I recently discovered another readily available & cheap veggie in Buenos Aires: cabbage.
For some reason I was always a bit scared of cabbage. I’m not sure why. I think it’s because it’s big & heavy and I never really knew what to do with it. However, I recently learned about its health benefits in my Pathology course (the study of diseases), and my fear went away. I bought a nice big purple cabbage and made a healthy, easy, yummy coleslaw. Raw cabbage is sweet & crunchy and a great way to switch it up from your regular old salad. Once again, you have to learn about its health benefits before I give you the recipe.
-Right up there with broccoli in terms of its cancer-preventing power. They are both Brassica vegetables, which contain a chemical that promotes DNA repair in cells, and blocks cancer cells from invading
-Very high in vitamin C, which helps strengthen your immune system, helps prevent UTIs (by making your urine more acidic), keeps you regular, and is an antioxidant
-High in glutamine – an amino acid (helps make protein) that has anti-inflammatory properties (soothing to the intestinal wall for those that suffer from IBS or peptic ulcers) and helps re-build muscle tissue after exercise
-A polyphenol – a type of antioxidant (also found in apples, pears, plums, red grapes, berries, cantaloupe, broccoli, celery, parsley, green tea, dark chocolate, red wine, etc) that helps prevent free-radical damage or damage to your cells (this is why antioxidants are said to prevent different types of cancers)
-Low in calories – 1 cup is only 50 calories
Raw cabbage is best (cooking removes its nutritional value), but fermented cabbage or sauerkraut* is also very good for you. Sauerkraut is a fermented food and works the same as pro-biotics by adding healthy bacteria to your intestines. An abundance of healthy bacteria in your gut is key for proper digestion, which helps prevent disease by preventing a build-up of toxins in your blood & organs. Preventing toxic build-up also makes your skin & hair look better, gives you more energy, prevents bad breath, and overall keeps your body humming along the way it should.
*Try and find a brand that doesn’t include vinegar. Vinegar is a preservative, which decreases the health benefits.
And like I promised…here’s the coleslaw recipe – enjoy!
½ a purple or white cabbage (or combo of both)
3 large, organic carrots shredded
¾ cup raisins
3 tbsp of plain Greek yogurt or homemade mayo
3 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 tsp of honey (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar (white or cider)
salt & pepper to taste
Cut the cabbage in half (store the other half in the fridge for your next batch – you’ll want to make it again), and rough chop it into bite-size pieces (you can also shred it using a mandolin).
Peel & shred carrots (I didn’t have a grater so I had to chop mine into cubes, which also works)
In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, vinegar & honey until you have a thin, dressing-like consistency (give it a try and add more yogurt or vinegar depending on your taste).
In a large bowl combine the chopped cabbage, carrots & raisins. Stir in the dressing, season with salt & pepper and voila!
I had it for lunch yesterday with tuna & avocado, and today with a boiled egg, and it was a nice change from some of the other veggies that I’m getting a little sick of here in Buenos Aires (I’m talking to you tomatoes & red peppers).