Already in ancient Russia cabbage was known as an important source of vitamins during long cold winters. Cabbage was first mentioned in Russian chronicles in 1073. After the Romans introduced cabbage to Russia it was rapidly adopted across the country. No wonder as this vegetable likes cold weather and keeps well for months if stored in cool, frost-free places.
Today the Russians still enjoy cabbage in many different variations. As sauerkraut, in soups or just sautéed – it is just impossible to think of the Russian cuisine without cabbage.
Cabbage is an excellent source of dietary fiber that fills the stomach and lessens hunger pangs. It aids digestion and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Cabbage is also rich in vitamins A, B, C and K as well as in minerals such as potassium (important for heart muscles), calcium (maintains strong bones and teeth), phosphorus, magnesium (regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus), iron and manganese.
Cabbage was assumed to be healthy for a long time. Recent research has suggested that cabbage and sauerkraut consumption may reduce the risk of cancer. US scientists found out that cabbage may also protect against breast cancer. A big German health insurance DAK announced that different cabbages protect against cold as they boost the immune system and play an important role in maintaining the body’s defense mechanism.
When buying cabbage choose firm heads with fresh crisp leaves and a fresh cut. Outer leaves should not be limp, dry or show any sings of browning.
If stored in a cool, dark and dry place, cabbage can stay fresh for a month.
100 g of cabbage contain only about 30 calories.
- Don’t overcook cabbage, as this destroys vitamins.
- Add some vinegar to the cooking water to reduce cabbage smell.
- Add some caraway while cooking cabbage.
- Leave shredded cabbage in cold salted water for about an hour. Drain and cook. Caution: this leads to loss of water-soluble vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and potassium.
- Drink fennel tea.