Wow, it’s hard to believe this is the last week of the Functional Foods at Farmers Markets series.

It has been a lot of fun. The best part of the series has been all of the great comments and feedback from all of you, the readers.

Thanks for spending the summer visiting and reading the blog, I'm actually going to miss it. 


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Pucker up for Purple Power!

As autumn arrives, we find the remarkable ruby red or purple cabbage available at the markets.

Red and Purple Cabbage (Brassica oleracea). Also known as ruby, purple and black cabbage because of the variations in their depth of color.

You'll notice the color differences throughout the pictures in the blog. 

For the remainder of the blog, the term red cabbage will encompass purple, ruby and black cabbage.


Red cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that’s part of the Brassicaceae family. Cabbage translated into Latin is brassica.

Red cabbage is described as having a somewhat peppery flavor and, because it takes longer to mature, it’s typically a little Sturdier than green cabbage.

Red cabbage can be used in many ways.

We often see it sautéed, braised, pickled, roasted, used raw in salads and slaws, used to make cabbage rolls, as a topping on fish tacos and, even providing some pretty color and healthy benefits to smoothies. 

In my family, sautéed red cabbage is a fabulous side dish for almost any meal. I add a little bit of zing to it with a dash of cayenne pepper and it’s delicious.

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Antioxidants

Red cabbage is loaded with the flavonoid anthocyanin that provides the beautiful red color.

Anthocyanins are antioxidants that lower the risk for many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation throughout the body. 

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Purple Power

Studies have shown that as the amount of red cabbage you eat increases, the higher the antioxidant levels in your blood becomes.

This is great news because it means that your cardiovascular system benefits from lower rates of inflammation caused by oxidation and improved total and LDL cholesterol levels.

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Remember 

Some studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, can be beneficial for the memory.

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Impressive!

A very large study in Sweden found that people that ate at least one serving of cabbage per week had a significantly lower risk for pancreatic cancer.

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Science Fun Fact

 

The red color (anthocyanin) in cabbage can be used to determine if the soil or the cooking environment is more alkaline (non-acidic) or acidic. 

Red cabbage likes to grow in more acidic soil so, the more acidic the soil is, the darker red the cabbage is. That’s why we see ranges from red to deep purple and, almost black. 

When red cabbage is cooked in a more alkaline environment it can turn a blue or greyish color. To keep the vibrant red color, simply add some acid such as lemon or vinegar. 

This low-calorie, low-carb serving of raw red cabbage provides huge amounts of vitamin C, along with great amounts of fiber, vitamins A & K and a bit of vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, selenium and more!  

This low-calorie, low-carb serving of raw red cabbage provides huge amounts of vitamin C, along with great amounts of fiber, vitamins A & K and a bit of vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, selenium and more!  

Even though there are many ways to prepare red cabbage, it can be overcooked enough to lower some nutrients. To get the most benefits out of red cabbage, it’s recommended to lightly steam it because, too high of heat will diminish some nutrients, like vitamin C, and fiber.

Even though there are many ways to prepare red cabbage, it can be overcooked enough to lower some nutrients.

To get the most benefits out of red cabbage, it’s recommended to lightly steam it because, too high of heat will diminish some nutrients, like vitamin C, and fiber.

Happy Autumn! Purple Power!

Resources:

Betty Crocker – Baja Fish Soft Tacos: https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/baja-fish-soft-tacos/fb470c40-fa64-4046-ab7e-ebdac61e48d2

Betty Crocker – Slow-Cooker German Red Cabbage and Pork Ribs: https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-german-red-cabbage-and-pork-ribs/b0c977af-a4c6-48ba-aa76-b06e841b4dee

Eat Right – Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – Braised Red Cabbage with Sweet Apples and Onion Recipe: http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/recipes/braised-red-cabbage-with-sweet-apples-and-onion-recipe

Health – Red Cabbage and Apple Salad With Ginger Vinaigrette: http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001816295,00.html

Health – 23 Easy Cabbage Recipes: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20684235,00.html#beyond-cabbage-soup-0

Just A Pinch Recipes – “Purple Stuff” Red Cabbage Rolls: https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/main-course/other-main-course/purple-stuffed-red-cabbage-rolls.html

My Ginger Garlic Kitchen – Irresistible Potato Red Cabbage Tikki: https://www.mygingergarlickitchen.com/irresistible-potato-red-cabbage-tikki-recipe/

Pinterest – Red Cabbage Recipes: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/red-cabbage-recipes/?lp=true

Stacey Homemaker – Lentil Stuffed Red Cabbage Rolls: https://www.staceyhomemaker.com/lentil-stuffed-red-cabbage-rolls/

Simply Recipes – Braised Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sweet_and_sour_red_cabbage/

 

 

 

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