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.

Bubble and Squeak

  • 1lbcabbage, sliced, or leftover boiled cabbage, sliced
  • 1lbcold crushed boiled potatoes, or cold leftover mashed potatoes
  • 4slices bacon, chopped
  • 1onion, finely sliced
  • 1garlic clove, chopped
  • 1Tbspbutter
  1. Melt the butter in a nonstick pan, allowing it to get nice and hot. Add the bacon.
  2. As the bacon begins to brown, add the onion and garlic.
  3. Add the cabbage and let it brown slightly.
  4. Add the potato. Work everything together in the pan and push it down so that the mixture covers the base of the pan. Allow the mixture to catch slightly on the base of the pan, before turning it over and doing the same again. It's the bits of potato that catch in the pan that define the term "bubble and squeak;" let the mixture brown.
  5. Cut into wedges and serve.
BBC Good Food
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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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