Red Cabbage Smoothie

You guys. This smoothie. My mind is blown.

Red cabbage blueberry smoothie 3

I drank an entire head of red cabbage in the span of 2 days––and I want to drink more.

Red cabbage blueberry smoothie 1

Never in my wildest dream would I have thought a red cabbage smoothie would find it’s way onto ATE, but here we are. I have Ree to thank for planting the seed, and a half-wilted head of red cabbage in the fridge for making this smoothie possible.

Red cabbage blueberry smoothie 4

Who knew frozen red cabbage, blueberries and bananas would make such a tasty combination. We’re talking so tasty I sucked the first one down in a matter of five minutes, and paused.

You’d think being a Dietitian I would have considered the potential GI effects of downing half a head of cabbage that fast, but I didn’t––until after the fact. Thankfully there were no red cabbage repercussions to be had though!

As it turns out, cabbage is actually loaded with compounds that support digestive tract health: cancer-and inflammation-fighting glucosinolates, antioxidant polyphenols and glutamine, which helps protect the lining of the digestive tract. That beautiful purple pigment, called anthocyanin, is becoming more and more interesting to researchers as they learn more about it’s potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties.

The most shocking thing about this smoothie, besides the gorgeous, purple color?  How undetectable the cabbage is with just a cup of blueberries, one banana and a little bit of vanilla yogurt mixed in. The hubs was a bit skeptical but quickly gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up after taking his first sip.

I have one question though, and maybe you know the answer. Is it possible to turn purple from consuming too many of these smoothies? Because too many carrots turn people orange…Well, I hope not but somebody please say something if I start looking even the slightest bit ashy.

  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 small head red cabbage, quartered and frozen (about 4” in diameter)
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 2/3 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

Directions

First, break up the frozen cabbage with your hands and puree with water in a high power blender. Add frozen blueberries, banana and vanilla yogurt and puree again until smooth.

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  • Nutritionfacts.org did a good video series on the effects of smoothies. A quick summary as that blending can help nutrient absorption and blood sugar spikes from the smoothie depends on the ingredients. Apples, for instance, cause a higher blood sugar spike when blended, but bananas, beans, and berries do not, and can even help counteract the effects of other ingredients. Here is a link to the first video in the series.
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-green-smoothies-good-for-you/
    .

  • While searching for a recipe to use up my extra red cabbage, this odd-sounding Red Cabbage Smoothie caught my eye. Red cabbage, strawberries, and orange juice definitely seemed like a weird combination, but I had all the ingredients available and decided to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  • This is so similar to my favorite smoothie. I added two dates and some peanut butter. I absolutely love it!! I never would have thought to use cabbage in a smoothie, but I’ll do it now. Thank you!!

  • Hi Elle, quick few questions: I assume you would you keep the second portion in the fridge? Would it keep longer than a day? And would you be able to refreeze portions to extend the life if you couldn’t drink it the next day? I don’t have a lot of time in the mornngs and like to take breakfasts to work with me :) thankyou

  • I have been using frozen bananas in smoothies for years. For best results, peel banana and then replace peel. Then freeze. The peel protects the banana and comes right off when you use the banana.

  • Awesome!! Yes red cabbage is great for you, and this makes it so enjoyable to eat it. Well in this case drink it:) thank you Elle

  • It is sad how negative some people can be, yes smoothies can be high carb, but we are talking about a recipe that will add red cabbage into our diet. Nancy, if you are frightened that I am ‘ill informed’, don’t visit this site! Elle, your answer was great. My husband and I have a kale/banana/strawberry/oatmeal/ceylon cinnamon and almond milk drink every morning! I think this is a lot better than a donut or greasy bacon , sausage, egg combo at the corner diner. So, hush up negative people, I’ve lost over 20 pounds eating clean!

