Friday, September 30, 2011


Family: Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
Genus: Brassica
Species: Brassica oleracea

Red cabbage "roses" interlaced with pumpkin vines
Maybe you grew up in a family that consumed borscht in large quantities and never want to see or smell cabbage ever again. However, Bumble and I are weird; we adore cabbage (and beets); we share some Polish roots. Besides, red cabbage contains flavonoids, antioxidants that actually prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in our bodies. Cabbage is low in calories (1 C. = 28 calories), yet high in protein and fiber, Vitamin B, C and K, and minerals. Red cabbage is richer in nutrients than its green brother  - it is one of those attributes that purple foods possess called anthocyanins. And if you still are not sold on cabbage ask yourself these questions: Where would corned beef be without cabbage, and what would Thanksgiving be without Brussels sprouts, the little cabbages? 
For a new gardener, growing cabbages will make you feel like you sprouted a green thumb overnight. They are highly productive, you can leave them hanging out in the garden until you need one because they stay sweet without getting starchy, and they are happy in cooler autumn weather. Also, women in Poland, who consume large quantities of cabbage, have very low incidences of breast cancer. And like the stork story, there is an old tale that babies come from cabbage patches. So, be on the look out for one of those.
The word cabbage derives from the French word “caboche” which means head or noggin. I adoringly said to Bumble, “You are my little cabbage head.” 

“That means I am stupid," Bumble replied.

“Well, well, well,” I said. And that is exactly what eating cabbages can make you.
Here is an easy enzymatic coleslaw recipe; Bumble loved it and forgave me instantly. We ate the slaw with these delicious Lemon Rosemary Brauts from SWEETWOOD CATTLE COMPANY, located in Steamboat Springs. 
My red cabbage coleslaw
Note: I got lazy and used my food processor but you don't need one.
1 medium size red cabbage sliced VERY thin. (take off the limp outer leaves and any white core)
3 or 4 organic carrots grated
1 medium apple cored and grated (I keep skins on)

3-4 T. apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the “Mother”)
3-4 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste.

Grate carrots and the apple, and slice cabbage very thin. If you are using the food processor use the “grater” attachment and cut your cabbage into a size that fits the feed tube. Add cider vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Toss and adjust by adding a bit more vinegar, oil, salt and pepper if needed.



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