Turmeric - a superstar

Turmeric is a real superstar: it colors food yellow and our teeth white, enhances our dishes and alleviates numerous ailments and diseases. As a powder, turmeric has long been popular. But lately, the tuber has been fighting its way back into the kitchen in its raw form as well.   

The origin, properties and history of turmeric

Turmeric originated in India and has been used there for over 5,000 years as a food and medicinal product. The spice came to Europe quite late: Scientists assume that the Italian navigator Marco Polo discovered the turmeric plant on his voyage in the 14th century and brought it back to Europe. Today, turmeric belongs in every good curry mixture and is also used to dye paper, ointments and textiles.  

The turmeric plant belongs to the botanical family of ginger plants and can grow up to one meter high. Like ginger, the turmeric plant forms secondary rootstocks, so-called rhizomes. However, compared to ginger, these are much smaller and narrower. In technical jargon, turmeric is also called Curcuma longa. This name is derived from the Arabic word "al-krukum" (meaning saffron). The turmeric plant owes its botanical name to its interior, because the extract of the rhizomes - the yellow dye curcumin - is very similar in color to saffron. Therefore, turmeric is often referred to as Indian saffron. 

The ingredients of turmeric

Turmeric contains numerous vitamins, minerals and trace elements. These include:  

  • Vitamin B1 
  • Vitamin B2 
  • Vitamin B3 
  • Vitamin B6 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Magnesium 
  • Calcium 
  • Iron 
  • Zinc 
  • Potassium 

The effect of turmeric on our body

Turmeric is a real superstar. The root not only has an anti-inflammatory and digestive effect, but also helps with various complaints or diseases. Thus, turmeric can be used to relieve gastrointestinal problem, such as heartburn, flatulence and abdominal cramps. The tuber also has an anti-cancer effect and can prevent metastasis. It is often taken as an adjunct in the treatment of rheumatism or cystic fibrosis. The consumption of turmeric can also prevent Alzheimer's disease.  

However, turmeric can reduce the effectiveness of medications. Therefore, a doctor should be consulted in case of increased consumption.  

Turmeric in the kitchen

Due to its slightly spicy to earthy-bitter taste, turmeric goes well with almost all dishes. However, the yellowish root harmonizes particularly well with rice, potato and vegetable dishes. The Indian tuber also looks good in soups, with pancakes or in bread recipes.  

Buying and storing turmeric

Turmeric is available as a ground spice almost everywhere. In spice markets, the powder is often offered loose. However, the spice quickly loses its typical aroma in daylight. Therefore, when buying should pay attention to how the spice is offered. Preferably, one should buy turmeric powder in a tightly sealed can. The spice should be stored as dry as possible, because it spoils quickly due to moisture.  

Fresh turmeric roots should also be stored in a cool and dry place. The best place for this is the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. However, the root should not be packed airtight, otherwise it will quickly go bad.


Parsley - the classic herb

Who does not know it, the parsley. It is probably one of the best known and most versatile kitchen herbs. Whether as a decoration on the schnitzel or as a seasoning in sauces and soups, it is impossible to imagine today's cuisine without it. But parsley has much more to offer than just looking and tasting good. In the past, parsley was not used as a spice, but as a medicinal plant, as it has many positive effects on our body. Among the Greeks, it was so sacred that the herb was presented to the winners of competitions as a wreath.

The origin, properties and history of parsley

Parsley is originally from the Mediterranean region. From Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, it spread across Central Europe. Unlike today, where the plant is known more as a spice, at that time it was considered a highly valued remedy and was considered sacred in ancient Greece. That is why it was distributed as a wreath to the winners in competitions. It was considered especially aphrodisiac, diuretic and digestive.

From Greece also comes its name, because literally translated from the Greek parsley means rock celery. The name was given to it because the plant used to grow in the rocky regions and the leaf shape resembled celery.

Meanwhile, the parsley is grown worldwide. The most important cultivation areas here are, among others, the Netherlands and France. Grown wild, it can still be found on steeper mountain slopes that are sunny or in partial shade.

Nowadays, a distinction is made between three types of parsley:

  • Leaf parsley, which is divided into two subspecies:
    • Flat leaf parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. neopolitanum)
    • Curly parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. crispum)
  • Root parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. tuberosum)
  • Flat-leaved parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. latifolium)

The common parsley for us, which grows in our garden or can be found in the supermarket, is the leaf parsley (smooth and curly). The difference between smooth and curly is in the taste and leaf shapes. Thus, the smooth parsley tastes more intense and stronger than the curly parsley. The curly parsley, on the other hand, has the disadvantage of being more difficult to clean, as insects and soil often get stuck in its leaves. How gruesome their leaves last depends on how they are grown. The plant can reach a height of growth from 25 to 80 cm.

