4 Ekim 2012 Perşembe

Cabbage-A Versatile Nutrition Powerhouse

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From the Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA).

"When I ask people if they like cabbage, they often say no, and wrinkle their nose. That reaction is most likely due to the strong odor often associated with cooked cabbage.

When cabbage is cooked, sulfur-containing compounds are released, causing the strong smell, according to the University of Illinois extension agency. The smell increases when cabbage is cooked for a long time, and worsens when cooked in aluminum pans. To reduce the odor, cook cabbage for a shorter time, until just tender, and use stainless-steel pots and pans.

If you still find the odor bothersome, enjoy fresh cabbage. Although it's available year-round, it's in season in Virginia now and through the fall. There are many varieties of cabbage, but three main kinds are: green, savoy and red.

Green cabbage is the familiar lighter green cabbage with compact leaves. Savoy is darker green and has curlier leaves and a milder flavor. Red cabbage is dense like green cabbage, but has a strong flavor, and colors range from deep fuchsia to purple.

When selecting cabbage, look for tight, compact leaves. The head should be smooth and feel heavy for its size. You can store it up to a week in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Place the cabbage in a plastic bag to help keep it from drying out.

Napa, or Chinese, cabbage is another popular variety on hand now. Rather than the tight, compact leaves of the other cabbages, it has looser, light green leaves, and resembles a pale romaine lettuce.  All cabbages are great lightly stir-fried, steamed, sautéed and used in salads or coleslaw. 

Nutrients vary by cabbage variety, but 1 cup of chopped fresh cabbage has about 22 calories, 1 gram protein, no fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 16 milligrams sodium and 40 milligrams calcium. It's an excellent source of vitamins C and K, and a good source of vitamin A, folate, potassium and calcium.

Cabbage is in the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, mustard greens and turnips. They all contain phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals that promote good health.

Different cruciferous vegetables provide different health benefits. Cabbage specifically helps promote cholesterol reduction, and might reduce the risk of bladder, breast, colon and prostate cancers. 

For the best benefits, consume cruciferous vegetables at least two to three times weekly as part of an overall healthy diet."

There was a recipe for Asian Green salad in the article, but they "healthified" it--meaning they took a good as-is recipe and turned it into a nutritional nightmare by using things like canola oil, ramen noodles, bagged salad mix, etc., so I left it out.

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