Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cabbage 101

The Cabbage plant is a leafy biennial cruciferous vegetable of the Brassicaceae family. It is closely related to Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and Bok Choy. It descends from wild Cabbage with origins in Europe. Cabbage is thought to have been domesticated before 1000 BC. Cabbage heads range from 1 to 9 pounds and the leaves can be green, purple or white. They can be smooth leafed or crinkled leaf like the Savoy Cabbage. There are several cultivars of Cabbage including Chinese Cabbage -- Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage. For more information on different Cabbage varietals click here.  Cabbage thrives in cool weather and is in season from January to March and September to December. The worldwide productions of Cabbage reached 69 million metric tons in 2011. The largest consumers of Cabbage per capita are Russia followed by Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and the United States. For more information about Cabbage click here and some learn some fun facts here.

To Store

Refrigerate Cabbage in the crisper in a perforated bag. Keep it whole as it will begin to lose its Vitamin C. If stored properly, Cabbage can last up to or more than two weeks. For more details on how to store Cabbage click here.  

To Nourish

Cabbage has antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits. It is known to have cancer prevention benefits and supports the digestive track. Cabbage also supports the cardiovascular system as it lowers cholesterol. It is a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C and B6 as well as Manganese and Fiber. To learn more about the health benefits of Cabbage click here.  
To Prepare
Cabbage can be eaten raw in salads like coleslaw. It can be pickled and fermented, as in sauerkraut. Cabbage can also be steamed, boiled, stewed, sauteed and braised. Check out some creative ideas on how to use cabbage from Bon Appetit
To Try 

Savoy and Rutabaga Slaw 
Dad’s Red Cabbage 
Sweet and Sour Cabbage 
Seven Vegetable CousCous 

To Use
Whether you're cooking for a smaller family or looking for an easy way to prepare side dishes, the compact All-Clad 4-Qt. Slow Cooker with Ceramic Insert will save you time in the kitchen. It couldn’t be simpler to operate – just add ingredients to the ceramic insert, set the timer, and let the machine do the rest. When you're ready to dine, the insert goes right to the table for serving. ($149.95, Williams-Sonoma)