The root parsley or parsley root looks like a parsnip and tastes sweet. It is used as a vegetable for soups. The root can grow up to 15 cm long and is whitish to yellowish. Parsley can also develop flowers and fruits. It usually does not flower until the second year. But when it flowers, caution is advised because it then develops apiol, a poisonous component of the plant's essential oil. From the flowers later develop egg-shaped and grayish-yellowish fruits.

The ingredients of parsley

Among other things, parsley contains vitamins A, B, C and K, as well as numerous minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium. However, you do not take up too many nutrients per se, because you usually do not eat more than 10 g of parsley per meal. However, these 10 g are sufficient, for example, to cover the daily requirement of vitamin K.

The effect of parsley on our body

As already mentioned, in the traditional medicine of various countries parsley has long been considered a medicinal plant. The Greeks used it as an aphrodisiac and to strengthen soldiers. In the Middle Ages it was used for nosebleeds, stomach problems and urinary stones. Today it is hardly used as a medicinal plant. Nevertheless, its ingredients have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, appetizing, mild anti-anxiety, anti-stress, partially antimicrobial and anti-flatulent effects. In addition to the internal effects, parsley also has external effects on our body. Thus, it soothes dry and flaky skin and hair.

An interesting fact is also that it can neutralize the smell of garlic through its essential oils.

Other beneficial effects of the plant include:

  • Detoxification of the body, thanks to the chlorophyll contained.
  • Prevention of kidney and bladder stones through flushing therapies.
  • Can favorably influence blood sugar levels and thereby help with diabetes.
  • May relieve itching after a mosquito bite.

Promotes menstruation due to the toxic apiol (caution: in high concentrations can cause abortion) and relieves menstrual cramps, as the plant is also antispasmodic.

Parsley in the kitchen

Quite classically, parsley is used as a spice and to decorate dishes. It manages to spice up almost any dish and fits especially well in sauces, soups, dips, pestos, salads and spreads. Here you should only note that you add the fresh parsley only at the end. The dried parsley, on the other hand, can be cooked with it. Not only in dishes, the plant does well, you can also mix it into smoothies or juices pure. A parsley tea is also delicious.

Buying and storing parsley

When buying should look at the leaves. These should look strong and green. Yellowish leaves, on the contrary, may indicate pests or too dry soil.

In addition to fresh parsley in a pot, it is also available packaged as a small bunch, freeze-dried or dried. You can also just buy the seeds and grow your own plant at home.

Chicory - bitter and healthy

Chicory is not exactly the most popular vegetable among Germans. This is due to its bitter taste. However, it is precisely this that makes the vegetable so healthy. In addition, because of the bitter taste, you can make substitute coffee from the root chicory.

However, the bitter substances are not the only healthy thing about the leafy vegetable. Chicory also contains many vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it is definitely worth giving the vegetable a chance.

The origin, properties and history of chicory

Nowadays, when we think of chicory, we think directly of the use of the leaves of the vegetable. However, this was not always the case. In the past, it was not the leaves that were used, but the roots of the vegetable, also known as chicory roots. These were believed to have healing properties, as they were considered sudorific, appetizing and laxative. Also, the root helped with gastrointestinal complaints and diseases of the gall bladder, spleen and liver. Especially popular was and is the use root for the preparation of substitute coffee, also called muckefuck.

Therefore, the usefulness of the leaves became known relatively late. The discovery of the buds of chicory can be traced back to the Belgians in the 19th century. It is said that they had stored chicory roots in a dark greenhouse after a successful harvest. So after a while they discovered the buds, which are known to us today as chicory leaves.

The pale yellow color of the vegetable is due to its method of cultivation. For the bitter substance intybin to form, it must be grown in the dark.

The vegetable is now grown throughout Europe, but also in North Africa and the Orient. The classic pale yellow chicory is in season during the cold seasons and is therefore a popular winter vegetable, tasting tart, sweetish and slightly bitter at the same time. The milder-tasting and reddish chicory, on the other hand, is in season in spring. Basically, the main season of both varieties can be narrowed down to October to April.

