Ingredient Profile: Cabbage


Cabbage, for me, means winter. It is such a sturdy vegetable; it survives cold winters. When you eat cabbage while in season, everything that protects cabbage against cold works for you exactly the same way. That’s what we call seasonal eating.

Types of Cabbage
The most common types of cabbage are:
• Green cabbage
• Red cabbage
• Savoy cabbage
• Chinese cabbage (also known as Napa cabbage)

What to look for when selecting cabbage
Well, that depends on the type of cabbage:

Red or Green Cabbage
For red or green cabbage, choose cabbage heads that are firm and heavy for their size. Avoid cabbages with yellow outer leaves or a light, leathery feel which means they are not fresh.

Savoy or Chinese Cabbage
If you are buying Savoy or Chinese cabbage, they should be squeezable but crisp. Look for ones without any blemishes.

How to store
Store cabbage in a refrigerator or cool place. It’ll keep for no more than 7-10 days. Use soft-head cabbages within a few days, though.

How to prepare
Whatever you will do cabbage, first wash and trim the wilted outer leaves. Shredding is the most common way of preparing it in Western cuisine. However, I personally prefer to chop it finely instead.

Where to use
Cabbage is such a versatile vegetable. It may be boiled, steamed, pickled, sautéed or even baked. Other suggestions:
Salads: Cabbage can be used raw in salads as in coleslaw, either shredded or finely chopped. Red cabbage salad is quite popular in Turkish cuisine.
Stir-Fries: Thinly sliced cabbage is a good addition to Asian stir-fries.
Stuffed Cabbage: Some recipes call for the whole leaves to be parboiled (until just tender) and wrapped around a fitting as in stuffed cabbage from Turkish cuisine.
Sauerkraut: It is another raw product made from cabbages. Sauerkraut is excellent for cleansing and rejuvenating the digestive tract and improving the good bacteria at the same time.
Side Dish as in Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage recipe from Jewish cuisine.
Juicing: Cabbage leaves are used in vegetable juices especially for skin beautifying and liver detoxing properties.

Cabbage is a real powerhouse when it comes to its nutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C which is more than oranges. The outer leaves are concentrated in vitamin E and their calcium content is higher than the inner leaves. The healing properties of cabbage comes from its sulphur content which is known to destroy parasites and purifies the blood.

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