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Jamaican Food Article. - Jamaican Cabbage

Jamaican cabbage, one of the oldest vegetables, continues to be a dietary staple and an inexpensive Jamaican food. It is easy to grow, tolerates the cold, and keeps well. Jamaican cabbage is rich in Vitamin C (an antioxidant) and fiber and is also a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. People who frequently eat Jamaican cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables may help reduce their risk of certain cancers such as colon and rectal cancer.

Look for solid, heavy heads of Jamaican cabbage. Avoid Jamaican cabbage that has discolored veins or worm damage. Do not buy precut Jamaican cabbage, the leaves may have already lost their vitamin C. Look for stems that are healthy looking, closely trimmed, and are not dry or split.

Keep Jamaican cabbage cold. This helps it retain its vitamin C content. Place the whole head of Jamaican cabbage in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Once the head has been cut, place the remainder in plastic bags and place in the refrigerator. Try to use the remaining Jamaican cabbage in the next day or two.

Do not wash Jamaican cabbage until you are ready to use it. Avoid slicing or shredding Jamaican cabbage in advance. This will cause it to lose some of its vitamin C content. If you must prepare it an hour or more in advance before cooking, place it in a plastic bag, seal tightly, and refrigerate.

There are at least a hundred different types of Jamaican cabbage grown throughout the country, but the most common types in
Jamaica are the Green, Red, and Savoy varieties. Some Chinese originated Jamaican cabbage varieties are also available. The two most common types of Chinese originated Jamaican cabbage are Bok Choy and Napa Jamaican cabbage. Chinese originated Jamaican cabbage cooks in less time than standard Jamaican cabbage types, but can be prepared in the same ways. Jamaican cabbage can be steamed, boiled, braised, microwave, stuffed, or stir-fried.

Cut up fresh Jamaican cabbage, sprinkle it with Jamaican lemon and enjoy it as a midday snack. Jamaican cabbage is also delicious with your favorite tossed Jamaican salad or pasta dish. Jamaican cabbage is also an excellent addition to Jamaican vegetable soup.

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