Healthy Eating: Kick out cancer with cabbage

Article by Tanya McCausland, For The Sentinel

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this week’s fall soup recipe is packed with ingredients that can help us kick cancer in the kitchen.

By cooking and eating whole, unprocessed foods, you are taking a huge step toward preventing and recovering from cancer and many other diseases. True health really begins in your kitchen.

The American Cancer Society’s key recommendation to reduce the risk of cancer is to eat cruciferous vegetables on a regular basis. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. This group of vegetables contains more phytochemicals (mostly in the form of glucocsinolates) with demonstrable anti-cancer properties than any other vegetable family. Popular studies have shown that the higher the intake of these vegetables the lower the rates of cancer, particularly colon, prostate, lung and breast cancer.

Cabbage is “king” of the cruciferous vegetable family because of its extra-special health powers. The glucocsinolates in cabbage work primarily by increasing antioxidant mechanisms and improving the body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate harmful chemicals and hormones. That means keeping cancer out and inviting health in!

If that wasn’t enough, cabbage also has more vitamin C than oranges. A weakened immune system doesn’t just open you up for the common cold but also creates a more hospitable environment for cancer.

Fall is a great time to fill up on cabbage and all its amazing nutritional benefits. The market has beautiful tender cabbage that is sweet, crisp and perfect for a warming soup. Stop by the demonstration tent between 3-5 p.m. today to see how this delicious soup is made and get the first taste. You’ll never look at cabbage the same way again.

Here is a recipe with cabbage:

Curried Cabbage and Potato Soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1/2 heads green cabbage (about 16-20 ounces)

1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

4-5 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into smaller than bite sized cubes

2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste (you can also use Indian powdered curry)

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

5 cups of water or vegetable broth

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Remove any ragged leaves from the cabbage. Halve the cabbage (so you have two quarters) and remove the core. Slice the cabbage into thin strips about as thick as a pencil. You can do this with a knife or on a mandolin. Cut the long strips in half once.

Warm the coconut oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add the potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes until they start to become tender and brown a bit. They may stick a bit but don’t worry. The water will help get those stuck bits off the bottom. Stir in the curry paste (or powder), garlic and onion. Cook for another minute or so.

Add the water and chickpeas. Raise the heat and bring the soup to a simmer. Add the cabbage and cook for another 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften. Don’t worry if it looks like there’s a lot of cabbage. It will collapse quite a bit.

Taste your broth and add salt and pepper as needed. If you want a stronger flavor you can add more curry paste or a few shots of tamari. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestion: This soup is delicious on it’s own but I really love it with a splash of coconut milk, which gives it a very distinct Thai flavor. You can also add a cup of cooked brown rice or millet to make it even heartier and filling.