If you’ve ever wondered whether freezing cabbage makes sense and if it even can be done successfully, that answer to both questions is affirmative. If you’d like to learn how to freeze cabbage, this article will provide you with all the information you need.
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How to freeze cabbage
Pretty standard stuff – you need to wash the cabbage under running water and discard those coarse outer leaves. Now, depending on your need you should cut the veggie into wedges, separate into leaves or shred, if that’s what you need.
Image used under Creative Commons from Ruth Hartnup
Blanching vegetables suppresses some of the enzymes that cause changes in color and texture when freezing. Most people recommend blanching, especially if you plan to store cabbage for a longer period of time. You should, however, bear in mind that this process is optional, so you can omit it. A good thing to do is to test out how much does it help with preserving quality of cabbage after thawing. If you don’t think it makes enough of a difference, then what’s the point, right?
Blanching is quite simple. First, bring a pot of water to a boil. Then transfer the cabbage leaves/wedges/shreds into the boiling water and keep them there for a couple of minutes. If you’re blanching leaves, about 2 is enough, wedges take more time because they are thicker and shreds take less time, because they are really tiny. After that time, you need to quickly cool the veggie down. Cold running water and a pot or sink of ice-water will do the trick just fine. Before advancing to the next step, make sure the shreds/leaves/wedges are dry.
If you’ve decided to cut cabbage into wedges or separated into leaves, you might want to pre-freeze it. This way, the leaves/wedges won’t glue to each other in to container or bag in which they will be kept in the freezer. Pre-freezing shredded cabbage can be done as well, but in most cases it’s recommended only for the two mentioned cases. Pre-freezing is very easy to do – take a cookie sheet, line it which parchment paper if you want and transfer leaves/wedges onto it. Makes sure they don’t touch each other. Then put the tray into the freezer and keep it there until veggies are frozen. Once done, get the tray from the freezer, cabbage is ready to be frozen for the long-term.
When packaging cabbage (regardless of the way you’ve prepared it earlier) you can choose from airtight containers and freezer bags. If you’ll choose containers, make sure cabbage fills almost the whole containers, so there is not much space for air (to avoid freezer burn). If you’ll choose the latter, remember to squeeze all air from the bag before sealing it, for the same reasons. If you’re freezing shredded cabbage, consider dividing it into portion-sized packages, because it will freeze into a clump and you won’t be able to easily thaw only a part of it. Label and date the package and transfer it into the freezer, where it can be kept for a year or even a little more. If you plan to store it for that long, I highly suggest blanching it.
As you can see freezing cabbage is a pretty simple process. I suggest trying out freezing cabbage cut into wedges, separated into leaves and shredded to find out which way works best for your personal needs.