What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cabbage? It’s tasty, versatile, low cost and has a longer shelf life than other veggies. Grab a head on your next shopping trip!

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?

You may have noticed that I have a lot of recipes on this site that use cabbage and there’s a very good reason for that.  I love cabbage.

The flavor of raw cabbage is strong and slightly bitter, which accounts for the tendency to serve it with dressing and accompaniments that are slightly sweet.  When cabbage is cooked, it becomes much milder and tends to blend with whatever items it’s cooked with.

This brings us to its versatility.  Cabbage can be eaten cooked or raw, hot or cold.  Shred it, chop it, boil it, fry it, braise it, roast it.  Cut it into steaks and throw it on the grill.  Wrap it around some ground meat and rice to make cabbage rolls.  The possibilities are endless.  Seriously.

Then there’s the low cost. Cabbage is second only to potatoes in terms of price per edible cup.  In today’s economy, we’re all looking to stretch a dollar as far as we can and cabbage can certainly help with that!  Maybe this is why the term cabbage sometimes refers to money!

Wait…did I mention that cabbage can last up to 2 months in your refrigerator? 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Cabbage?

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Cabbage?

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable.  This type of vegetable has long been known for its health benefits, including cancer prevention, protection from radiation therapy, heart health as well as improving immunity and digestion.

It has powerful levels of vitamin K, magnesium, folate and beta-carotene, to just name a few.

At 17 calories and 4 carbohydrates per cooked half-cup (one cup raw), cabbage is a valuable part of a low calorie and low carb diet!

What About Fermented Cabbage?

What About Fermented Cabbage?
What About Fermented Cabbage?

Fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut as it is more commonly known, is a way to preserve cabbage by simply combining it with salt.  It then ferments at room temperature for 2-4 weeks, resulting in a salty and sour treat that will keep for up to a year in your fridge.

Not only does it taste great, but it also has good bacteria and provides probiotics, which are great for gut health and digestion.  Click here for step-by-step instructions to make your own sauerkraut right at home!

A similar method for preserving cabbage is to pickle it.  While it doesn’t last as long as sauerkraut, you can store it in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.

To make pickled cabbage shed enough cabbage to pack tightly into a quart-sized canning jar.  Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar and 1 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring it to a boil, stirring to melt the sugar.  Pour liquid into the jar to cover the cabbage completely.  Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours before using.

Feel free to mix up this pickled recipe however you want to by adding additional veggies (I add onions) and/or using a different kind of vinegar.  You can also add more sugar if you prefer a “sweet and tart” version.  

What’s The Difference Between Red And Green Cabbage?

What’s The Difference Between Red And Green Cabbage?
What’s The Difference Between Red And Green Cabbage?

While there are lots of different kinds of cabbage, the most common types are the cannonball cabbage, better known as green cabbage and the red cabbage, also known as purple cabbage.

Some people feel that the red variety is sweeter and is more tender when cooked but I find the flavor and texture (cooked or uncooked) to be virtually interchangeable.

Both red and green cabbage are good for you but red cabbage packs a more powerful nutritional profile and more overall antioxidants.

I think the biggest difference between the two is the appearance, both raw and cooked.  For example, I like the look of red cabbage in this colorful and creamy broccoli coleslaw, as it contrasts nicely with the green broccoli and brown raisins.

On the other hand, I prefer the green variety to make andouille sausage with fried cabbage.  The cabbage, paired with multi-colored peppers and sausage results in a visually pleasing color palette.

What Are The Best Ways To Cook Cabbage?

What Are The Best Ways To Cook Cabbage?
What Are The Best Ways To Cook Cabbage?

I’m glad you asked!  Cabbage is incredibly versatile, as I mentioned before.  I’ve found that different types of cabbage can be used interchangeably in many recipes.

When I made homemade Chinese dumplings, it called for ½ of a head each of green and Napa cabbage.  That left me with, you guessed it, ½ of a head each of green and Napa cabbage to use up after I was done.

I used the leftover Napa to make this Chinese chicken cabbage soup (no relation to the cabbage soup diet!) but I have also used regular green cabbage in the soup with good results.

