Cabbage comes in a variety of shapes and colors, including red, purple, white, and green. Its leaves can be wrinkled or smooth.
It is also loaded with vitamins K and C and minerals such as potassium and calcium.
Do you know how to grow and process cabbage? You will learn all this in the following article!
Cabbage, a vegetable rich in vitamins K and C
Cabbage, Brassica oleracea in Latin, was most likely domesticated in Europe before 1000 BC. In the Middle Ages, cabbage became an important part of European cuisine.
The most common is smooth-leaf green cabbage with a firm head. The crop grows to a height of up to 60 cm. The heads have an average weight between 0.5 and 4 kg. Most cabbages have thick, alternate leaves, with margins that range from wavy or lobed to highly lobed. The flowers are white or yellow.
There are several entries in the Guinness Book of Records related to cabbage. These include the heaviest cabbage (62.71 kg), the heaviest red cabbage (31.6 kg), the longest cabbage roll (19.54 m) and the largest cabbage roll (2,960 kg).
Why consume cabbage?
Cabbage can be prepared for consumption in many different ways. It can be pickled, fermented, stewed, roasted, sautéed or raw. And why include it in your diet?
It contains many different antioxidants that have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation. A study involving more than 1,000 Chinese women showed that those who ate the highest amount of cabbage had significantly lower levels of inflammation compared to those who ate the least amount.
Cabbage is also essential for vitamin C. Red cabbage, for example, is particularly rich in it, providing about 85% of the RDI per 89 grams.
Thanks to the fiber that this vegetable contains, it maintains a healthy digestive system and promotes regular bowel movements.
Anthocyanins, which are part of cabbage, reduce the risk of heart diseases. And potassium lowers high blood pressure levels.
Raw cabbage is a rich source of vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber. You can see other minerals and vitamins in the table below:
|Nutritional values||Raw cabbage 100 g|
|Vitamin B3||0.234 mg|
|Vitamin C||36.6 mg|
|Vitamin K||76 mcg|
Types of cabbage
There are over 400 varieties of cabbage in the world, we will introduce the four most commonly used and cultivated.
Green cabbage resembles a head of iceberg lettuce. The outer leaves range from dark to light green, while the inner leaves are light green or white.
When raw, its texture is somewhat rubbery and its flavor a little peppery, but once cooked, green cabbage softens and takes on a sweeter flavor.
It can be eaten raw, thinly sliced or cooked.
Red cabbage, more precisely purple cabbage, has smaller heads than green and ripens a little longer.
It is excellent sliced, cooked or as part of coleslaw. Attention, it has a strange blue color when cooked. You can mitigate this effect by adding some acid (vinegar or lemon juice is a common choice) when cooking.
Savoy, a variety of cabbage that comes from Italy. Its leaves are wrinkled, deep green. Savoy is considered the most tender and sweetest type.
The head is less compact due to the wrinkled leaves, but looks similar to green cabbage. It’s the best choice if you’re making stuffed cabbage because the leaves are more flexible and can take longer to cook, but they’re also great in raw coleslaw.
Also called Chinese cabbage. It has a yellow-green elongated head, wrinkled leaves and crunchy, strong stems. It looks a bit like a cross between a romaine lettuce and a light Swiss chard.
This is a milder type of cabbage. It can be eaten raw, cooked or made into Kimchi.
Plant the seeds indoors about 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. When the seedlings are about 7-10 cm tall, plant them outside 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost.
Grow cabbage in soil rich in organic matter that is well-drained. Before planting, prepare your beds by covering them with about 5-7 cm of compost. In areas where the soil is sandy or where there is heavy rain, supplement the soil with nitrogen.
For best results, choose a location that is full of sunlight.
Proper storage after harvest is also important. Cabbage can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks, lightly wrapped in plastic, make sure it is dry before storing. Cabbage can last up to 3 months in the right cellar conditions.
Processing of cabbage
You can steam, stew, fry, boil or blanch cabbage. For example, cooking cabbage is very simple and quick:
- Place the cabbage leaves or chopped cabbage in a large pot and cover halfway with water.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender.
Tip! To blanch, cover with water and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer the finished leaves to cold water to refresh them.
Boiled cabbage is very nutritionally rich. You can see all the nutritional values, minerals and vitamins in the table below:
|Nutritional values||Boiled red cabbage 100 g|
|Vitamin B6||0.207 mg|
|Vitamin C||48.9 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.42 mg|
When you compare these nutritional values with raw red cabbage, we can see that they are not very different from each other. Mainly carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6.
|Nutritional values||Raw red cabbage 100 g|
|Vitamin B6||0.209 mg|
|Vitamin C||57 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.11 mg|
You can add cabbage to a variety of recipes:
- cabbage pancakes – if you don’t know how to make them, get inspired by 5 recipes for delicious cabbage pancakes
- stuffed cabbage leaves
- salads – there are a number of salads to which you can add cabbage, read recipes for salads from fresh and sauerkraut
If you choose cabbage as a side dish for meat, stewed cabbage is the most suitable. For it you will need:
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- ½ head of cabbage
- ½ onion
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of white sugar
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Cut the cabbage and onion into thin slices.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
- Add cabbage and onion.
- Saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add vinegar, sugar, cumin and salt to the cabbage and onion.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender. About 20 to 25 minutes.
- Add a little more butter as needed.
- Braised cabbage is ready!
Kimchi – a traditional Korean dish. These are fermented vegetables, most often cabbage. It has a sour taste.
Sauerkraut – finely chopped raw cabbage that is fermented. It has a long shelf life and a distinct sour taste. It is one of the most famous national dishes in Germany.
Cabbage not only adds good taste to food, but also helps in the treatment of chronic inflammation, heart disease and intestinal problems. So include cabbage in your diet at least once a week, you will soon see its benefits!