How To Freeze Cabbage: The Best Way

Cabbage, one of the most versatile vegetables around,  even coming in flower form! But today, we want to talk to you about the main, and let’s be fair, delicious use of cabbage.

You can do so much with cabbage, you can have cabbage soup, cabbage stew, boil it and have it with a lovely chicken dinner plate, turn it into coleslaw, put it in a salad, sautee it and turn it into a flavorsome sidedish, stick it in a stirfry.

There’s not much you cannot do with cabbage. 

But, unless you grow your own cabbage or pluck it right from the local farm, there is a chance it will not have as long of a life as you’d wish.

How To Freeze Cabbage The Best Way

Most of the time it’s hard to use up the whole cabbage before it goes bad. So, why not freeze it?

We freeze so many things these days, why not cabbage?

But, can you freeze cabbage, most vegetables that we freeze already come frozen, so how can you know what can and can’t be frozen and how to do it correctly, so your food will have a long life span?

That’s what we will look at today. Let’s find out how to best methods for freezing cabbage, the most versatile vegetable of all.  Frozen cabbage can be very easy to work with later.  

What to consider before freezing

Sealing

Before freezing you should consider a few things about cabbages. First of all, you want to care for your cabbage, it’s an easy to care for food, with a decent fridge life and a decent freezer life also.

Whether your cabbage is shredded, whole or sliced, doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you store your cabbage or cabbage leaf in an airtight manner, to prevent bacterial growth.

There are many ways to seal cabbage airtight, you could use the cellophane method, just make sure you ensure there are no tears or gaps, you could be a little more daring and vacuum seal it, or you could use food wraps, there are even organic food wrap options available if you wanted to use something more eco-friendly. 

Refrigeration

Cabbage will usually last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, so if you are planning on keeping it for longer, it would be wise to freeze it.

Freezing is also a good option if you have bought it in bulk as it will keep your cabbages fresher for longer. 

When you are storing your cabbage in the refrigerator, ensure it is tightly sealed and store it in a drawer or a cool and crisp area, it is usually best to have a shelf in your fridge dedicated to vegetables, halfway down or at the bottom of your fridge.

Once you have your cabbage refrigerated it will last a maximum of seven days, but usually estimate around 5 days.

When you use your cabbage, be careful to remove the outer leaves, much like when you take the end tip-off of a cucumber. It isn’t harmful, it just won’t taste as fresh as the rest of your cabbage.

How to freeze: Steps

Before freezing you want to consider blanching. Blanching is the process of boiling or steaming the food for a short period of time to avoid enzyme actions which can make your cabbage lose flavor, color, and texture.

It also cleanses your food of any organisms or dirt while brightening the color and stopping the loss of any vitamins or nutrients. 

It is recommended that you blanch before you freeze for the best quality for your cabbage after it has been frozen.

But if you do not blanch your cabbage it will not harm you and you can still eat it, although you may lose some flavor or texture. 

Blanched

When freezing your cabbage and blanching you will need a sharp knife, a cutting board, a bowl, a large cooking pot for boiling, sealing bags/ whatever you wish to use for sealing when freezing, and a baking sheet or cookie sheet. 

  1.  Our first step is to thoroughly wash the cabbage, rinsing, and soaking, just like if you were about to cook it. 
  1. Second, you will need to determine how you will freeze your cabbage, should you wish to freeze it whole, sliced, or shredded. And prepare accordingly. 

- Note: Should you wish to freeze your cabbage whole with the bulb attached, it may be wise for you to soak the cabbage, put in a small amount of salt into the water, and soak it for a few hours.

  1. Next prepare the cabbage, by chopping if you need to, if you are not yet sure how to freeze your cabbage, we would suggest slicing it into sections, that way once you decide to use it, you can still have the ability to use slices, shredded cabbage or leaves.
  1. Blanched cabbage.  Now, onto the blanching. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the cabbage in there for a short period of time, 2-3 minute will usually do for a whole cabbage or sliced cabbage, for shredded cabbage 1.5 minutes should do. This will preserve everything you love about cabbage, while it is frozen.
  1. Once you have done this, pull the cabbage out of the boiling water, as soon as they’ve hit the recommended blanch time. Put them immediately into a bold bowl of ice water, this will stop the cooking process.
  1. Next, pull the cabbage out of the ice water and dry it off, the drier the better. If the cabbage is too wet it has a higher chance of developing freezer burn and we want to avoid that.
  1. Now, it is time to flash freeze the cabbage, ensure it is dry and place it on a baking/ cookie sheet and place it in the freezer. This is only necessary if your cabbage is not whole. Spread the cabbage out on the sheet and freeze it for 6-8 hours, uncovered.
  1. After the flash freeze time is up, remove the frozen cabbage and tightly seal it, in a heavy-duty freezer bag or air-tight container- however you are choosing to freeze with ultimate freshness.
  1. Make sure to label and date the packaging on your cabbage. You can freeze this for up to 9 months!

Well done, you successfully froze your cabbage!!

Not Blanched

If you’ve decided against blanching, then you can miss out on the boiling and ice water.

But it is important to remember that a cabbage not blanched will not last as long in the freezer and it may lose some texture and taste. 

  1. Rise and soak your cabbage to ensure it is clean.
  1. Second, you will need to determine how you will freeze your cabbage, should you wish to freeze it whole, sliced, or shredded. And prepare accordingly

. - Note: Should you wish to freeze your cabbage whole with the bulb attached, it may be wise for you to soak the cabbage, put in a small amount of salt into the water, and soak it for a few hours.

