The answer to “Can you freeze cabbage?” is yes. You can absolutely freeze cabbages. And easily do so as well. In fact, it is one of the easiest ways to preserve your cabbage. Not only that you get to easily freeze it for two to nine months, but there is more than one way you can successfully do so.
We all know how light, fresh, and fulfilling cabbage is. It is one of the main ingredients in so many dishes. That’s why, you will often find yourself with a little extra cabbage in hand.
Whether you have whole leaves for stuffed cabbage rolls, chopped or shredded cabbage for coleslaw, or big chunks of cabbage for braised corned beef or cabbage soup, it is not hard to freeze it.
Choosing the best way to freeze your cabbage depends on the time you intend to preserve your cabbages for and how you intend to use the defrosted cabbage.
You have three options:
– Blanch your cabbage before freezing.
– Not blanching your cabbages before freezing.
HOW TO FREEZE BLANCHED, CABBAGE WEDGES (THE BEST WAY TO FREEZE CABBAGE)
Generally speaking, blanching vegetables prior to freezing them often guarantees successful freezing and the longest shelf life. That’s why, if you are intending to leave your cabbage in the freezer for the longest time and you don’t mind if it is a little soft once it defrosts, then I highly recommend you follow the upcoming steps:
- Start by cutting your cabbage into wedges. Place them into a pot filled with boiling water for 1.5 to 2 minutes maximum. Quickly transfer the cabbages from the boiling to water to a bowl filled with water and ice. This will stop their cooking and preserve their texture and color.
- Once your cabbage wedges cool down, remove them from the iced-filled bowl and completely drain them.
- Sort the cabbage wedges on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place it in the freezer.
- Once the cabbage wedges freeze and hold their shape. This should take about 4 hours in the freezer. Place them into airtight freezer bags for long term storage.
Blanching cabbages before freezing them allows them to retain their flavor, color, and texture for the longest time, about 9 months to be more precise. While freezing raw cabbages can slightly preserve their texture better but for a shorter period of time. About 8 weeks.
So it really depends on when you are planning to cook your stored cabbages.
HOW TO FLASH FREEZE SHREDDED CABBAGE?
This is my go to method whenever I know that I will be in a time crunch. Why?
Because, shredded cabbages are way easier to freeze and defrost than whole, or cut cabbages. They literally take no time to completely defrost and of course, keep their fresh and amazing texture intact.
Here is the step-by-step guide to successfully flash-freeze shredded cabbages:
- Start by shredding your uncooked cabbage into thin slices, or whatever thickness you prefer using a sharp knife.
- Rinse the cabbage pieces with cool water, then carefully drain all the excess water off the cabbages.
- Sort the thin slices of cabbages on cooking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Move the baking sheet to the freezer and leave your cabbage slices to freeze for 2 hours. Or until the sliced cabbages completely freeze.
- Once they freeze, move them to an airtight freezer bag and place it in the freezer.
Flash freezing the thinly sliced cabbages for a couple of hours before ultimately placing them in the freezer is one of the best ways to guarantee the retaining of the texture of the cabbages for the longest time.
HOW TO FREEZE WHOLE CABBAGE?
If you happen to have an extra whole head of cabbage that you bought from the farmer’s market and want to store for later use, then freezing whole cabbage is your way to go. Follow the following steps to successfully do so:
- Start by submerging your whole cabbage in a large pot filled with water and one cup of salt. This is an important step that will help kill bugs and pests found in the inner cabbage leaves.
- Leave it for half an hour, then drain all the excess salty water and pat it dry using paper towels. Place it on a tray or dish lined with parchment paper.
- Move the tray with the cabbage to the freezer and allow it to freeze for at least 8 hours. Once it freezes, transfer the cabbage to an airtight freezer bag or a container.
Following the previous steps to freeze your cabbage as a whole will allow it to last for about 8 weeks retaining its color and freshness. I prefer to also blanch my whole cabbage by placing it into a pot filled with boiling water for 3 minutes before freezing it, as it preserves cabbages better and for longer time.
Blanching comes in handy whenever I am intending to make cabbage rolls, as it already skips the blanching step prior to stuffing each cabbage leave. So I will have ready to roll cabbage leaves once they fully defrost.
Did you think you can’t freeze cooked cabbages?
Well, fortunately for you. You can absolutely freeze already cooked leftover cabbage, in the case that you have made too much of it.
- Let your cooked cabbages air dry. You have to first allow it to cool off completely before attempting to freeze them.
- Once you are sure that your cooked cabbages have cooled down to at least room temperature, place them in an airtight container, or a freezer bag and make sure to squeeze out all the excess air.
- Close your container or freezer bag containing your cooked cabbages, tightly, label it with the date of freezing, the content of the bag, and place it inside the freezer.
Freezing cooked cabbages following the previously mentioned steps should make your cabbages last for 3 to 5 months, retaining its taste and texture.
Keep in mind that you have to allow them to completely defrost before reheating them on medium-heat. This should be done to avoid the thriving of bacteria in your food and guarantees safe consumption of your frozen food.
How to defrost frozen cabbages?
Now that our cabbages are frozen in any form or shape, time to learn how to properly defrost it so that it will be ready to be cooked or eaten as such.
I prefer to defrost any frozen food, including the cabbages slowly in my fridge without rushing the whole process so that it is safer to eat and doesn’t harbor any bacterial contamination.
Here’s the step-by step guide:
- Move the container or the freezer bag containing your frozen cabbages from the freezer to the fridge after wrapping the top with plastic wrap.
- Leave the cabbages to slowly defrost on the top shelf of your fridge. It should take 1 to 2 das depending on the size of the cabbages being thawed.
- Once it completely defrosts. Drain all the excess fluids from the cabbage and use it however you prefer.
There are other less preferable options to defrost cabbages. Either place your frozen cabbages in the microwave and set it on “Defrost” settings. Leave it to defrost for a few minutes.
Another alternative is to run cold water on it, but you would risk the breakage of its soft leaves. Especially if you blanched your cabbage before placing it in the freezer.
Some fun facts about cabbages:
- A cup of cabbage is equivalent to about 15 calories.
- Juiced cabbage is a perfect cure for stomach and intestinal ulcers.
- There are many varieties of cabbages; purple, green, red, and napa.
- Cabbage contains low amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Cabbages have been cultivated for 4,000 years, while sprouts are dated back to 500 years.
Frequently asked questions:
How long can I freeze my cabbage for?
Like we have agreed before, blanched cabbages can last in the freezer for up to 9 months, while if you deep freeze them in a vacuum-packed bag, they could stand in the freezer for up to 14 months.
How long should you cook a frozen cabbage?
There is no specific time frame for cooking frozen cabbage. Once it completely defrosts, it shouldn’t take any longer than blanched fresh cabbage to cook.
Keep in mind, the bigger the chunks of cabbage you are willing to cook, the longer they will take to thoroughly cook.
Can You Freeze Raw Cabbage Without Blanching?
It is doable. However, I prefer to blanch my cabbages first before freezing them as it gives them more shelf life in the freezer and allows them to keep their taste for longer periods of time.
Is it better to Freeze Cabbage Rolls Cooked or Uncooked?
I highly recommend freezing raw cabbage rolls instead of cooked ones. That means placing your uncooked, prepared cabbage rolls in the freezer before cooking them. This tends to better preserve the taste and texture of the cabbage rolls.
They can last in the freezer for up to 1 month. Once you want to eat them, you will just have to allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight, then cook them as you normally would, and enjoy.
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