If you have no idea what vegetable I'm talking about, have a look at the picture above.
The Savoy Cabbage belongs to the big family of "Cruciferae" or "Brassicaceae" (that is the botanical name), which includes red and green cabbages, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, spring greens and collard.
As you can see this head looks very rugged and wild. The outer leaves are dark green, whereas the inner heart is light green or almost yellow.
If you try it, you'll be up for a pleasant surprise :-)
In contrast to many of the other family members, the Savoy cabbage is a lot sweeter and more tender. It might be the only one that actually tastes well when eaten raw. I tried a piece of the core (that you normally discard) and was surprised at how sweet it tastes. This is great news, because even children tend to like it. Especially if you use my recipe with cream.
Savoy cabbage is featured as one of the world's healthiest foods in the book with the same name by George Mateljan. It's low-calories, no-fat and no-cholesterol, as well as high in dietary fiber and protein.
This veggie has so many healthy benefits and nutritional values, that I will only emphasize the 4 most important ones here:
1. Powerful Antioxidant
Due to the high amount of polyphenol compounds and Vitamin C, it's a very good antioxidant. Antioxidants are said to prevent aging of the skin and give you a healthier, more shiny look. Something we all want, right?
2. Abundant Vitamin Supplier
It contains especially high amounts of the Vitamin B9 (also called Folate), B6, C and K.
Savoy cabbage contains per 100g around 20% of the daily recommended dose of Folate (especially important for pregnant women or women trying to conceive). 10% of Vitamin B6, >50% of Vitamin C and 86% of Vitamin K.
Find all the nutrients here: United States Department of Agriculture
One more great reason to include Savoy into your diet at least once a week.
3. Pain-Relieve and Reduction of Swellings
Making a poultice can help to reduce swellings and arthritis joint pain.
Midwifes have used Savoy for hundreds of years to help lactating women when they have a painful galactostasia. Put the cold cabbage leaves on your breast, to relieve the pain and regulate the milk production. I tried that myself and it really works wonders.
4. Cancer Prevention
Cancer prevention research has shown that the glucosinolates contained in all cabbages may lead to lower risks of certain types of cancer.
Savoy cabbage is a true winter vegetable that's harvested either in early spring or from autumn until winter. If you plan on growing it in your own garden, it's a very hardy plant used to the rough climates found in the moderate zones.
Stored properly in a cool and dark place it can last for weeks or even months without going bad. This is one of the reasons why cabbage was a staple food in Europe in the middle ages up to the 19th century, when you couldn't just go to the next supermarket to shop for fresh produce.
When buying your vegetable at the supermarket, make sure, that the outer leaves are of a very dark green color, while the inner leaves should be light green or even yellow. The head must be dense and feel solid. When you start feeling "soft" spots, it's probably getting old.
The common way to prepare all cabbages is to boil them for a very long time until they are mushy and void of nutrients. This is not what you want!
The best way to prepare Savoy is to steam or braise the vegetable for as short as possible. 5-10 minutes should be enough.