Cabbage is a great vegetable to store at home. These vegetables have a lot of uses and very nutritious. Cabbage is plentiful in the summer, but as fall nears, they will be harder to find. Therefore, for those who love to eat cabbage throughout the year, stocking up on cabbage is a great idea.
Like any other vegetables, once they are harvested, they will not last very long. At room temperature and the refrigerator will limit their shelf life to a couple of weeks. If you want to keep cabbage for a longer period of time, is freezing possible?
Yes, you can freeze cabbage and these vegetables freeze quite well too. However, you’ll need to cook them first before freezing them. Raw cabbage does not freeze very well due to the high content of water and the fibrous membranes. The result of thawing frozen cabbage will be a soggy and mushy cabbage.
Types Of Cabbages To Freeze
When it comes to cabbage, there are a few different types. Depending on the type of cabbage, some will freeze better than others. Below are the different types of cabbage that you can freeze:
Bok Choy – This cabbage is popular with Asian cuisine. Bok choy is a dark leafy vegetable with slender stems. It’s has a similar texture to those of Swiss chard and spinach.
Choy Sum – This variety is another popular cabbage used in Asian cuisine. It’s similar to bok choy, but it has the distinctive yellow flowers that bok choy don’t have.
Nappa Cabbage – This cabbage is oblong in shape with frilly, yellow-green leaves. This variety has a sweeter flavor and softer texture than the other cabbages. This leafy veggie is a popular cabbage used in East Asian cuisine, especially kimchi.
Red Cabbage – The red cabbage is a very interesting cabbage due to the colors. This variety will change their color according to the pH value of the soil it grows in. They can be either red color if the soil is acidic or purple color if the soil is neutral.
Green Cabbage – Green cabbage is also known as cannonball cabbage due to its shape. This is one of the most popular cabbage varieties used in the kitchen.
Savoy Cabbage – Savoy cabbage is the least known variety. The leaves of the savoy cabbage are loosely layered and more tender than the other cabbages. For this reason, savory cabbage has the shortest shelf life.
Preparing Cabbage For Freezing
To keep the cabbage in the freezer to last as long as possible, they will need to be prepped first. Just simply placing them into a freezer bag and storing it in the freezer will not cut it. Doing so will only keep the cabbage fresh for only a month or so. If you’re going to use the cabbage within that time, you shouldn’t worry about their freshness.
However, for cabbage that’s going to be stored longer than a month, you’ll need to prep the vegetable first. The best method to prep the cabbage is blanching. This method will help preserve the color, texture, flavor, and nutrition of the cabbage.
Whether you’re freezing the cabbage as diced, sliced, or shredded, they should be blanched first. Blanching is simple but requires some time prepping it. However, the end result will be a cabbage that will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 9 months.
To blanch the cabbage, follow the instructions below:
- Prepare the cabbage by giving it a good wash.
- Using a sharp knife, cut, dice, or shred the cabbage into smaller pieces.
- In a pot, heat the water until it comes to a boil.
- Gently drop the cabbage into the pot and leave it for 2 minutes.
- After that, use a colander and scoop the cabbage out and immediately place them into an ice bath. The cold water will prevent the cabbage from cooking any further. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Once it’s completely cooled down, place them into a colander and let it drip dry for about 10-20 minutes.
How To Freeze Cabbage
When it comes to cabbage, there are two ways that you can freeze them. In my opinion, blanching the cabbage first is the best way since it will help keep them fresh longer.
Freezing Cabbage After Blanching It
When freezing cabbage, I recommend blanching them first. Blanching helps preserve the color, texture, and nutrition of the cabbage.
- Start by soaking the cabbage for 1-3 hours. Add a pinch of salt to the water to help removes debris and pests that may be in the cabbage.
- Give the cabbage a good wash to remove the salt.
- With a sharp knife, dice, slice, or shred the cabbage. However, you can always freeze the whole cabbage with the bulb intact. Freezing whole cabbage will help keep them fresh longer.
- Blanch the cabbage in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the cabbage immediately to a bath of ice water. The cold water will stop the vegetable from being cooked further.
- Place the cabbage in a colander and let it sit for about 10 minutes to dry.
- With a clean paper towel, gently press on the cabbage to remove any excess water.
- On a tray, lay a sheet of baking or wax paper.
- Spread the cabbage throughout the sheet and keep them evenly spaced out.
- Place the tray of cabbage in the freezer for 6-8 hours or overnight for best result.
- Once it’s completely frozen, remove the tray from the freezer.
- Immediately transfer the cabbage into a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- If you’re using a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing it.
- Label the bag or container with a date and place them in the freezer.
Be sure to use them within 9 months for the best result.
Freezing Cabbage Without Blanching
Blanching isn’t required for freezer cabbage. However, by not blanching them first, the cabbage will not last as long as they should in the freezer.
Below is the process for freezing cabbage without blanching:
- Soak the cabbage for about 2-3 hours.
- Give them a good rinse under running water.
- With a sharp knife, cut, dice, slice or shred the cabbage into portion. You can also use the whole cabbage if you want.
- If you’re going to freeze whole cabbage, simply put them into a freezer bag and place them in the freezer. Otherwise, you need to flash freeze the cabbage first.
