Now is time to enjoy Kentucky cabbage

Published 12:38 pm Thursday, September 8, 2016

By Jennifer Howard, Clark County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

From June through July and September through November, Kentuckians can enjoy the freshness and flavor of locally-grown cabbage.

Cabbage, quite popular for the last 2,500 years, was originally found growing wild on the shores of England, southern Europe and Denmark.

If you don’t have a garden of your own, check our farmers’ market, open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cabbage varieties include green, red, savoy and napa.Green cabbage is grown more often than the red or savoy types, but red cabbage has become increasingly popular in cooked dishes and in salad for color.The savoy varieties are grown for slaws and salads. Varieties that take a longer time to mature in the field usually grow larger heads, which are more suitable for making sauerkraut than those that are quick growing.

There are good reasons to try to consume all the cabbage from the garden or to buy a plentiful amount from your local farmers’ market.Like broccoli, cabbage is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family.That means it may reduce the risk of some forms of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

Cabbage is also low in fat and in calories — one cup has 24 calories.Vitamin A, needed for vision, normal growth, reproduction and a healthy immune system, can be found in abundance in Chinese cabbage.

Choose well-trimmed heads of cabbage that are heavy for their size and solid for the variety of cabbage being purchased.Leaves should be crisp and free of insects and decay.Yellow, wilted leaves indicate age. Avoid burst or broken heads.

Fresh, uncut heads of cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.However, if you plan to eat the cabbage raw or make sauerkraut, it is best to use it within a few days, while the sugar content is highest.The cabbage should be loosely covered.To prevent molding, wash cabbage just before use.

Try this Fall Slaw recipe, it’s sure to become a favorite!

Fall Slaw

— 1 cup shredded purple or green cabbage

— 10 ounces fresh Brussel sprouts, shredded (this is a unique way to serve Brussel sprouts, but you can also substitute shredded cabbage for the sprouts)

— 1 Granny Smith apple, diced

— 1/2 cup celery, diced

— 1 yellow bell pepper, diced

— 1/2 cup dried cranberries

— 1/4 cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds

— 1 tablespoon honey

— 1/4 cup olive oil

— 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

— 1 teaspoon celery seeds

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, Brussel sprouts, apple, bell pepper, cranberries and sunflower seeds.In a small bowl, whisk honey with olive oil, lemon juice and celery seeds.  Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat.Makes 6, 3/4 cup servings.

Nutrition facts per serving:220 calories; 12 g total fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 25 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 19 g sugar; 3 g protein.

For more recipes on Kentucky Foods, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682 or visit on the web at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/clark/.