The ingredients of chicory

The vegetable is especially known by those who eat a low-carb diet. Because per 100 g there are just 16 kcal. In addition, it has no fat. In addition to the few carbohydrates and calories, chicory also contains many vitamins and minerals. Particularly noteworthy are folic acid, potassium, carotenoids and bitter substances.

The effect of chicory on our body

The winter vegetables contain many ingredients that have a positive effect on our body. Especially the contained bitter substance intybin influences our body in several ways. On the one hand, it promotes digestion and stimulates the production of gastric acid. It also improves the flow of bile, which is especially important for fat digestion. Other positive effects of bitter substances:

  • bitter substances stimulate the appetite
  • promote the flow of saliva
  • lead to increased insulin production
  • strengthen the immune system
  • have antipyretic effect
  • have an antidepressant effect
  • can help with exhaustion, fatigue and stress

Chicory also contains fiber and the sugar inulin. Both ingredients can contribute to the prevention of intestinal diseases, such as colon cancer. The bright leaves, on the other hand, can have a diuretic effect and therefore play a role in regulating the acid-bath balance.

Chicory in the kitchen

Like most vegetables, chicory can be prepared in various ways. It can be boiled, fried, steamed or eaten raw. However, the most popular way is to prepare the vegetable into a salad with a honey or fruit juice dressing, such as chicory orange salad or chicory salad with tangerines.

To soften the bitter taste of chicory, you have two options:

  1. Cut out the stalk in a wedge shape. This is where most of the bitter substances are found.
  2. Soak the leaves in lukewarm salt water or milk for a few minutes. This softens the bitter taste. However, the healthy effect of the bitter substances can also be lost.

Purchase and storage of chicory

Chicory is best bought as fresh as possible. As with other vegetables, you can tell when they are fresh by looking at the leaves. These should look fresh and crisp. However, if you cannot prepare the vegetable right away, it should be stored in a dark and cool place. Light can cause the chicory to discolor and spoil more quickly. To prevent this, you can wrap it in a damp kitchen towel and store it in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Under optimal conditions, it can be kept fresh for up to a week.

Pomegranate - The winter superfruit

Fertility, beauty and eternal life - these are just a few of the symbols for which the pomegranate stands. The pomegranate is not only highly valued for its health-giving properties - rather, it is its shape and numerous seeds that have given it symbolic character in many cultures.   

The origin, properties and history of the pomegranate

The pomegranate belongs to the botanical family of loosestrife and is basically not a fruit, but a berry. The pomegranate tree can grow up to 15 meters tall and live up to 100 years. The berry itself, however, reaches just ten centimeters in diameter. The pomegranate consists of several small seeds, which are located in individual chambers and are separated by white skins. The chambers, in turn, are encased in a yellow to red leathery skin that protects the interior.  

Due to its numerous seeds, the berry has a great influence in many cultures: In Greek and Persian mythology, for example, the pomegranate is considered a symbol of fertility, beauty and eternal life. In the Christian Middle Ages, the pomegranate was seen above all on coats of arms and paintings as a symbol of power and the virtues of rulers. In Buddhism, it is also one of the "three blessed fruits", along with the peach and the lemon. The pomegranate also plays an important role in Christianity: for example, some scientists believe that the apple that Adam and Eve ate in paradise was actually a pomegranate. That is why many also call the pomegranate the apple of paradise.  

The ingredients of the pomegranate

The blood-red berry contains a lot of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. The highest doses are potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin C and B. On 100 grams come about: 

  • 220 mg potassium  
  • 8 mg calcium  
  • 7 mg vitamin C  
  • 7 mg vitamin B  

The effect of the pomegranate on our body

The pomegranate is one of the most powerful antioxidant foods and therefore has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and preventive effects against cardiovascular diseases. In addition, the berry not only improves our memory performance, but also strengthens our athletic performance. That is why pomegranates are often found in dietary supplements. However, one should not overdo it: If one takes too high amounts of pomegranate, it could have a negative effect on liver and kidney values. Pomegranate can also interact with certain medications, as the substances it contains inhibit the activity of enzymes. Thus, when taking blood-thinning medications with the active ingredients phenprocoumon or warfarin, the berry should be avoided.  

The pomegranate in the kitchen

The pomegranate seeds are what actually makes the pomegranate: juicy-red, small, crunchy and tart-sweet in taste, they enhance many dishes not only visually, but also taste. As a dessert, in muesli or in salads - the small red berry always provides an exotic kick.  

