Cut excess cabbage for your “vegetable soup” and don’t know what to do with the remaining slices or shreds, or how to preserve them for short or long term storage? Worry no more because you’ve brought yourself to the right place.
In this article, you’ll learn how to properly store cabbage after cutting into wedges or slices, and the good thing is you’ll learn how to store them for both short term and long term. Without wasting much time, let’s get to it.
Cabbage lasts longer when left to store as a whole than when it is cut into wedges or sliced into thin cuts, just like onions. Its lifespan reduces the moment you slide thorough a knife and chop it into smaller pieces.
The reason is due the oxidation and transpiration that occurs the moment the inner parts of the cabbage are exposed to air.
This increases the available surface area which makes evaporation of moisture and reduction in vitamins happen easily.
Refrigerate cut cabbage in an airtight bag for no more than 7 days and freeze for as long as 9 months in the same condition.
Learn below how to properly store cut cabbage in details.
How to store cabbage after cutting
It’s best to cut your cabbage when you plan on consuming it immediately. If however after cutting, you realize that you have more cabbage than you need, you can always put the remnant inside the fridge to extend it’s shell life for some time: which depends on how long you plan on storing it.
To store for a short time, refrigerate, but to store for a long time, freezing is your best bet.
How to refrigerate cut cabbage
To refrigerate cabbage after cutting, you don’t need to blanch it, simply put it inside a freezer bag, plastic wrap, or any rigid plastic container and ensure its airtight, then place in the refrigerator for no more than one week.
Steps for refrigerating cabbage after cutting;
- Step 1: Put the cut cabbage in a freezer bag or container.
- Step 2: Make sure you expel as much air as you can from the freezer bag or container.
- Step 3: Seal the freezer bag or container tightly.
- Step 4: Label with the name of the content and date of storage.
- Step 5: Place in the refrigerator for no more than one week.
How to freeze cabbage after cutting
To freeze cabbage for long term after cutting, you need to blanch in steam or water so as to slow down the effects on enzymes on the storing cabbage which can lead to loss of some key properties such as flavor and crunchiness faster.
After blanching, you then go ahead and solidify the cuts on a cookie tray before packaging in an airtight container and then putting inside the freezer.
Steps in freezing cabbage after cutting
- Step 1: Blanch by immersing the shredded cabbage in boiling water for about 1.5 minutes and wedges for three minutes. Steaming take double the amount of time.
- Step 2: Stop the cuts from cooking by immediately transferring into a bowl of iced water for the respective duration of blanching.
- Step 3: Drain in a sieve to remove excess water and pat dry with a paper towel to prevent freezer burn during storage.
- Step 4: Arrange carefully on a cookie sheet.
- Step 5: Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about six hours or until the cuts solidify.
- Step 6: Remove the cabbage from the cookie sheet and place in a freezer bag or container.
- Step 7: Expel all the air from the bag or container as much as possible.
- Step 8: Label the bag or container with the name of the content and date of freezing, and then place in the freezer indefinitely: but for best results, use within 4 months.
Best packaging for freezing cabbage
Packaging cabbage after cutting is best done in a freezer bag or plastic container after expelling as much air as possible because oxygen aids in the process of spoilage.
Best packages for freezing cabbage after cutting include:
1. Freezer bag.
2. Plastic wrap.
3. Plastic container.
How to use cut cabbage after freezing
You may be wondering how to use the frozen cut cabbage to make delicious soups, coleslaw or salad.
How you use the cut cabbage after freezing depends on what you intend using it for.
To use it in soups, you don’t need to thaw, you can simply transfer it into the pot of boiling soup and make little adjustment to the overall cooking time.
However, to use it in coleslaw or vegetable salad, you first need to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before proceeding.
To thaw frozen cabbage in the refrigerator
- Step 1: Take the required amount of frozen cabbage from the freezer bag or container and seal it back immediately.
- Step 2: Place the desired amount in a bowl and put it in a refrigerator.
- Step 3: Allow to thaw overnight.
Can you freeze cabbage rolls
The delicious cabbage rolls made with cooked cabbage leaves, meat, and rice can also be stored in the freezer for some time.
To freeze cabbage rolls for up to a month, put in a freezer bag after expelling as much air as you can and store.
Steps in freezing cabbage rolls
- Step 1: Allow the cabbage rolls to cool if hot.
- Step 2: Put them in freezer bags.
- Step 3: Expel as much air as you can from the bags.
- Step 4: Seal the bags and label with the name of the content and date of storage.
- Step 5: Place the bags in the freezer for up to a month.
To use the cabbage rolls after freezing, remove the quantity you intend using from the bag, pour into a fresh plastic container and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then reheat and then serve.
How to freeze cooked cabbage
After cooking excess cabbage, you may wish to preserve them for future use. So how do you go about it? Is the process all the same with raw cut cabbage?
Steps in freezing cooked cabbage
- Step 1: Allow the cooked cabbage to cool if hot.
- Step 2: Transfer into a freezer bag or container.
- Step 3: Expel as much as you can from the bag or container and seal tightly.
- Step 4: Label the bags and containers with the name of the content and date.
- Step 5: Place the freezer bag or container in the freezer.
To use cooked cabbage after freezing, remove the desired amount from the freezer bag, put in a bowl and place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. After thawing, reheat on a pan and use as you like.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you freeze whole cabbage?
You can store cabbage as a whole without cutting it into shreds or wedges.
Storing cabbage as a whole is your best bet in preserving the texture and flavor of the cabbage because as we’ve mentioned earlier, the outer leaves prevent dehydration of the inner leaves, thereby helping to preserve the overall crunch and flavor of the cabbage.
Steps in freezing cabbage as a whole
- Step 1: Soak the cabbage in a bowl of water and salt to remove any pests or dirt hiding in it.
- Step 2: Wash the cabbage and drain the water.
- Step 3: Dry thoroughly with paper towel to ensure no freezer burn occurs.
- Step 4: Place the cabbage on a cookie tray.
- Step 5: Place the cookie tray in the freezer for about eight hours to solidify.
- Step 6: Remove cabbage from the cookie tray and put it in an airtight bag or container.
- Step 8: Label the bag or container with the name of the content and date and store in the freezer for as long as eight weeks.
To use the whole cabbage, first thaw by removing it from the freezer and putting it in the refrigerator to sit overnight.
Can you freeze cut cabbage without blanching?
Yes, you can freeze shredded or wedged cabbage without blanching for as long as six weeks.
Freezing cabbage without blanching preserves the texture and rawness of the cabbage more than when blanching is done, however, blanching increases the lifespan of the cabbage, therefore a cabbage blanched before freezing will last longer than a cabbage frozen without blanching.
To freeze cut cabbage without blanching, flash freeze them on a baking tray before transferring into an airtight bag or container and then storing.
To use the cabbage after freezing, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Cabbage frozen this way without blanching is very suitable for making salad and coleslaw.
The lifespan and nutrition of cabbage doesn’t remain the same after you cut it as it tends to lose moisture and vitamins. Nevertheless, cabbage can be preserved for a short time (i.e two to three days) by putting it in the refrigerator.
Additionally, storing cabbage for a long time is possible by first water blanching for two to three minutes and then transferring the cabbage to another bowl of iced water for another two to three minutes. Then packaging and putting inside the refrigerator to store.
Freezing cabbage rolls and cooked cabbage is also possible by putting in an airtight bag or container after cooling. To freeze cut cabbage without blanching, first place on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer to solidify, then transfer into a freezer bag or container and expel as much air from it. Then store in the freezer for as long as you wish.