The Sweetness of Cabbages and Carrots


The Cabbages have really crept up on me this year. It seems like yesterday that I was wondering if they would heart up or not and then today I realised that at least one of them was ready to harvest. The others are not far behind. So I cut one Cabbage and pulled a few Carrots too and we made Coleslaw – it was oh so sweet!

It’s interesting how fresh vegetables taste a lot sweeter than older vegetables. That’s because plants make sugars when they photosynthesise (they use carbon dioxide and water to make energy). The energy is sugar in the form of glucose, fructose and sucrose. These are then stored in the plant. So the quicker you eat them, the sweeter they will taste. It’s more obvious with vegetables like Sweetcorn and Carrots and less obvious with leafy crops like Lettuce and Spinach.

I’m not really a big ‘dessert’ person but I do normally crave something sweet after a meal, even if it’s only a cube of dark chocolate. But after last night’s dinner I didn’t. I was satisfied with the sweetness of the Cabbage and Carrots.

The Cabbage variety is Parel and the Carrots are Scarlet Nantes. The Carrots were sown direct in about March and the Cabbages were raised from seed in the greenhouse and planted out in early Spring.

I liked this Cabbage variety so much that I immediately sowed some more for the Winter vegetable garden.

8 Comments on “The Sweetness of Cabbages and Carrots

  1. Wonderful! So true about veggies fresh from the garden – naturally sweet.
    Just today I pulled our first carrots – ‘Little Fingers’ baby carrots. We will eat them tonight sliced raw on our salads. I did not grow any cabbages, but my onions have been really wonderfully tasty.
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea’s Menagerie

  2. gosh you can really see the difference between your new home and Blighty … my carrots, planted into a greenhouse in March / April are miniscule !!

  3. Michelle – yes I’m surprised how the season is extended here. Things mature earlier and have more time to grow – so I’m looking forward to the pumpkins too.

  4. “Wonderful! So true about veggies fresh from the garden – naturally sweet.”

    It is indeed sweet.. WOW! pumpkins would be great.

  5. Yes indeed, fresh vegetables indeed have a tinge of sweetness in them, but never knew the reason behind. You have beautifully explained the science behind. Many thanks!