However, many people quickly lose their appetite for the pomegranate during preparation, because coring can be quite laborious and can produce one or two unwanted spots. To get to the small seeds as easily as possible, the pomegranate can be rolled back and forth a little before cutting. This will loosen the seeds from the chambers and make it easier to get them out after cutting. Another method of getting to the inside of the pomegranate as quickly and cleanly as possible is to cut off the ends of the pomegranate and then break the berry apart in a bowl full of water. The seeds will sink to the bottom, while the peel and skins will collect on the surface of the water.  

If you don't want to remove the seeds, you can simply squeeze the pomegranate. The resulting pomegranate juice can be drunk pure or used to refine cocktails or other drinks. But the juice also looks good in savory dishes. As a sauce it can be served well with meat and fish dishes. It tastes particularly good in combination with game.  

Purchase and storage of pomegranates

Pomegranates can be bought in supermarkets or Turkish stores from October to February. Since pomegranates do not ripen, they are not picked until they are completely ripe. A ripe pomegranate has a hard red shiny skin. If the skin is soft, it is a sign that the berry inside is spoiled. On the other hand, dented, dried areas, as well as spots on the skin are not a quality defect. A pomegranate with such a skin can be purchased without hesitation. In general, the heavier the pomegranate, the riper and sweeter its seeds.  

In the refrigerator, the pomegranate lasts between four to eight weeks. However, it should not be stored in the crisper as it is too humid there and will rot faster. At room temperature, the pomegranate can be stored for up to three weeks, as long as it is not exposed to direct sunlight.  


Sweet potato - Tuber from South America

Sweet potatoes - Although their name may lead one to believe that sweet potatoes are a sweeter form of potatoes, this is not the case. In fact, the sweet potato is not a potato, but a separate vegetable that does not resemble the potato in shape, taste or origin. Apart from the fact that sweet potatoes, like potatoes, grow underground, the two vegetables have nothing else in common.  

The origin, properties and history of the sweet potato

The sweet potato is a spindle-shaped root with a white-yellow to dark orange pulp core encased in a brown-red skin. It belongs to the botanical family of the bindweed and is thus not related to the potato. The two vegetables also differ in taste, as the sweet potato, as its name suggests, tastes sweet. This is mainly due to the sugar content.  

Originally, the sweet potato comes from Central and South America. In the 16th century, Christopher Columbus brought it to Spain. There, however, it was initially considered a poor man's food and was therefore only eaten by the lower classes. However, as time went on and it became known that it had an aphrodisiac and potency-enhancing effect, the upper classes also developed an interest in the South American tuber. The tuber quickly gained popularity and became more and more well-known - even outside of Spain. Today, sweet potatoes are mainly grown in South America, Israel, Spain, Portugal and Italy, because they feel more comfortable in tropical warm climates. Since they have to be imported to Germany, they are available here all year round.

The ingredients of the sweet potato

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, sweet potato is the most nutrient-dense vegetable of all. In 100 grams are:  

  • 600 µg iron 
  • 300 µg zinc 
  • 55mg sodium 
  • 337mg potassium 
  • 25 mg magnesium 
  • 30 mg calcium 

In addition, sweet potato is a good source of vitamins: It is rich in vitamins A, C, E and the B-complex vitamins. Just 100 grams of sweet potatoes cover one third of an adult's daily vitamin E requirement. The tuber owes its color to certain secondary plant substances, while its sweet taste comes from fructose and glucose. Since sweet potatoes contain more glucose than fructose, even fructose-intolerant people can eat the vegetable without concern.  

The sweet potato has more carbohydrates and fiber than the conventional potato, but you still do not need to be afraid of gaining weight, because the sweet potato has just 84 kilocalories per 100 grams.  


The effect of sweet potato on our body

Sweet potato makes our body glow both from the outside and from the inside: Thanks to the vitamin E it contains, our cells age more slowly and our skin looks firmer and fresher. In addition, due to their high fiber and carbohydrate content, sweet potatoes keep us full longer and make blood levels rise more slowly. In combination with magnesium, potassium controls our heart muscle and thus not only strengthens our heart functions, but also stabilizes our high blood pressure at the same time. This reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The vitamins also strengthen our immune system. In addition, the South American tuber can relieve stress symptoms and improve digestion.  

