This is a recipe I created after seeing a friend of mine eating something similar before our nutrition class last year. It looked and smelled fantastic and I realized that it would be a great way to add cabbage to my diet since it was a vegetable I liked but rarely ate. I've been known to throw together a slaw here and there, but during the cold months (which can include June and July here in San Francisco!), I like a warm, cooked dish that's cozy and comforting to eat.
Cruciferous vegetables are well-known to support the detoxification processes that our livers are constantly performing. Incorporating red cabbage into our diets offers detoxification support as well as many other wonderful health benefits. According to whfoods.com:
“While green cabbage is the most commonly eaten variety of cabbage, we highly recommend trying red cabbage because of it added nutritional benefits and its robust hearty flavor. We don't think you will be disappointed. The rich red color of red cabbage reflects it concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, which contribute to red cabbage containing significantly more protective phytonutrients than green cabbage. Interest in anthocyanin pigments continues to intensify because of their health benefits as dietary antioxidants, as an anti-inflammatory, and their potentially protective, preventative, and therapeutic roles in a number of human diseases.
A recent study showed that a 100 gram (about 3 ounces) serving of raw red cabbage delivers 196.5 milligrams of polyphenols, of which 28.3 milligrams are anthocyanins. Green cabbages yielded much less per 100 grams: 45 milligrams of polyphenols including 0.01 milligram of anthocyanins. The vitamin C equivalent, a measure of antioxidant capacity, of red cabbage is also six to eight times higher than that of green cabbage.”
Here's one of my favorite, go-to ways to enjoy red cabbage. While cooking any vegetable for a long period of time does deplete it's vitamin content, it's fiber and mineral content will remain in-tact. In order to best achieve a nutritionally balanced diet, incorporating a mix of both raw and cooked vegetables is highly recommended.
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon bacon fat or coconut oil
- 1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2-4 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoons ea salt
- 1 green apple, sliced into matchstick-sized pieces
In a large enameled pot or pan, sauté the onion in the fat or oil. When it is mostly translucent, add the cabbage and cook until it begins to soften.
Add the vinegar and salt, and allow the cabbage and onion mixture to cook until everything is softened / fork-tender.
Add the apples, and cook them until soft. Add more vinegar or some water if the mixture becomes too dry.
Though I often recommend cooking in cast iron skillets, I don’t recommend cooking this dish in cast iron since it includes vinegar, which is very acidic and may react to the cast iron.
change it up
Instead of using plain bacon fat, chop and render 2-3 slices of bacon for the cooking fat, and add the cooked bacon meat back to the mixture when plating. For a slightly sweeter version, add about 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of chopped, dried cranberries (if not on the 21DSD, find a no sugar added brand or dry some yourself).