Chia seeds, acai, goji... The list of superfoods is long. Foods we've never heard of are making the leap into our supermarkets - after traveling miles. But does superfood always have to be exotic?
No! Even if acai and co. are currently the most well-known representatives, we don't have to go that far to find superfood here: How about black cabbage, for example? A portion of the vegetables covers your entire (!) daily requirement of vitamin C. In addition, you can easily conjure up delicious, hearty stews with it...
What is black cabbage?
Black cabbage originally comes from Tuscany, which is why it is also known as "Tuscan cabbage". It is an old type of leafy cabbage from which some types of cabbage descend: For example, it is considered to be the origin of head or Brussels sprouts.
Black cabbage (also: Cavolo Nero) is still mostly grown in Tuscany today and flowers from May to August. The biennial plant is usually harvested in late summer and early autumn, it can even be harvested in November. However, the vegetable is not frost hardy – in contrast to kale.
In addition, black cabbage tastes a little milder and finer than kale and does not have to be cooked for as long. It can be recognized by its dark green, downward-curled leaves, which are arranged in a manner reminiscent of palm leaves - the reason why it is also called palm cabbage.
Good for the immune system
Kohl was already known in ancient Egypt for its "healing powers". In the Middle Ages, too, the vegetable was used to improve inflammation or muscle tension.
Today, black cabbage is primarily associated with its immune-boosting effect: black cabbage naturally contains more vitamin C (105 mg / 100 g) than citrus fruits (50 mg / 100 g). If you eat a portion of black cabbage, you even cover your entire daily vitamin C requirement. In this way you support your immune and nervous systems, your psychological function and protect cells from oxidative stress (similar to kale).
And best of all: Even when cooking, the vegetables retain their high vitamin C content. So you don't have to worry about destroying the nutrients with the heat and can cook black cabbage however you like.
Low calorie superfood
With only approx. 35 calories per 100 g, black cabbage is also ideal for a diet. Just like kale, it is low in calories and fat, but at the same time rich in valuable fiber and micronutrients.
Black cabbage scores not only with an extremely high amount of vitamin C, but also with calcium: 121 mg of calcium per 100 g act as the perfect fuel for muscles, heart and bones.
Tuscan cabbage can also provide us with beta-carotene, vitamin K1 or various B vitamins - and thus prevent inflammation and oxidative stress.
Beta-carotene can also be partially converted by the body into the important vitamin A : Vitamin A ensures a functioning protein metabolism, supports blood formation and is important for our iron utilization.
What do I have to pay attention to when shopping?
The leaves are usually offered individually, not as a head. It's also possible that you won't find black cabbage in your supermarket - then feel free to drop by the next weekly market, the chances are usually higher here.
The leaves should also be firm, rather thin and ideally without spots when you buy them. This is how they are most tender. If you don't use it straight away, it will keep in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze it as well. Simply blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes and then put in the freezer.
How do I prepare black cabbage?
There are several ways to enjoy the delicious vegetables. What they all have in common: Remove the tough core and core from each leaf and chop them up.
- raw: Probably the fastest way to prepare the cabbage. After washing the cabbage and removing the hard parts, you can chop it up and add it to your salad, if you like. It goes very well with sweet potatoes, goat cheese, corn or olive oil - there are no limits to your imagination! Note, however, that raw black cabbage tastes a bit more bitter than when you boil or boil it. You can also add it to your green smoothie.
- fried: Fry the black cabbage together with some onions in a little butter or oil and add spices (garlic, chili, pepper...). If you have problems with flatulence: caraway and ginger prevent intestinal wind - and complement the taste of black cabbage perfectly. Leave in the pan for about 3-4 minutes until the leaves are wilted but still crispy.
- Cooked: After you have chopped up the black cabbage, put it in a pot of salted water. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes. If you shock it with ice water immediately after cooking, it will keep its beautiful deep green colour. After that you can process it further. How about, for example, as an extra in a homemade pesto? Mix it together with basil, pine nuts, pecans and some oil for a creamy dip...
Another classic in which the black cabbage should not be missing: the Italian stew ribollita. It is cooked with white beans, tomatoes, garlic, onions, soup greens, sage and bay leaves and parsley. The result: an incredibly aromatic stew that is perfect for the colder seasons.
Black cabbage and Löwenanteil = perfect match!
Not only our dishes, but also the black cabbage is prepared in less than 5 minutes... If that's not a sign!
For example, you can use the cabbage in a delicious salad that you eat as a starter with our chickpea curry ? Or you fry it briefly and mix it into our Italian bean stew - that would be pretty close to the Italian ribollita.
No matter what you choose: the mild, nutty taste of black cabbage is a delicious addition to any of our dishes. Who needs exotic superfood?