The sweet potato in the kitchen

Every year, the sweet potato is traditionally served with turkey in American households at Thanksgiving. But there is much more to the tuber: sliced, toasted and topped with cream cheese and avocado, for example, it offers a healthy alternative to toast. It also looks good in soups and salads. Thanks to its sweet taste, it can also be easily used to make a cake. It can also be used as a substitute for potatoes: boiled, fried, mashed or baked. For example, you can make delicious sweet potato fries.  

Buying and storing sweet potatoes

Unlike potatoes, fresh sweet potatoes do not keep as long. Properly stored, they can last up to three weeks. For this, they must be stored in a cool, dry and dark room. The refrigerator is not suitable for the tubers, unless they are cooked beforehand. Then you can easily keep them in a covered container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. To get the most out of your sweet potato, make sure that the skin of the tuber is intact and has no rotten spots or shoots - otherwise the vegetable will rot faster than you think.  


Salsify - The winter asparagus

The black salsify is ideal proof that first impressions are often deceptive: with its black earthy skin, it often does not look particularly attractive from the outside at first glance. For a long time, it was therefore not eaten, but only used as a remedy. But today we know that the winter vegetable has much more to offer. Hardly any other vegetable contains as much fiber as salsify. It also has no need to hide in terms of taste.  

The origin, properties and history of salsify

The salsify, like the Jerusalem artichoke, belongs to the botanical family of composite plants. The hardy perennial plant grows up to 1.30 meters tall. However, the most important part is found under the ground: Namely, the real vegetables are the roots of the plant. These can reach a length of up to 50 centimeters, and a diameter of three to five centimeters. From the outside, the salsify is brown to black. Its interior, however, is bright white and reminiscent of conventional asparagus. The two are also very similar in taste: the salsify is only slightly nuttier and spicier. However, its consistency is more like that of a carrot or parsnip. The salsify is mainly cultivated in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. In Germany, it is available from September to April and is therefore also known as "winter asparagus".  

The black salsify has its origin in Spain. However, due to its appearance, it was not used as a vegetable for a long time. Many did not know that under the hard, black shell still hides a delicious, bright core. Therefore, it used to be used exclusively as a medicinal plant against various diseases and proved to be a real miracle cure, especially against the plague and snakebites. It was not until the 17th century that it was discovered that black salsify could also be eaten. Thus it found its way into the domestic cooking pots. Today, the vegetable is an integral part of many dishes, especially in the cold season. 

The ingredients of salsify

Salsify is a real power vegetable: apart from beans and peas, no other vegetable has as many nutrients as salsify. On 100 g, 17 g of dietary fiber come together. In addition, the winter vegetable is rich in vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamins B1 and B2 are also present in high quantities. The salsify also has numerous minerals and trace elements. For example, the high potassium and manganese content is remarkable. Despite the many fibers, the salsify is not a calorie bomb, because with only 17 kcal per 100 g and 0.4 g fat, the salsify is very figure-friendly.  

The effect of black salsify on our body

The salsify has a very positive effect on our body due to its healthy ingredients. The potassium supports the function of muscles, nerves and cells and is therefore good for our heart and heart rhythm. The manganese helps our liver to detoxify our body and vitamin E protects our cells from harmful oxygen compounds. 

Apart from that, the white, milky juice in salsify has a very calming effect and thus ensures a good night's sleep. The active ingredient allantoin also promotes wound healing. Also interesting is that the consumption of black salsify increases our concentration by activating brain work.  

The numerous dietary fibers and further ensure a good and active digestion. However, excessive consumption can lead to flatulence or diarrhea. Therefore, you should not overdo it with the black salsify, as tempting as it is.  

The salsify in the kitchen

Black salsify is a real all-rounder in the kitchen: whether boiled, fried, gratinated or deep-fried, they are versatile. They go well in soups, casseroles and stews. But thanks to their nutty and spicy flavor, they also make a great addition to rice or as a side dish to various meat dishes. As a raw food, the root also brings some variety to salads and dips.  

To get to the delicious flesh of the root, you need a vegetable cleaner. This is the only way to easily remove the black skin. You should also wear an apron and gloves, because when you peel and cut the root, a milky, thick juice comes out that can stain your fingers and leave brown stains on your clothes. These are very difficult to wash out.

Buying and storing salsify

When buying salsify, make sure that the vegetable is as straight and intact as possible, because damage, such as breaks or cuts, will cause the root to dry out more quickly.  

