Growing up, I was exposed to cabbage once a year on St. Patrick’s Day. It was pressure cooked along with the corned beef and potatoes, so to say that it was overcooked is an understatement.
My memories of mushy cabbage kept me from eating it more often until I got a lot older. That’s a shame, because when it’s cooked properly, it’s just as good (or better) than it is raw.
Cabbage is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale.
There are many different types of cabbage, but this guide will focus on the following (4) main varieties:
Green cabbage (aka Cannonball). This is the most common variety. It’s referred to as “cannonball” because of its compact, round shape. It has a mild, slightly peppery flavor when raw, but once it’s cooked, the flavor is nice and sweet.
Napa cabbage. This is a Chinese variety. It’s oblong in shape, with frilly greenish yellow leaves and crisp, white stalks. It has a soft texture and sweet flavor.
Red or purple cabbage. This variety is dense and round in shape, with a reddish purple color. The color changes based on the ph level of the soil that it’s grown in, and the flavor is bold and peppery.
Savoy cabbage. This variety is named after the Savoy region of France. It’s round in shape, with crinkly leaves that are yellowish-white with bright green edges. It’s crisp yet soft in texture and mild in flavor.
There are so many impressive health benefits, which makes it surprising that this vegetable is often overlooked.
1 cup raw cabbage contains:
5.2 grams carbohydrates
1 gram protein
2 grams fiber
It’s also an excellent source of Vitamins C, B6 and K, as well as minerals such as folate and manganese. It can also help reduce inflammation and improve digestion.
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