The cabbage is a proud member of the brassica family and is among the healthiest vegetables you can grow in your garden.
Cabbage And King
Cabbages and kings both have families.
“‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
‘to talk of many things:
Of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax –
Of cabbages – and kings –
And why the sea is boiling hot –
And whether pigs have wings.’”
“Through the Looking Glass”
Historically, many kings have had uncertain relationships with their families. Wives, siblings, children, uncles, and cousins have all been known to seek an upgrade in their fortunes by bumping off the fellow who wears the big crown. While royal families tend to breed tensions, the cabbage family prospers with numerous nutritional benefits for all.
Cabbages are proud members of the brassica family. Furthermore, the brassicas include some of the healthiest vegetables you can grow in your survival garden. Family members include the following tasty treats:
- Asian mustard
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese cabbage
- Mizuna greens
- Sprouting broccoli
- Upland cress
- And, of course, our humble but nutritionally rich friend, cabbage
The Nutritional Advantages Of Cabbage
A single cup of chopped, raw cabbage only packs about 22 calories but is a good source of thiamin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. In addition to these vital minerals, your cup of uncooked cabbage provides about 10% your required intake of folate, 54% of your vitamin C, and a whopping 85% of your vitamin K.
Cabbage is also rich in several cancer-fighting substances.
The first one I’d like to mention goes by the rather intimidating name of indole-3-carbinol. If you’d like, we’ll just refer to it by its friendlier nickname, I3C. Promising research has shown that I3C may be effective in preventing or even treating breast cancer. Moreover, scientists tell us that the compound seems to sweep up harmful estrogens which have been linked to breast cancer. Consequently, some folks have been so excited about this research that they’ve gone out and spent big bucks on I3C supplements. From my way of thinking, that’s a foolish waste of money. Why take a risk on expensive, untested, and possibly unsafe supplements when you can get a healthy dose of I3C by using the cabbage you grow in your own garden? You know where it has been, and if you’re using a high-quality, organic fertilizer like Protogrow, you know that it is good for you.
Another promising compound in cabbage, sulforaphane, has shown positive anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties in several research studies.
A low calorie treat packed with nutrients and compounds that might help you resist cancer and diabetes, what’s not to like? Oh yeah, the stink.
Keys For Cooking Cabbage The Right Way
Some people avoid this healthy vegetable because they are put off by the heavy odor that permeates the air when cabbage is cooked. If your kitchen is assaulted by an overpowering, cabbagy smell every time you prepare cabbage, odds are good that you’re overcooking it. Moreover, long cooking releases a larger quantity of the sulfur compounds that create that odor.
According to Allan Maganizer, DO, director of the Maganizer Center for Wellness in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, cabbage should be cooked no longer than five minutes. In most situations, I’d suggest a bit less. I prefer a quick stir fry over a long boil for this veggie. The longer you cook your cabbage, the more of those vital nutrients are going to be destroyed.
If you insist on boiling your cabbage longer than a few minutes, adding a stalk of celery to the cooking water will help neutralize the odor a bit. Just keep in mind that about 90% of the cancer-fighting sulforaphane is going to end up in the cooking water when you prepare cabbage by boiling. Think soup.
Cabbage Gardening Tips
Before closing, I just want to take a moment to give you a few gardening tips about the Brassica family of vegetables.
Brassicas favor firm, moisture retentive soil. If you experience a dry spell, you want to water them on a regular basis. When you rotate your crops, brassicas do particularly well in the space you used to grow peas or beans.
Mix compost into your soil and fertilize with a good, organic fertilizer on a regular basis for best results. With a succession of sowings, you can keep healthy food on your table most of the year when you grow brassicas. In conclusion, please accept my best wishes for sunny days and gentle evening rains as we move through a productive month of July in the garden.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: Surprising Kitchen Cures From Cabbage (Yes, Cabbage)
Or download our free 60-page report on how to beat inflation in your own backyard: Cash Garden
What do you think about the benefits of planting cabbage in your garden? Let us know in the comments below.
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