Cabbage is king of cruciferous vegetables in defending our bodies against illness. Of most foods rated high for cancer prevention, few rank as high as cabbage. While its cancer fighting properties have gained plenty of attention, there are other reasons to make cabbage a mainstay of the diet too. It’s lacking in calories and has hardly any sodium or fat, understandably. Combined with its large quantity of insoluble fiber it is also ideal for those dieting.
In addition, cabbage will be as rich in vitamin C as citrus fruits, with all of its protective and healing properties. A single cup of shredded cabbage will give you two-thirds of the recommended daily allowance of this important vitamin. That’s nice thing about it because the human body can’t store vit c so you need to consume it on a daily basis to maintain it in your body. So cabbage may also help combat seasonal colds and flu!
With it’s power-packed nutritional benefits therefore many savory approaches to enjoy it, there’s no reason to not find more fun approaches to add cabbage for your menu. That said, there are several kinds of cabbage to choose from. We’re all familiar with the compact, light green heads which are readily available. Besides those, you can even choose from the slightly sweeter, yet robust and peppery red cabbage; the crinkly leafed, mild flavored Savoy cabbage; and the elongated, celery looking, crunchy Chinese cabbage, also known as bok choy.
Common red and green cabbage are already bred for storage and longevity for them to be enjoyed year-round. The more delicate Savoy cabbage is best during the fall. Bok choy are available through January if it looks crisp and fresh. For all types, look for firm heads with bright, crisp leaves that are firmly packed and heavy for their size. Stay away from heads with wilted, yellowed leaves or people that have signs of mold or worm damage.
Red and green cabbage will keep well for two weeks or more in your refrigerator. Wrap the whole head of cabbage in paper towel and store it within a plastic bag, not tightly closed, in the crisper section to preserve the vitamins. Savoy cabbage and bok choy will keep about a week, because of the same treatment.
Preparing Raw Cabbage
All cabbage ought to be washed and the outer leaves trimmed right before use. Trim off and discard the stem end. Cut the core out in a cone shape and discard or grate for slaw (it has a stronger taste). Slice or cut cabbage into thin wedges before washing. Discard any withered or stringy parts. For mildest flavor and tenderness, cut out and discard the fibrous thick ribs through the outer leaves
Grate or shred cabbage raw to utilize in any number of different varieties of salads or coleslaw. If employing a food processor, use the slicing blade to shred cabbage. The shredding blade will suffice too finely. Try combining shredded Savoy cabbage with some other kinds of lettuce in tossed green salads. Incorporating red cabbage adds nice color and peppery flavor to salads.
Having the Odor Out
If you want cabbage but not the odor it emits during cooking here are a couple of suggestions to minimize the characteristic odor. First, when you are cooking cabbage, give a whole English walnut (rolling around in its shell) or a celery stalk for the water while you are cooking. Otherwise, choose brief, healthy methods, like microwaving, or stir-frying, or steaming in order to smoke your cabbage. The smell doubles with cooking times longer than 5 minutes and decreases its anti-cancer properties.
Cooking Options for Cabbage
New studies apparently indicate that slightly cooked cabbage yields more nutritional power than raw. Bok choy or Chinese cabbage is often a natural then to use in stir frys. Green cabbage is superb in a quick saute. Both red and green cabbage are delicious in slow, gentle braises. Try sauteing red cabbage with red cooking apples having a pinch of grated nutmeg and serving with grilled chicken.
My in history favorite way to eat cabbage would be to cook it inside the microwave with a little water to steam it, just until it’s soft – about five minutes. Drain the water and include a pat of butter, plus grated sage and pepper and salt to taste. Delicious!
Cabbage might be common, but it’s uncommonly healthy. Your broadest health benefits from cabbage will likely come from inclusion of most varieties in your diet. With innumerable ways to introduce more cabbage into the diet, why don’t you see what you are able come up with today.