How to Freeze Cabbage?

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Cabbage is one of those wonder vegetables: tasty, versatile and surprisingly easy to freeze. It’s the perfect vegetable to add nutrition & flavor to a variety of dishes year-round, even when it isn’t in season.

Whether you harvest your own cabbage from your garden or purchase it from the supermarket, freezing cabbage is a great way to ensure that you always have a supply on hand for fresh salads or cooked meals.

In this blog post, we’ll look at how to freeze cabbage so that it retains its natural color and texture throughout the months ahead — read on for step by step instructions!

How To Freeze Cabbage

What Is Cabbage?

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable known for its dense, round or oval-shaped heads with smooth or crinkled leaves. It belongs to the Brassica family and comes in various colors, including green, red, and Savoy.

This nutritious vegetable is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins C and K and other essential nutrients. It is widely used in various cuisines, eaten raw in salads, or cooked in different dishes like stir-fries, soups, and stews.

Types of Cabbage

There are several types of cabbage, each with its unique characteristics and uses. Some popular varieties include:

  • Red Cabbage: Known for its vibrant purple-red color, red cabbage has a slightly peppery and earthy flavor. It is often used raw in salads or pickled, and it retains its color well when cooked.
  • Chinese Cabbage (Napa Cabbage): Chinese cabbage has long, oblong-shaped heads with pale green to white leaves. It has a mild and sweet flavor, which makes it a common ingredient in Asian dishes, stir-fries, and kimchi.
  • Savoy Cabbage: Savoy cabbage features crinkled, curly leaves with a milder taste than other types. It is excellent for stuffing, braising, or using in soups and stews.
  • Green Cabbage: Green cabbages are one of the most common varieties, with smooth, round heads and a slightly sweet flavor. It is versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes, such as coleslaw, stir-fries, and sautés.

Each type of cabbage offers its own culinary potential and nutritional benefits, making them valuable additions to any kitchen.

How To Freeze Cabbage - Types Of Cabbage

Health Benefits of Cabbage

Cabbage offers a host of health benefits :

  • Nutrient-Rich: It is a rich source of vitamins C, K, and B6, also the dietary fiber and essential minerals like calcium and potassium.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Cabbage contains antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which help protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
  • Digestive Health: The fiber content promotes healthy digestion and supports regular bowel movements.
  • Heart Health: The potassium in cabbage helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues.
  • Immune Support: The high vitamin C content boosts your immune system and helps your body fight infections.
  • Anticancer Properties: Cabbage contains compounds with potential anticancer effects, especially in relation to certain types of cancers like colon and breast cancer.
  • Weight Management: With low calories and high fiber content, cabbage can aid in weight management and provide a feeling of fullness.
  • Bone Health: Vitamin K in cabbage contributes to bone health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Adding cabbage to your diet can contribute to overall well-being and support various aspects of your health.

Can You Freeze Fresh Cabbage?

Cabbage is one of those wonder vegetables: tasty, versatile and surprisingly easy to freeze. It’s the perfect vegetable to add nutrition & flavor to a variety of dishes year-round, even when it isn’t in season.

Whether you harvest your own cabbage from your garden or purchase it from the supermarket, freezing cabbage is a great way to ensure that you always have a supply on hand for fresh salads or cooked meals.

What Type of Cabbage Is Best for Freezing?

When it comes to freezing cabbage, the best type is usually green cabbage. It is the most common variety, and it freezes well without losing its texture and flavor.

While other types of cabbage, like red cabbage and Savoy cabbage can also be frozen, they may have slightly different textures after thawing compared to green cabbage.

Nevertheless, you can freeze any type of cabbage successfully if you follow proper freezing procedures.

How to Freeze Cabbage Raw?

Here are the steps necessary to successfully freeze your fresh-picked raw cabbage safely so that it will last for months and still retain its taste and nutrition.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about freezing simple, delicious dishes like coleslaw:

Step 1: Select Fresh Cabbage

Choose fresh, firm, and unblemished cabbage heads for freezing. Avoid ones that show signs of wilting or damage. Fresh cabbage ensures better quality and taste when frozen.

red cabbage in a bowl

Step 2: Clean and Remove Outer Leaves

To freeze cabbage, start by rinsing the whole cabbage under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Next, peel off and discard the outer leaves if they appear wilted or discolored. Remove the cabbage head as well.

Step 3: Cut and Shred

After selecting fresh cabbage and cleaning it, place it on a clean cutting board and cut the whole head into thin wedges or shred it as desired. Properly cut cabbage ensures even freezing and extends its shelf life when frozen.

How To Freeze Cabbage -

Step 4: Blanch Cabbage

Once the cabbage is cut or shredded, blanch it to preserve its texture and color during the freezing process. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and carefully add the shredded cabbage.

Blanch in boiling water for a short time, typically 1-2 minutes, to partially cook the cabbage. Next, using a slotted spoon, remove the blanched chopped cabbage and immediately transfer it to a large bowl of ice water, creating an ice bath.

This rapid cooling process stops the cooking process and prevents the cabbage from becoming overcooked. After draining the cabbage, pack it in airtight containers or freezer bags and proceed with the freezing process.

Blanching helps maintain the quality of frozen cabbage and ensures better results when using it in future recipes.

Step 5: Drain And Dry

After blanching the shredded cabbage, drain it thoroughly to remove excess water. You can use a colander or a large sieve to accomplish this. Once drained, transfer the cabbage to a clean kitchen towel or you may use several layers of paper towels.

Gently press the cabbage to remove any remaining water. Then, let the cabbage cool completely to room temperature. It is crucial to ensure that the cabbage is dry and cool before proceeding with the freezing process.

