Braised Red Cabbage

Braised Red Cabbage

When it comes to holiday meals, I have always enjoyed side dishes far more than the main protein on offer. This is a very good thing, now that we are following a primarily plant-based diet! I absolutely love the blend of sweet and savoury in this dish. Garlic helps ground the sweetness of the apples and cinnamon adds a bit of extra sweetness without a whole lot of extra sugar. I have found that adding a bit of maple syrup at the end of the cooking time on the onions and the garlic helps caramelize them nicely. I have used smoked salt in this recipe, but plain sea salt would be delicious also.

This dish also has the added benefit of being inexpensive to prepare. Everything I have used (save perhaps the smoked salt) can be easily sourced at your local market, and cabbage definitely ranks as one of the more cost-effective veggies. Cabbage contains high levels of antioxidants, which are beneficial for cancer prevention and heart health. This is especially true when it comes to red cabbage, which contains high levels of anthocyanins as indicated by its vibrant purple pigment.

In addition, cabbage is anti-inflammatory and can help with digestive health. I was somewhat surprised when I first heard this fact, as cabbage can have gassy side effects, however after researching and making sauerkraut and kimchi I have discovered this to be true.  One of my favourite digestive juice recipes includes half a cabbage, two to three apples and a big knob of ginger. It is delicious and I have found it provides immediate stomach soothing benefits.

Braised Red Cabbage

Ingredients

2 Tbsp avocado oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 head garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 head red cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
2 red apples, cored and diced
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup filtered water
2 tsp smoked sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper

Directions

Warm avocado oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic along with a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add maple syrup and cook down another 5 minutes further. Add cabbage, apples, cinnamon and bay leaves, stirring to combine. Add apple cider vinegar, water and smoked sea salt, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add fresh cracked pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed, before serving.

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