Besides looking amazing when you cut into this piece of art, it also does many beautiful things for your body. Red cabbage wins for appearance and benefits and thus, has become our favorite to play with in the kitchen.
To review it's profile, red cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable with a low glycemic load that's low in saturated fat and cholesterol, a good source of: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium; and a great source of: dietary fiber, Vitamins A, C, K, and B6, Potassium, and Manganese. That's a lot of good stuff for your body! It has more Vitamin C than oranges, and Vitamin C as you may know is very helpful in regulating the immune system. It's even made of 11% protein content for those wondering where vegans and plant based eaters get their protein from (it's everywhere!).
It's been reported that red cabbage has the most bang for the buck when looking at serving size and antioxidant levels. The combination of high Vitamin C and polyphenols surpass blueberries and acai berries, although those might be easier to throw into a smoothie.
The phytonutrients found in red cabbage help fight inflammation which makes it great for those with chronic inflammatory conditions and arthritis related flare ups. This red veggie also has anthocyanins, unlike it's green counterpart, that can protect us against certain types of memory loss and disease processes. Anthocyanins contain both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Compared to green cabbage, it also has more Vitamin C, ten times more Vitamin A, and twice as much Vitamin K and iron.
For those who don't yet know, the preparation methods of your fruits and veggies can change its nutrient content! This vegetable is best left alone and eaten raw. Cooking with any method will decrease its overall nutrition and anthocyanin capacity. If you need to cook it, steaming methods are shown to help retain the antioxidant and Vitamin C levels of the cabbage.
Never used red cabbage before and have no idea what to do with it? If you're keeping it real and keeping it raw, slaw is the way to go. Slice it up thin with some carrots and red onions and sprinkle some seasoning on top. You can use it on top of tacos, rice, beans, soup; anything really. Sometimes we throw a little coco aminos on top for a bit of flavor and use that as a topping for a variety of dishes. Although as mentioned before, cooking can decrease some of the nutrient value, if you need more variety, throwing this into a roast for tacos (butternut squash, red onion, and red cabbage) or shredding it as one of the ingredients for a veggie lasagna is still a delicious option.
Fermenting red cabbage into a kraut can also be a healthy option for gut health. Fermentation can also increase the amount of Vitamin A and C available from the cabbage. Cabbage can naturally ferment into sauerkraut as its leaves collect lactobacillus (a good bacteria for our gut) out of the air and soil. When you add salt to the leaves, the cell walls break down and release water. The lactobacillus will ferment the cabbage once in this water and will make it easier for our systems to digest and take in the nutrients you've eaten.
When you purchase this, be sure to have a few ideas ready for the week. You'll be able to use the one head of cabbage for a few recipes at least!
Explore and enjoy!