If you’ve found yourself buying a lot of cabbage in bulk when there was a sale on it, or if you just have half a cabbage left over from your lunch and want to keep it from wilting, there is a simple and easy way you can prolong its shelf life and keep it stored for later use, and that’s to freeze it.
You can go about freezing cabbage using a few different methods, all of which are quite simple and don’t require a lot of work. The method you choose to go with can depend on a few factors, the most important of which include how long you want to store the cabbage for and how much time you want to spend preparing it for freezing.
Here’s what we mean by that.
Freezing Raw Cabbage Vs Blanching It
While the most commonly used method to freeze cabbage includes blanching it first, you can also freeze it raw if you follow a few simple steps to ensure the process is done right.
Here’s how both of these processes work in different scenarios:
While freezing a whole cabbage isn’t recommended as it takes up a lot of space in the freezer, if you decide to freeze it this way, there are a few simple steps you need to follow. First, soak the cabbage in a gallon of water with 3 tbsp. of salt. This will help remove any insects or debris that may have been found inside the cabbage. Pour out the water, rinse the cabbage heads and remove their outer leaves. Pack the cabbage heads in suitable-sized bags and store them in the freezer.
You can also blanche the cabbage before freezing it, which will extend its shelf life for up to 9 months or more. Here’s how that process should go.
How to Blanche Cabbage Properly
The blanching process is quite simple and doesn’t take a lot of time and effort.
Once you’ve chopped, shredded or sliced your cabbage in wedges, you’ll need to boil some water in a pot, drop the cabbage inside and leave it in for 3 minutes if it’s chopped or cut in wedges, or 90 seconds if it’s shredded.
The process is the same if you’ve decided to blanche the cabbages as a whole, the only difference is that it might take a bit more time for the leaves to soften.
2. Cabbage Wedges
The most common method used to freeze cabbage is in the form of wedges. This method doesn’t take up a lot of time when it comes to preparations and it also allows you to store a lot more cabbage in your freezer than you would if you were to freeze whole cabbages.
The process of freezing cabbage wedges is simple. All you need to do is wash and cut the cabbage in wedges and then either freeze it raw or blanche it before freezing.
If you decide the freeze it raw, you’ll need to quick-freeze the wedges first by placing them on a baking sheet and leaving them in the freezer for up to 12 hours. Once they’re frozen you can transfer them to freezer bags and store them in the freezer.
If you decide to blanche the cabbage first so it can last longer, you can follow the steps detailed in the previous paragraph.
3. Chopped or Shredded
When it comes to chopped or shredded cabbage, you have both the option to freeze the cabbage raw or blanched. If you choose to freeze it raw, you can expect it to last up to two months only, while blanched cabbage can stay in the freezer up to 9 month or even more. The same rule applies for cabbage wedges and whole cabbage heads.
If you decide to freeze the cabbage raw, the main steps you need to follow are similar to the ones we mentioned in a previous section when we talked about freezing a whole cabbage. The only difference here is that after you’ve soaked and washed the cabbage and removed the outer leaves, you need to chop or shred it before you place it in freezer bags and place those bags in the freezer.
If you have a bit more time and are willing to follow a few more steps than the first method requires then you should go ahead and blanche the cabbage before freezing it. This way it can lasts you longer and will take up less space in your freezer.
These are some of the most common methods you can try to freeze cabbage so you can use it later on in many dishes that require cabbage.
Note that frozen cabbage is suitable for cooked dishes only, not for salads or coleslaw.