Cabbage is often an underrated vegetable even though it is quite versatile and is a nutritional powerhouse. Cabbage Salad is a delicious side dish that is inexpensive and packed with nutrients. This Cabbage Salad with Apple and Leeks is a simple and tasty way to use cabbage for a nutrient dense side dish.
Green cabbage looks somewhat like lettuce, but is actually a cruciferous vegetable, part of the Brassica family, Other cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, arugula, bok choy, horseradish and radish. Ideally cruciferous vegetables should be eaten every day. Cruciferous vegetables can be enjoyed in stews, soups, or salads, like: Spicy Squash and Sweet Potato Stew; Mushroom and Bok Choy Soup; Roasted Garlic, Cauliflower and Bean Soup; Quinoa, Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad; Kale Salad with Roasted Beets, Fennel and Red Onion; or this simple Cabbage Salad with Apples and Leeks.
Cabbage lasts much longer in the fridge than leafy greens. Store cabbage in the crisper drawer in the fridge. Keep outer leaves on the cabbage until it’s time to use it. It’ll keep in the crisper drawer for about a month.
Ways to cook cabbage
Cabbage can be grilled, steamed, fried, braised, roasted, sautéed, or stuffed. Overcooking cabbage is what leads to the unpleasant aroma people often associate with cabbage.
Nutritional benefits of cabbage
- Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- According to research, eating more cruciferous vegetables reduces certain blood markers of inflammation.
- Cruciferous vegetables area rich source of glucosinolates, specifically indole-3-carbinol, isothiocyanates, di-indolmethane and sulphoraphane, which help to reduce cancer.
- Indole-3-carbinol in cruciferous vegetables is anti-estrogenic, suppressing proliferation of estrogen related cancers.
- Red cabbage is rich in anthocyanins, which have been shown to be preventive against cardiovascular disease.
- Cabbage is a good source of potassium. Increasing consumption of potassium rich natural foods has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
- Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant, is necessary for collagen synthesis and combats the adverse effect of free radicals that can cause oxidative damage.
What about gas and bloating?
Gas and bloating can occur for a couple of reasons. Cabbage contains a lot of fiber, which ferments in the large intestine, causing gas. Like beans and grains, cabbage contains oligosaccharides (sugar molecules) that gut bacteria feed on and produce nitrogen gas, which causes flatulence.
Gas and bloating can be reduced significantly by beginning with smaller portions and gradually increasing serving size over time. Having said that, you’ll want to dive right into this Cabbage Salad with Apples and Leeks.
Cabbage Salad with Apples and Leeks
- 4 cups shredded red cabbage
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 carrot
- 1 apple
- 1 leek
- ½ cup raisins
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shred cabbage, carrots and apple using a food processor, mandolin, or with a knife. Wash and slice leek. Add shredded cabbage, carrot, apple and raisins to large bowl.
- Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss.