Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

 © Donna Cook – All Rights Reserved  

I love cabbage! I've even eaten my grandmother's sauerkraut for breakfast, more than once. Next to sauerkraut, sweet and sour red cabbage is a personal favorite. One problem-I think that the jars at the grocery store are just too expensive. I started canning and found this great recipe. I've adapted and cut it down so that it can be made fresh for a family meal.


  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 Granny Smith apples. peeled, cored, and diced
  • 3 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • Optional-1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
  • Optional-1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or more to taste


  • Total time: 50-60 minutes
    • Prep time: 15-30 minutes
    • Cook time: 20 minutes 
  • Serves: 4


  1. Put spices in mesh infuser or fine mesh bag.
  2. Add all ingredients except sugar into a large pot.
  3. Put infuser or mesh bag into pot.
  4. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until cabbage is soft, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove infuser or mesh bag.
  6. Add sugar, adjust flavor to your taste.

Food Facts – Cabbage

Red cabbage belongs to the genus and species Brassica oleracea var. capitata f. rubra in the Family Brassicaceae, the mustard family. The genus Brassica includes a wide variety vegetables including cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, brussel sprouts and pak choi. They are a an annual plant. Most cabbage production is in the states of Texas, California, and Florida. I was surprised by this as I have personally seen huge fields of white cabbage here in Colorado and in Wisconsin. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning the plant has four petals that can appear to be a cross. 

WebMD.com refers to cruciferous vegetables as “super-veggies,” that may lower the risk of cancer by reducing free radicals. They may also lower the risk of heart disease by lowering inflammation markers. Please refer to WebMD.com for more complete information. 
What makes red cabbage red? The pigment is from a class of organic phytochemicals called anthocyanins. This is the pigment that turns leaves red in fall. Anthocyanins are found in flower petals, cherries, blueberries and many other plants. Cyan refers to the color of anthocyanins, which is blue-ish. The anthocyanin molecule is made from carbon rings with some hydrogen and oxygen molecules hanging on. It is not cyanide, which is an entirely different molecule which contains nitrogen and no carbon rings. Anthocyanins are a part of the group of flavenoids.

Flavenoids are antioxidants, which may provide health benefits. The wider group of flavenoids includes onions, dark chocolate, wine, and some types of tea. One cup of shredded raw cabbage contains 66% of the Vitamin C needed each day. It also provides about 15% of the daily required Vitamin A, 33% of Vitamin K, and 8% of the mineral manganese. All this nutrition packed into just 21 calories of raw red cabbage.

I entered the ingredients and calculated the nutrition facts for this recipe on myfitnesspal.com. According to this Web site, one serving of this recipe contains 112 calories, 17% of the daily required fiber, 16% of Vitamin A and 70% of Vitamin C. 
Image Credit: Allposters.com