We Love Raw Sauerkraut with Cabbage Rolls or Sausage!
Holubtsi - A favorite food with probiotics
When I was growing up, we celebrated holidays with some Ukrainian traditions. One of my grandfathers was from the Ukraine, and he would take us to church with him and we would cook and bake some customary foods. The ladies in the church made the most delicious pyrohy as fundraisers every month (but that's another story!). We also bought homemade Polish sausage from a friend of the family.
Every Easter and Christmas, my Mom would make stuffed cabbage rolls (holubtsi) with sauerkraut and would serve the homemade sausage with the sauerkraut.
I remember the sourness of the sauerkraut with the sausage, but didn't even notice any of it in the cabbage rolls. Hmmm…
When I started making the cabbage rolls as an adult, I used canned sauerkraut because that's what my Mom had written down in a recipe for me. Looking back, I guess that since she was living alone later in life she changed the way she made them. But something didn't taste quite right...
My Mom passed away before I was able to talk to her about the holubtsi from my childhood. Luckily for me, I realized that the missing ingredient was raw sauerkraut! She might have cooked the sauerkraut with the cabbage rolls, but it didn’t have the same taste as the canned sauerkraut that I had been using.
Over the years, I’ve tweaked Mom’s recipe for holubtsi (at least the version she wrote down for me). So now, anytime I make cabbage rolls, I cook them first and then serve them with raw sauerkraut. My kids really love the flavor the sauerkraut adds. And any time we eat brats or similar sausage, raw sauerkraut is on the menu, too.
Raw sauerkraut with holubtsi or sausage is such an easy and delicious way to get the flavor, and health benefits, from the probiotics (live cultures) in the fermented cabbage. Try it and let me know what you think!
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