Vegan Grandma

Monday, November 13, 2006

Vegan Sauerkraut Vegetable Stew (Kapusnaik) And A Few Interesting Things About Sauerkraut

I made Vegan Saurkraut Vegetable Stew for lunch today. I thought it was pretty good, but then I really like sauerkraut. If you don’t like saurkraut, you probably won’t like this stew. I thought the apples and the sauerkraut tasted good together in the stew.
I found the recipe in The Best Recipes in The World, by Mark Bittman, published by Broadway Books, (page 114). It’s not as quick as many of the recipes I like, because you have to chop a lot of things, but I think it’s worth the trouble. The recipe comes from Poland.

I used canned sauerkraut because that’s what I had, but it’s better to use sauerkraut from packages, containing only cabbage and salt, no preservatives.
Vegan Sauerkraut Vegetable Stew (Kapusnaik)
makes 4 servings

5 cups vegetable stock

2 large celery sticks, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

2 tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

1 ounce dried porcini or other mushrooms, reconstituted and chopped (see below)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 pound sauerkraut, drained and chopped, juices reserved

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

salt and black pepper to taste

Bring the stock to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add the celery, carrots, apples, and mushrooms (taste the water in which you soaked the mushrooms. If it tastes good, add that too). Simmer over low heat until everything is soft, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the onion and saurkraut in the oil, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the caraway seeds.
Stir the sauerkraut mixture into the simmering stock, and cook until the stew thickens slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and the reserved saurkraut juice.
To reconstitute dried mushrooms: Soak them in hot water until they are softened. This can take from 5 to 35 minutes, depending on the toughness of the mushroom. You might have to change the water a few times to keep it hot. The soaking liquid can be used for soup stock.

A Few Interesting Things About Sauerkraut

"Sauerkraut did not originate in Germany, as is commonly believed. It dates back to the building of the Great Wall of China, when the laborers ate it to combat deficiency diseases resulting from a diet consisting almost completely of rice. The cabbage was fermented with wine at this time.

The Tartars brought the recipe for saurkraut from the Orient into eastern Europe, and from there to Germany, where the cabbage was fermented with salt instead of wine, and was given the name "saurkraut."

In 1772, captain James cook heard about the health properties of sauerkraut, and decided to bring 25,000 pounds of it on his second journey to explore the pacific ocean. Thanks to sauerkraut’s vitamin C content, Captain Cook lost only one sailor to scurvy in over 1,000 days at sea.

Sauerkraut is rich in vitamins A, B and C and in phosphorous, calcium and iron. The lactic acid that develops during the fermentation process cleanses the intestinal tract of toxic forming bacteria, and may weaken infections.

A one-cup serving of sauerkraut provides 102 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, 35 percent of vitamin C and 12 percent of iron, and it contains only 32 calories, with four grams of fiber.

Sauerkraut is usually made by placing salt between layers of shredded cabbage, and then applying pressure to the cabbage. The salt draws out the cabbage juice, which contains sugar. The bacteria ferments, and lactic acid forms, and a tangy flavor develops.

Rinsing sauerkraut will reduce the tartness (if you want to) as will pouring boiling water over the sauerkraut and letting it stand for 4 to 5 minutes .

Properly cooked, sauerkraut loses virtually none of its health properties.

Sauerkraut juice makes an excellent cocktail. Mix with an equal quantity of tomato juice, add a little salt, paprika and cracked ice and shake.

There are claims that sauerkraut helps prevent cancer, balances bacteria in the digestive system, and helps fight the avian flu. I cannot vouch for this, but you can find out more about these claims at


Grandmother’s Food Secrets, by Dr. Myles H. Bader, published by Mylette Enterprises, LLC, Las Vegas NV 89102


  • At 11:50 PM, Blogger Jake said…

    Thanks a lot for the post. I love to read articles which are about medicine or health related topics. They keep me up to date with the current issues. I hope to read more from you!

    Kosher Vitamins


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