In order to properly introduce you to my good friend… the purple cabbage, I want to take you on the journey from farm to plate.
THE JOURNEY OF RED CABBAGE
This just in, cabbages are apparently NOT the source of children. They are however the source of many vitamins and other digestion boosting properties, straight from the farm. Red cabbage, also known as purple cabbage or red kraut can be found throughout the United States and all other parts of the world and the best part, cabbage is in season…!
The richer the purple, the higher the concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, the protective phytonutrient boosters found in purple cabbage. So look for the most vibrant, heavy cabbage with healthy, crisp leaves and do your best to stay away from heads with cracks, bruises, and blemishes. Always try to buy the head whole since it loses Vitamin C once cut.
The entire head can be kept in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Partial heads can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To play with your cabbage in the kitchen, remove the thick outer leaves and discard. Then cut the cabbage into pieces and wash under cool, running water. Worms or other insects are easily taken care of with a 15-20 minute soak in vinegar water followed by a quick rinse and you’re good to go. If you want smaller pieces, quarter and remove the core. Then slice, grate, or shred to your hearts content.
- BOIL [large pot] for 5 min. in salted water + 1 tsp vinegar
- SAUTÉ [skillet] for 10 min. with cooking oil
- ROAST [oven] at 375° for 40 min. drizzled with cooking oil + lemon juice + sea salt & pepper
- BRAISE [skillet] for 30 min. with broth
- OR… enjoy RAW in a salad or slaw
Here are 10 simple ways to savor cabbage:
- savory lentil stuffed cabbage rolls
- braised red cabbage topped with walnuts for a delightful crunch
- quick roasted cabbage with lemon and garlic
- warming red cabbage soup
- sweet Asian slaw with quinoa
- nutritious fall superfood salad
- gut supporting apple ginger sauerkraut with oranges
- quick and simple veggie scramble
- healthy red cabbage and Brussels sprouts pizza
- healing digestive elixir
You are what you DIGEST and it just so happens that cabbage is a digestion boosting POWERHOUSE. Better yet, when cultured, cabbage bursts at the seams with probiotics providing the GI with “warriors” ready to fight infection + invasion.
Essential to gut health is the amino acid, L-Glutamine. As a primary nutrient for the intestinal cell lining, L-glutamine helps to repair and heal the lining of the gut leading to- you guessed it. Better digestion and food absorption. Red cabbage holds one of the highest sources of this special healer. (1)
Probiotic foods fortify your gut with the good bacteria your digestive system craves. Enter, red cabbage, from sauerkraut to kimchi, the traditional Korean fermented food, vegetable probiotics use probiotic lactic acid bacteria created during the ferment to boost the probiotic punch of these cabbage creations and replenish the gut with good bacteria. The benefits of kimchi may even include anticancer properties, anti-obesity benefits, constipation relief, colorectal health promotion, cholesterol reduction, fibrinolytic effect, antioxidative and anti-aging properties, brain health promotion, immune promotion, and skin health promotion. (2) Talk about a wonder food.
NUTRITION IN A NUTSHELL
1 CUP [chopped]=
- 27.5 CALORIES
- 2.27 G PROTEIN
- 10.41 G CARBOHYDRATE
- 3.9 G DIETARY FIBER
- 0.14 G FAT
- EXCELLENT SOURCE OF:
o VITAMIN K- anti-inflammatory
o VITAMIN A- vision + immune support
o VITAMIN C- antioxidant
o POTASSIUM- Regulates blood pressure + promotes fluid balance