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Cabbage

An Introduction to Cabbage
The word cabbage (botanically brassica oleracea, capitata group) refers to several leafy garden plants of the Mediterranean origin. These small plants have a short stem and a globular head of tightly overlapping green to purplish leaves. This cold seasoned crop is a member of the mustard family which also includes vegetables like collards, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale. All members of the family differ in shapes and colour. Some are flat or round, while some are conical. As far as their heads are concerned they are compact or loose.

The word 'cabbage' originates from the French word caboche, a colloquial term for "head". The Scots

termed its stalk as castock, and the British call its head a loaf. It can be cooked in a variety of ways or eaten raw, as in slaw.

As the cabbage plant grows, its leaves increase in number, forming a ball-shaped "head" at the center of the plant. This cruciferous vegetable contains higher concentrations of Vitamin C, minerals, and dietary fiber.

 

Cabbage Plant
Cabbage is one of the most widely cultivated vegetables of the temperate zone. This cold climate vegetable is known for its ball-shaped "head" which is eaten in both the raw and cooked form. Cabbage plants grow in a rosette near the ground or on a short stalk. As we discussed earlier, cabbages differ in their physical appearances. Their leaves can range from smooth to crinkled, green to red.

Broadly speaking, cabbage varieties come in two groups, early and late. The early varieties mature in about 45 days; whereas the period of maturity is about 87 days for the late varieties.

 

Nutritional Value / Health Benefits
Cabbage, the leafy vegetable is a rich source of vitamins, fiber and minerals. Dietitians regarded as a wholesome tonic for maintaining optimum health. Besides being an excellent source of the Vitamin C, it also contains rich proportion of glutamine, an amino acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It is a source of indol-3-carbinol, or I3C, a compound used as an adjuvent therapy for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a disease of the head and neck caused by human papillomavirus that causes growths in the airway that can lead to death.

In the traditional medicinal system, cabbage paste has been used for treating the problem of acute

inflammation. Some claim it is effective in relieving painfully engorged breasts in breastfeeding women. It also optimizes cells' detoxification / cleansing ability.
 

Cabbage is:

  • Low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol
  • High in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium.

Uses of Cabbage
It is the base vegetable of world's most delicious dishes including soups and casseroles. Sauerkraut is the world fame fermented cabbage dish associated with Germany, Alsace, and the

Netherlands. "Cabbage rolls" are quite popular at all corners of the globe. Cabbage soup is popular in central Europe and eastern Europe, and cabbage is an ingredient in some kinds of borscht.

Boiling tenderizes the leaves and releases sugars, which leads to the characteristic "cabbage" aroma. Cabbage mixes well with other vegetables. It is also used in many popular dishes in India. In Western countries, it is used in preparing many meat dishes. Many succulent beef and pork dishes contain a little or considerable amount of cabbage. Some popular examples are Beef & Cabbage Soup, Chicken Potstickers, Cabbage-Hamburger, etc.

This leafy vegetable of the mustard family is one of the most vital elements of the salad. Raw cabbage is usually sliced into thin strips or shredded for use in salads, such as coleslaw. It can also replace iceberg lettuce in sandwiches. Cabbage is also used raw in Pico de gallo because of its naturally mild spicy flavor.

 
 
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