It’s almost St.Patty’s Day and time to take advantage of an inexpensive, powerful cruciferous leafy green!!! I’m talking about cabbage and it’s super food qualities like vitamin C, potassium and fiber. According to Pliny the Elder from ancient Roman times, cabbage is a preventative cure for drunkenness and hangovers…coincidence?
The other item that goes along with cabbage in this country on St.Patty’s Day is corned beef…what is corned beef anyway? Corned beef is beef that has been cured in a salt brine with or without sodium nitrites. That pink color and salty flavor comes from sodium nitrite that has been added for color and taste. Sodium nitrites produce small amounts of nitrosamines which are cancer causing compounds. Even some vegetables like celery and beets contain sodium nitrite naturally and when you see a corned beef that is labeled nitrite free, it may have MORE sodium nitrite from the ‘natural’ replacement!!! Watch out for ‘natural’ on food labels and be a smart consumer…help is here when it comes to additives: http://www.cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/natural-foods-with-additives.html
Even in Ireland, back in the day, the Irish did NOT eat beef because it was too expensive. Corned beef and cabbage is an Irish-American thingy. Irish immigrants began using beef brisket when they came to the Northeast because meat was CHEAP! They cured and cooked the beef brisket in a brine making the end product grey in color (ewwww). Along came sodium nitrite to make the beef look and taste better and supposedly keep us safe from botulism. The thing is, it’s the beef that’s questionable nowadays and probably NOT SAFE. If your beef is NOT farm raised, the meat is full of other chemicals that mess up our hormones, possibly leading to auto immune imbalances, hormone related cancers and not to mention heart disease.
As I told my Boston raised full blood Irish mother at the dinner table on St Patty’s Day when I was a kid; ‘if that corned beef is on my plate, I will barf at the table’. Over time, my tastebuds did become more sophisticated and I do enjoy a Reuben once a year. Speaking of reuben’s, it’s probably not a coincidence that sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) is piled high on a reuben ’cause there’s a lot of fat that needs digesting.
If you’re like me and LOVE to celebrate any and all holidays, buy just enough corned beef for a sandwich and make your Reuben homemade.
The healthiest and most affordable are the cabbage, potatoes and carrots and can be prepared so many ways. Cabbage can be eaten raw, cooked or fermented. This coleslaw recipe was my family’s favorite and here’s the recipe link for you http://www.billyparisi.com/vinegar-based-coleslaw/
Mikey did NOT like this spicy cabbage thoran but he has UN-sophisticated tastebuds.
I thought it was great and I ate it for 3 days and felt full and satisfied. This recipe doesn’t include jalapeño peppers but I added a couple for good measure.
Remember the cabbage soup diet??? Make your own version and eat the soup breakfast, lunch and dinner and watch the pounds melt away!!! Liquid diets don’t have lasting effects but soup with substance does according to Penn State researcher, Barbara Rolls.
Lastly…what about the gas produced from eating all this cabbage? It’s GOOD for our gut biome so blast off and out enjoying your gas producing cruciferous veggies! (Not before yoga please)