Updated: Jan 8
A fresh, cool salad can really hit the spot during the hot days of summer. But what about during the winter? Is there such a thing as a winter salad? Why, yes there is! As much as I love salad, I can't eat green lettuce-based salads all year. During the cooler months, my family uses more root vegetables and fermented veggies in our salads. My tastes change through the year with the seasonal rhythm. I think that's a great thing!
The salad I'm sharing with you today is one that my mom used to make multiple times every year from the moment we got our first batch of preserved winter cabbage (sauerkraut) until the new cabbage grew in the garden in the beginning of May. My whole family loves this salad. Even my picky husband! He's actually the one who named the salad "birthday party in a bow" because of all the beautiful colors. And you know how funny kids can be about the food they eat around their friends? Well, Thomas even likes to take it to school in his lunchbox! This salad would be a great dish to take to your next potluck.
What is Great About This Salad?
This salad that I'm offering you today is fantastic year-round and is an instant favorite. It requires almost no time, but you can always prep the salad several hours ahead of time. It's super easy to make, especially if you have a mandoline to shred the cabbage.
You can adjust every ingredient in this salad based on your preference. Today I added red pepper, green onions, parsley, olive oil, black pepper, and a little bit of salt. That's it! Super simple, right? Sometimes I'll even add green apple to the dish.
If you want to make your own sauerkraut, check out my recipe here. Homemade sauerkraut tastes much better than any kind you'd find on the market, and it has all the live good bacteria.
Probiotic food, fermented food, cultured food, naturally pickled! All those words mean foods that contain good bacteria. Culturing of microorganisms is a technique that involves using bacteria and wild yeast to break down food to make it easier for digestion, while still maintaining the same and even higher amount of nutrients like vitamin C, etc. This creates helpful microbe enzymes and lots of other stuff which is good for us. It’s not brave to say, that the oldest way to preserve food is still the best way in the 21st century.
What are the Health Benefits of this Salad?
All the ingredients in this salad are superfoods, especially the kraut. Over the last 10 years probiotic food has become very trendy, and many healthy eaters like to include it in their daily meals. The health benefits that come from the probiotics in the form of food are just enormous. In Europe the principle Lacto-fermented food is sauerkraut.
There is no doubt sauerkraut is a superfood. It's low in calories and loaded with beneficial nutrients. It's a great source of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, manganese and folate.
One cup of krauts provides:
*1.3 gram of protein
*6.6 grams of carbohydrate
*4.1 grams of fiber
*0.2 gram of fat
*35 percent of the daily vitamin C
*23 percent of the daily vitamin K
*9 percent of the daily vitamin of folate acid
*12 percent of daily iron
*11 percent of manganese
*7 percent of the DV cooper
*4 percent of the DV of calcium
*39 percent of the daily sodium
Yes, sauerkraut is one of the best dietary sources of probiotics, such as Lactobacillius plantarum, L.brevis and lu.mesenteroides. Their live microorganism can boost brainpower and cognition, according to a 2016 review published in “Preventive Nutrition and Food Science”. The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods fight inflammation and produce fatty acids with neuroprotective effects. They also protect your brain from oxidative damage.
Every year more and more studies are becoming available for all of us. They show that fermented foods have a positive impact on your mood and brain health. In fact, researchers at the College of William and Mary have found that probiotics, especially those in fermented products, may positively alter the gut flora and ward off social anxiety.
Can I use Regular Cabbage in this Salad?
Absolutely! Any cabbage will work. I've used Napa cabbage, regular cabbage, Brussels sprouts . . . There really is no limitation here. Let your palate help you.
Some of the Many Reasons I Love Red Cabbage
Red cabbage is a great booster for the immune system due to its high vitamin C content.
Red cabbage fights inflammation and arthritis.
Red cabbage aids in healthy bones and reduces osteoporosis due to the vitamin K content that helps maintain bone calcium.
Red cabbage combats chronic disease.
Note on Ingredients and Storage
If you choose to use store-bought sauerkraut, look for one that has not been pasteurized. Usually, good quality krauts will be in the refrigerated section of the supermarket in glass jars. It's important that truly fermented cabbage should not contain any vinegar; salt and spices should be the only added ingredients.
My mom used to tell me, "Cabbage loves fat." Please be generous with the oil. ⅓ cup may sound like a lot, but trust me, it's not. I used olive oil in the video, but my first choice would be extra virgin sunflower oil. That oil reminds me of my home and the taste of my childhood.
Remember, fermented food it is the oldest way to preserve food. This amazing salad is not only delicious and nutritious, but it can also last in your fridge up to 7 days, due to the probiotic content.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Autor: Inna of innichkachef.com
Servings: 8 generous servings
1 jar 16 oz. sauerkraut with juice (I prefer homemade)
1 small head of red cabbage, shredded
1 red sweet pepper, chopped
2-3 sprigs of green onion, chopped
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of pink salt
⅓ cup olive oil
Shred the cabbage. I highly recommend using a mandoline with protection for your fingers. Add the shredded cabbage to your bowl.
Add sauerkraut with all its juice.
Chop the sweet pepper and add to the bowl.
Chop the green onion and parsley and add to the bowl.
Mix all veggies together, then add salt, black pepper, and olive oil.
Adjust the seasoning to your taste.