A cabbage a day . . .

Last updated 12:54 03/10/2011
IMAGINE: A vegetable that makes you look younger with every bite.

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Keep the doctor away and wrinkles at bay, with this super-vegetable, write food blogging sisters Vanessa and Ingrid Opera.

It's true - cabbages have such high vitamin and nutrition levels, it's claimed they can help regulate blood pressure, treat stomach ulcers and even lower the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Cabbage also has strong anti-ageing properties. So forget about any childhood memories of soggy cabbage - and start thinking a cabbage a day can keep the doctor away.

Cabbage fast facts

- Juicing cabbages and drinking the resulting liquid has long been believed to be a natural remedy to aid stomach and intestinal ulcers. (Note: If this in any way appeals, we suggest adding apple juice).

- Many nutrition experts say you should be eating cabbage regularly (at least weekly) to help prevent cancer. The naturally occurring chemicals (indoles, isothiocyanates, glucosinolates, dithiolethiones, and phenols) in cabbage can cut risk of cancers such as colon, rectal or breast.

- Cabbage is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, which act as anti-ageing agents.

- The vitamin D content in cabbage also promotes glowing skin and its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce pimples and reduce skin irritations.

- Walking for two minutes is all it takes to burn off the calories in one cup of cabbage but why bother - so sit down and enjoy.

Sisters Vanessa and Ingrid Opera combined their shared passion for food and photography to create their blog, Foodopera, www.foodopera.blogspot.com

Recipe: Cabbage apple salad

I can just imagine you're all racing out to pick up a great big load of cabbages now, and that's exactly what I did en route for a weekend away to Pakiri, a beautiful rugged beach, two hours north of Auckland.

You can't go there and not have a barbecue, regardless of the weather. So with the blokes having one eye on the rugby and the other on the barbie, Vanessa and I got stuck into making some fresh slaws for our first barbecue of the season.

Apples are another favourite of mine. They are in season and crunchy - to me they signal spring is here. They go so well with red cabbage, contrasting with the colour and the flavours blend well together. And of course, apples also have their own health benefits to enjoy.

This is such a simple salad to throw together, and it makes a nice light change from coleslaw usually weighed down with mayonnaise.

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Apple dressing:

1 apple, finely grated

3T olive oil

3T rice wine or white wine vinegar

1/2 lemon, squeezed

Pinch of brown sugar (to take tartness away)

Pepper, to taste


1/2 red cabbage, thinly shredded

Bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

2 apples, grated or thinly sliced

Note: Remember to keep your cabbage cold - it helps to retain its vitamin content.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well.

Put the shredded cabbage and chopped parsley into a large serving bowl and mix well.

Grate apples on the finest grate and add to the bowl just before serving (so the apple doesn't go brown).

If you prefer, you can thinly slice the apples instead of grating. Mix all ingredients with a fork.

Work through the dressing, coating well.

Serves four.

- Sunday Star Times

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