Easy Russian-Style Homemade Sauerkraut: Delicious and healthy way to use leftover cabbage. You only need 4 ingredients and 20 minutes to make it! Take advantage from the numerous health benefits of fermented food.
This easy Russian-style homemade sauerkraut is my favorite way to make a good use of leftover cabbage. Most of the times, while using cabbage for cooking, whether it’s vegan spring rolls, Russian borsch, golubtsy or just a salad, I end up using no more than one half of my cabbage head. The other half is laying in the fridge waiting for its turn to be incorporated into a dish. I hate throwing things out, so I make homemade sauerkraut out of it and I strongly recommend you to do the same.
Fermenting is a great way to preserve your cabbage, while taking advantage from the unique health benefits of homemade sauerkraut.
Health Benefits of Homemade Sauerkraut
- Just like yoghurt and kefir, fermenting activates probiotics, beneficial for your immune and digestive systems.
- Probiotic-rich diet lowers the risk of cancer, asthma, brain disorders, hormonal imbalance, diabetes, weight gain and food allergies. If you want to keep your waistline in check, including homemade sauerkraut in your diet is a right thing to do. It helps you regulate hormonal functions, that can have a positive effect on your appetite control.
- Probiotic-containing food detoxify your body, simplify the the absorption of important nutrients, improve your immune function and fight “bad” bacteria, handle stress level and control inflammation.
- Besides probiotics, homemade sauerkraut is rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants, while being very low-caloric, raw and containing zero fat. Even including a small amount of sauerkraut into your everyday diet would help to provide numerous nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins B, C and K.
- Purple cabbage has even more health benefits, as it contains its own class of antioxidants called anthocyanins. They are also found in blueberries and red wine, giving them their deep colors. They have even stronger antioxidant properties that help fight free radical damage, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and cognitive disorders.
Difference Between German and Russian Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut originates from Germany, but it’s insanely popular in Slavic countries and is traditionally made in enormous quantities for the whole winter ahead. My grandmother used to make a large bucket every winter, along with pickled tomatoes and dill pickles. Nowadays, there is no need to ferment a large batch: You can use leftover cabbage and make sauerkraut in a jar.
Russian-style sauerkraut tastes different from the classic German sauerkraut, as it has a tangy sweet-and-sour flavor. It’s usually served as a part of Russian appetizers (zakuski), as a side or used in sandwiches, soups and salads. I have a recipe for you coming soon, so make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter. As a bonus, you will receive my e-book “How To Cook Without A Recipe” for free!
How to Make Russian Homemade Sauerkraut (Kvashenaya Kapusta)
You will only need 4 ingredients to make Russian-style sauerkraut, one of which is cabbage. Traditionally, it’s white cabbage, firm and dense, but I also use purple cabbage and it always turns out well. Other ingredients are carrots, sea salt and sugar. Fermentation process goes for 5 days, but the preparation itself is very easy and takes no more than 20 minutes. It doesn’t require any special equipment, just a jar, a fitting plate or lid to pack it down and a bottle of water, which works as a press. Start with a small batch and see how easy it is to make it!
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Here is a step-by-step recipe for Russian-style homemade sauerkraut you:
Easy Russian-Style Homemade Sauerkraut
- Quarter the cabbage, discard the core and shred the cabbage using a mandoline or a sharp knife. Peel and grind carrots. Combine them in a large pot, add sea salt and brown sugar and knead well until the juice is released, for about 5-7 minutes. It'll take less time if you use white cabbage.
- Fill a fitting glass jar (I used the 2 quart jar, similar to that one) with the cabbage mixture. Pack it tightly, so that the juice covers the cabbage. The jar should be filled by 2/3.
- Put a fitting lid or small plate to pack the cabbage down and 1-2 quart glass bottle with water on top. If you feel like you packed too much of cabbage in your jar, put it on a plate, as the juice will release while fermenting. Keep the jar at a room temperature for 4 more days, poking the cabbage with a back of a wooden spoon once a day to release the gas from the lower layers.
- Keep covered and refrigerate for up to 5 weeks. Enjoy!
Other Appetizer Recipes You’ll Love:
- Chipotle Corn Salsa Recipe
- Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls
- Take-Along Watermelon Skewers with Feta and Mint Pesto
- Classic Insalata Caprese (Tomato Mozzarella Salad)