Can You Eat Cabbage Raw?

With its heavily curled, light to dark green leaves, savoy is one of the most attractive representatives of the cabbage species. The healthy winter vegetable is particularly popular as a soup ingredient or as an accompaniment to hearty meat dishes. The curly cabbage is also good as a stew, stir-fry, or accompaniment to various pasta variations. Used instead of white cabbage, savoy leaves also give the classic cabbage rolls an even more appetizing appearance.

The aromatic winter vegetables thus provide plenty of variety and, thanks to valuable ingredients, also get us through the cold season in the best possible way. 100 grams of savoy cabbage are enough to cover the entire daily vitamin C requirement. The curly, low-calorie leaves also contain plenty of vitamins B and E as well as folic acid, calcium, zinc, and iron. Savoy cabbage also contains so-called mustard oil glycosides, which can strengthen the immune system and lower cholesterol levels. The mustard oils are responsible for the typical cabbage aroma that develops and intensifies when heated. Some people’s mouths water, while others wrinkle their noses.

Eating savoy raw keeps the cabbage winds out of the house while preserving heat-sensitive nutrients. Try the curly cabbage in a winter salad, for example, together with tangerines and walnuts! Savoy cabbage is also a treat as a crunchy topping for soup recipes and Asian bowls. Or how about a vegetable smoothie? If you want to eat Savoy cabbage raw, you should consider three points.

Eating cabbage raw: the most important things in brief

Savoy cabbage can be eaten raw and used in salads, smoothies, and the like. Like many of its relatives, savoy contains mustard oil glycosides, which are beneficial to health but can lead to digestive problems. For better digestibility, it is best to grate the raw savoy cabbage as finely as possible. Spices such as ginger, caraway, coriander, fennel, or dill seeds also increase digestibility. When buying, one reaches for healthy heads of cabbage with crunchy leaves. Thorough cleaning and washing are required before consumption.

Eating cabbage raw: tips for preparation and consumption

Use fresh foliage

When growing in the garden, a distinction is made between early savoy cabbage and varieties for the autumn or winter harvest. Since the first leaves are extremely tender and mild in taste, they are particularly suitable for eating savoy cabbage raw. You can cut off the cabbage before it has formed a firm head. When buying, it is important to look for a fresh cutting point on the stem and for healthy, crisp, green leaves.

Should yellow, dark, or even rotten spots appear during processing, it is best to cut them out generously. The outer, loosely arranged dark foliage is usually quite firm. Cooking makes it softer and more digestible, which is why it does better in the warm kitchen. The tight-fitting savoy leaves inside the cabbage, on the other hand, are light green and have a much finer taste and structure.

Clean and wash thoroughly

Especially when consuming savoy cabbage raw, it is advisable to always clean and wash it thoroughly first. Because dirt and soil accumulate between the curly heads. Snails, caterpillars, and insects like to refresh themselves and hide in the leaves. If you grow your own cabbage, you can ideally be sure that no pesticide residues will stick to it during harvest. Even if you rely on organically grown vegetables, it is also important to thoroughly rinse off and remove organic liquid fertilizers and the like.

Eat cabbage raw: Our tips for better digestibility

Like many other members of the cabbage family, savoy can often cause flatulence and abdominal pain because of the mustard oil glycosides it contains. In order to prevent unpleasant side effects, the raw savoy cabbage is chopped up as much as possible. You either cut the vegetables into narrow strips or grate them very finely with a grater or food processor for recipes. In this way, the ingredients can be better broken down and digested in the gastrointestinal tract.

Savoy cabbage is also generally well-tolerated as a smoothie. If you use spices such as ginger, caraway, coriander, fennel, or dill seeds, you also increase the digestibility – not to mention the pleasure. If you are already sensitive to cooked cabbage dishes, you are better off avoiding raw food. To avoid digestive problems, you should at least blanch savoy cabbage before eating.

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