Keys To Saving: Hey, You Can’t Freeze Cabbage, Can You? (St. Patrick’s Day Reminder)

Have you ever bought too much cabbage? Maybe you want to make corned beef & cabbage, but only need half of the head of cabbage?

If you have read my Keys To Saving, you know I try to avoid throwing away food. So can you freeze cabbage? Yes you can.

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Selecting High-Quality Cabbage:

Select freshly picked, solid heads that feel weighty for their size and have fresh leaves and good color. Heads should be tightly attached to their stems and not starting to separate. If harvesting your own cabbage, leave it in the ground as late in the fall as possible before the first frost. Frozen cabbage will be wilted when thawed, but can still be used for cooking.

Preparing for Freezing: Trim coarse outer leaves from head. Cut into medium to coarse shreds or thin wedges, or separate the head into individual leaves.

Blanching Time: Cabbage can be frozen directly without being blanched, but for cabbage intended for sours and casseroles requiring cooked cabbage, water-blanch convenient sized wedges for 3 to 4 minutes or steam blanch them for 4 to 6 minutes. Whole leaves or shredded cabbage can be water-blanched for 1 1/2 minutes. Cool promptly and drain.

Best Freezing Method(s):

  •  Boilable Bags Place desired amounts of shredded cabbage into boiling bags, add desired seasoning, press out air and seal. Blanch cabbage for 1 1/2 minutes in boiling water, cool bags in ice water, pat dry and freeze. Shredded cabbage can also be frozen in boilable bags without blanching. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace.
  • Tray Packs Clean and prepare whole leaves or wedges and either blanch or leave them unblanched. Lay in a single layer on cookie sheets and place them in the freezer. When fully frozen (12 to 24 hours), portion them into suitable containers and freeze. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace.
  • Dry Packs Transfer blanched or unblanched cabbage leaves, wedges or shredded cabbage directly into suitable containers for freezing. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace.

Suitable Packaging: Suitable packaging for freezing includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers and heavy duty aluminum foil.

Maximum Storage Time: 10 to 12 months at 0ºF.

Thawing: Thaw coleslaw in the refrigerator. Add frozen cabbage directly to dishes.

Tips & Shortcuts: Cabbage can be brined as sauerkraut or made into coleslaw or relishes and frozen. Whole leaves can be frozen unblanched for use as wrappers for baking or stuffing, and used immediately after thawing. Cabbages should not be frozen whole. Store whole heads, roots intact, by hanging them upside down in a root cellar. Keeping the outer leaves intact will keep the inner leaves from drying out.

Refrigerating Cabbage: Do not wash until use. Store whole cabbages in perforated plastic bags for 4 to 8 weeks. Store coleslaw in an airtight container for 3 days. Sauerkraut can be stored in a non-metal, airtight container for up to 1 week.

Source: ThriftyFun

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