This step helps prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing and preserves the quality of the frozen cabbage.

Step 6: Portion and Pack

After draining and cooling the blanched and dried cabbage, you can portion it into desired serving sizes suitable for your needs. Pack the portions into airtight containers or resealable freezer bags, making sure to remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing.

Label bags or containers with the date of freezing for easy tracking. Proper portioning and packing help ensure convenience when using frozen cabbage in future recipes, as you can take out only the amount needed without thawing the entire batch.

How To Freeze Cabbage

Step 7: Freeze Cabbage

After blanching and draining the cabbage or directly cutting and packing it, you can proceed to freeze the cabbage in the freezer. Place the packed cabbage in the coldest part of your freezer, ensuring it is kept at a consistent freezing temperature of 0°F (-18°C) or lower.

The freezing process preserves the cabbage and keeps it safe for consumption for an extended period.

Step 8: Store Cabbage

To store cabbage, keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you have a whole head of cabbage, you can wrap it loosely in plastic wrap or store it in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. This helps to maintain its freshness and prevent it from wilting or drying out.

If you have leftover cut or shredded cabbage, transfer it to an airtight container. You can use a freezer bag or resealable plastic bag to store it in the refrigerator. Use it within a few days to maintain its quality.

How To Store Cabbage

If you have blanched cabbage that you intend to freeze for longer-term storage, ensure it is completely cooled and dry before packing it into airtight containers or freezer bags. Label the containers with the date and place them in the freezer, where the cabbage can remain for up to 12 months.

Can You Freeze Cabbage Without Blanching?

Yes, you can freeze cabbage without blanching, but blanching is recommended to maintain the best quality and texture of the frozen cabbage.

Blanching helps preserving the color, flavor, and nutrients of the cabbage while also stopping enzyme activity that can lead to loss of texture and taste over time.

Can You Freeze Cooked Cabbage?

Yes, you can freeze cooked cabbage. However, it’s essential to cool the cooked cabbage completely before freezing cooked cabbage. Once cooled, portion it into airtight containers or resealable freezer bags. Label the containers or freezer bags with the date and store them in the freezer.

Cooked cabbage can be frozen for several months, and it’s a convenient way to preserve leftovers or prepare larger batches of cooked cabbage for future use.

Dutch oven corned beef and cabbage

When you’re ready to use the frozen cooked cabbage, thaw it in the refrigerator or reheat it directly from frozen on the stovetop or microwave.

How to Avoid Freezer Burn on Your Cabbage While Freezing?

To avoid freezer burn on your cabbage while freezing, take the following precautions:

  • Use airtight containers or resealable freezer bags to minimize air exposure.
  • Squeeze out excess air from the bags before you seal them.
  • Ensure the cooked or blanched cabbage is cooled completely before freezing.
  • Label containers with the date to keep track of storage time.
  • Avoid over-packing the freezer to maintain consistent temperatures.
  • Use a deep freeze setting or a separate freezer for longer storage periods.
  • Freeze cabbage at its freshest state to preserve quality.

Does Frozen Cabbage Lose Its Texture and Flavor?

Frozen cabbage can experience slight changes in texture, becoming softer and losing some crispness. The flavor may also be slightly diminished after freezing.

However, it remains suitable for use in cooked dishes, like soups and stir-fries, though it may not be as ideal for raw preparations like salads.

Proper storage and thawing can help preserve its nutritional value and make it a convenient option for longer-term use.

Do You Thaw Frozen Cabbage?

Yes, it is advisable to thaw frozen cabbage before using it in recipes. Thawing allows the cabbage to regain its texture and flavor, making it more suitable for cooking or eating raw, depending on your preference.

To thaw frozen cabbage, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw slowly. This gradual thawing process helps maintain the cabbage’s quality and reduces the risk of bacterial growth.

Once thawed, you can use the cabbage in various dishes as desired. Avoid refreezing thawed cabbage to preserve its taste and texture.

How to Use Frozen Cabbage in Recipes?

  • Stir-Fried Cabbage and Veggies: A quick and nutritious side dish or main course.
  • Cabbage Soup: A comforting and flavorful way to use frozen cabbage in a hearty soup.
  • Cabbage and Sausage Skillet: A delicious one-pan meal with a savory combination of flavors.
  • Cabbage Roll Casserole: All the flavors of classic cabbage rolls in an easy-to-make casserole.
  • Cabbage and Potato Curry: A flavorful vegetarian curry with tender cabbage and potatoes.
  • Cabbage and Noodle Stir-Fry: A tasty and satisfying stir-fry with noodles and mixed vegetables.
  • Stuffed Cabbage Rolls: Traditional and delicious cabbage rolls filled with a flavorful mixture.
  • Cabbage and Beef Stir-Fry: A savory stir-fry combining cabbage with tender beef.
  • Cabbage and Chicken Stir-Fry: A quick and healthy stir-fry combining cabbage with tender chicken.
  • Dutch Oven Corned Beef and Cabbage: A hearty and flavorful dish cooked in a Dutch oven, featuring tender corned beef with cabbage.

Using frozen cabbage in these recipes allows you to enjoy the convenience of pre-prepared cabbage while adding a nutritious and flavorful element to your dishes.

How To Use Frozen Cabbage In Recipes

So, How to Freeze Cabbage?

To freeze cabbage, blanch it briefly in boiling water, cool it in an ice water bath, drain, and pat it dry. Portion the cabbage into airtight containers or freezer bags, label, and freeze.

Properly frozen cabbage can retain its quality and nutritional value for several months, providing a convenient and versatile ingredient for various recipes and dishes.

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