    • Definitely assuming this is the case on the negative comments on carbs-a lot of these carb free diet fads are returning. As a culinarian (bachelors in culinary arts with over 500 hours of college course work hours in nutrition) I find myself having this same discussion over and over again with people. Carbs are NOT a bad thing. The amount of energy your body puts into digesting a carbohydrate heavy vegetable is far more than in a less fibrous carbohydrate. White breads aren’t great, moderate whole grain breads with low sugar content is a better alternative. Only eating carb rich veggies isn’t great, but having the nutrient dense carbohydrate veggies mixed into a diverse diet is fine (depending on personal needs of course)
      Our brains need carbohydrates to function and our muscles need carbohydrates to heal and repair themselves. This is a great recipe to add into a smoothie drinkers diet once or twice a week.

  • I just tried this with left over cabbage from cabbage Rejuvelac I’m making. Super yummy! Would have never thought of making it before. I used a little almond milk as I didn’t have any yogurt.

  • So many healthy recipes call for bananas. What are some good substitutes for smoothies as well as baked goods? Thank you!! (I hate bananas.)

  • I bought cabbage SPECIFICALLY to try this this weekend. This just reminded me to go freeze it! I’m excited. Hoping my tiny magic bullet is up to the task.

  • Smoothies have very high carbohydrate counts, along with high sugar. These are not a healthy option. Frightening how ill informed the public remains.

    • Hi Nancy,
      I agree, smoothies can be high in sugar and may not be a good choice for everyone. They can be a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and complex carbs though which, for others, can make for a healthy breakfast or be beneficial for muscle recovery after a tough training session.

    • Nancy, smoothies can also be high protein. I make all of mine with protein powder, and I add an egg and plain Greek yogurt. I use coconut milk, which is lower in carbs than cow’s milk. I add greens, berries, which aren’t terribly high in carbs, and tart cherry juice. I may try red cabbage in place of kale–it’s a great idea–but will always keep my protein content high.

      • I agree that smoothies can be fashionable junk food, but if you’re making them at home you have total control over that! This recipe sounds great! Besides, carbs from whole fruits/veg aren’t as bad as from juices because the inherent fiber helps mitigate them. I don’t believe anyone has ever gotten fat from fruits and veg unless they’re eating a bunch of other fattening
        stuff with them.

    • I wish this recipe listed the carbs, protein, and calories. As a diabetic, this is important information. However, I can make this recipe with minimal alterations and make it okay for me. I am eliminating the yogurt and adding one scoop of a whey based vanilla protein powder. If the volume turns out to be more than 16oz, I will divide it into two servings which will help keep calories and carbs a little lower.

    • I definitely recommend freezing beforehand. Break it up into smaller chunks before freezing, or before blending and your blender should have no problem with it!

        • I wouldn’t have thought it would make a significant difference, and will certainly be better than cooking it. Freezing is generally quite a good way to preserve nutrients as long as you get things straight into the freezer after buying/harvesting – you lose more nutrients through leaving it sitting in the fridge for days!

          One of the main sources of nutrient loss in frozen foods is the blanching that most frozen food goes through to preserve texture & appearance, but since this frozen cabbage is going to be blended it won’t need blanching so nutrient loss should be negligible. The other source of nutrient loss is thawing, which again won’t be an issue here.

  • no way! I love the colour, I might have to give it a go. Have you ever tried herbs in your smoothies? I’ve just discovered that basil in a banana smoothie is incredible.
    Love your photos by the way, they are beautiful.
    Liz

  • Elle this smoothie sounds Ahhh-mazing! I’ve been so into these smoothies lately for pre & post workouts. I’ve been using spinach, dates, a banana, mint and some dark choc almond milk for a post-workout treat / breakfast & can’t believe how much spinach/ mint my body can consume… Do you think I’ll turn green?! ;)

  • No way! I suppose I was skeptical about spinach smoothies at first (YUM!) but red cabbage?! I’ll take your word for it + give it a try! I’ll try anything once ;) if it’s as good as you say it is, I better buy two heads!

  • Yum! Glad to hear it turned out so well. I have leftover frozen cabbage in my freezer that I’m just dying to do something with. Looks like one of these might be in my future!

  • Ahh Elle, you are so good. I want to make this ASAP… I think I will sub the yogurt for Vanilla Sun Warrior Protein and see how it tastes <3