We love cabbage. This year, we planted over 30 heads in the garden – hoping to harvest them throughout summer and store some for winter – some in the cellar and some made into sauerkraut. Cabbage is rich in vitamin C which makes it a perfect winter food, helping to keep the immune system strong.
Because we’ve begun growing our own food – we are very aware of eating different vegetables in different seasons. Though I might crave a fresh salad with tomatoes & cucumbers mid-winter, I choose to save those salads for late summer when these foods are at their peak, can be picked locally and taste the best. Even when we purchase vegetables, this has become a guideline for us. Eating cucumbers in December (for this Colorado family) means they’ve been grown in a distant southern climate (usually Mexico), have been chosen to withstand shipping – not for flavor, and the distance they’ve traveled also means they have had a negative impact on the environment.
It’s been an interesting challenge for us to WAIT until each distinct food is at it’s peak, locally grown and in season to eat it. This makes for more enjoyment and anticipation as the seasons change.
So… what about those important phyto-nutrients and fiber? Is it possible to consciously eat salad in the middle of winter?
Cabbage, carrots, turnips, onions, kohlrabi, kale, spinach and some lettuces are very cold tolerant. Our family has begun growing greens under row cover with good results. You may live in a more temperate climate and have a local CSA growing cold season crops with access year-round to greens. Even here in Colorado, we can source these winter fresh vegetables locally.
Here is a simple and quick salad that we enjoy mid-winter:
Seasonal Winter Slaw
- 1⁄2 Head Green Cabbage sliced finely
- 2 Salad Turnips julienned
- 1 Carrot Shredded
- 2 Tbl Fresh Parsley chopped
- 3 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil Dressing
- 2 1⁄2 Tbls Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
- 1⁄2 Tsp Salt Dressing
- 1⁄2 clove Garlic- chopped Dressing
- 1 Tsp Honey Dressing
- Whisk dressing vigorously. Toss your cabbage slaw about 20 – 30 minutes before serving for it to absorb the flavor. Enjoy!