The Cabbage, A Versatile Vegetable


UNITED STATES—In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, this week we pay tribute to the veggie that makes quite a few people cringe: cabbage.  What is it about this extremely heavy, green, leafy vegetable that so many people dislike?  Perhaps it’s the bitter taste.  Cabbage isn’t a vegetable that is easy to push down the throat.  Flavoring the veggie just right is the key.

The great thing about cabbage is its versatility. The vegetable is a great topping for sandwiches, hence, if you pickle it to create sauerkraut and kimchee.  It’s a great addition for hot dogs or that old classic Reuben sandwich.  You know what they say you can’t have a Reuben without sauerkraut.  It also comes in two different colors: green and red.  Red cabbage is used more often in pickling and for stews because of its smooth, soft texture.

I’m not a fan of cooked cabbage, don’t know why, but as a kid it was one vegetable I would not eat under any circumstance.  It’s funny that I discovered as an adult that cabbage is an essential ingredient in coleslaw.  Coleslaw is an all-time favorite summer staple to cool down during the torturous heat waves.

On a nutritional level, cabbage is a high source of vitamin C, fiber and beta-carotene and has been known as the vegetable to help fight off various cancers.  It is a great source of indole-3-carbinol; a chemical that helps repair DNA in cells and halt the growth of cancer cells. Once again like other members of the cabbage family, you want to steer clear of boiling the veggie as it reduces the effect of its carcinogenic properties.

Cooking tip: cabbage has been known to be a staple when cooking corned beef, in honor of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  So to all of our Irish fans and those that celebrate the drinking holiday have a side of cabbage with your corned beef and beer!

By LaDale Andersn