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.

Asian Coleslaw

  • 4cupscabbage, shredded
  • 2carrots, shredded
  • 1/2red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3green onions, chopped
  • 1garlic clove, minced
  • 1Tbsplemon juice
  • 1 1/2Tbspsoy sauce or tamari
  • 1Tbsprice vinegar
  • 2tspmaple syrup
  • 1tsphot chili sauce
  • 2Tbspsesame oil
  • 2Tbspsesame seeds
  1. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, red onion, and green onions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix until well combined.
  4. Refrigerate for a few hours or longer, and serve.
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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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