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Farm Life » cabbage

Freezing Cabbage – Both a How-To and an Experiment

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Posted by Janet Ford | Posted in cabbage, Food Preservation, Garden | Posted on 17-09-2015

Tags: , , ,

how to freeze cabbage

Large flathead cabbage.

Today I decided to freeze some of our cabbage from our garden. We simply grew too much for us to eat fresh and I personally don’t care for sauerkraut. My husband does so perhaps I’ll make a jar or two for him with the few left in the garden.

For now, I have been told how I can freeze cabbage successfully, which is supposed to last up to two years so I’m going to give it a whirl. I’ll include photos in this instructional recipe. Later on, I’ll check on my frozen bounty and report on how well the cabbage preserves in the freezer and if anything is different when I cook with it. I’m told you wouldn’t want to use it for straight-up boiled cabbage side dish but I enjoy making homemade soups and casseroles so it should suit my purpose fine.

  1. After removing the dirty, damaged and loose leaves from around the fresh cabbage, cut your cabbage in quarters (or more for very large heads). Be sure to leave the core as intact as possible as it will hold the leaves together so you don’t have a bunch of loose leaves. The intent is to freeze it in these chunk sized pieces.
  2. Soak cabbage chunks in cold water, salted if you like. Allow to soak for 1-2 hours. This causes any potential cabbage worms to evacuate themselves. Do not over soak! Cabbage will quickly get to feeling mushy on the cut edges otherwise.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. I use my water bath canner.
  4. Add salt if you like (I do). Plunge cabbage chunks into the boiling water. I only do as many as will fit/float on top and don’t stack them so you can retrieve them from the cooking process quickly and not cool your cooling water too quickly.

    how to freeze cabbage

    Blanching cabbage to prepare for freezer.

  5. Blanch the cabbage chunks for 3 minutes. No longer!
  6. Remove cabbage with a large slotted spoon if you have one. Quickly allowing some of the boiling water to escape from between the leaves.
  7. Plunge into a large vat of ice water. I just used my sink. In a few moments, when cool enough to handle, flip it over and lift up to allow the hot water to drain from it some more and plunge back in to the ice water.

    how to freeze cabbage

    Cabbage gets an ice water bath

  8. Remove from ice water and place on towel to drain a bit. Water causes freezer burn so allowing it to drain is important. Don’t dawdle too long in this process, though. Cabbage is very sensitive to water and will wilt and rot away in record time.
  9. Place cabbage in either freezer bags or vacuum seal them if you have a vacuum sealer. (I’m jealous if you do!)

All those floating pieces of cabbage, if any, can be plopped into a bowl. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy your reward for a job well done.

Fresh cabbage

Bowl of cabbage with butter, salt and pepper. YUM!

Let me know how this works for you or if you’ve already tried your hand at freezing cabbage. Preserving our garden harvest is an important task. If this experiment in freezing cabbage doesn’t work, I’ll be planting less next year. I still have a few more giant heads to pick. With those, I plan to make some homemade soups and other cabbage based dishes and freeze as ready-to-go meals. That will be a first for me as well.

What is your favorite cabbage recipe?

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