Cabbage can be delicious when eaten raw. It retains its crunch and has a fresher, slightly bitter flavor.
It’s also extremely good for you with a great nutrition profile. As with most vegetables, these nutrients are at their best when eaten raw. Cooking vegetables, especially in lots of water, will cause water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and B vitamins to leach out. If you’ve ever boiled cabbage, you will know from the cloudy-green color of the water – that’s the nutrients gone!
What Are The Best Cabbages To Eat Raw?
Green cabbage is your typical waxy, tightly leafed cabbage. It’s the king of coleslaw as it has medium bitterness and stands up well to dressing with lots of crunch.
Savoy cabbage is the crinkly leafed green cabbage. It is slightly sweeter and more tender than green cabbage. As it’s more tender and sweet, it can be better to eat in salads.
Napa (Chinese) cabbage is a milder cabbage with a slightly peppery flavor and soft texture. It’s the traditional cabbage to use in kimchi.
Red cabbage is another waxy, tight-leafed cabbage. It is more bitter and is often paired with other strong flavors like in tacos or kebabs which complement the flavors.
In this article, I’ve thought of and researched the best ways to eat raw cabbage. I’ve added recipes along the way where I’ve found them. Here is my list:
Raw Cabbage Wraps
Wraps don’t always have to be made from flour or corn. By using a vegetable they are low carb, low calorie, and super healthy. I think cabbage gives wraps a lovely texture from its crunch and fresh taste. Make a rainbow cabbage wrap by using a red cabbage leaf filled with your favorite vegetables and peanut sauce. See the recipe – Rainbow Cabbage Wraps.
Cabbage goes well with lots of salads, either as a secondary ingredient or the main ingredient. One of my favorites is a kale caesar salad. Kale leaves work really well when dressed in that lovely caesar dressing. There are also many types of salad that raw cabbage can be added to. It can be bland and too bitter by itself, but other ingredients can make something wonderful. Here are 3 salads for you to try:
- See the recipe – Kale Caesar Salad
- See the recipe – Asian Cabbage Salad
- See the recipe – Mediterranean Cabbage Salad
Kebab Flatbreads And Wraps
Shredded cabbage and carrot are just the perfect combos with kebabs or shawarma meat. This rich meat needs some fresh crunchy vegetables to go with it, and I just love the textures accompanied with some cool creamy sauce. You can use any meat really – chicken, lamb, or beef, and either cube it or use ground/minced meat. See the recipe – Easy Chicken Shawarma.
Coleslaw has to be the number one way to eat raw cabbage! It’s simple, tasty, and pairs well with BBQ food, cold ham, or sandwiches. It can be made simply with shredded cabbage, carrot, onion, and as much mayonnaise to your taste. More complex versions include adding parsley and mixing up the dressing with mustard or vinegar. See the recipe – Seriously Good Homemade Coleslaw.
Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish from Germany. It’s very simple to make and only needs salt, a glass jar, and 5 days to ferment. Homemade is much better than store-bought! It pairs well with bratwurst and is eaten as a side for lots of foods for its probiotic (good gut bacteria) qualities. More of this good bacteria in your system has been shown to improve digestion, your immune system, weight loss, and better sleep. See the recipe – Homemade Sauerkraut.
Kimchi is another fermented dish from Korea. You can use lots of different vegetables to make kimchi, but the classic is using a Napa cabbage, like in the picture below. Kimchi is gaining a lot of popularity as a tangy side dish that can be eaten with lots of Asian dishes. It is also a probiotic which improves the good gut bacteria inside us for many health benefits. See the recipe – Homemade Kimchi.
With meat or fish as the main ingredients, tacos need some extra toppings to balance each bite. Some diced raw cabbage adds a nice crunch alongside some avocado and white onion. Try and get the best tortillas or taco shells that you can – or make your own. See the recipe – Pork Carnitas Tacos.
Raw Vegetables And Dips
Getting a good array of vegetables inside you is easy with a platter of raw vegetables and dips. My favorite dip for veggies is ranch and it’s super easy to make at home. Just mix mayonnaise, sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, black pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Other good dips are hummus, guacamole, and roasted red pepper. See the recipe – Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing.
That concludes my list of the best ways to eat raw cabbage. I hope you’ve got some inspiration for your next dinner and got as hungry as I did when writing this post. I love making homemade tacos and kebabs with some fresh veggies, and you must try a kale caesar salad if you haven’t already. The homemade ranch is particularly good too.