Cabbage. Crunchy…. sweet… spicy
Living in Norway, I’m happy to know that cabbage is locally grown, and available year-round.
Let me tell you, health freaks have talked my ears off about goji berries, pomegranates, mangosteen, açai, maça… But who cares about plain old ordinary boring (and super cheap) cabbage?
Cabbage is actually quite a potent food (and did I mention delicious?).
At the top of its class of cruciferous vegetables for preventing cancer by cleaning up free radicals, cabbage also helps clean bad cholesterol that builds up in the arteries.
It’s high in Vitamin C. It fights cancer, Alzheimers, heart disease, ulcers, and helps strengthen bones – need I say more?
Raw cabbage is more nutritious than cooked, although some say steaming cabbage releases some other beneficial nutrients. Steamed cabbage + sour cream (rømme) is a comforting weekday dinner. Cabbalicious.
Can cabbage get any better?
It can be fermented. Oh yes.
Fermented foods are full of good bacterias – acidophilus, bulgaricus etc.
And one Finnish study found that fermenting cabbage produces additional compounds that prevent cancer growth.
Studies aside, I just love that sauerkraut is a salty-snacky thing. Fermented cabbage – especially kimchi – does wonders to stimulate appetite before a meal.
With the coming of the first frost and the leaves falling from the trees, we’re making preparations in our caves in Hedalen. And who doesn’t feel cool having a pantry of fermented goodies stashed up for the winter?
I know you’re eager now to run to the shop and stack up on cabbage. But let’s not get tooo crazy about it – everything in balance. Listen to your body, and eat what makes you feel happy. For me, that’s often cabbage.
Here are recipes for Sauerkraut and Kimchi. Enjoy
1/2 head cabbage
2 tsp salt
(these are the proportions – feel free to multiply and make a larger amount)
Grate the cabbage & carrot. Combine with salt in a bowl and squeeze the liquid out of the cabbage with your hands. Do this for some time to get out as much liquid as you manage. (It becomes easier the longer you do it.) Put this in a glass jar and push down with your fist to submerge the veggies in the liquid. Cover with the lid, and leave at room temperature for 3-7 days, depending on how hot the room is. When it tastes good to you, it is ready ;-). Store in the fridge.
1 chinese cabbage (kinakål) – remove white stem, roughly cut.
5 dl kale
5dl chopped nettle (can replace with something else green)
1 bunch spring onion, chopped as you like
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
2 chinese garlic (or any garlic), chopped
1-2 red chilies – remove seeds & finely chop
5cm ginger – finely grated
4 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp vita biosa or other start culture (can be substituted with 1 tbsp salt or tamari)
Squeeze the chinese cabbage and tamari in a big bowl to liberate liquid form the cabbage. If difficult, leave the cabbage laying in the tamari for some time. Add the other ingredients and squeeze more. Place in a big jar and push down with your fist to submerge the veggies in the liquid. Cover with a cloth or paper towel, secured with a rubber band. Leave standing at room temperature for 5-7 days or until the taste is to your liking.
Be aware: kimchi will smell up any room it is in!
Deva Dasha lives in Norway in a patch of mystical mountains populated with nature spirits, dwarves and moose. Her interests include smelling, laughing, loving and being sensitive with an open heart. She wishes peace to all beings in the universe.