Black salsify should be stored only whole. The skin should not be removed, nor should the root be washed. Covered with soil or sand, the vegetable can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to three weeks. Black salsify that has already been washed but not yet peeled can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days if you wrap it in newspaper beforehand. You can also freeze the salsify. For this, however, they must first be washed, peeled and blanched in boiling salted water for about two minutes. 

You can tell if your salsify is still fresh when you cut it at home: If milky juice comes out, you can use it without hesitation.


Red cabbage, red cabbage or blue cabbage

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.

Jerusalem artichoke - small tuber with nutty flavor

Jerusalem artichoke - whether as a raw food, side dish or dessert: For a long time, the small tuber was considered forgotten. In recent years, however, the root vegetable has experienced a culinary renaissance and is conquering kitchens with its nutty, artichoke-like flavor. In popular parlance, the tuber is often known as the diabetic potato, as it has fewer calories than the potato, is more filling and has numerous healthy ingredients that have a positive effect on our bodies.  

The origin, properties and history of Jerusalem artichoke

The tuber has actually been an integral part of our staple diet for centuries, but nowadays hardly anyone knows what Jerusalem artichoke actually is. Jerusalem artichoke belongs to the botanical family of composite plants and, like the potato, grows underground. In appearance, the root vegetable is somewhat reminiscent of the ginger tuber. The shape and color of the tuber vary depending on the variety and range from beige-brown to purple-brown. The flesh is usually white-beige, but can also be somewhat yellowish or brownish. With its slightly nutty flavor and sweet aroma, Jerusalem artichoke is most reminiscent of artichokes, chestnuts or parsnips.  

The tuber got its name from the indigenous people Topinambá, who used the tuberous vegetable as a food and remedy for themselves and their animals. Jerusalem artichoke first came to Europe in the 17th century, when French emigrants came across the vegetable during a famine and were convinced of its benefits. Jerusalem artichoke met with much enthusiasm throughout Europe and was considered an important food and feed until the 19th century.  

Over the years, however, Jerusalem artichoke was increasingly displaced by the potato, as the latter could be stored much longer. Thus, Jerusalem artichoke fell more and more into oblivion. Recently, however, the tuber has experienced a culinary renaissance and is increasingly used to refine dishes. However, the tuber has not yet made it back completely. Unlike other vegetables, Jerusalem artichokes are now only grown in small quantities in southern France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. Therefore, the tuber can usually only be found in health food stores or weekly markets. 

The ingredients of Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke is a healthy root vegetable that consists of 80 % of water and contains almost no fat. With just 73 calories and a fiber content of 12.1 g per 100 g, the small tuber is ideal as a diet companion. In addition, the root vegetable contains numerous vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Thus, in 100 g Jerusalem artichoke can be found:  

  • 500 mg potassium 
  • 78 mg phosphorus 
  • 20 mg magnesium 
  • 10 mg calcium  
  • 4 mg iron 
  • 4 mg vitamin C 
  • 3 mg sodium 
  • 1.3 mg vitamin B3 
  • 0.2 mg vitamin B1 
  • 0.1 mg copper  

Compared to the potato, Jerusalem artichoke thus has around 60 % fewer calories and 10 g more fiber. In addition, Jerusalem artichoke contains the carbohydrate inulin instead of starch. Around 16 g of inulin is contained in 100 g of Jerusalem artichoke. This puts the tuber in second place among the foods richest in inulin. According to experts, as little as 8 g of inulin has a prebiotic effect on the body.  

The effect of Jerusalem artichoke on our body

Many of the valuable ingredients have a health-promoting effect. For example, potassium ensures that the stimulus transmission of the muscles works properly, while magnesium is responsible for stabilizing the cardiovascular system. Sodium, calcium and phosphorus are good for our bones, strengthen our teeth and regulate the acid-base balance. Since the tuber also satiates quickly due to its high fiber content, it is well suited to support weight loss. In addition, the inulin contributes to the re-colonization of healthy intestinal bacteria and thus supports the development of the intestinal flora. This strengthens the immune system and promotes digestion. In addition, inulin slows down the absorption of blood sugar and thus regulates our blood sugar level. Because of this, the tuber is a good alternative to the potato for people with diabetes and is therefore often called diabetic potato.   

