Sauerkraut is a traditional food in many cultures around the world, and in Russia it’s made with cabbage, salt, garlic, and dill. This type of sauerkraut is not only delicious but also has many health benefits. In this article, we’ll discuss those benefits as well as provide an easy recipe for making your own Russian sauerkraut at home.
Indulge your taste buds in the vibrant flavours of Russia with a twist of tanginess, aromatic garlic, and refreshing dill. Russian sauerkraut, traditionally known as “kvashenaya kapusta,” takes the classic fermented cabbage dish to new heights by infusing it with the irresistible combination of garlic and dill. This delightful variation not only offers the health benefits of probiotic-rich sauerkraut but also brings an extra punch of flavour and additional nutritional value. Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the wonders of Russian sauerkraut made with garlic and dill and discover how this enticing condiment can elevate your meals to a whole new level.
What are the health benefits of Russian sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is highly nutritious because it is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It’s also a great source of dietary fibre and probiotics which help boost gut health. The lactic acid bacteria found in fermented foods like sauerkraut have been shown to strengthen the immune system and improve digestion.
Russian sauerkraut made with garlic and dill offers not only the health benefits of traditional sauerkraut but also additional advantages from the added ingredients. Here are some of the health benefits associated with sauerkraut made with garlic and dill:
- Probiotic-rich: Like all fermented foods, sauerkraut contains beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacilli and other probiotic strains, that support gut health. These probiotics aid in digestion, enhance nutrient absorption, and contribute to a balanced gut microbiome.
- Improved digestion: Garlic has been traditionally used for its digestive properties. It contains compounds that stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, promoting better digestion and nutrient breakdown. Adding garlic to sauerkraut can enhance its digestive benefits, helping to alleviate bloating, gas, and indigestion.
- Antioxidant properties: Both garlic and dill are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Garlic contains sulphur compounds like allicin, which have been associated with various health benefits, including cardiovascular health support and immune system modulation. Dill, on the other hand, contains flavonoids and other phytochemicals that possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Immune system support: Garlic is renowned for its immune-boosting properties. It contains compounds that may enhance immune function, reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms, and support the body’s defence against infections. By incorporating garlic into sauerkraut, you can potentially enhance its immune-boosting effects.
- Nutritional value: Sauerkraut itself is low in calories. It is also a good source of vitamins C and K. Garlic and dill add further nutritional value to sauerkraut, providing additional vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which contribute to overall health and well-being.
- Flavourful and satisfying: Beyond the health benefits, sauerkraut made with garlic and dill offers a delightful taste profile. The combination of tangy fermented cabbage, pungent garlic, and aromatic dill creates a flavourful and satisfying side dish or condiment that can elevate the taste of various dishes, encouraging you to incorporate more nutritious foods into your diet.
It is important to note that individual experiences may vary, and that the health benefits of sauerkraut with garlic and dill are based on general observations.
What ingredients are needed to make Russian sauerkraut?
First of all a cabbage, then also some salt, garlic and dill.
I’ll share a recipe with you here:
- 1 1 litre preserving jar A wide-mouth flip-top jar with a rubber or silicone ring is ideal.
- 1 sauerkraut stomper This can be wooden, metal or stone. A pestle can work well.
- 1 green or white cabbage
- 3 cloves garlic cleaned and minced
- 2 sprigs dill cleaned and chipped
- 1 tablespoon celtic sea salt
- 2 carrots cleaned and grated
- 1 apple cleaned and grated
- Mix the cabbage with the dill, garlic, and the salt (with the optional carrots and/or apple) in a bowl and leave it standing for about 30 minutes so that the cells can start breaking down and the fluids of the cabbage will start flowing.
- Check after 30 minutes, when you see the fluids flowing then transfer the cabbage to the preserving jar and press it down firmly as you want to make sure that there are no air pockets in the cabbage as lactic acid fermentation is an anaerobic process.
- Make sure that the room between the cabbage and the top of the jar is at least 2.5 cm or 1 inch.
- Leave it at room temperature for about 3 days to kickstart the fermentation process. After that you can transfer it to cold storage to let it ferment for some weeks.
- We like to leave it to ferment for about a month before we start eating it, but it can already be eaten after a week of fermentation.
Making your own Russian sauerkraut is not only cost-effective but also an easy way to access its many health benefits. The combination of salt, garlic, dill, and lactic acid ensures that you will get maximum nutrition from this traditional recipe. So why not give it a try today? You’ll be glad you did!