Texas cabbage

Like most unsung heroes, cabbage has long been underestimated. Fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut, was eaten by sailors in the 17th and 18th centuries to prevent scurvy on long voyages. Romans and Egyptians also heralded the medicinal properties of cabbage, using it to dress battle wounds.

Benefits of Cabbage

Through the miracle of modern medicine, scurvy is no longer the scourge of the sea, and we prefer to wrap our injuries in gauze, rather than leafy greens. Despite this, cabbage still offers many nutritional advantages.

  • As a cold-weather crop, this vegetable is an ideal way to get the vitamin C your body needs to boost its immune system this winter.
  • Digestive fiber helps keep you running efficiently, while detoxifying your system.
  • Sulforaphane, a chemical found in cabbage, broccoli and other related vegetables, reduces the risk of rectal, prostate, breast, lung, stomach and colon cancer.
  • Cabbage is, as the Romans suspected, an anti-inflammatory. It can be applied to scrapes, cuts or scars to alleviate pain and infection.

Cabbage Production

These succulent spheres are best from late fall to early spring, and are the perfect addition to any winter meal.

  • Cabbage can be grown in all 50 states, but flourishes in New York, California, Texas and Wisconsin.Cabbage can be started from seed indoors and transplanted in early spring, or planted from seeds for fall.
  • Seeds should be placed 15 to 18 inches apart and fertilized.
  • Cabbage prefers moist, but not soggy conditions.
  • It can take 70 to 100 days for a full head of cabbage to develop.
  • Harvest cabbage when the head is completely firm.
  • Avoid picking split or damaged heads.
  • To harvest, cut the stalk at the lowest point possible, leaving the outer leaves intact.
  • Raw cabbage can be refrigerated in plastic wrap or tupperware for weeks.
  • To store for months, blanch cabbage in boiling water and place in airtight plastic bag in the freezer.
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Choosing Cabbage

While there are many different shapes, colors and sizes, there are a few common cabbage varieties grown in the U.S.

Varieties:

  • Green – Smooth, green leaves
  • Red – Smooth reddish leaves, has a high level of vitamins A and C
  • Savoy – Crinkled, dark leaves

Cabbage Preparation

Throughout history, cabbage has been a staple for many different cultures. There are numerous ways to prepare this versatile vegetable.

  • Roast, sauté, boil, steam or even fry your cabbage.
  • Cabbage can be fermented into sauerkraut or shredded for cole slaw.
  • For a nice crunch, add cabbage as a garnish.
  • Avoid over cooking, lest you destroy the numerous health benefits of eating cabbage.

SEE MORE: What’s in Season: Spinach

Cabbage can be used in fresh, crisp recipes or in dishes that warm your soul. Try cabbage in these delicious recipes!

Recipes:

Crunchy Cabbage Peanut Slaw

Garden Vegetable Soup

Napa Cabbage Salad

Mostly Mu Shu Pork

Korean Pork Sliders

 

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