While the Mediterranean cuisine is widely known as the epitome of a healthy diet, the diet 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 for unique specialty foods and recipes from the lands northeast of the Danube river.
Pork is the predominant choice of meat in the moderate climates of Central Europe. Every part of the animal 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 seems endless. Raising pigs is also better for the environment than raising cows, as they don’t generate as much methane (green house gases) as their bovine cousins.
Recipes with Asparagus and Hams | BUY German Sauages and Meat
The climates of Central and Northern Europe are perfect for growing a great variety of super-healthy, tasty berries. Two 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 and gooseberry.
Sweet Summer Fruit Ideas | BUY German Berry Preserves
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 and healthy snacks. Among a great number of suppliers from many nations, you can find great differences in quality and taste, based on the choice of vegetables and the choice of salt and vinegar brine for pickling.
Recipes with Pickled Vegetables | BUY German 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.
Recipes with Whole Grain Breads | BUY German Whole Grain Breads
Hearty Breakfast Muesli
Nutritionists recommend that eating a breakfast with nutrient-dense foods will keep you satisfied all morning, strengthen your immune system, improve your mental capacity, and help you maintain a healthy weight. German breakfasts offer a healthy start on the day, providing stable morning energy and mental focus.
German Breakfast Recipes | BUY Healthy, Wholesome Breakfast Foods
Lots o’ Seeds
Seeds contain all the nutrients to develop into full-grown, healthy plants. They are extremely nutritious, and tend to be great sources of fiber, as well as containing healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and many important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. When consumed as part of a healthy diet, seeds can help reduce blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Recipes – Poppy Seed Cake | BUY Poppy Seed Strudel Cake Mix
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.