Cabbage is a vegetable that is eaten around the world and is a key ingredient for lots of traditional dishes in many countries.
One of the reasons for its widespread popularity is its high nutritional content which includes vitamins B6, C, and K, fiber, and protein.
Being a vegetable, cabbage has a shelf life so the question of whether it can be frozen often arises.
In this article, we are going to explain why the answer to that question is yes, how to freeze cabbage, and why freezing cabbage is a great way to store it.
How to Freeze Cabbage
It is not normally recommended that you freeze a whole cabbage simply because it takes up too much room.
If you must freeze a whole cabbage first soak it in a gallon of water containing 3 tablespoons of salt.
This will get rid of any undesirable insects like earwigs or beetles.
Next, rinse the cabbage heads and remove the outer cabbage leaves which are course.
You should then place the whole cabbage head in a suitably sized freezer bag, and then place it in the freezer.
Bear in mind thawing a whole cabbage will take longer than any other method.
You can freeze chopped cabbage, but the freezing process has a few steps that need to be followed.
Assuming it is fresh, remove the outer leaves and soak it in a large pot of cold water for half an hour in order to wash the cabbage.
Remove and dry the cabbage, then chop it, either into sections, or wedges. Ideally, you should now blanch the cabbage, although it is possible to freeze chopped cabbage by placing the pieces in freezer bags and then storing them in the freezer.
Shredded cabbage can be frozen with or without blanching it first. Simply wash, and then shred your cabbage before placing it in freezer bags.
Squeeze the bags to remove the air and then seal the bags before putting them in the freezer.
It is preferable that cooked cabbage is kept in the refrigerator as it will remain fresh in there for up to 5 days.
If freezing is necessary you can put cooked cabbage in freezer-safe plastic containers or wrap it in strong aluminum foil, before placing it in the freezer.
To freeze uncooked cabbage, follow the appropriate method for either shredded or chopped cabbage.
Fresh, uncooked cabbage can be kept frozen for several months.
To blanch cabbage, it should first be thoroughly washed. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to the boil.
Drop your cabbage into the boiling water and leave it in there for 3 minutes if it’s chopped, or just 90 seconds if it is shredded.
Remove the cabbage from the boiling water and then immediately place it in a bowl or pot that is filled with ice water.
When you believe the cabbage has cooled you should then remove it and dry it. The blanched cabbage is now ready for freezing.
**How about other kinds of veggies? See if you can freeze celery here!!!**
How to Thaw Frozen Cabbage
One way to thaw cabbage is to place it in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight.
This method is recommended if you plan to make cabbage rolls, coleslaw or similar type dishes.
Otherwise, you can place frozen cabbage directly into casseroles and soup without thawing it.
How to Use Frozen Cabbage
Assuming you prepped it correctly prior to freezing, there really isn’t any limitation as to what you can do with frozen cabbage compared to what you could before it was frozen.
There are some dishes like cabbage rolls and coleslaw where it should be thawed properly but for many recipes, the frozen cabbage can be added directly to the pot.
Beyond that, it is entirely up to you what you make, with everything from curries to smoothies a possibility.
This is why cabbage is regarded as one of the most versatile foods on the planet.
Related Reading: Can you freeze potatoes? Won’t it damage it?
Other Ways to Store Cabbage
Before placing fresh cabbage in the fridge, you should place it inside a plastic bag to retain moisture.
Cabbage can stay fresh in a fridge for up to 8 weeks if stored correctly.
Cabbage can be stored at room temperature provided the room temperature is not too high, although this will only be suitable for about a week before the cabbage starts to decay.
Better options, that do not involve a fridge or freezer, is a cold cellar or storage room where it may be fine for a few weeks.
How long does cabbage last in the freezer?
Cabbage, if it has been stored correctly can remain at its best for around 18 months.
Even beyond 18 months, frozen cabbage will remain safe to eat for some considerable time.
Do you have to cook cabbage before freezing?
To freeze cabbage, it does not have to be cooked in the sense that you would normally cook if you were going to eat it.
However, it is recommended that you blanch it before freezing it.
This is done by cutting the cabbage into wedges and tipping them into a pot of boiling water for around 2 minutes and then chilling them quickly in ice-cold water.
Can cabbage be frozen without blanching?
You can freeze raw cabbage without blanching it but there are some steps you need to follow.
Your cabbage must have fresh, green leaves and you should first remove any coarse outer leaves. Wash the cabbage and slice it into wedges.
Place your cabbage wedges on a tray lined with a baking sheet, and then place it in the freezer.
It will be frozen in 12 hours when you should transfer the wedges into freezer bags.
Is frozen cabbage still good?
If cabbage has been frozen for a reasonable length of time, if it is then defrosted it will still be great for use in cooked dishes such as soup, stir fry, boiled or steamed cabbage. In fact, any cooked cabbage dish should be fine.
Using frozen cabbage for cold dishes like coleslaw and salads is possible although you must first ensure it has thawed properly.
With cabbage being such a nutritious food, it is good that it can be frozen so that it is available for adding to recipes even months after it has been placed in the freezer.
There are some important steps that may need to be taken, but on the whole, it is a relatively simple process and one which means cabbage can be on the menu any time you want it to be.