Jerusalem artichoke is further used to treat various diseases and alleviate various ailments. These include, in addition to diabetes:  

  • Gastrointestinal complaints  
  • Rheumatism 
  • Lack of strength and insomnia 
  • Dry skin and eczema 

However, excessive consumption of Jerusalem artichokes, especially in raw form or with the peel, can lead to flatulence, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. This is mainly due to the high fiber content, to the digestion of which the intestinal flora must first get used to. To avoid digestive problems, it is recommended not to eat more than 50 - 100 g of Jerusalem artichoke per day at first.  

Jerusalem artichoke in the kitchen

Whether raw, fried, deep-fried or boiled - Jerusalem artichoke can be used in many ways in the kitchen. The small tuber is ideal for refining various casseroles, soups or sauces due to its sweet and nutty taste. It can also be used as a substitute for potatoes and served as a side dish with meat or fish dishes. Shredded or grated, it also looks good in salads. Due to its rather delicate flavor, however, it should not be mixed with other strong flavors as a matter of priority - otherwise you will not be able to taste it. 

Purchase and storage of Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke is a classic winter vegetable that is available from October to May. As already mentioned, the tuber is rarely offered in stores and can therefore usually only be found in health food stores or at weekly markets. Jerusalem artichoke loses water quickly and therefore cannot be stored for more than two weeks. If the vegetable is not to be processed directly, it should be stored as cool as possible in the cellar or refrigerator at home. It is recommended to wash the tubers only before processing and store them with the soil until then. To increase the storage time up to three months, the tuber can also be carefully placed in a box filled with sand. The vegetables should then be covered with about 5 cm of sand and stored in the cellar in a cool and dark place. Care should be taken not to remove the long, thin roots.   

Kale - a classic among winter vegetables

The kale season begins with the first frost and lasts until March. The winter vegetable can be processed into numerous dishes and not only tastes good, but also does something good for our body. Rich in healthy ingredients and low in calories, it is considered a real superfood.  

The origin, properties and history of kale

Kale, also called curly kale, feathered kale or winter kale, is a cultivated form of cabbage and, like savoy cabbage, also belongs to the cruciferous family. It is a typical winter vegetable and can be bought in stores starting in November. Cabbage is harvested only after the first frosts, because the vegetable needs cold weather to develop its tart, sweet flavor. Typical growing areas are Central and Western Europe, North America, and East and West Africa. 

Nowadays, kale is very popular due to its high vitamin content and numerous nutrients and, as already mentioned, is considered a real superfood. This potential was recognized by people early on. Already the ancient Greeks and Romans used the cabbage to cure diseases. In ancient Egypt, the winter vegetable was even applied to 83 diseases. In some countries, kale was even held in such high esteem that it helped kale farmers achieve true prosperity.  

According to herbal books, kale did not come to Germany until the 16th century and was already one of the most popular vegetables in many places at that time. Oldenburg and Bremen in particular were considered strongholds of kale culture. Cabbage rides were and still are very popular in Germany: people travel to the countryside in handcartloads to enjoy cabbage in inns. During the trip, people usually play games and drink alcohol. At the end of the Kohlfahrt, the cabbage king and queen are elected. These are then responsible for the organization of the cabbage ride in the coming year. 

The ingredients of kale

Fresh kale consists of 85% of water and is therefore very low in calories. In addition, kale contains a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber. These include, among others:  

  • Provitamin A 
  • Vitamin B2 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Vitamin E 
  • Vitamin K  
  • Folic acid 
  • Potassium 
  • Calcium 
  • Magnesium 
  • Sodium 

Kale also has a very high iron and protein content and is therefore ideal as an alternative to meat. It provides 2 g of iron and 4 g of protein per 100 g - particularly high values for a vegetable. Like savoy cabbage, kale also contains numerous secondary plant compounds, such as mustard oil glycosides.

The effect of kale on our body

Considering the numerous nutrients and vital substances, it is no longer a secret that kale has a positive effect on our body. Fresh kale is good for digestion and can lower our cholesterol levels. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect and can reduce the risk of cancer. The folic acid it contains also improves blood clotting and protects the cardiovascular system, as well as the spinal cord and nerves. The vitamin E counteracts skin aging while vitamin C strengthens the immune system.

Kale in the kitchen

Kale can be used in the kitchen in many ways. It can be served quite classically as a side dish with sausages and potatoes, but also used to spice up various pasta dishes and vegetable pans. Most people prefer to boil or cook the cabbage. However, there is nothing wrong with eating the vegetable raw at times: Kale makes an ideal addition to salads along with a dash of olive oil, lemon and herbs. Kale also works well in smoothies. The so-called "green smoothies" are very popular right now, because they are not only healthy, but also taste good.  

