Cabbage can be so underrated. It’s such a wonderful high-fiber vegetable that gives you tons of nutritional bang for your 2 bucks (the average cost of an organic red cabbage). The red/purple variety is especially high in antioxidants which boost the immune system. One cup of red cabbage has 56% of the Daily Value (DV) for Vitamin C. It also provides 28% of the DV for Vitamin K, 11% of the DV for Vitamin B6, and is rich in sulforaphane, a compound that has anti-inflammatory effects and has shown to be beneficial for heart health, gut health, blood sugar regulation, and cancer prevention.
Our Roasted Red Cabbage Crisps recipe from Sugarproof has gained a reputation for getting kids (and adults) excited about eating cabbage and even hooked on it. You can also make this recipe with other types of cabbage like green or savoy.
My (Emily’s) boys who are 5 and 7 love these crisps and so do Michael’s teenage daughters. Families who have tried out our recipes have raved about them too. They are so simple to make and are a great side dish, lunchbox component, or topping for a grain bowl, salad, or soup. They add such great color (and nutrients) to any plate or bowl. Imagine a bright orange butternut squash soup topped with the thinly sliced version of these deep purple crisps — a gorgeous color contrast.
My kids like these crisps enough that they will even eat them for a snack. It’s great to have something like this available that is way healthier than a processed snack like a granola bar or crackers that often contains added sugar or refined carbohydrates.
You might be skeptical that your kids will like this recipe, but trust us that there is a very high chance they will. Involve them in making it, and see what happens! As with all new vegetables, it may take a few (or even more) times of exposure for them to come around. Before trying this recipe, Emily’s boys didn’t really like cabbage, but now they like it raw as well. When we are cutting the ribbons to make this recipe, they start munching.
For hesitant kids, a good first step is just familiarising them with the cabbage (or any new vegetable) without expecting them to eat it. If they seem hesitant, just see if you can get them to play with it. Especially if your kids are young, like toddlers or preschool age, ask them to peel off an outer layer just to do some exploring. Or ask them to help you wash and dry it, just to have some contact. Then around age 5, they can begin to help slice it, like my son is doing here.
You can find a demo of this recipe on our Instagram IGTV feed @sugarproofkids. The recipe is below, and it is super simple. You cut the cabbage in quarters first and then cut out the core. You can help your child with these initial cuts and then set the quartered pieces with the flat side down on a cutting board so they don’t wobble and then let them slice the cabbage into ribbons, remembering to tuck their fingers in on the other hand while they slice. The next steps are to separate the ribbons, toss them with olive oil, and arrange them on a baking sheet for roasting. Even toddlers can help with these tasks.
The roasted strips are crispy and delicious, especially after you sprinkle them with a little sea salt. My son even asked for some the other day at 10am when he was on a snack break from distance learning Kindergarten. I think he asked for them partly because they are objectively great-tasting and partly because he helped make them and was proud.
We hope you and your kids like these crisps as much as we do!
Roasted Red Cabbage Crisps
-1 small to medium head of red cabbage (or green, savoy, or other variety)
-1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil (or other oil of choice) for drizzling
-Sea salt for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Wash the cabbage and pat dry.
3. For regular red or green cabbage, remove any damaged outer leaves and quarter it lengthwise. Trim out the inner core with a single diagonal cut. Turn each quarter onto its side so it doesn’t roll, and slice it into ribbons. You can make them as fine/thick as you want.
4. For savoy cabbage, peel off the thicker outer leaves, stack them up in stacks of about 4 leaves, and cut alongside either side of the ribs. Discard the ribs (or feed them to some rabbits), and slice the remaining parts into ribbons. Once you get down to the more tender middle section of the cabbage, treat it as you would a red or regular green cabbage, following step 2 above (i.e., cut it into quarters, slice out the core, and slice into ribbons). Thin ribbons are best for savoy cabbage because it can be tougher than other types.
5. Spread the ribbons out onto 2 rimmed baking sheets, large Pyrex dishes, or any other type of roasting pans. You can usually fit about 1/2 cabbage on each baking sheet. (If you want them to be extra crispy, only use about 1/4 cabbage per baking sheet and make a single layer that will brown more evenly.)
6. Drizzle approximately 3 tablespoons of oil over each pan and toss it with the cabbage using your hands or tongs to distribute the oil.
7. Pop them in the oven and roast for 30 to 45 minutes (depending on how crispy you like them), stirring every 15 minutes.
8. Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!
NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING: Calories 90 Total Fat 7g Protein 1g Total Carbohydrate 8g Dietary Fiber 2g Total Sugars 4g Added Sugars 0g
For more recipes like this one, see our new book, Sugarproof, which you can find here or anywhere books are sold.