Cabbage in Arkansas
Among many other greens, cabbage is coming into season and now is a great time to try something new or revisit an old favorite.
Why should I eat cabbage?
Cabbage is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. It is full of vitamin C, which helps the body form and maintain connective tissue such as bones, blood vessels, and skin. It’s a good source of vitamin K, which is used by the body to help clot blood. Cabbage is also an excellent source of vitamin A, which helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly. Cabbage is also full of antioxidants which help protect our cells.
How is cabbage grown?
Cabbage grows up from the ground and is a cool season crop that matures before the extreme heat moves in. Cabbage often starts from seeds grown indoors because of its small plant size and shallow roots. It grows best in full sun or partial shade at a temperature between 50-75°F.
These plants like sandy or raised clay soil beds and require added compost and moisture. Seedlings need to be transplanted 15 to 18 inches apart in a row depending upon the variety and size desired. Twice a year, cabbage is hand-harvested then field packed. This occurs during winter and spring.
How do I pick the best cabbage at the store?
Choose unsplit heads of cabbage, free of insects and blemishes. When buying green or red cabbage look for compact, tight, and heavy heads. The leaves of softer cabbages such as Savoy and Napa should look healthy and crisp with well–defined veins in their leaves. Avoid buying cabbages with wilted or limp leaves, slime, spots, or blemishes.
How do I keep cabbage fresh longer?
Cabbage should not be washed before storing. Fresh, uncut heads of red and green cabbage can be covered loosely with plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Savoy only keeps for about 4 days in the refrigerator, so buy it close to the time you plan to use it.
What can I make with cabbage?
One medium head of green cabbage weighs about 2 pounds and yields about 8 cups of raw shreds and 6 cups cooked. The top portion of a head of cabbage is more tender and shreds easier than the bottom.
Here’s a quick way to cook cabbage. Wash, core, and chop cabbage. Bring 1/3 cup water, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and vegetables to a boil over medium-high heat in a large deep skillet. Cover and steam until cabbage is brightly colored and just tender (about 5–10 minutes). Remove lid and continue to sauté until liquid evaporates (about 4–5 minutes). Season to taste.
Seasoning suggestions include a little seasoned salt and black pepper or a teaspoon of mustard seeds and dried minced onions.
In Arkansas, cabbage should be planted six weeks before the last hard freeze date. This usually falls around February 1-15 in south Arkansas, February 7-21 in central Arkansas, and February 21 to March 7 in north Arkansas.
Want to find out more about growing your own cabbage? Download our publication.
How much cabbage should I eat?
1 cup of raw or cooked cabbage counts as a 1 cup serving of vegetables. Below is the daily recommended amount of vegetables you should eat in order to maintain a healthy diet.
|Toddlers||12 to 23 mos
||2/3 to 1 cup|
|Children||2-3 yrs||1 to 1½ cups|
|4-8 yrs||1½ to 2½ cups|
|Girls||9-18 yrs||1½ to 3 cups|
|Boys||9-18 yrs||2 to 4 cups|
|Women||19-30 yrs||2½ to 3 cups|
|31+ yrs||2 to 3 cups|
|Men||19-59 yrs||3 to 4 cups|
|60+ yrs||2½ to 3½ cups|
Nutrition Facts per 1 cup serving of fresh cabbage, shredded
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrates 4 g
Fat 0 g
Fiber 2 g
Sodium 13 mg