Cabbage is a staple in diets around the world due to its impressive nutritional benefits that come at an incredibly low calorie cost. According to the USDA, a half cup serving of raw, chopped red cabbage provides approximately 34% of RDI for Vitamin C, and as an added bonus it provides 4% of the fiber you need each day - all for just 12 calories. Green cabbage provides a bit less, giving 19% of the RDI for Vitamin C, with only 11 calories. The Brassica family of vegetables to which cabbage belongs packs a number of phytochemicals that inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors. Studies have found that the optimum effect comes from consuming them raw. The easiest way to eat raw cabbage is to just toss a bit into your salad every day, where it adds delicious crunch, a peppery flavor and vibrant color!
Looking at the statistics, it is obvious that Americans like cabbage. Farmers in the U.S. produced one billion pounds last year. Cabbage is in season late summer to fall, but it is available year round in grocery stores and it is a great winter ingredient. When purchasing cabbage, look for heavy heads with no signs of dehydration and no black spots. Store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Be careful not to overcook cabbage (10 minutes or less will do the trick) to avoid the intense smell that puts off some picky eaters!