  1. Flash freeze your cabbage if you are not freezing it whole, spread it out on a baking/ cookie sheet, and place in the freezer for 6-8 hours uncovered.
  1. After the flash freeze time is up, remove the frozen cabbages and tightly seal them, in a heavy-duty freezer bag or air-tight container- however you are choosing to freeze with ultimate freshness.
  1. Freeze cabbage, date, and label the package. Cabbage frozen without blanching will be good for up to 8 weeks.

Well done, you successfully froze your cabbage!

Whole Cabbage

Perhaps you are in need to freeze your cabbage whole, although it is awkward and takes up a lot of space, it is still achievable.

Let us tell you how. 

  1. If you wish to freeze your cabbage whole, then you should first soak it. Soak your cabbage in a gallon of water with 3 tablespoons of salt. This will get rid of the dirt or possible bugs that made the cabbage their home.
  2. Next rinse your cabbage and remove the outer leaves for ultimate freshness. 
  3. Decide if you wish to blanch it or not. This may be more difficult with a whole cabbage head but is still possible with large enough utensils.
  4. Dry off your cabbage and flash freeze it, this again will take longer with a whole cabbage head.
  5. Then place it into an airtight or sealable container and freeze. 

Note: Deforesting/ thawing your cabbage will take longer with a whole cabbage head and you will have to defrost the whole cabbage. So if you will only need small bits of cabbage at any one time, we suggest slicing it into quarters. It's never advised to freeze the same item again after thawing.

Cooked Cabbage

Perhaps you cooked some cabbage and made too much, so you want to freeze it. But don’t know if you can.

Good news! You can! 

You can freeze it in sections for thought-ahead meal planning or you can freeze the whole lot at once. Here’s how.

  1. Once you have finished cooking, take out the cabbage and let it cool. Do NOT freeze it while it is still hot. Let it cool and dry.
  2. Once your cooked cabbage is cool and dry, transfer it to a container, airtight, or a freezer zip-lock, ensure all air is out and close it tightly. If you use a container, ensure it is airtight and wrapped in foil.
  3. Label your container and then freeze for 3-5 months. Cooked cabbage will not freeze as long as raw cabbage.

Note: When intending to use your previously frozen cooked cabbage, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw overnight in your refrigerator. 

-Note: When re-heating your frozen cooked cabbage, it is best to reheat in a pan on medium heat. Simply re-heat until it is warm and ready for consumption.

Do I Need To Thaw?

When we think of freezing food we wonder if we are going to need to thaw it, like we have to thaw most meats. But, with cabbage, it is a bit easier than that. 

Cabbage does not need to be thawed unless you are using it raw, for salads, coleslaw, cabbage rolls, or more raw cabbage-based food types.

However, if you are cooking your cabbage, you can just cook it straight from frozen and it will have no negative effect on the flavor or texture of your cabbage. 

If you are using your cabbage raw, you could defrost it in the refrigerator or you could also thaw it at room temperature for one hour, depending on whether or not you froze your cabbage whole, sliced, or shredded. 

All About Cabbage

Cabbage is not only a versatile food but it is top-of-the-charts, in healthy and nutritious foods.

There are many types of this cruciferous vegetable, all of which are very high in all the good things your body needs. High in those much-needed nutrients, it is very healthy and a great food to have as part of your regular diet.

A head of cabbage can have vitamins B2, B1, B6, C, and K, and is also packed with potassium and crucial fiber. It also contains protein, iron, calcium, chlorine, magnesium, and selenium.

As a matter of fact, its high iron content makes it a great food to eat for those who suffer from low iron levels or anemia. 

Cabbage is much loved in many cultures foods, it is a highly consumable food choice in a lot of eastern European countries, such as in Poland, with stuffed cabbage, it features greatly in a lot of Romanian traditional dishes as well. Germans love their sauerkraut.

In Russia, you can come across cabbage daily, as it is actually considered their national food. Russians actually eat seven times the amount of cabbage as the average North American.

You can also find it in a great deal of Chinese cuisine, Chinese cabbage and bok choy being one of their top greens. I love fried cabbage, cabbage wedges, stuffed cabbage rolls, green cabbage and fresh cabbage with tomato juice. Red cabbage and Savoy cabbage are especially delicious.

Fun cabbage facts

  • One cup of cabbage is about 15 calories.
  • Juiced cabbage is known to cure stomach and intestinal ulcers.
  • Cabbage comes in many varieties; purple, green, red, and napa.
  • Cabbage is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • Cabbages have been cultivated for 4,000 years, sprouts are the youngest of these, having been dated back 500 years.

Harvesting cabbage

If you are thinking about growing your own cabbages from home, to take away the need for freezing, then we have a few fun facts for you to help you on your way to harvesting your own cabbages. 

  • Cabbages should be harvested early in the day, especially if the weather is hot. This should avoid any decline in flavor.
  • Harvest your cabbages at peak maturity, ensure they are firm and straight, avoid lumpy cabbages.
  • Process quickly after harvesting, or keep cool and fresh until you are able to.

Frequently Asked Cabbage Questions

How long can I freeze my cabbage for?

Generally, you can freeze a cabbage that has been blanched in a normal freezer for up to 9 months, but if you use a deep freeze and vacuum-packed bag, then it could last up to 14 months. 

How long should you cook a frozen cabbage?”

There is no strict how-to on cooking frozen cabbage, it does not really take any longer than when it is not frozen. Just make sure it is soft and tender.

It is primarily up to you though, make sure to test your cabbage if you cook it, if you cook bigger chunks straight from frozen, it may take a little longer, but not much.  

To Conclude

Cabbages are nutritious and healthy and very versatile, they are a great part of your diet and can be consumed in many ways. They are loved worldwide, being a major food in many countries.  They are my favorite frozen vegetable.  

They can be frozen in pretty much any state and are thawed easily. Being a very nutritious food with such versatility in use and maintaining freshness, we love them. We are sure you do too.

Cassie Marshall
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