Veggie Focus on the humble CABBAGE

Red and Green cabbage

Choose Cabbage if you are on a budget!

Red and Green Cabbage
Red and Green Cabbage. Red are more nutritious!

Cabbage has surprisingly high nutritional value!  It is high in Potassium (can help lower high blood pressure).  It is low in kilojoules so is great for those watching their weight.

It is highly versatile in cooking, salads and for fermenting.

Very common (easy to find) and easy to grow.

High in Anthocyanins (natural anti-oxidants), reducing inflammation. The more colourful (pink, purple, yellow or green) the more anti-oxidants than the pale green variety.

High in naturally occurring Vitamin C (naturally found Vitamin C in plants, works better in our bodies than supplemental C which is made synthetically – I always prefer to use a food rather than a supplement). Vitamin C is required for keeping our Immune System working well, it helps you absorb the Heme Iron from animal protein and is required to make collagen in our bodies.

Also cabbage is high in Vitamin K which is known for helping to keep your bones strong and your blood clotting well when we accidentally cut ourselves.

The insoluble Fibre provides the right food for the Gut bacteria (necessary to produce some essential nutrients, keeps you feeling satisfied and helps to keep your bowels healthy.  

Cabbage improves your Digestion due to the plant sterols (phytosterols) and fibre and also keeps your bowel movements nice and regular. Eating a little bit of fermented sauerkraut or kimchi daily can do wonders (remember to start very small at first, as your gut gets used to the new influx of healthy bacteria being made!

A word of caution: Eating too much cabbage has been seen to induce diarrhoea, wind or bloating if you are not used to having it regularly.

Types of Cabbage available.  The vegetable Brassica Oleracea species includes Green Broccoli, Purple Broccoli, Bok Choy, Brussel Sprouts, Savoy Cabbage, Green Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi and Kale.

Ensure you get plenty of variety when buying your Brassica vegetables, as the more diverse your selection of vegetables, the healthier you will be.  You are not doing the body any favours by buying the same vegetables each week.  Try a new one!! Experimenting with a new veggie can be a challenge, but could become a new favourite!

A very easy recipe for Sauerkraut is finely sliced Chinese Cabbage (Red or Green) and salt. I prefer to use Red Chinese cabbage as it has more anthocyanins (anti-oxidants). The amount of salt to add per whole cabbage is about 1 and a half tablespoons of ground course Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt. Massage salt into the finely sliced cabbage with clean hands and leave to ferment for a day or two, covering the large bowl with a tea towel. Water will be drawn out of the cabbage and will accumulate in the bottom of your bowl. Save this cabbage water to help keep the cabbage covered once in the glass jar. Transfer your fermented red cabbage to a clean glass container with a lid. Add a saved whole cabbage leaf (folded) to the top to keep the sauerkraut securely underneath the brine. add the brine (salty water) from the fermenting process. Put your lid on loosely, so that air can escape. Be sure to pop a small plate underneath the jar after putting in the fridge, to catch any overflow. You can experiment with subsequent batches by adding any of the following vegetables, which can add a slightly different flavour and adds interest when stored in a glass jar – radish, turnip, carrot, beetroot, capsicum, kohlrabi, Jerusalem artichoke, onion, leek, shallot, garlic, or seaweed. Other herbs and spices to add are caraway seeds, turmeric, ginger, juniper berries, dill, or hot peppers. Enjoy a small amount your home-made pink sauerkraut daily with a summer salad!

Red Chinese Cabbage
Red Chinese Cabbage is great for making Sauerkraut and looks so pretty.

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