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How to choose, prepare and store cabbages

Thursday, March 31, 2011 by: Fleur Hupston
Tags: cabbage, cancer, health news

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(NewsTarget) Cabbages are known to be high in important nutrients such as vitamin C and selenium; they also contain hundreds of plant compounds that are known to fight cancer. Making sauerkraut or sour cabbage is a useful way to store this versatile vegetable.

Varieties of cabbage

Green cabbage: This is the common cabbage generally used to make sauerkraut. Overcooking will make it taste bland and watery.

Red cabbage: This is a densely packed variety of cabbage that is slightly more bitter. It adds color to coleslaw and is packed with antioxidants.

Wombok or Chinese cabbage: This is a sweeter variety of cabbage that is very common in South East Asian dishes. In Asian cooking, ginger, garlic, chili and green onion are commonly used to accompany raw and cooked cabbage dishes.

Cabbage can be boiled, steamed or used in stir fries. However, cabbage is best eaten raw if you want to benefit to the full from its cancer-fighting properties. Try a mixed cabbage coleslaw with a simple dressing for an instant health-boost. Choose green or red cabbage that feels heavy and dense.

Mixed cabbage coleslaw

1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 cups of finely sliced green cabbage
2 cups finely sliced red cabbage
2 cups finely sliced Chinese cabbage
1 large carrot, shredded
4 green onions, sliced

Combine vegetables, whisk cider vinegar and olive oil. Pour over and serve at once.

Recipe for home-made sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is simply fermented cabbage. It can be eaten directly after fermentation is complete, or it can be stored in airtight glass jars for several months.

Sauerkraut contains lactobacilli, beneficial bacteria that improve the functioning of the digestive tract. It is also a good source of fiber and essential nutrients, including iron, vitamin K and vitamin C.

Shred approximately 2.5kg (5 pounds) of cabbage and add 3 tablespoons non-iodized salt.

Mix well and place in a ceramic crock pot. Use a heavy wooden spoon to pack the shredded cabbage down into the pot.

Place a clean dinner plate on top, upside down, and place a quart jar full of water on top to weigh the plate down. If the shredded cabbage is not submerged under juice after a day or two, top up with a little salty water (1 tablespoon salt to a quart of water). Fermentation should take between four to six weeks, depending on room temperature.

Cover the whole pot with a clean towel sealed with a rubber band to keep out fruit flies or other insects. Remove any mold or bacteria that forms on the top of the fermenting cabbage every couple of days.

The fermentation process should take between four to six weeks, depending on the room temperature. When ready, it may be eaten immediately, stored in the refrigerator or sealed in glass jars.



About the author

Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.

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