Can You Eat Outer Leaves Of Cabbage?

Can You Eat Outer Leaves Of Cabbage?
Can You Eat Outer Leaves Of Cabbage?

Do you throw the outer leaves of cabbage without knowing its health benefits? If so, you’re not alone. Many new gardeners discard cabbage leaves while harvesting because they have no idea if these leaves are edible or not. Some people add the outer cabbage leaves to the compost heap, while others use them to feed their animals.

In this article, we will answer questions about cabbage leaves. You will also discover the nutritional value and benefits of cabbage.

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Can You Eat Outer Leaves Of Cabbage?

The answer is yes, you can eat the outer leaves of cabbage, both raw or cooked. The outer leaves of cabbage can be used in salads or to make coleslaw. You can also eat them as an alternative to lettuce.

Cabbage leaves should be washed thoroughly before preparing or consuming them to ensure no dirt or insect residue remains. 

Are Cabbage Leaves Edible?

Yes, cabbage leaves are edible and safe to eat. Besides leaves, you can also eat the other parts of a cabbage plant, including the roots and stalk. In short, the whole cabbage plant is edible.

What To Do With Giant Cabbage Leaves?

You can do a lot with giant cabbage leaves. For example:

  • Use them raw in your favorite salads,
  • Cut cabbage leaves to make coleslaw,
  • Stir-fry these leaves,
  • Make sauerkraut,
  • Make cabbage chips,
  • Ferment its leaves to make Kimchi,
  • Pre-boil the cabbage leaves to soften them. Then make cabbage rolls or wraps and stuff them with your favorite veggies and/or meat.

Can You Eat Red Cabbage Leaves?

Can You Eat Red Cabbage Leaves?
Can You Eat Red Cabbage Leaves?

Yes, you can eat red cabbage leaves. Red cabbage has a slightly different taste than ordinary green cabbage. It has a peppery aftertaste when eaten raw, but it turns sweeter and softer after cooking. How to eat red cabbage, you ask? Simple, same as all other color cabbages. You can eat them raw, make salads, coleslaw, stir-fry, Kimchi, wraps, and much more.

Can You Eat Cabbage Leaves Before The Head Forms?

Can You Eat Cabbage Leaves Before The Head Forms?
Can You Eat Cabbage Leaves Before The Head Forms?

Yes, you can eat leaves of cabbage that did not form the head yet. The cabbage is covered with loosely wrapped leaves in the early growth stage. As the head matures, the leaves become more compact. So, you can harvest and use these leaves at any time.

Can You Eat Cabbage After It Flowers?

Can You Eat Cabbage After It Flowers?
Can You Eat Cabbage After It Flowers?

Yes, but you have to eat them as soon as possible to avoid the bitter taste. When flowers emerge, cabbage abandons the leaf growth, becoming bitter. The plant gives all its energy to the flower bolting and seed production for the next generation of cabbage.

Benefits Of Cabbage Leaves

Let’s briefly discuss the benefits of cabbage leaves.

  • Rich in nutrients,
  • Full of antioxidants,
  • Reduces inflammation,
  • Good for digestion,
  • It can be used in a variety of dishes,
  • You can ferment it,
  • Cheap and easy to grow.

Cabbage Nutrition Value

Below is a table of the nutritional value of cabbage leaves. [1]

Nutrients Nutrition per 1 leaf (15 g)
Water13.8 g
Energy3.75 kcal (15.4 kJ)
Protein0.192 g
Fat0.015 g
Ash0.096 g
Carbohydrates0.87 g
Fiber0.375 g
Sugars,
Total including NLEA
0.48 g
Sucrose0.012 g
Glucose0.251 g
Fructose0.217 g
Calcium, Ca6 mg
Magnesium, Mg1.8 mg
Phosphorus, P3.9 mg
Potassium, K25.5 mg
Sodium, Na2.7 mg
Vitamin C,
Total ascorbic acid
5.49 mg
Vitamin A, RAE0.75 µg
Vitamin A, IU14.7 IU
Vitamin E
(alpha-tocopherol)
0.022 mg
Vitamin K
(phylloquinone)
11.4 µg
Fatty acids,
Total saturated
0.005 g
Cholesterol0 mg

What To Do Next

Next time you harvest cabbage, there’s no need to throw the outer leaves into the trash or compost bin. Make a stir-fry, Kimchi, cabbage chips, cabbage wraps, or coleslaw. Enjoy a healthy, low-carb meal with your friends and family.

If you want to find out more about harvesting cabbage, check out this informative video below:

I hope this article answers your questions. Check out our Growing Guides to learn more about how to grow plants of your choice. Learn and help your plants by reading these guides.

Also, check out other similar articles in our Gardening How To section.

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