Cabbage is one of those truly flexible and hearty vegetables that can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways. You can eat it raw for a crunchy bite, pop it in a pan and sauté it for a crisp and tender mouthful, or braise it for a sweeter flavor and yielding texture.

Fried Cabbage with bacon in skillet

Cabbage is an annual vegetable with layers of leaves. It descended from the wild cabbage and is part of the brassica family of veggies which also includes things like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale among many others.

It is thought to have been domesticated in Europe around (or before) 1000 BC. And for those of you who thought there were one or two types, you guessed incorrectly. There are roughly 400 varieties grown around the world.

There are a few things to keep in mind in the produce aisle. The biggest tell-tale sign is the leaves. Keep in mind that they don’t need to be pristine, but they should look lively. You will almost always get rid of a few leaves before you start working with it.

For classic green or red cabbage, you want a compact head that feels heavy for its size. The leaves should be tight, and it should look fresh. For those that are conical or leafier, stems and outer leaves should feel firm to the touch.

After you have chosen your cabbage, it is important to store it correctly. Always put it in your crisper draw in the fridge. The humidity levels are perfect for getting the best life out of your cabbage and you can expect it to last anywhere from two weeks to two months!

Here are some delicious recipes with cabbage:

What are the health benefits of eating cabbage?

This veggie catches a lot of flack and while it might look like watery lettuce, it is far from it. Each head is loaded with vitamins and nutrients like vitamins C and K. It also touts protein, fiber, folate, calcium, vitamin A, iron, and riboflavin.

Why should you not eat cabbage?

For those with hyperthyroidism, cabbage is best enjoyed on a limited basis. Research suggests that digesting this kind of vegetable can block your thyroid’s ability to function properly.

Can you overcook cabbage?

Yes! Yes, so many times over. Overcooked cabbage is what causes that funky smell that wafts through your kitchen and makes you think, “why in the world did I cook this?”

I also feel like it is why so many of us avoid it at all costs when it comes to recipes other than coleslaw. Think of it like Brussels sprouts, cook them right and they are delicious. Cook them too much and they are stinky and unpleasant. 

The best way to avoid the stink is to change up your cooking methods. I think a lot of us are under the impression that the only way to cook cabbage is to boil it when that simply isn’t true. Try sautéing it, grilling it, or roasting it. You can also steam it if you want that softened cabbage texture.

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