If you have a bit of Irish in you, you’re probably familiar with the tradition of eating corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. My mom used to make it for us every year growing up. I actually can’t stand the taste of corned beef, so I dreaded having to eat this. Every year I’d whine and complain on St. Patrick’s day, and I’m pretty sure all I’d end up eating was the side of cabbage.
That being said, I know corned beef and cabbage is a tradition for so many of you, so I thought I’d share a little about the history and nutrition of this dish.
How does corned beef stack up nutritionally? According to the USDA Nutrient Database, a 3 ounce serving of corned beef (about the size of a deck of cards) contains 213 calories, 15 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat (5 grams saturated), and 0 grams carbohydrate. Not bad in terms of calories, but that 3 ounce serving packs 964 mg of sodium – 40% of the max amount you should get in one day (and if you have high blood pressure, it’s more like 60% of the max amount you should get). It’s certainly fine to enjoy your salty celebratory dish once a year, but we wouldn’t want to eat corned beef too often with that high sodium content.
A cup of chopped cabbage only contains 22 calories and packs Vitamin C and Vitamin K. People often complain that they’re not sure how to cook cabbage. Some easy ways include cooking it in a pot with low sodium chicken broth, or sautéing it in a tiny bit of oil or butter with some garlic. Yum!
I wish you all a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!