A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, cabbage is cousins with broccoli, cauliflower, radishes & of course the tiny little cabbages that everyone loves to hate: Brussels sprouts.
There are three main types of cabbage: green, red & Savoy. All of which boast anti-cancer properties due to compounds that are present in cabbage called glucosinolates. In many studies it has been noted that the higher the intake of cruciferous veggies, the lower the rates of cancer, particularly of the colon, prostate, lung & breast. These anti-cancer compounds increase antioxidant strength & improve the body’s ability to eliminate toxins.
Cabbage is high in fiber, rich in chlorophyll, folic acid, potassium & vitamin C. Though red cabbage is higher in vitamins A & C. Once cabbage is cut it begins to lose its vitamin C content however, so avoid buying the preshredded coleslaw bags or halved heads of this veggie.
Fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut like other fermented foods is a great source of probiotics. Raw cabbage juice supports the digestive tract lining as it is high in glutamine and can be used in treating peptic ulcers.
Because cabbage keeps well in cold storage, it is available this time of year when nothing is growing in our cold climate.
Stumped on how to add more cabbage into your life? Try this great recipe from Karina, Gluten Free Goddess:
I usually like my slaw chilled, but during the winter I like to warm it up a bit and melt the cabbage ever so slightly. Not too much. I keep some crunch to it. If you don’t care for Thai inspired chili sauce, you can leave it out. Though the spicy kick it gives this slaw is not overpowering. It’s just a hint.
- 1/2 head of medium cabbage, cored
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen Spicy Chili Sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
Using a large sharp knife, slice the cabbage into thin strips. Rinse in cold water and drain. Wash, trim and grate the carrot.
Toss the cabbage and carrot into a large skillet and set it on low-medium heat. Let the cabbage heat through and soften a bit- about three to four minutes.
Meanwhile make the dressing. In a glass measuring cup whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, maple syrup, chili sauce, lime juice, ginger and sea salt. Pour the dressing all over the cabbage and lightly toss it to coat. I use soft tipped tongs to do this. Heat through another two to three minutes, just till slightly wilted- not overly soft. I like the cabbage tender-crisp.
Remove from heat and scoop the warm slaw into a bowl.
Add the mint and almonds. Toss gently.
This slaw is also lovely with hot cooked rice.