- On a tray, lay a sheet of wax paper on it.
- Place the cabbage pieces on the tray, spacing them out evenly.
- Put the tray into the freezer and let it sit for 6-8 hours.
- Once they are completely frozen, remove them from the freezer and immediately transfer them to a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- For a freezer bag, make sure to remove as much air from the bag as you can before sealing it tight.
- Label the bag or container with a date and place them into the freezer.
Cabbage that has not been blanched will last for about 2 months in the freezer. Be sure to use them within that time. If not, the quality of the cabbage will start to deteriorate.
How To Freezing Shredded Cabbage
Freezing shredded cabbage is an ideal method for those who want to save time preparing dishes and need to save space in the freezer.
After following the prepping method above, simply put them into a plastic bag or an airtight container.
Blanched shredded cabbage will retain its best quality for up to 9 months in the freezer.
If you don’t want to blanch shredded cabbage, freezing them is possible, but you’ll need to use them within a month.
How Long Does Cabbage Last In The Freezer
In the freezer, blanched cabbage will last for up to 9 months. This is the best method to use for freezer cabbage. Blanching helps lock in the texture, flavor, and color of the vegetable.
Raw cabbage that has not been blanched will last only a few months. If you’re freezing them without blanching them first, make sure to use within 2 months or they’ll start going bad.
Cooked cabbage will last up to 12 months. Cooking the cabbage first will cause their cell to breakdown and be more compact. For this reason, they have the longest shelf life in the freezer.
Above is just an approximate time of how long the cabbage will stay fresh in the freezer. However, cabbage stored in the freezer will last indefinitely if it’s stored properly.
Even though they’ll last past their expected shelf life in the freezer, the quality of the cabbage will start to deteriorate. After that time, the cabbage will start to get freezer burn. This is a natural occurrence for foods that are stored in the freezer for a prolonged period of time.
How To Thaw Frozen Cabbage
With frozen cabbage, their texture is very delicate and can be ruined easily if not defrost correctly. If you try to force the cabbage to thaw too quickly, it will leave the cabbage with a very mushy, soggy texture.
When thawing the cabbage, it’s recommended to not defrost them at room temperature, in hot water, or in the microwave. Doing so will not only cause the cabbage to lose their texture but also the flavor and color as well.
Can You Refreeze Frozen Cabbage?
Frozen cabbage can be placed in the freezer again under one condition. Once the cabbage completely thaws, as long as it isn’t exposed to temperatures over 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you can refreeze them.
Even better, let frozen cabbage thaw in the refrigerator. In the fridge, it will usually take a while for it thaw. If you should need to refreeze them, you can do so without any decrease in texture or flavor. Just make sure the frozen cabbage has not thawed completely and there are some ice crystals.
However, if the cabbage has thawed and it was heated or left at room temperature, you cannot refreeze them. Refreezing the cabbage will not only raise the risk of food poisoning due to bacterial growth, but the flavor and texture will greatly diminish.
Can you freeze cabbage without blanching?
Yes, freezing cabbage without blanching them first is possible. However, the cabbage will not last as long as they should. Without blanching, the cabbage should be used within 2 months after it’s frozen.
Can you freeze bagged cabbage?
If you bought bagged cabbage, you can definitely freeze them. However, the original plastic bag that it came with should be discarded, even you have not opened the bag either. The original plastic bag is flimsy and will not hold up to the temperature in the freezer. After a while, it will start to crack and let air into the bag. This will cause freezer burn to the cabbage, which will eventually cause them to go bad.
To keep the cabbage fresh, you’ll need to transfer them to an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. Make sure the storage container is for freezer usage. Otherwise, it will not keep the cabbage fresh that long.
Simply transfer the cabbage from their original package and into the airtight container or freezer bag. If you’re using a freezer bag, make sure to squeeze out all the air from the bag before sealing it.
Label the freezer bag or container with a date and place it in the freezer. Use the cabbage within 9 months for the best quality.
Can you freeze cabbage leaves?
If you’re planning on making cabbage rolls or just simply like to eat the leaves of the cabbage, freezing cabbage leaves are possible.
Unlike other leafy greens that usually frozen as strips or wedges, the leaves of the cabbage need to be frozen as a whole.
The method of freezing cabbage leaves is simple.
- Start by giving the leaves a good wash to remove dirt and other debris.
- Blanch the leaves in salted boiling water for about 30 seconds.
- After that, place the leaves into an ice bath. The ice bath will stop the leaves from cooking any further and helps preserve the color, flavor, and nutrition. Let
- them sit in the cold water for about 3 minutes.
- After that, place the leaves on the countertop and use paper towels to pat them dry.
- Once the leaves are dry, place each one on a baking paper. You can either use just the baking paper or place it on a tray for support.
- Put the leaves into the freezer for 2-3 hours.
- Once they are completely frozen, remove the leaves from the freezer.
- Immediately transfer the leaves to an airtight container or a freezer bag. You can stack them upon each other to save room.
- If using a freezer bag, press on the bag to remove air from the bag before sealing it.
- Label the bag or container with a date and place it into the freezer.
Storing cabbage leaves in the freezer will keep them fresh for up to 5 months.