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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Mystical Cabbage Packs Potent Nutrients

Cabbage is one of the most ancient vegetables, under cultivation for more than 4,000 years. The modern-day cabbage developed from a wild variety brought to Europe from Asia by Celtic people around 600 B.C. It spread as a food crop throughout northern Europe because it was so well adapted to growing in cooler climates, had high yields per acre and could be stored over the winter in cold cellars.

Cabbage is an economical vegetable, with a crisp texture and strong flavor. Raw cabbage can be cut into wedges for an appetizer or shredded for salads. It can be steamed, boiled, stir-fried or made into a very nutritious sauerkraut. Red cabbage reacts like litmus paper when cooked and turns blue in the presence of an alkali, so if you want to preserve the color, some type of acid, like vinegar, needs to be added.

Both red and green cabbage are among the least expensive of the vitamin-protective foods and most healthful. Raw cabbage detoxifies the stomach and upper bowels of putrefactive wastes, improves digestive efficiency and facilitates rapid elimination. It works to alkalinize the body, stimulate the immune system, kill harmful bacteria and viruses, soothe and heal ulcers, helps prevent cancer and clear up the complexion.

Raw sauerkraut is excellent for cleansing and rejuvenating the digestive tract and promotes better nutrient absorption, as well as the growth of healthful intestinal flora. Cabbage contains iodine and is a rich source of vitamin C. The outer leaves are concentrated with vitamin E and contain at least a third more calcium than the inner leaves. All Brassica genus vegetables contain dithiolthiones, a group of compounds that have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties, indoles, substances that protect against breast and colon cancer, and sulphur, which has antibiotic and antiviral characteristics. Cabbage can mildly stimulate the liver and other tissues out of stagnancy.

Cabbage can easily be used in a number of recipes. One of the most nutritious is Vege-Kraut, a wonderful way to add variety and fabulous taste to any meal. It is essentially a salt-less sauerkraut that may have other vegetables added. This enzyme-packed food promotes digestion and is also a valuable blood cleanser and builder. Try this easy recipe at home for cabbage sauerkraut.

Vege-Kraut

1 head cabbage (red, green or a combination of both) 1 Tbsp juniper berries, finely ground 1 Tbsp powdered kelp seaweed 2 to 3 outer cabbage leaves

Chop the cabbage in a food processor until it is very fine and the juices flow when you squeeze it in your hand. Use a stainless steel or glass container to layer the kraut. Start with about 2 inches of cabbage and pack it down tightly. Sprinkle with a little ground juniper berries and powdered kelp seaweed. Continue this layering process until all the cabbage, juniper berries and kelp has been used.

Cover the top of the mixture with the cabbage leaves until all is covered. Place a plate on top with a heavy weight (like a rock) to hold the plate firmly down.

Cover the top of the container with a dishcloth and leave at room temperature for five days. When ready, pack firmly in glass jars and refrigerate. The kraut will keep in the refrigerator for one to three months.

Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle and founder of The Living Foods Institute, an educational center and therapy spa in Atlanta offering Healthy Lifestyle courses on nutrition, cleansing, healing, anti-aging, detoxification, relaxation and cleansing therapies. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or visit LivingFoodsInstitute.com. See ad, inside front cover.

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