Nov 05, 2013

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Have you had your anthocyanins today? Red cabbage will certainly provide you with plenty of these water-soluble flavonoids (plant-based pigments with powerful antioxidant properties). 

Anthocyanins have been shown to have a wide range of promising biological and pharmacological activities. Examples include anti-allergic/anti-inflammatory[1] antibacterial[2][3][4], antifungal[2][3], antiviral[2][4][5], and anti-cancer[6] properties. Other sources of foods rich in anthocyanins are blueberries and other berries, grapes, pomegranates, plums, cherries, black beans and kidney beans.

I don’t think my German grandmother knew how healthful her red cabbage recipe was when she served it with her famous Wiener Schnitzel. Like my Italian grandma, she was always in the kitchen, cooking up some love!
This recipe can be made in the slow-cooker or on the stovetop. I cooked it in the slow-cooker on a Sunday when we were out galavanting around in the mountains. When we walked in… boy, did it smell wonderful! This dish is simple and satisfying with a wide profile of flavors.


  • 1 medium sized head of red cabbage, chopped
  • 2-3 shallots, sliced
  • 2 TBS tamarind paste
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup date sugar or other minimally processed sweetener
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce
NOTE: If you don’t have tamarind paste, I highly recommend having it on hand. Its natural tanginess is useful in many dishes, including Indian, Mexican and Asian, and it is perfect for sweet and sour recipes.


  1. Mix the tamarind paste with the water until dissolved.
  2. Rinse the chopped cabbage and place in a large pot (or slow-cooker) with all of the other ingredients.
  3. Simmer on low until the cabbage is tender (about 1 hour on the stovetop, 4 hours in the slow-cooker).
  4. Serves 4 as a side dish. Enjoy!
Healthy trails,




  1. Yamamoto, Yumi; Gaynor, Richard B. (2001). “Therapeutic potential of inhibition of the NF-κB pathway in the treatment of inflammation and cancer”. Journal of Clinical Investigation 107 (2): 135–42. doi:10.1172/JCI11914. PMC 199180. PMID 11160126.
  2. Cushnie TPT, Lamb AJ (2005). “Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids”. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 26 (5): 343–356. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2005.09.002. PMID 16323269.
  3. Cushnie TPT, Lamb AJ (2011). “Recent advances in understanding the antibacterial properties of flavonoids”. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 38 (2): 99–107. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2011.02.014. PMID 21514796.
  4. Friedman M (2007). “Overview of antibacterial, antitoxin, antiviral, and antifungal activities of tea flavonoids and teas”. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 51 (1): 116–134. doi:10.1002/mnfr.200600173. PMID 17195249.
  5. González ME, Martínez-Abarca F, Carrasco L (1990). “Flavonoids: Potent inhibitors of poliovirus RNA synthesis”. Antivir Chem Chemother 1 (3): 203–209.
  6. de Sousa RR, Queiroz KC, Souza AC, Gurgueira SA, Augusto AC, Miranda MA, Peppelenbosch MP, Ferreira CV, Aoyama H. (2007). “Phosphoprotein levels, MAPK activities and NFkappaB expression are affected by fisetin”. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem 22 (4): 439–444. doi:10.1080/14756360601162063. PMID 17847710.


4 responses to “Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage”

  1. Jen says:

    I made this today and it was really great! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Helyn says:

    Yay! You're welcome. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. Ronda says:

    Made the fantastic sweet and sour cabbage recipe last night. Both my husband and I loved it! I have tried numerous recipes for this dish and this is by far the best! Thank you!!

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