As we don our festive hues of green, St. Patrick’s Day brings a fresh take on tradition with a focus on cabbage, a leafy powerhouse that’s stealing the show from corned beef.

The Humble Cabbage: A St. Patrick’s Staple

Cabbage has long been associated with St. Patrick’s Day, often served alongside corned beef in a meal that’s become a tradition in the United States. The corned beef and cabbage tradition became a St. Patrick’s Day staple in America as Irish immigrants substituted the more affordable corned beef for their traditional Irish bacon, pairing it with cabbage due to its cost efficiency. This hearty meal, often cooked in one pot, was adopted by Irish-Americans as a way to celebrate their heritage on St. Patrick’s Day.

A Rich History

Cabbage, a member of the Brassica family, which includes broccoli and kale, has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. Historians believe it was first grown in Europe before 1,000 B.C., but it has since found its way into recipes worldwide. In Boulder’s own backyard, this versatile vegetable has been a staple in gardens and kitchens for generations.

Nutritional Benefits

Cabbage is a low-calorie high-nutrient vegetable. Just one cup of raw shredded cabbage (1/2 cup cooked) contains a mere 18 calories and is packed with dietary fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K, as well as a host of other nutrients. For example, cabbage is a natural source of glutamine, an amino acid with anti-inflammatory properties.

Health Benefits Galore

Eating cabbage may offer a host of health benefits. It’s known for its potential to support digestion, heart health, and even lower blood pressure. The vegetable’s high vitamin C content not only boosts the immune system but also acts as a powerful antioxidant protecting against heart disease and vision loss. Moreover, the presence of glucosinolates in cabbage may have protective effects against certain cancers.

Cabbage in Boulder’s Culinary Scene

In Boulder, cabbage isn’t just reserved for St. Patrick’s Day meals. It’s a year-round favorite that locals love to ferment into sauerkraut or mix into a crunchy coleslaw or salad topper. Just like any native Boulderite, cabbage is an all-around team player that can be adapted to any culinary terrain and provides boundless energy for long trail/ski days.


As we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Boulder, let’s raise a fork to cabbage – a green that deserves a spot on our plates not just today, but every day. Its rich history and impressive health benefits make it a true treasure of the vegetable world, and one that Boulderites can enjoy in countless delicious ways.


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