Red cabbage is a popular cabbage due to its color and versatile use. This vegetable can be used to make soups, stews, and hotpots. Also, they can be cooked as part of a dinner such as coleslaw or a side salad. Since red cabbage only grows during the summer, people who enjoy it will want to eat it all year long. Would freezing red cabbage be an option?
Can you freeze red cabbage? Yes, you can freeze red cabbage. Like lettuce, parsnips, and other vegetables, it’s recommended to blanch red cabbage prior to freezing it. This will help preserve the taste, nutrition, and texture of the vegetable. Properly prepared and stored, red cabbage can last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Does Red Cabbage Freeze Well?
Red cabbage freezes well if it’s blanched first. Like any other vegetables that are frozen, it will have a bit of texture change when it thaws.
However, since red cabbages are going to be used for cooking, you won’t be able to tell much of a difference between fresh and frozen ones.
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How To Freeze Red Cabbage
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When it comes to freezing red cabbage, you have a few options. You can shred them, freeze them in wedges or the whole leaves.
Prepare them to what you will use them later for. For the best results, we recommend cutting the red cabbage into wedges. This will give you more versatility when you’re ready to cook them.
Below are the steps in details to prepare and freeze red cabbage:
1. Red Cabbage Preparation
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and wash it thoroughly. After that, in a container, fill water and add salt to it. Place the vegetable in the salted water.
Whether you bought the cabbage from the store or grown them yourself, the salted water will help remove any insects that may be in them. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
2. Cut The Cabbage
Start by cutting the cabbage. You can cut them into wedges, slice the cabbage, or take the leaves apart.
3. Prepare Water
In a large pot, fill water about a quarter of the way. Heat the water until it starts to boil.
While the water is being heated, prepare a bowl of ice water. In a bowl or pot, fill tap water halfway. Then add ice until it fills up.
Place the bowl close to the stove. Once the cabbage is cooked, you’ll need to immediately submerge the vegetable to cool it down.
4. Blanch The Cabbage
Blanching is an important step prior to freezing the cabbage. By blanching the vegetable, it will help preserve the taste, texture, and nutrition while it’s frozen.
Once the water is boiling, place the cabbage into it. For shredded cabbage or leaves, blanch them for about 1 minute, while wedges should be for 3 minutes.
5. Cool Down
Once the cabbage is blanched, immediately remove them from the pot and transfer them to ice water.
The cold water will stop the cabbage from cooking any further. Leave them in the ice water for about 5-6 minutes or until it’s completely cooled.
6. Drain and Dry
Once the cabbage is cooled, pour them into a colander to drain the water out. Let it sit in the colander for about 10 minutes to let all the water drain.
To speed up the drying process, you can use a paper towel. Gently press on the cabbage to remove any excess water from it. The drier the cabbage is, the better it will freeze.
7. Flash Freeze
Once all the cabbage is dried, you’ll need to flash freeze them.
On a clean tray, lay a sheet of baking or wax paper on it. This will prevent the cabbage from sticking to the tray while it’s freezing.
Lay the pieces of cabbage onto the tray spacing them out.
Then place them into the freezer. Flash freezes the red cabbage for about 2-3 hours or until it’s completely frozen.
8. Bag Up
Once the cabbage is completely frozen, take them out from the freezer. Immediately transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag.
If you’re using an airtight container, check the lid for any leaks before securing it to the container.
For the freezer bag, press on the bag to remove excess air before sealing it tightly.
9. Label and Freeze
Label the container or bag with the date of freezing and place them into the freezer for storage.
Can You Freeze Braised Red Cabbage?
Braised cabbage is a slow cooking method that helps enhance the flavor. Eating this colorful vegetable is very tasty and why most people prefer to braise the cabbage.
Luckily, braised red cabbage can be frozen. The process is simple and straightforward.
Braise the red cabbage using your favorite recipe.
Once it’s cooked, let the braised cabbage cool down to room temperature. You don’t want to place hot or warm cabbage into the freezer. Doing so will cause condensation in the container, which will cause the vegetable to become soft and mushy.
Portion into Bags
Portion the braised cabbage into freezer bags or an airtight container. Doing so will help prevent any leftovers since you’ll be taking the amount you just need.
For the airtight container, seal the lid onto the container tightly.
If using freezer bags, press on the bag to remove any excess air before sealing it.
Label and Freeze
Label the bag or container with the date of freezing. Then place them into the freezer for storage.
How Long Can You Freeze Red Cabbage?
If the red cabbage is blanched, it will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. After that time, the cabbage will still be safe to eat, but the quality will deteriorate.
If you decide not to blanch the red cabbage beforehand, the vegetable will last for about 1 month. You may want to use them within a couple of weeks for the best quality.
How Do You Defrost Red Cabbage?
Defrosting red cabbage will depend on how what you’ll be using it for. When it comes to many recipes, you won’t need to thaw them at all.
For recipes that require cooking such as soups, stews, or casserole, you won’t need to thaw it. Simply take them out from the freezer and add them directly to the meal.
For something like this, it’s recommended to use shredded red cabbage.
If you have red cabbages in wedges, you’ll need to defrost them in the fridge first. Take the cabbage from the freezer, place them on a plate, and put it into the fridge. Let it sit overnight or for at least 4 hours to let it thaw completely.
Can You Refreeze Red Cabbage?
When it comes to red cabbage, you should not refreeze it. Cabbages have a very soft texture, and it’s prone to break apart when it’s frozen.
To avoid having to refreeze red cabbage, you should portion the vegetable. That way, you can remove the amount of cabbage you need without worrying to have to freeze them again.
Can you freeze red cabbage slaw?
You can freeze red cabbage slaw as long as you don’t use any dressing. If you use dressing, the slaw will become mushy when it thaws. The best way is to freeze it is to use no dressing. Once you’ve prepared the red cabbage slaw, you can add the dressing.
Can you freeze red cabbage casserole?
Yes, you can freeze red cabbage casserole. The best way to freeze it is to freeze the casserole in the pan you baked it in. Then place it into an airtight container or freezer bag for storage. Make sure the container or bag is large enough for the pan to fit in. Properly sealed and wrapped casseroles can be frozen for up to 6 months.
A passionate cook and stay-at-home mom. Since I spend most of the time in the kitchen, keeping the pantry clean and organized is a top priority. Besides being a clean freak, I enjoy gardening, hiking and other activities under the sun.