The botanical name for cabbage is Brassica oleracea capitata.
The English name cabbage comes from the French word caboche, meaning
head, referring to its round form. Other vegetables related to the
cabbage include Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and
Cabbage has been cultivated for more than 4,000 years and has been
domesticated for over 2,500 years. Though many people connect cabbage
to the Irish, the Celts brought cabbage to Europe from Asia around 600
B.C. Early cabbage was not like the full-bodied head grown today, but
instead was more of a loose-leaf variety. Northern European farmers
developed the head variety in the Middle Ages. French navigator Jacques
Cartier brought cabbage to the Americas in 1536.
Cabbage contains isothiocynates that
breakdown into smelly sulfur compounds when cooked. The longer the
cabbage is cooked, the stronger the smell becomes. Aluminum pans also
increase the reaction. The solution to smelly cooked cabbage then is a
short cooking time in stainless steel pots and pans. Cook the
vegetable, uncovered, in enough water to cover the vegetable. To keep
the cooking time brief, boil the water before adding the cabbage and
cook just until tender. Another option is to microwave the vegetable.
Cut the cabbage in to wedges, sprinkle with water, and cook just until
tender. Or to eliminate cooking altogether, enjoy cabbage in a salad
One medium head of cabbage is equivalent to 2
pounds of cabbage or 4 servings. One pound of raw cabbage is equivalent
to 2 cups cooked.
Cabbage is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family and may reduce
the risk of some cancers including colorectal cancers. Nutritionally,
cabbage is high in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and fiber.
Unfortunately, some people don't benefit from eating cabbage because
they see it as an unpleasant vegetable with a bad odor. However, the
cook, not the cabbage should be blamed for this problem.
Nutritional Information (per half cup cooked green cabbage): 16 calories, 3.6 mg carbohydrate, 2.9 g fiber, 18.2 mg Vitamin C.
All varieties of cabbage are available all year round. When selecting
cabbage for purchase look for large, compact heads that are heavy for
their size. Choose those with tender green leaves showing no signs of
damage or insect nibbles.
At home, store the whole head of cabbage in a
plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week. Fresh cabbage from
the garden will last up to two weeks. The older the cabbage gets
though, the stronger the flavor and odor will be. Once the head is cut,
the cabbage will lose its freshness so plan to use within a day. If the
cabbage was fairly fresh when cut, the unused portion should last a
couple days longer if put in a plastic bag and a couple drops of water
are put on the cut side.
Cabbage is a hardy vegetable that grows well in fertile soil and takes only three months to grow.
There are various shades of green
cabbages available as well as red and purple varieties. Green cabbage
is grown more often than the red or Savory varieties but red is being
used more often for color in salads and cooked dishes. Savory
varieties, which are dark green in color, are grown for salads and slaw.
Spring Vegetable Soup
* 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
* ¼ medium head red cabbage (about 2 cups), finely shredded
* 2 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
* ½ cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
* 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
* 2 ½ cups low-sodium tomato or vegetable juice
* 1 cup water
* 2 tsp. dried basil
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute cabbage, tomatoes,
artichoke hearts and peas for 10 minutes. Add tomato juice and water.
Bring to boil. Reduce heat, add basil and simmer for 10 minutes, or
until all vegetables are tender and soup is piping hot. Serve in
individual serving bowls. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Nutritional Information (per serving): 120 calories, 4 grams fat, 5
grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 200 mg sodium.
Makes 4 servings
fresh from Florida
Michihili Chinese Cabbage Seeds