I then made meatballs and cabbage using the remaining green cabbage and some meatballs I had in my freezer.  I have also replaced the bean sprouts in crispy vegetable spring rolls with green cabbage because that’s what I had on hand at the time.

Go ahead and search “cabbage” on this website and see if anything looks good to you!

This Is How The Cow Eats The Cabbage

This Is How The Cow Eats The Cabbage
This Is How The Cow Eats The Cabbage

So, here it is.  All the reasons I love cabbage.  If I could write a song about it, I would.

What’s your take?  Do you like cabbage?  What’s your favorite way to eat it?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

All My Best,

Cynthia
cynthia@cynthiaeats.com

 

Homemade Chinese Dumplings

Another authentic recipe from Yuhong’s Country Kitchen! These homemade Chinese dumplings can be prepared simmered, pan-fried or in an air fryer.

Homemade Chinese Dumplings
(Courtesy Yuhong Sun)

 

½ head green cabbage

½ head napa cabbage

8 green onions

1 oz ginger (4” knob, ¼ cup)

1 lb ground pork

2 eggs

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp red wine

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

100 dumpling wrappers

 

Dipping Sauce (per serving)*

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Chinese vinegar

1 tsp crushed ginger

1 tsp chili sauce

1½ tsp sugar

1½ tsp sesame oil

 

Finely chop the cabbages and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and set aside. The salt will draw liquid out of the cabbage. Only a small amount of salt is needed.

Finely chop green onion and ginger. Set aside.

Place ground pork, eggs and ginger into a bowl and mix for 2 minutes.

Using your hands or cheesecloth, squeeze water out of cabbage and place into a clean bowl. Add green onions, pork mixture, sesame oil, red wine, soy sauce and olive oil. Mix together well.

Take one dumpling wrapper and place one tbsp filling in the center. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water and seal completely. The amount of filling and shape you fold it in is less important than ensuring that the edges are completely sealed so the filling doesn’t leak out. Continue until all the filling is gone.**  For more in-depth instruction on rolling and pleating dumplings, check out this video!

Put a large pot of water on the stove and heat to boiling. While the water is heating, assemble the dipping sauce.

When water comes to a full boil, add about 20 dumplings. Bring water back to a full boil and add enough cold water to bring the pot down to a gentle boil. Cover pot and cook dumplings until they float to the top of the water, about 3-4 minutes. Continue adding cold water as necessary throughout cooking to keep water at a gentle boil.

Remove dumplings from water with a slotted spoon and serve with dipping sauce.

If preferred, dumplings can be cooked in an air fryer for 6 minutes instead of boiling them. Coat with cooking spray and air fry for 6 minutes. Allow a longer time for frozen dumplings.

*Because of the thin consistency of the dipping sauce, it’s often made in small bowls for each individual person or to share between two or three people.

**Dumplings are often served at gatherings and are traditionally assembled jointly by the group or family that are going to eat them. Try experimenting with different shapes and have fun putting them together with your guests!

 

10 servings, 270 calories per serving

Hack: Cooked or uncooked dumplings can be frozen for up to 3 months. Lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet, making sure the edges are not touching, and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen, package in freezer bags or containers for storage. Add 2 extra minutes to cooking time. As with fresh, frozen boiled dumplings are ready when they float to the top of the water.

Hack: Ask the produce clerk to cut a head of cabbage into wedges so you’ll only have to buy what you need. They’ll wrap the leftover pieces and put it back on the shelf for sale.

Hack: Leftover cabbage can be used to make this andouille and fried cabbage recipe or Chinese Chicken Cabbage Soup!

Hack: Hack: Do you know that you can freeze fresh ginger root? Grating it in it’s frozen state is easier than grating it fresh and, if you choose organic ginger, you don’t have to peel it! Simply place in a sealed freezer bag or container and pop it in the freezer.

Hack: Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.

Hack:  For instructional videos for making traditional Chinese cuisine, visit Yuhong’s Country Kitchen on YouTube!

 

 

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