Season for Green Cabbage: October - February
Green Cabbage Described
Cabbage is round and dense and not surprisingly comes from the French word for head, caboche. Its superimposed layers of leaves are green on the outside but the inside layers which are protected from the sun are lighter in color. This green leafy vegetable from the Brassicaceae family of cruciferous vegetables is inexpensive and hefty - yielding 8 cups when shredded from a single head - while also being high in nutrients, making it a star contender for cooks all over the world. Coleslaw anyone?
How to Buy and Store Green Cabbage
Buy your cabbage by the head, as once cut, cabbage begins to lose its vitamin C content. In that vein, store it whole as well, only cutting when you are ready to use it. Choose cabbage heads that are firm, dense and heavy with shiny, crisp, healthy-looking leaves free from damage. Cabbage will stay good in the coldest section of your refrigerator wrapped in cellophane, 1-2 weeks.
How to Cook Green Cabbage
The way you prepare your cabbage can be essential, nutritionally speaking. Short steaming is far superior to microwaving for preserving the cancer-fighting activity found in cabbage. A quick saute in vegetable broth will help you maintain the most nutrients while imparting great flavor. Cabbage can also be simply and deliciously prepared by first quartering it, removing the core, thinly slicing it and tossing with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper: a delicious salad! Sauerkraut is also a particularly healthful way of preparing cabbage and Wild Fermentation has an awesome recipe.
Health Benefits of Green Cabbage
You've no doubt heard of the Cabbage Soup Diet. While we certainly don't endorse it, we can see that the detox effects of cabbage and it's low calorie content might be the basis for such a diet. The vitamin C and sulphur in cabbage are thought to purify the blood and remove toxins. Cabbage is also unique for it rich supply of glucosinolates. These phytonutrients can be converted by the body into isothiocyanates that have special detoxification and anti-cancer properties.
Why Buy Natural and Organic Green Cabbage
According to the Environmental Working Group, cabbage is among the safer vegetables when eaten inorganically. Reason being, it doesn't require loads of pesticides to be grown, even conventionally. That said, unless you purchase it organically, you won't know what and how much has been sprayed onto the vegetable. Peeling off the outer layers is always a good idea, but never fool proof. If the soil has been fumigated with chemicals and pesticides the roots can absorb the chemicals and can be found on the inside of the vegetable, so washing and peeling is never fool proof.