Grocery Guides

Purple Cabbage – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Fresh Produce



Last Updated: Feb 25, 2022

What is purple cabbage?

Purple cabbage, also known as red cabbage, is a cruciferous vegetable and part of the Brassica genus plant family, which includes vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. You’ll recognize its round shape and waxy leaves. Purple cabbage is richer in beneficial plant compounds than green cabbage, and it can be eaten cooked, raw, or even fermented and added to a range of dishes.

Where did purple cabbage originate from?

It’s unknown where cabbage originated from because many of the plants in the Brassica family grow worldwide. However, one of the most common theories is that the west cabbage was domesticated in Europe about 3,000 years ago. In the east, cabbage has been used since 4000 BC and was cultivated in North China.

What are the benefits of eating purple cabbage?

Purple cabbage has tons of benefits, one being that it’s low in calories. But that’s just the beginning.

One cup of chopped, raw purple cabbage can give you 2g of fiber, 1g of protein, and only 28 calories and 7g of carbs.

You’ll also get:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamine
  • Phosphorus
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

Ready to get some purple cabbage in your kitchen? Skip the search for “fresh produce near me” or “purple cabbage near me.” Get fresh produce delivery with Instacart and choose same-day delivery.

How is purple cabbage grown?

To grow purple cabbage, wait until spring so that you can harvest it before the summer heat. Or you can also start them in mid to late summer so you can harvest them during the cool days of the fall, winter, or early spring. Cabbage grows the best in regions where there’s a long and cool growing season. Ideal temperatures are between 45 and 75°F.

Start the seeds inside about 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost in the spring. Then, transplant them in the garden when they’re about 3 to 4in tall, which might be about 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost in the springtime.

Grow your purple cabbage in rich soil that’s well-draining. Prepare the planting beds beforehand by covering them with 2 to 3in of aged compost or use commercial organic planting mix and turn it under to 12in deep. Aim for a soil with a pH of 6.5 and 6.8, and make sure to add a moderate amount of nitrogen-rich cottonseed meal or blood meal to the soil before you plant it to enhance leafy growth.

Harvest your purple cabbage when the head is completely firm, and avoid picking split or damaged heads.

When is purple cabbage in season?

Purple cabbage is in season from late fall to early spring and should be available all year round. You should have no trouble finding purple cabbage at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

How do you pick purple cabbage at the grocery store?

When shopping for purple cabbage at the grocery store, look for ones with shiny heads and compact leaves that seem a bit heavy for their size. Also, make sure the purple cabbage you choose is free of blemishes, wilting, or discoloration (which can all be signs of aging).

Instacart customers can use these tips to provide guidance to their shoppers on how to choose the best purple cabbage.

How to store purple cabbage

To keep your purple cabbage as fresh as possible, don’t rinse it until you’re ready to use it. Also, avoid cutting into it because it’ll lose vitamin C and spoil faster. Put the head in a plastic bag and store it in the crisper drawer of your fridge. When stored this way, purple cabbage can last up to 2 months.

If you want to store a partial head of purple cabbage, you can still store it and use it later, but keep in mind that it will only last about 3 days after you use it. To store a partial head, wrap the head tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the crisper drawer in the fridge.

For pre-bagged, shredded cabbage, refer to the best-by date.

How to tell if purple cabbage is bad

You’ll know purple cabbage is bad if the cabbage heads have leaf damage or if they feel light for their size.

What can I substitute for purple cabbage?

Don’t have purple cabbage? Substitute it with a leafy vegetable like green cabbage, kale, arugula, or chard.

Choosing the freshest purple cabbage in the store

Purple cabbage is part of the Brassica genus plant family and can be eaten cooked or raw. Ready to get some purple cabbage in your life? Get fresh produce delivery with Instacart and choose same-day delivery on all your favorite cabbage produce.

If you are looking to have your groceries delivered, you can easily shop for purple cabbage via Instacart. After adding a product to your cart, use the “Instructions” option to notify your Instacart shopper about any preferences or specific directions on how to choose the best products. Shop for purple cabbage.



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