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.

Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

  • 1head of cabbage
  • 1pepper, diced
  • 1/2cupcup uncooked brown rice
  • 2cloves garlic, minced
  • 1small onion, diced
  • 1can (15 oz.) of the beans of your choice, drained and rinsed
  • 1can (15 oz.) of the beans of your choice, drained and rinsed
  • 2Tbspfreshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. FOR FILLING: 1. Cook the rice according to package directions. 2. Saute onion, garlic, and peppers on medium heat until cooked through. 3. Add beans and stir until heated. 4. Add cooked rice and stir until heated through.
  2. FOR CABBAGE: 1. Remove the core of the cabbage by cutting deeply around its base with a paring knife. Discard core. 2. Bring 2 to 3 inches of water to a boil in a deep pot. Place the entire cabbage in the water, cover, and boil 7-10 minutes. Remove the cabbage from the water and cool under cold water. 3. Peel off 6-8 whole leaves from the cabbage. 4. With a knife, cut off the thickest part of the cabbage stem at the base of each leaf, so that they are similar in thickness to the rest of the leaf.
  3. FOR SAUCE & STUFFING: 1. Mix tomato sauce and lemon juice together. 2. Place ~1/4 to 1/2 cup of rice mixture, depending on how big each leaf is, in the center of each leaf. 3. Fold the right and left edges of the leaf in towards the center, then roll the leaf forward, tucking in the sides until reaching the far end of the leaf. 4. Pour the sauce over the top of each cabbage roll and cover. 5. Bake at 350 degrees F for ~40-45 minutes, or until tender.
The Healthy Apron, Eden Foods
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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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