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  • Writer's pictureChef Kelly Unger

Have you heard how healthy cabbage is?

This Saturday, September 19th, begins the week long Oktoberfest celebration in Germany. The Doylestown Farmers Market is having it's 3rd Annual Oktoberfest celebration this Saturday as well! So I have cabbage on the brain. Growing up in a very Slovak household, cabbage was a vegetable used often, as soon as those first cool days of Fall arrived. We would stuff it with ground beef and rice, layered with sauerkraut or boil it with potatoes and ham or serve it with noodles. There were countless other ways we enjoyed it as well. I love cabbage and until recently, I didn't know that it is super healthy as well as delicious.

Cabbage, along with broccoli, collard greens, kale, brussel sprouts, arugula, and mustard greens belong to the cruciferous family - all super healthy!. “Cruciferous vegetables contain two types of sulfur, one in macromineral form and the other as an accompanying micro-sulfur trace mineral. Together they permeate lung tissue to help stimulate growth, regeneration, and healing, and they also restore and recover lung scar tissue. Crucifers are also rich in vitamins such as B vitamins and A, C, E, and K.” (Anthony William, Life Changing Foods) These are especially welcomed benefits during our current pandemic and the upcoming cold and flu season. Both red and green cabbages have amazing yet different health benefits. Regarding red cabbage, “the coloring agents that give this crucifer its red-purple hue are at the top of the heap when it comes to disease-fighting pigments. The sulfur in the cabbage carries the phytochemicals from these pigments into the liver with great ease, making red cabbage one of the most rejuvenating foods for the liver. In fact, red cabbage can help retard and reverse scar tissue in the liver… Green cabbage is very nutritious, wonderful for supporting the joints and reversing osteoporosis.” (Anthony William, Life Changing Foods)

Apples and red cabbage eaten together are especially beneficial and effective in eliminating bacteria and viruses. They make a lovely slaw together with a drizzle of white balsamic or the juice of a whole lemon and some caraway seeds and thinly sliced shallots.

Here’s another simple and delicious way to enjoy cabbage in true Oktoberfest style, Bavarian Cabbage. I would feel comfortable using half green and half red cabbage for this recipe. In true German style, there's an element of sour and caraway seeds add that unique flavoring. Enjoy!

Bavarian Cabbage

Recipe from Oktoberfest Cookbook by Julia Skowronek

Serves 4, Prep time: 20 minutes, Cooking time: 45 minutes

1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small head of cabbage cut into squares (about ¾ x ¾ inch)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 cups vegetable broth

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1. Heat oil in a large pot, add the onion, and saute. Sprinkle the sugar over the onions and cook them until golden brown and lightly caramelized.

2. Add the cabbage and caraway seeds and cook briefly. Then pour in the vegetable broth and simmer the cabbage over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring now and then. Season with salt.

3. Just before serving, stir in the white wine vinegar. Bavarian Cabbage is a great accompaniment for dishes such as Roast Suckling Pig, Roast Ham Hocks, or Boiled Ham Hocks instead of sauerkraut.

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