections – Abendbrot
- Hearty Breakfast Muesli
Recipe Collection – Healthy, Wholesome Breakfast Choices
- Lots o’ Seeds
Recipes – Poppy Seed Cake
More Sources on diet, nutrition and exercise
Let’s face it: most of the health problems in wealthy countries – and related health care costs – are based on a lifestyle of too many calories, not enough nutrients, and too little exercise. Our contention: eat what you like, try as many dishes from different cuisines as you can discover and follow some of the guidelines from official sources:
In 2015, the US Department of Agriculture released the latest version of the US Dietary Guidelines (see summary here).
IN-FORM: Germany’s national initiative to promote healthy diets and physical activity.