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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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What's in season: Cabbage

Colourful cabbage

This versatile vegetable is sometimes unfairly viewed as a limp Sunday roast leftover - infact, it's delicious when added to a huge range of dishes, bringing subtle and welcome flavour.

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Cabbage belongs to the brassica family, along with broccoli, pak choi, cauliflower and sprouts.

It's good for you, too - packed with vitamins B, C and K, as well as calcium and plenty of other essential nutrients, including soluble and insoluble fibre, cabbage is extremely nutritious.

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When should I buy them?

Best of all, there's a cabbage variety in season at nearly every time of year, but February is when the classic spring green and savoy varieties are at their best.

What to look for when buying cabbage:

Good

  • Bright colour
  • Crisp leaves
  • Heavy for its size

Bad

  • Missing stripped outer leaves
  • 'Puffy' appearance or feel
  • Leaves with holes

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Chef's tips

  • Ever considered a cabbage salad? The raw crunch that makes cabbage so appetising in coleslaw can be transferred to salads, too.
  • Try spicing your cabbage and experiment with different varieties to find one that you like best.
  • Cabbage can aid weight loss - it's roughly 15 calories per cup.
  • Brussels sprouts make a suitable alternative wherever cabbage pops up in a recipe, if you want a smaller variety.

Storing your veg

Cabbages are very simple to store and will keep fresh for several days in a cool, dry place.

Cabbage preparation

Remove any damaged or old outer leaves, then chop or shred as desired. If there are any tough stalks in the middle, chop them away. Give it a good rinse before using.

Clever cooking

The main thing to remember with cabbage is not to over cook it. This is what causes the distinctive, strong smell which puts some people off, as well as causing it to lose its nutrients. You always want your cabbage to be a little crunchy.

Cabbage can be boiled, blanched, steamed or stir-fried. Nearly all methods take roughly five minutes.

Fancy cooking cabbage this evening? Check out these for inspiration...

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Braised mustard pork

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Savoy coleslaw

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Irish stew

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Pasta in brodo
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