Cabbage is not most people’s favourite vegetable – people tend to think either of its pungent cooking aroma, its limp texture or its slimming capacities - but actually it is packed full of antioxidants, phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory nutrients which make it an anti-cancer super food. It can also help protect against Alzheimers Disease, aid digestion and repair ulcers, and can help lower cholesterol.
To benefit most from all of its goodness it’s best only to lightly cook it (steaming or sautéing it), to eat it raw or juice it. Hayley North recommends that if you’re going to eat it raw then it’s good to ‘massage’ the cabbage a bit first or, as they do in the macrobiotic tradition, to ‘press’ it (in a press!). This helps to make it more digestible.
This is music to my ears because I love coleslaw! It’s a fantastic way to enjoy cabbage combined with a whole host of root vegetables that are so readily available in the Winter. Here is a healthy, interesting and above all very yummy coleslaw recipe from Jamie Oliver, which we like to team with something warm like an equally tasty roasted vegetable frittata:
The Best Winter Veg Coleslaw (serves 6-8)
1 bulb of fennel
At least 2 of the following: 3-4 radishes; 1 beetroot; 1 turnip; ½ small celeriac
400g of red and white cabbage
½ red onion
½ lemon, squeezed
Glug of extra virgin olive oil
Handful of fresh soft herbs (mint, fennel, dill, parsley and chervil), leaves picked and chopped
250ml sheep's milk yoghurt
2 tblsp mustard
Peel and trim the vegetables.
Shred (using a grater or food processor) the carrots, fennel and radishes, beetroot, turnip or celeriac.
Slice as finely as possible the cabbage, onion and shallot.
Put all of the vegetables into a bowel.
To prepare the dressing mix all the dressing ingredients together in a separate bowel.
Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well to coat.
Season with salt and pepper
If you are avoiding all dairy products, including yoghurt, then check out Hayley North’s coleslaw recipe which uses a tahini and lemon dressing: The Holistic Kitchen
For full information on the health benefits of cabbage visit The World's Healthiest Foods