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New Year’s Lessons from the Romans – Eat Cabbage

De brassica quod concoquit:  on the medicinal value of the cabbage according to the Roman Marcus Cato.

Cabbage has long been known to promote health.  

Cato puts it well:

Brassica est quae omnibus holeribus antistat [It is the cabbage which surpasses all other vegetables] Nam venae omnes ubi sufflatae sunt ex cibo, non possunt perspirare [For when all the veins are gorged with food, they cannot breathe]

He continues:  Cabbage promotes general physical health and claims to be a remedy for nearly all bodily ills, including headache, eye ache, infections/swelling of internal organs, stiff joints, sores, digestive problems.  When being used as remedy or for purging, it is best to eat in the morning on an empty stomach. 

Eam esto vel coctam vel crudam [it may be eaten either cooked or raw]

The following recipe (not from Roman times)  is a sure-fire clean-out and detox, not to mention delicious!

Cabbage Soup – New Year’s Detox

What you need:

Cabbage – small-medium head, shredded or chopped

2-3 yellow onions, chopped

2 tbsp olive or other cooking oil (organic preferred)

2 cans organic peeled tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes

2 tsps. salt (or to taste)

2 tsps. thyme or Italian seasoning

Vinegar-based hot sauce (to taste)

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

3 cups tomato juice, vegetable broth or water

How to make it:

Cook down chopped (or shredded) cabbage and onion with 1-2 tbsp. oil in large pot until soft.  Add cumin seeds. Add 2 cans of peeled whole tomatoes, roughly chopped, with juice.  Add raisins and remaining seasonings, including hot sauce and chili flakes to taste.  Add 3 cups liquid of your choice to desired thickness and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Flavors will taste better next day.

Detox and enjoy!