Cabbage has the unfortunate notoriety of looking an awful lot like iceberg lettuce.Plus, it’s in coleslaw, which no one is really swinging around as a health food.
And its random presence in bagged lettuce just screams, “I’m SO not important. I’m just a token.” Like the parsley garnishing your dinner plate, you probably don’t pay much attention to cabbage.
I used to think it was in the same nutritional boat as iceberg lettuce, which is to say “just a step above water but with more chewing.”Boy, was I wrong. Cabbage is a long lasting vegetable in the fridge. Related: Dirty Dozen Produce
5 Reasons You Need to Buy Cabbage
1. Cabbage lasts a long time
This is my favorite part, because it can revolutionize your shopping and be there in times of emergency.
I just read someone saying that they couldn’t even shop once a week because produce goes bad well before 7 days.I can go 2 weeks without touching a grocery store, and we eat fresh, raw salads every single night. Long lasting cabbage is the secret because cabbage stays fresh.
When you go the store, buy lettuce for a week (it gets slimy after that anyway) and a head of cabbage.Hang onto the cabbage until you run out of lettuce, and then cut into the cabbage for your salad. This cabbage salad is our favorite (with red onions on top). I don’t even need the recipe anymore!
As long as we have other long lasting veggies like carrots, garlic, onions, squash, frozen vegetables, maybe some cherry tomatoes and cauliflower, plus our spotlight cabbage, we can buy two weeks of produce at once without losing any food to slimy-produce-drawer-itis.
2. Cabbage is nutritious!
Putting cabbage in bed with iceberg was very unfair of me. I hope cabbage will forgive me.
Cabbage is actually a great source of Vitamin K (almost 100% DV) and 50% DV of Vitamin C. It’s a good source of fiber and packed with antioxidants, which actually last 3-4 days after eating! Red cabbage fights Alzheimer’s. (source)
No, cabbage is no small fry when it comes to nourishing your body.
3. It’s very inexpensive
At well under a dollar per pound, it’s a no-brainer to compare ounce for ounce with a one-pound clamshell of lettuce for $5 or even the $1.29/lb. head of Romaine (non-organic).
When that Romaine goes on sale for 99c/lb., cabbage still typically knocks its socks off at about 59c/lb., and down below 20c/lb. for St. Patrick’s Day. Stock up!
4. How to use cabbage cooked or raw
Part of the trouble with lettuce is that if you don’t want a salad for whatever reason, there’s really nothing else most people do with lettuce, so it gets slimy.
With cabbage, you can eat it cooked or raw. Cabbage not only makes a great salad, but you can make it into a soup like this one , cook it with ground beef and put it over rice like the free printable recipe on this page (scroll down to the green box and enter your email), add it to any number of stir fry or casserole recipes like Shepherd’s Pie, and even slice, steam and freeze it for later. (That ground beef recipe comes together in minutes with pre-cooked ground beef and frozen cabbage.)Because it’s versatile, you can (a) use it faster, (b) avoid monotony, and (c) prevent food waste. Ah, the long lasting vegetable, cabbage, saving the world again.
5. You can ferment cabbage like crazy
Classic ferments like sauerkraut and kimchi use cabbage as the base, so this versatile food can be made more healthy by fermentation. Fermented cabbage has even more Vitamin C than before, and it lasts a long time, too, with all the benefits of raw food.
Buy some cabbage.
Your pocketbook will thank you.And no, this post wasn’t compensated by the big spenders in the produce section…cabbages don’t have advertising budgets.
Katie Kimball, CSME is a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks. She is passionate about researching natural remedies and making healthy cooking easier for busy families. She’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine as well as contributing regularly on the FOX Network.
See more of Katie Kimball, CSME in the Media.
Over the last 10 years, Katie has spoken prolifically at conferences, online summits and podcasts and become a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health.
Busy moms look to this certified educator for honest, in-depth natural product reviews and thorough research. She often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to deliver the most current information to the Kitchen Stewardship® community.
In 2016 she created the #1 bestselling online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook.
A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is a Certified Stress Mastery Educator and member of the American Institute of Stress. See all blog posts by Katie Kimball.