Cabbage doesn’t get much love. I’m here to convince you to not overlook poor cabbage next time you go to the market. Purple cabbage is especially beautiful, and look at the health benefits it offers:
- its rich purple-red color signifies a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, plant-based antioxidants that protect against various diseases
- high in vitamins K & C
- the anthocyanins in purple cabbage are well-documented anti-inflammatory compounds
- a good source of indole 3-carbinol that helps break down excess estrogens. (read why too much estrogen is no bueno!)
- supports liver detox function
- may help lower cholesterol
- one cup has only 17 calories and almost 2 grams of fiber
Purple cabbage offers more antioxidant punch than its green sibling, but all cabbage possesses the above benefits. Cabbage is easy to prepare and delicious when roasted or braised. It ties together any meat dish really well, and purple cabbage is a beautiful side dish on any table. Here’s an easy recipe made with nourishing bone broth.
Braised Purple Cabbage (paleo, grain & dairy free)
1 head of purple cabbage (green will work too, but purple is slightly sweeter and higher in antioxidants)
Broth and/or wine or vinegar for braising (the acid softens it)
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Chop the cabbage roughly. You’ll probably end up with quite a lot. I usually make about 1/2 a head at a time so my saute pan do not runneth over.
- Coat the bottom of a large saute pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add the cabbage. Isn’t it pretty?
- Add about 3/4 cup broth and a little white wine if you have it or vinegar and stir to coat. Add sea salt. Cover and reduce heat to low so everything is simmering. I always use mineral-rich bone broth to get the benefits of the broth along with the cabbage. I happened to have this one in the fridge, all nice and gelatinous, brimming with collagen and gelatin and ready to use.
- Let the cabbage soften, and braise for about 10 minutes, stirring after 5. Add more broth if needed to prevent sticking. Taste to check seasoning and add more sea salt if necessary. When it’s almost finished, remove the lid to reduce the liquid.
- It’s finished when it’s soft but not mushy, so be careful not to overcook it (though it’s pretty forgiving). I’m a purist with this dish, so I serve it with just cracked black pepper, but you could also add a little apple cider vinegar or balsamic for a kick.
- Serve. Isn’t it beautiful? Enjoy.
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. In addition to her coaching practice, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and kick nagging digestive issues for good. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.