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Healthful Benefits of Traditional Russian Cuisine
October 31, 2020 18:42

Healthful Benefits of Traditional Russian Cuisine
Authentic Russian cuisine is not only tasty, but also healthy. Over the centuries of its existence, it has adopted the best from both its eastern and western neighbours. However the main characteristics remain the same. Let's see how beneficial they are for your health.

  Hot and Cold Soups.
It is noteworthy that no other cuisine in the world boasts such a rich variety of first courses: borsch(beetroot soup), schi (cabbage soup), solyanka (sauerkraut soup), fish soup, okroshka (cold kvass soup),and many more.
Cold soups are salubrious for summertime as they keep trace elements and vitamins that help to strengthen the immune system. Hot soups are good for warming you up in cold weather, keeping you full longer as well as stimulating blood circulation and metabolism. 
  Baked and Stewed Dishes.
A variety of taste was achieved in a natural way, with the help of spicy vegetables and herbs: onion, garlic, horseradish, dill and parsley; and oils, such as flaxseed oil, poppy seed oil, hemp oil, etc. Sunflower oul came to Russia much later.
In peasant Russia, the traditional Russian stove was mostly used for cooking. Hence, the main methods were boiling, stewing or baking. Fried dishes were an exception, since the design of the closed Russian stove did not provide temperatures high enough for frying.
Baked and stewed dishes do not irritate the pancreas, stomach, liver. Neither do they provoke storing excess fat in the body. More importantly, keeping food in heat for a long time ensures destroying harmful microbes and bacteria.
  Sauerkraut and Pickles.
Traditional Russian cuisine is unimaginable without sour, fermented and salty dishes. The most typical of them are sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, mushrooms in brine and soused apples. Not a single festive feast of the Russian people can do without them.
It should be noted that the pickles are not only very palatable but good for your health as well. Sauerkraut strengthens the body against colds and digestive issues, and reduces the risk of cancer. Pickles supply fiber to the body and thus help to fight excess weight.
  Whole Grain Porridge.
In the olden days, Russian porridge was of three types: thin gruel, thicker mushy porridge and fluffy porridge. Thin gruel was especially respected. With fish, meat, peas, onions, herbs and veg roots added, it often replaced soups. Thicker porridge would be made rich with lard and lamb fat. Fluffy porridge was eaten with butter or ghee, seasoned with fried mushrooms, onions, and hard boiled eggs. Millet andbarley porridges were also popular in Russia. They were cooked with milk or cream, as well as pumpkin oftentimes.
Each cereal is unique in its own way, however, all cereals, without exception, normalize the functioning of the stomach and intestines, free the body from toxins, and help to quickly reduce weight.
  Fermented Milk Dishes.
Sour milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, and fermented baked milk are original Russian products. All fermented milk products are perfectly digested, unlike whole milk, and increase immunity and normalize metabolism.
  Rye Bread.
Traditional Russian bread has always been black bread made of rye flour. Bread was one of the main dishes, used a lot, especially with stews, cabbage soup, okroshka soup and other first courses. In Russia, baking was considered an exclusively women's privilege. “Bread is the head of everything,” our ancestors said.
Rye bread provides the body with fiber and nutrients, promotes healthy weight, and improves the condition of the skin, hair, nails and teeth.
  Natural Kvass.
The traditional fermented Russian drink, kvass, is nutritious and boasts a refreshing sour-sweetish aftertaste. There were more than a thousand recipes for making kvass in Russia. It was made on the basis of water and cereals: millet, oats, rye, barley. In Old Russia, kvass was an every day drink as well as a beverage for special occasions, festive celebrations and commemorations. The Russians considered it to be healing and gave it to people in poor health conditions.
Kvass has pronounced bactericidal properties, a high nutritional value, a vibrant refreshing taste and perfectly quenches thirst. Except Slavic countries, there is no kvass in any other country in the world.

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Cuisine Traditional Recipes Russian Dishes Russian Drinks  

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