cabbage

January Veggie of the Month: Cabbage

Cabbage’s Leafy Origin Story

The rough and rugged cabbage came to North America through eastern Canada in 1541 with Jacques Cartier, an explorer from France. (Cartier also named Canada! What an actual Renaissance man.)

Although cabbage is typically cooked to soften some of its toughness, you’ll recognize it as a key ingredient in coleslaw, a favorite picnic dish! 

Germans will recognize the veggie in its fermented form, sauerkraut (literally “sour cabbage”). But rumor has it that the crew working on the Great Wall of China also snacked on sauerkraut way back around 221 B.C. 

Cabbage is a lot easier to work into your meals than you might imagine! And it’s worth getting to know, because its health benefits and unique texture will have you hooked. 

Nutritious & Delicious Health Benefits

One cup of cabbage has 96% of the standard recommended daily dose of Vitamin K, which helps keep your brain, bones, and heart healthy.

In the Middle Ages, cabbage juice was considered a remedy for curing coughs and healing wounds. Those folks were a little bit right! Cabbage is rich in Vitamins C and A, two essential helpers in fighting infection.

Fun Facts

  • When cabbage is growing, it can handle temperatures as low as 15° F. Now there’s a hearty South Dakota veggie! 
  • Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli are all closely related to cabbage. 
  • More than 100 types of cabbage exist across the world. The three most common in the United States are purple (a great source of Vitamin C), green (full of Vitamin K), and savoy (a champ carrying calcium, potassium, iron, and Vitamin A). 
  • Cabbage’s shelf life extends way past other produce. Stored properly in the refrigerator, it can last from 3 weeks to 2 months! 

Cooking with Cabbage

  1. Go stir crazy. Add cabbage to any stir fry. Try it with peppers and onions! 
  2. Prep your pucker. Pickle cabbage at home to make your own sauerkraut. 
  3. Give them something to taco ‘bout. Shred for an unexpected taco add-on! 
  4. Soup it up. Boil cabbage, your favorite veggies, and broth for a quick and easy soup.  
  5. Slaw, queen! Make a coleslaw with red and green cabbage, carrots, and a mayonnaise, vinegar, and honey base. 

Fact check: University of Maryland Extension, Healthline, Farmers’ Almanac, Iowa Department of Public Health, Cedar Circle Farm & Education Center

Can’t get enough fruits and veggies? Be sure to check out Harvest of the Month, a downloadable educational program designed to make learning about fruits and veggies easy, tasty, and fun!

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