How to make your kids eat cabbage and love it too!

Cabbage vadas

Mention the veggie “cabbage” and chances are that your child will run a mile away and do the vanishing act with such great speed that could make even superman cringe with a complex. (Psst .. come to think of it, I too had an aversion to this bald leafy veggie, as a kid)

Wonder what’s with cabbage and kids? Getting them to eat this veggie can be a quite a challenge and next to impossible. Agreed it’s not as attractive – in colour or shape – as its other veg-mates. Compared to the loud oranges, deep purples and luscious reds that stand out, it’s just a plain, sober green that fails to grab attention. What’s more it has a repulsive smell too! (That’s because cabbage releases sulphur compounds when overcooked!) But then, it makes up for it boring looks – and the smell – with other qualities that beat other veggies hollow.

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So moms, don’t give up just yet. Hidden beneath those multiple layers of juicy, thick green leaves is a rich storehouse of nutrients that your child is missing out on. If you’re at a loss of ideas to cook up a dish that appeals to your child’s taste buds, fret not! Here are some yummy recipes that will make your child forget she’s eating that ‘dreadful’ vegetable. So here’s to no more coaxing – or cold shouldering – to cabbage! All the best!

Crispy Cabbage Vadas

Surprise your kids with this utterly irresistible, no-fuss cabbage fritters.

What you need
• 1 cup finely chopped cabbage
• I medium sized onion finely diced
• 1/2 cup Chickpea flour (Besan)
• 2 tbsp Rice flour
• 2 Green chillies, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves
• 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
• A pinch of cooking asafoetida
• 1 tbsp hot Oil
• Salt to taste
• Oil, to deep fry

How to proceed
• Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and to make a semi solid dough
• Add very little water, only if required. The water content in the cabbage and onion is enough to bind the ingredients.
• Meanwhile heat oil in a kadai for deep frying.
• Make small firm balls and drop them into the hot oil.
• Fry them over medium flame until they are crisp.

Do’s and don’ts to get this recipe right:
• Don’t make the batter very thin as it would be difficult to shape balls out of it
• If you think the batter has become dilute, add some more chickpea flour to thicken it.

Lip-smacking Buttered Cabbage

It’s the simplest cabbage which is pretty much what it sounds like: cabbage leaves boiled in salted water until just tender and then tossed with melted butter.

Do’s and don’ts to get this recipe right:
• Don’t overcook the cabbage; it should still have a little bit of crunch to it when you remove it from the water.
• Drain it thoroughly before combining it with the butter; water will make the dish soggy and damp.
• Don’t skimp on salt and pepper.
• If you want a little more flavor, try adding a little minced onion, garlic, or ginger — or a few pinches of your favorite spice — to the butter as it melts.

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More reasons to Love thy Lettuce

• Richer in vitamin C than oranges, which is traditionally considered the “best” source of Vitamin C, hence acts as a natural immune system booster – which effectively translates to a natural defensive against cough and cold and faster healing process for wounds and damaged tissues
• Cabbage is a stomach’s best friend. It is an amazing source of fiber. Raw cabbage has also been shown to help cure stomach ulcers
• It’s a natural and effective cholesterol reducer.
• Cabbage contains sulphur-based compounds called glucosinolates that have anti-carcinogenic properties

The best way to cook cabbages is to steam them. When you steam cabbages, you minimize the risk of losing nutrients.

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