Cabbage is a member of the Brassica family. It originates from England and Mediterranean areas where it grew in the wild. It is one of the oldest cultivated crops in Europe, having been a part of the human diet for more than 1000 years. Today, cabbage can be seen in many different cultures from Europe to Asia to the Americas. Many people associate cabbage with eastern European countries, such as Germany and Poland, due to the major part it plays in a number of classic cultural dishes of that area.

Fun fact: One cup of raw cabbage contains 190% of your daily value of vitamin C. Citrus isn’t the only place to get this immune supporting vitamin!

As with a number of other cruciferous (meaning of or relating to the cabbage family) veggies, humans can access the nutrients in cabbage more readily if it has been steamed or cooked in some way. Cabbage is a wonderful source of vitamins K, C, and B6, as well as a good source of manganese and fiber.

cabbageAmazing fact: Sterling College grew 1,000 pounds of cabbage in the 2015 growing season. That’s a lot of cabbage!

Fun fact: China is the world’s largest producer of cabbage, while Russia consumes the world’s largest amount of cabbage at forty-four pounds per person per year!

Cabbages are a great crop to grow in Vermont. They can be made into so many great foods that can be stored for the winter, like kimchi and sauerkraut. It is available in Vermont from June to December (with the use of glasshouses or greenhouses).

Fun fact: Cabbage is one of the most popular vegetables in the world, second only to potatoes.

This braised cabbage with black beans recipe works well within Sterling’s Kitchen vision and guidelines, and here’s why: cabbage is easily found locally, and with the addition of beans as the protein source instead of meat, it is a low-impact food on the environment.

Braised Cabbage with Black Beans

Serves 4 as a first course

1 medium onion, thin sliced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 lb green cabbage, halved, cored and sliced thin

½ lb purple cabbage halved, cored and sliced thin

2 ½ c. vegetable stock

2 c. black beans, cooked

Olive oil, to taste

Salt, to taste

Lemon juice, to taste


  1. Heat oil in a wide, straight sided skillet
  2. Add onion and caramelize at medium heat
  3. Add garlic. Cook for 30 seconds
  4. Add cabbage and mix with ½ Tbsp of salt. Cook for 3 minutes
  5. Add stock (preferably boiling)
  6. Bring everything to a boil. Cover and turn down to low. Cook for 25 minutes
  7. Add beans to the mix and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes
  8. Add oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

How to: Vegetable Stock

To make vegetable stock, you just need vegetables and water. You can make vegetable stock with scraps saved from becoming compost. Some fantastic flavors for veggie stock are onion peels (not the skins – too many skins will make the stock bitter), the tops of leeks, carrot peels, and the bits and ends of things like squash. Stock is also an excellent way to use leftover vegetables from a previous meal. The classic flavors for stock are celery, onion, and carrot. When making your stock, keep in mind that you want a balanced stock. Find a good balance between sweet and earthy flavors.

Servings: 4

Nutrient Amount % of Daily Target or Limit
Total Calories 305 15% limit
Protein 11 g 24% target
Carbohydrate 46 g 35% target
Dietary Fiber 11 g 46% target
Total Sugars 15 g No daily target or limit
Added Sugars 0 g No daily target or limit
Total Fat 11 g No daily target or limit
Saturated Fat 2 g 7% limit
Monounsaturated Fat 6 g No daily target or limit
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g No daily target or limit
Linoleic Acid 0 g 0% target
α-Linolenic Acid -0.9 g -82% target
Omega 3 – EPA -1200 mg No daily target or limit
Omega 3 – DHA -1200 mg No daily target or limit
Cholesterol 0 mg 0% limit
Calcium 184 mg 18% target
Potassium 1131 mg 24% target
Sodium‡ 307 mg 13% limit
Copper -955 µg -106% target
Iron 4 mg 22% target
Magnesium 93 mg 30% target
Phosphorus 195 mg 28% target
Selenium 2 µg 4% target
Zinc 1 mg 6% target
Vitamin A 175 µg RAE 25% target
Vitamin B6 -0.4 mg -33% target
Vitamin B12 -1.2 µg -50% target
Vitamin C 182 mg 242% target
Vitamin D -1 µg -8% target
Vitamin E 1 mg AT 4% target
Vitamin K 127 µg 141% target
Folate 125 µg DFE 31% target
Thiamin -0.8 mg -74% target
Riboflavin -0.9 mg -85% target
Niacin 1 mg 4% target
Choline 74 mg 17% target

Written by Alice Haskins & Lydia Jones.

Filed Under: Blog The Sterling Kitchen

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