See also: Cabbage Trivia; Cabbage Quotes
Cabbage, one of the oldest vegetables, continues to be a dietary staple and an inexpensive food. It is easy to grow, tolerates the cold, and keeps well. Cabbage is rich in Vitamin C (an antioxidant) and fiber and is also a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. People who frequently eat cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables may help reduce their risk of certain cancers such as colon and rectal cancer.
Look for solid, heavy heads of cabbage. Avoid cabbage that has discolored veins or worm damage. Do not buy precut cabbage, the leaves may have already lost their vitamin C. Look for stems that are healthy looking, closely trimmed, and are not dry or split.
Keep cabbage cold. This helps it retain its vitamin C content. Place the whole head of cabbage in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Once the head has been cut, place the remainder in plastic bags and place in the refrigerator. Try to use the remaining cabbage in the next day or two.
Do not wash cabbage until you are ready to use it. Avoid slicing or shredding cabbage in advance. This will cause it to lose some of its vitamin C content. If you must prepare it an hour or more in advance before cooking, place it in a plastic bag, seal tightly, and refrigerate.
There are at least a hundred different types of cabbage grown throughout the world, but the most common types in the United States are the Green, Red, and Savoy varieties. Chinese varieties are also available. The two most common types of Chinese cabbage are Bok Choy and Napa cabbage. Chinese cabbage cooks in less time than standard U.S. types, but can be prepared in the same ways. Cabbage can be steamed, boiled, braised, microwaved, stuffed, or stir-fried.
Make Cabbage Part of Your 5 A Day Plan
* Cut up fresh cabbage, sprinkle it with lemon and enjoy it as a midday snack.
* Cabbage is delicious with your favorite tossed salad or pasta dish.
* Also, try adding cabbage to vegetable soup.