Cabbage is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale.  Its ability to tolerate cold temperatures led to the spread of its cultivation across Europe. This vegetable ranges in color from yellow-green to red-purple, and also comes in wrinkly-leaved varieties.

Cabbage: A Brief History

Cabbage is believed to originate from the Asia Minor region. Its ability to tolerate cold temperatures led to the spread of its cultivation across Europe; cabbage was introduced to the United States by early European settlers. Cabbages vary in color from yellow-green, to red-purple and come in wrinkly-leaved (savoyed) varieties. It has been bred to form tighter heads, but was originally much leafier. Cabbage is a wonderfully neutral vegetable, so can be used in a wide array of dishesraw, cooked, or fermented.

Health Benefits of Cabbage

Raw cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and folic acid (B9), as well as a good source of vitamin K. Along with other Brassicas, cabbage contains anticancer compounds referred to as glucosinolates.

Fun Facts

  • Sauerkraut is a popular dish made from fermented cabbage, known for its delicious sour taste and long shelf life.
  • The word cabbage is derived from the French word caboche meaning “head.”
  • Cabbage’s ability to store well made it a staple food item in Europeans’ diets during the Middle Ages. Its juice was commonly used as a cough remedy and to heal wounds.

Gingered Cabbage Salad

  • 1/2cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1apple, thinly sliced
  • 2Tbsplemon juice
  • 3Tbspolive oil
  • 3Tbspapple cider vinegar
  • 1/2tspminced fresh ginger
  • 1/2tsphoney
  • 1/2tspdijon mustard
  • 1/8garlic, minced
  • 1/2cupdried cranberries
  • 1/4cupsunflower seeds
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Remove cores and shred cabbage.
  2. Core and thinly slice apples, and toss with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, ginger, honey, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  4. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and apples. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Add cranberries and sunflower seeds, mixing again to combine. ​
Vermont Harvest of the Month
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For more on cabbage including recipes, interesting facts, and books for kids, check out the Vermont Harvest of the Month website.

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