Before you prepare kale, you should wash and clean it thoroughly. To do this, you can easily remove the leaves from the stems and leaf veins. 

Buying and storing kale

As with any vegetable purchase, kale should be purchased for quality and freshness. You can recognize fresh kale by its rich green or purple color. It has no yellow-brown edges and its leaves are crisp and curly. Kale with brownish spots and dry leaf tips is better left alone, because it has already left its best days behind. We also recommend that you choose organic products, because according to Greenpeace, kale is often contaminated with pesticide residues.  

After purchase, kale is best stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Here it can be stored for 4 to 5 days. But be careful, do not store the kale with fruit, because many fruits give off the gas ethylene, which can shorten the shelf life of kale. 

Savoy cabbage - regional, versatile, delicious

Savoy cabbage is one of Germany's most popular cabbage varieties due to its versatility and ease of preparation. The green cabbage head with curled leaves is available regionally and is offered all year round. With its numerous vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances, cabbage has managed to get us through the cold season fit and healthy for years.  

The origin, properties and history of savoy cabbage

Savoy cabbage belongs to the botanical family of cruciferous plants and is part of the cabbage Brassica genus. The cabbage is available for purchase throughout the year: From October, the autumn or winter savoy cabbage is available in stores. Its leaves are quite wavy or curly and have a rich dark green color. In addition, winter savoy is very robust, so it can withstand even temperatures of -15 degrees. Ripe autumn or winter savoy cabbage has the typical cabbage aroma and tastes aromatic, spicy.

The summer or early savoy, on the other hand, has a more delicate taste and a gentler aroma. Therefore, it is also used in gourmet kitchens. The leaves of summer or early savoy are light green and less curly than those of autumn or winter savoy. The cabbage heart is more whitish in the early and mid-early varieties while it is more yellow in the fall/winter varieties. 

The cabbage loves a warm and dry climate and is now grown mainly in China, India, Russia and South Korea. However, savoy cabbage originated in the Mediterranean region. Large quantities were first cultivated in Italy in the 16th century. However, the cabbage did not come to Germany until the 18th century. Nowadays, mature savoy cabbage can reach a diameter of up to 25 centimeters and a maximum weight of 2 kilograms.

The ingredients of savoy cabbage

Savoy cabbage provides our body with many healthy ingredients. These include the minerals calcium, potassium and iron, as well as folic acid and secondary plant compounds.

Rich in vitamins A, C, E and B vitamins, savoy cabbage is also a real vitamin bomb. The cabbage gets its typical taste from the mustard oils it contains. 

The effect of savoy cabbage on our body

Savoy cabbage is considered a real health booster. The vitamin C supports the body's defense against infections and strengthens the immune system. The antiviral and antibacterial effect of the mustard oils offers additional protection against colds.

In addition, vitamin C is responsible for the formation of connective tissue and can, with sufficient supply, protect the cells from oxidative stress. This effect is supported by the contained vitamin E: Vitamin E neutralizes cell-damaging oxygen molecules and is furthermore ideal for the prevention of certain cancers. 

Furthermore, the contained B vitamins have a positive effect on the nervous system and protein digestion. The vitamin A also contributes to the improvement of vision and skin appearance. Folic acid and potassium, on the other hand, serve to regulate blood sugar and promote cell formation and cell division. 

Savoy cabbage in the kitchen

Savoy cabbage is often served as a vegetable side dish with game, lamb, beef or pork. However, it is also ideal for stews, soups or cabbage roulades. A recipe for delicious schnitzel and white cabbage roulades can be found on our website. To retain as many of the healthy ingredients as possible, savoy cabbage should be steamed or braised during preparation. However, if it is cut into thin strips, it can also be cooked on low for a short time without losing much of the ingredients. 

Purchase and storage of savoy cabbage

When buying savoy cabbage should make sure that the leaves look crisp and fresh. If the savoy cabbage has brown spots or other discolorations, it is better not to buy. To check the freshness of the savoy cabbage you can slightly open the cabbage head and shake it. If it rustles, this is an indication that the savoy cabbage is still good. 

After purchase, savoy cabbage should be stored in a dark and cool place. In the refrigerator or cellar, the vegetable can be stored for up to two weeks. However, the longer it is stored, the more the vitamin content decreases. You can also freeze the cabbage, but for this the leaves must first be blanched in salt water.