Monday, 11 October 2010

Autumn leaves

Glorious autumn! Today I was  walking on the tapestry of orange, red, yellow and green leaves that nature drop at our feet.  It's not only walking on that tapestry that it's enjoyable.  I also enjoy the way the leaves fall, some descent as in a dance, some are in a hurry to touch the floor,  others prefer to linger around for a while and go as far as possible. Whilst walking I realise that what nature doesn't drop at our feet are the great variety of nutritious leaves such as spinach, kale or cabbages.

And cabbages aren't just autumn leaves.  they are all year round leaves though some are imported to the U K.  By the way it amazed me once that at a French market exhibition in the NW3 London area, in  summer,  they brought cabbages!!!.  I imagine they were very keen that people should eat cabbages as they are such a source of nutrients. 

One cup of cabbage (150 grms) contains very low calories but is rich in vitamin K  which allow your blood to clot normally,  protects bones from fracture, prevents calcification of your arteries and  postmenopausal bone loss,  high content of vitamin C good content of magnesium, vitamins B1 & B2.

Cabbage not only is low in calories but  can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer, due to its high content in fibres and chemicals. Fibre  helps the intestines to stay healthy by increasing our transit movements. Cabbage also contains chemicals that inhibit tumour growth and protect cells against free radicals.  It is suggested that cabbage should be included in meals two to three times a week.

Variety of cabbages:
The  green cabbage or spring greens however nowadays  they are  all year round.  Important to look for small, tender "perky"  leaves, when you break them they should sound crunchy or squeaky.

Savoy beautiful with wrinkly outer leaves, full of flavour.

White round cabbage. Rather smooth leaves.

Pointed cabbage leaves  tight and green.  Best in April through June.

Preparing cabbage:

Choose very fresh and young cabbage. It's not a good sign if the outer  leaves have been removed,  this means the cabbage is not fresh.

It's better to break the cabbage leaves.  By cutting them with a knife it looses its vitamins, especially vitamin C.

When cooking cabbage the reason  it smells it is due to its high content of minerals and nutrients.   Cabbage should be steamed for as little as possible  or better sauté. 

Soften an onion in walnut oil, add a crushed garlic clove and a handful of chopped walnuts, add shredded (by hand) cabbage, put the lid on and let it cook slowly until the cabbage is tender.

Plain steam cabbage can be added to any pasta, and even lasagne.  In this way the amount of pasta can be reduced, improving at the same the nutrient content of the dish.  Plain can cabbage can also be added to stewed dishes.

Adding cabbage regularly in your meal will give good nutrients, vitamins and lipids. 

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