Harvest Health

Harvest Health

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The humble Cabbage

OK, it's not the sexiest, or most fashionable of vegetables, but cabbage has a lot going for it.  It is part of the brassica family (which includes broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts), and this group of vegetables receive a lot of attention for their liver cleansing abilities.  It's the high chlorine and sulphur content in cabbage which together exert a cleansing action.  You can spend a lot of money on liver cleansing packs from the chemist or health food shop, or you can regularly eat cabbage! Cabbage is beneficial for good intestinal flora, which means it's good for your digestion.  It also contains high amounts of Vitamin C. 

The only potential problem with cabbage is that it can be detrimental to people with thyroid problems, as brassica vegetables contain goitrogens, which depress thyroid function.  This is only an issue if you have low thyroid function, and eat cabbage several times a week.

As a child I really disliked coleslaw, but times have changed, and now I love it.  This Summer I have been craving it.  There are countless coleslaw recipes, but here are two I have made and enjoyed in this Year of the Vegetable.

A Basic Slaw
Mix together in a bowl:
1 small cabbage, or 1/2 a larger one, shredded finely
1/2 small red or white onion, sliced as thinly as possible
1 apple diced or grated

Make a vinaigrette by mixing together:
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
Then adding and mixing:
3 tablespoons olive oil

Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and mix well.  Sprinkle with parsley or coriander if desired.

I used savoy cabbage in this, which I think was the main reason it was so delicious.  You could also use normal green cabbage or purple cabbage, or a mixture.

Easy Asian coleslaw
1/4 savoy cabbage, shredded finely
1/4 purple cabbage, shredded finely
1 lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and sliced thinly
1 carrot , grated
Handful of mint shredded
Handful of coriander, shredded
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tsp honey
2 tsp mirin
1/2 lemon or lime, juiced

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients.  Combine the vegetables and herbs.  Add the dressing and toss to combine.  Sprinkle on the sesame seeds.

Although the Asian coleslaw tastes good, I was surprised by how good the Basic 'Slaw tasted.  I have been putting off making it as I thought it was too plain.  Wrong.  The simplicity of it was delicious.

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