Cruciferous Crunch

The name of a famous salad mix at T.J’s that packs, well a crunch. Full of Brussels spout’s, cabbage, and kale, the salad is full of flavors and nutrients perfect for the winter season. We are all very familiar with the health-praised leafy green known as kale, and most of us enjoy a well roasted Brussels Sprout, but sadly, when we think cabbage, are thoughts are unpleasant.

Only thought of as something smelly, slimy, and paired with corned beef, cabbage is the commonly misunderstood member of the cruciferous family. This beautiful ball of layers packs in not just flavor, but a bountiful of vitamins and disease fighting compounds. To start, cabbage contains over 43% of your daily value in vitamin C, 45% daily value in vitamin K, and a mix of sulfur-containing compounds that help protect against cardiovascular disease. When left in a brine, bacteria go to work on eating the sugars found naturally in cabbage, producing carbon dioxide and lactic acid. This process ferments the cabbage into what we call sauerkraut. The bacteria used is called Lactobacillus, and is also found in yogurt. It provides the same probiotic benefits aiding in gut health and digestion. Enjoyed around the world, cabbage adds additional flavor and texture to a variety of dishes. I personally enjoy my cabbage chopped thin to give a crunch to fish tacos with lime and a cauliflower “tortilla,” or fermented and piled high next to a chicken sausage on a pretzel roll, and a dollop of mustard of course. However you choose to include this winter vegetable, remember it too has a place at your dining table.

To health and happiness,

Becca

Nutrition information sourced from: Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian, is a blogger, author of Plant-Powered for Life, and nutrition editor of Today’s Dietitian.