- Though it's no replacement for whole grains, cabbage contains fiber needed for healthy digestion.
- One cup of chopped cabbage contains an excellent source of vitamins C and K your body needs for the day, whether it's fresh or cooked. One cup of shredded red cabbage also provides a good source of vitamin A for healthy vision.
As one of our hardiest vegetables, cabbage has quite a reputation. This relative of the wild mustard plant grows well in cold weather, is easy to cultivate, keeps well in the fridge and doesn't cost a lot. It's tasty, filling and nutritious, and makes great soups, salads, 'slaws and other side dishes. No wonder we've been growing it for centuries!
Though it comes in many shapes and sizes, most cabbage that you'll find at the supermarket is of the green, red or Savoy varieties. Green cabbage is perfect for coleslaw, fresh salads and hearty soups. Red cabbage, which looks purplish, is great for pickling or putting into a coleslaw. And the Savoy? This smaller, crinklier variety can be used in winter stews and soups.
How to Choose Cabbage
A good, fresh head of green cabbage will be heavy and firm. The part of the cabbage you'll want to cook with is the whitish “ball” of leaves at the center, so try to pick one that doesn't have too many unfolded green leaves around its edges. Also, avoid cabbages with limp or worm-eaten leaves, as these will just have to be pared away and discarded.
How to Store Cabbage
One the great things about using cabbage is that, as long as you store it whole (preferably in the fridge, in a resealable plastic bag) it will keep for weeks. However, once you've you halved a cabbage and begun to cook with it, it's best to use the whole thing within a few days.
How to Cook with Cabbage
A few things to remember:
- Don't wash a head of cabbage until you're ready to use it. Rinsing its leaves any sooner may cause them to spoil faster.
- Wait to cut a cabbage until you're ready to cook it. That way, it stays fresher and retains much of its vitamin C content.
- Be sure to pare away any unfolded outer leaves, since these may not taste as delicious as the paler, innermost ones.
Cabbage in Recipes
With some cabbage, soy nuts, edamame and cilantro, this Stir-Fry Salad delivers flavor and crunch.
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage makes a great complement to bacon or pork.
And if you'd like to really load a salad with veggies, this recipe for
Triple-Cabbage Slaw uses three varieties at once!