Mon Petit Chou – Reasons to Love Cabbage

 

Photo by ponsulak

When’s the last time you had cabbage?  When planning a meal, cabbage may not be the first veggie that comes to mind. It’s certainly not the sexiest vegetable out there, but it is packed with nutrients and fiber so brace yourself because I’m going to give you four great reasons to LOVE cabbage!

1) It’s beautiful! Cabbage is anything but boring! It comes in many varieties, including green, purple, and white. The brightly colored purple cabbage is not only pretty, but has anti-carcinogenic properties… meaning, it helps your body fight off cancer.

2) Cabbage will help keep your bones and body healthy  and  is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and harmful, inflammatory free radicals. Enough vitamin K in the diet makes your bones stronger & healthier.

3) Eating cabbage is like taking a multi-vitamin!  Yes, taking a multi-vitamin daily is a good idea, but adding cabbage to your diet just adds to the good work your vitamin of choice is doing for your health. Like other green vegetables, it is good source of many essential vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. Replenish yourself.

4) Cabbage is also a natural source of electrolytes and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron and magnesium, which can help control heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is required for red blood cell formation and is an important mineral for avoiding anemia.

Next time you are at the market, put a head of cabbage in your basket and get cooking! Be creative with your cabbage and have fun– add it to salads, stir-fry, soups— steam it, boil it, shred it, and bake it! The possibilities are endless — my new method of choice is to roast it! De-lish!

Roasted cabbage slices are crazy good! They are crunchy and salty but still healthy! Check it out:

Ingredients:
1 head of cabbage
3 tablespoons of oil-coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 teaspoon of favorite herbs like basil, caraway seeds, dill, etc.

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the cabbage starting at the top of the head so that the inner pieces for circles within the slices. Aim for ¼-1/2 inch slices.
Oil a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Place the cabbage on the baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining oil.
You may need to melt it if using a solid oil like coconut oil.
Sprinkle with desired spices (it is even delicious with just Himalayan salt !) and place in the oven.
Roast for 35-40 minutes or until tender in the middle and sides are just starting to turn golden brown. Remove and serve.

image   Enjoy!

In health,
Johanna

Presto Pesto- 3 Reasons to Love Basil!

Photo by Stoonn

Photo by Stoonn

Basil is an herb well known for its use in Italian cuisine – it is a major ingredient in pesto sauce. Basil is also commonly used in Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.

The Oxford English Dictionary says that basil may have been used as “some royal unguent, bath, or medicine”.

In fact, there are quite a number of different beliefs associated with the herb. The French often refer to the herb as l’herbe royale (the royal herb), and in Jewish folklore basil is thought to give strength while fasting.

Basil is used in traditional Tamil medicine and in ayurvedic medicine, which is a form of alternative traditional medicine in the Indian subcontinent. Eat basil to get a natural dose of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium.

There are different types of basil, which differ in taste and smell. Sweet basil (the most commercially available basil used in Italian food) has a strong clove scent. Whereas lime and lemon basil have a strong citrus scent.

But let’s get to the point– Here are your reasons to LOVE basil!

1) It may be useful in treating arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases.

2) Basil has properties that can help prevent the harmful effects of aging.

3) Helpful in preventing damage caused by some free radicals in the liver, brain and heart.

 

Did you learn anything new about this pretty little green leaf? Here is a great pesto recipe to put your new basil knowledge to use!

 

Photo by piyato

Photo by piyato

Basil Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts (other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts may be substituted)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until nuts are ground. Pesto should still have texture and not be completely smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! One variation is to add 1/2 cup rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes. For a lower fat version replace half the oil with soy milk.

This vegan pesto recipe. Toss with pasta, use as a pizza sauce or serve with bread or crackers for an appetizer. Vegan pesto is very quick and easy to make as long as you have a good food processor. This is also a raw foods recipe.

 

Enjoy!

In health,

Johanna