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Monday, August 15, 2011


The red cabbage is a headed one and has health benefits which the green cabbages don’t have, so it is well worth adding this cabbage to your diet.
  The wild cabbage was probably taken to Europe by the Celts who had settled in Britain by the 4th century BC, although they were in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) by 600 BC. Their name for cabbage was bresic, clearly this word in Latin became Brassica, so it is highly likely that the Celts introduced the cabbage into Europe and not the Romans. It would seem that the wild cabbage grew in Asia, but was cultivated in the Mediterranean area by the Romans and ancient Greeks, although this was the loose-leaved cabbage. The hard-headed cabbages were late to appear on the scene, as they were not known until 1536 when the English made clear distinctions between loose-leaved and hard-headed ones using two words for cabbage, “cabaches” and “caboche.” The green Savoy cabbage, named after the province in Italy where they grew, was being cultivated in England in the 1500s.
  Red cabbage is a variant of the head cabbage which is white, and these two combined make a very healthy winter salad as given below. You can find pickled red cabbage in jars on supermarket shelves, but the taste is nothing like the one you get from a fresh cabbage that you have grated, or cooked yourself. Red cabbage tends to turn bluish when boiled, so if you want to keep the colour, add lemon juice to the water. Boiling red cabbage gets rid of some of its health-giving nutrients, so it is best steamed or eaten raw.
  Red cabbage is related to brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli and collard greens, and is packed with nutrients. It is probably the best of the cabbage family in terms of its protective benefits. All cabbages glucosinolates, but they contain different patterns of these, scientists have discovered, which means that we should include all types of cabbage in our diets to get the maximum health benefits from them. Sinigrin is one of these, and this has shown unique protective qualities against colon, bladder and prostate cancers.
  Red cabbage gets its colour from anthocyanin pigments which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is probably the best cabbage for its preventative, and curative properties.
  It contains vitamins A, C, E, K and many of the B-complex vitamins, choline and betaine, Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, and the minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, selenium, magnesium, manganese and zinc. It is rich in potassium and this combined with magnesium can lower blood pressure and ensure a smooth blood flow, and dilates the veins so that it can help men with erectile dysfunctions. Who would have thought that the cabbage may be a true aphrodisiac for the male of our species?
  With that thought, perhaps you’d like to try this winter cabbage which is everywhere in Greece during the harsh winter months. They flavour it with oregano but caraway is good too and celery seeds, or dry-fried fennel seeds, the choice is yours.


½ head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
½ head of white cabbage, thinly sliced
4 large carrots, scraped and grated
30 gr sultanas
2 tsps dry fried cumin seeds
1 green apple, chopped
lemon juice
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

Soak the sultanas in lemon juice for 30 minutes so that they plump up.
Put all the ingredients in a bowl, pour over the lemon juice and olive oil, add the freshly ground black pepper and serve with meat or fish.
This has Taste and is a Treat.

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