Cabbage is a typical German and popular winter vegetable and has different names depending on the region. Its appetizing color is characteristic: when raw, the cabbage head is blue-purple. In combination with acid, it turns red, creating the well-known “red cabbage”. The blue color is created by adding alkaline products, such as baking soda or baking powder, but also by adding sugar. What makes it healthy are its ingredients. As far as nutrients are concerned, red cabbage is even superior to white cabbage.
The origin, properties and history of red cabbage
Red cabbage is actually just another cabbage variety and was created by mutations. Like broccoli, flower or Brussels sprouts, it belongs to the cruciferous family.
Red cabbage originated in the Mediterranean region and Asia Minor. It is said to be descended from wild sea cabbage. The first records of cabbage date back to the 11th century. In Central Europe, it was first cultivated in the Middle Ages and was spread by the monasteries.
Even then, red cabbage was a popular winter vegetable, as it provided people with important nutrients in winter. However, cabbage was also highly valued for its healing properties. For this reason, it was a recognized remedy and was used, among other things, for hair loss, gout and digestive problems.
The red cabbage is a closed cabbage and slightly smaller than the white cabbage. The cabbage gets its blue-red color from the pigment anthocyanin, which is also found in blueberries, beet and grapes. Red cabbage tastes rather mild and slightly sweet. There are different varieties of red cabbage. A distinction is made between early red cabbage, medium-early red cabbage and autumn and permanent red cabbage. It is grown in northern and central Europe and in the western states of Germany. It is harvested from May to December, with most being harvested in the fall. Therefore, red cabbage is in season from September to November. However, it is commercially available almost all year round.
The ingredients of red cabbage
The reason why red cabbage is a popular winter vegetable is obvious: It is the important nutrients that the cabbage carries in itself and are important for our body especially in the cold winter days. In addition to a high iron content, red cabbage also has many minerals and fiber. Particularly noteworthy is the high vitamin C content. For example, 100 g of red cabbage contains 57.14 mg of vitamin C. Accordingly, 200 g of red cabbage would already cover the entire daily requirement of vitamin C. In addition to vitamin C, red cabbage also contains vitamins K, E and B.
Cabbage not only provides important nutrients, but it is also very low in calories. Thus, for 100 g of cabbage just 27 kcal.
The effect of red cabbage on our body
Due to its high fiber content, red cabbage stimulates intestinal activity. In addition, it can also lead to flatulence in people who are sensitive to it. This is due to the contained ingredient acetylcholine.
The pigment anthocyanin not only provides the beautiful color of the cabbage, but also has positive effects on our body. On the one hand, it is said to strengthen our immune system and on the other hand, it has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Red cabbage in the kitchen
Winter cabbage is very flexible, which is why it can be prepared in many variations. Among other things, it can be eaten raw as a salad or cooked as a vegetable. You can also find it in many bowls and it is probably most often used as a side dish to roast goose, duck, game and pork. In combination with apples, red cabbage can also be used to make an excellent salad.
Red cabbage is very healthy both raw and cooked. In the raw state, it has more nutrients, which are partly lost by the effect of heat. However, in the cooked state, the vitamin C content increases. This is due to the fact that in red cabbage, vitamin C is bound in the form of ascorbigen A and B. This is a precursor of vitamin C. This is a precursor of vitamin C. Both substances split when heated and release ascorbic acid, which means that cabbage vegetables release more vitamin C after cooking than when raw.
Buying and storing red cabbage
You can tell a good red cabbage by its strong firm leaves, rich color and firm head. So just make sure it’s firm to the touch and has no wilted leaves.
Not only fresh red cabbage is available in stores. It is also available as ready-cooked cabbage or frozen. However, you should avoid the cabbage in a jar, because here, as a rule, the sugar content is considerable. Frozen cabbage, on the other hand, can be bought without hesitation, as it is said to be just as healthy as fresh red cabbage.
The cabbage can be stored for a long time without any problems. Thus, in the vegetable compartment in the refrigerator it will keep up to three weeks. If the cabbage head is closed, without stains and cracks, it remains usable for several months in the dark, cool cellar or in the refrigerator. However, if you have already cut it, be sure to store it in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap.