Red cabbage or czerwona kapusta in Polish is much more than just a vibrant alternative to regular green cabbage.
This cruciferous vegetable has a number of impressive health benefits and is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Red cabbage also packs plenty of fiber, carotene, and other important nutrients that are usually only found in root vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes.
Czerwona kapusta has fewer calories than green or purple cabbage, but it’s still a reasonably high-carbohydrate vegetable. In this article, we look at everything you need to know about red cabbage, from its health benefits to the best ways to cook it.
We also discuss its nutritional value and some interesting red cabbage facts that might surprise you!
What is Red Cabbage?
Red cabbage is a type of loose-leaf cabbage that, as the name suggests, is red in color.
It can be used in salads, stews, or as a side dish. Red cabbage is the king of cruciferous vegetables that are very health-promoting.
They are related to broccoli and kale and are an excellent source of anti-cancer nutrients. As a member of the brassica family, red cabbage is also high in sulforaphane, which is thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
And like other brassicas, red cabbage is high in vitamin C, which can boost the immune system and support collagen production.
A short history of czerwona kapusta in Poland.
Czerwona kapusta has one more name in Poland – Modro Kapusta. This is actually pretty funny to me coz the name modro or modrá means blue color in the Slovak language and there is nothing else called modro in Poland. Just for your information blue in Polish is “niebieski”.
Ok, enough of the names, I still don’t understand why this red cabbage is called modro kapusta…
Anyway, red cabbage is one of the most popular vegetables in Poland. It firstly appeared a few hundred years ago and become so popular among people that it appeared on King’s tables too.
It is grown on fields or in gardens and it is harvested at the beginning of June.
Benefits of Red Cabbage (czerwona kapusta)
Red cabbage is an excellent source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber. Red cabbage is low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and low in sodium and fat. It is a great source of Vitamin C and Potassium.
It also contains a high amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin K. It is also rich in minerals like manganese, copper, and iron.
Red cabbage has been shown to support the immune system and help prevent the growth of certain types of cancers, including breast and colon cancers.
The sulforaphane found in red cabbage has anti-inflammatory properties. Red cabbage has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of inflammation-related diseases like arthritis and cardiovascular diseases.
Supports Healthy Digestion
The dietary fiber found in red cabbage supports healthy digestion and can also prevent constipation.
Supports Vision Health
Red cabbage is rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for eye health and can prevent macular degeneration, a degenerative eye disease that leads to vision loss in elderly people. It can also prevent other eye diseases like retinitis Pigmentosa and glaucoma
Supports Bone Health
Red cabbage is rich in vitamin K1. Many experts believe that vitamin K1 is important for bone health as it can reduce bone fractures.
Nutrition Facts for Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is an excellent source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber. It is low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and low in sodium and fat.
Also, it is a great source of Vitamin C and Potassium. It also contains a high amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin K. Red cabbage is also rich in minerals like manganese, copper, and iron. The following table shows the number of nutrients present in one serving cup of red cabbage.
One Serving of Red Cabbage:
- 22 calories
- 1 gram protein
- 0.1-gram fat
- 5 grams carbohydrates
- 2 grams fiber
- 2.8 grams sugar
- Vitamin K: 67.6 micrograms
- Vitamin C: 32.6 milligrams
- Folate: 38.3 micrograms
How to Select and Store Red Cabbage
How to choose red cabbage?
When it comes to the selection, try to find red or purple cabbage heads that feel heavy for their size. Avoid those that are wilted or have an off smell. Also, look under the first leaves and check if there is no sign of mold or some insects underneath.
How to store red cabbage?
If you want to store your cabbage for an extended period, you can wrap it in a paper towel and place it in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator.
If you’re planning to make red cabbage for the New Year or Wigilia, try to get it as fresh as possible. It will be much easier to chop, and you won’t have to worry about it being limp or old tasting. Also, you have to make sure that you are chopping it very finely. This is the most important part of making the dish.
It is almost like making coleslaw.
Cooking with Red Cabbage
There are a lot of ways how to prepare food with red cabbage. The most popular recipe in Poland would be “zasmažana czerwona kapusta” or fried red cabbage. Usually, some smoked bacon or even apples are added too.
In Slovakia fried red cabbage is usually added to roasted duck or goose.
And what else you can make with czerwona kapusta?
Roast red cabbage on a baking tray at 200°C for about 30-35 minutes with a bit of fat like olive oil or butter. You can also add chopped onion and season it with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Remove any loose leaves and place the head in a steamer basket, steam for about 10 minutes, and then season with salt and pepper.
Another popular way is using red cabbage in stir-fries. Place thinly sliced cabbage in a wok with a bit of fat like olive oil or butter.
Red cabbage can also be added to soup for flavor and texture. You can choose between cooking the soup with chopped cabbage or blending it at the end and making cream soup.
Should you eat czerwona kapusta?
That was our article on red cabbage. Red cabbage is a delicious and healthy cruciferous vegetable that is perfect for salads, stir-fries, and stews.
Make sure to get fresh red cabbage and chop it finely to get the best results. It is high in anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory nutrients and can be used in a variety of dishes. Make sure to get plenty of red cabbage for the New Year and Wigilia, as it will help you to cleanse your body and mind for a fresh start in the new year.
Vitamin K(1) doesn’t support bone health. Vitamin K2 supports bone health and K2 is only found in animals…
Hi Monika, thank you for the feedback. Yes, it is true that red cabbage contains vitamin K1 and I adjusted the information. Also, I have included studies that examine the impact of K1 on bone health and potentially lower the risk of bone fractures. Jan