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How To Store Cabbage

How To Store Cabbage

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable also known as a cool-season crop as it stores very well. While there are only certain times in a year when you can savor fresh cabbages, there are diverse ways to keep this veggie intact year-round. You can enjoy its nutrients from refrigerating to enjoying its fresh crunchiness for the short term to assembling sauerkraut that makes a good appetizer for the long run. 

This is only achievable if you understand the basic knowledge behind its storage process. One faulty move in the storing procedure of cabbage can compel it to rot in no time. Instead of letting this veggie spoil in your fridge without reaping its benefits, you can get creative with the storage methods. It is possible to store it for a week to a year if you use the correct procedure to stock the cabbage. 

General Cabbage Storing Tips

  • Choose cabbage heads that are bright colored and heavy for their size. Avoid soft and spongy cabbage as it will spoil soon. This will ensure proper storage.
  • If you have a whole head of unspent cabbage, do not cut it. Cutting it can lead to it losing its vitamin C and spoiling faster. Put the whole head in the root cellar or refrigerator to store it effectively.
  • Store the cabbages at temperatures between 32o F to 40oF and 85% to 95% humidity to keep them fresh for as long as possible.
  • In the case of cold storage methods, do not wash or remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. 
  • Use a stainless chef knife to cut the cabbage, using a stained knife can damage the skin of the vegetable and turn them black.

How To Store Cabbage Properly

Store Cabbage In The Refrigerator

Store Cabbage In The Refrigerator

This is one of the easiest ways to store the cabbage. With this method, you can store the red, green, and savoy cabbage fresh for up to 2 weeks. In the case of Napa cabbage, you can store it for a week. You can also store vegetables like asparagus, tomatoes, and mushrooms in the fridge to keep them intact.

It is better to store the cabbage in the refrigerator when the cabbage is not used. This way moisture will not be able to get away from its core keeping the vitamin C intact. So, do not separate its outer leaves and rinse, if it is not ready to use. Utilize a plastic wrap to wrap the whole cabbage and store it in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, storing an already cut cabbage takes a few more steps than simply wrapping it in a plastic bag. Cutting the cabbage makes it lose vitamin C and results in faster spoilage. Therefore the main goal is to stop air from entering the cabbage and causing oxidation. 

You will need:

  • Plastic / Zip-lock bag
  • Airtight container

Steps:

  1. Cut out a sheet of plastic wrap, enough to cover the cut cabbage from all sides.
  2. Wrap the half or wedge cut cabbage tightly in a plastic wrap. If you only have a ziplock bag available, cut the half cabbage into quarters and put it in the bag.
  3. Seal the zip lock bag and make sure to suck out all the air. You can use a straw to suck air.
  4. Store the sealed cabbage in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

In case the cabbage has been shredded, store it in an airtight container. Put it in the freezing part of the fridge. Shredded cabbage only lasts for 4-5 days. So, it is better to consume it fast.

Blanch And Freeze The cabbage For Long Term Storage

If you want to extend the shelf life of the cabbage up to a year. Then, freezing is the best method to do so. Not only cabbage, but you can also freeze any vegetables like asparagus, tomatoes, or mushrooms. Frozen vegetables are a great ingredient to prepare dishes like stew and soup.

You will need:

  • Cabbage
  • Cutting board
  • Chef Knife
  • Water
  • Ice 
  • A large bowl 
  • Zip Lock Bag/ Airtight container

Initial Preparation Of Cabbage For Freezing

Initial Preparation Of Cabbage For Freezing

The first step to freeze the cabbage for the long term is to select the best cabbage. Select a firm and heavy cabbage head that looks fresh green. Avoid damaged outer leaves with blemishes and scratches. These are the ones that can rot soon and taint the taste.

Rinse the selected cabbage thoroughly under tap water. Utilize a paper towel to pat it dry. Then, Cut it using a stainless chef knife in quarters or in any desired shape you like. You can either cut it in wedges or shred it into small pieces.

Blanching The Cabbage 

Blanching The Cabbage 

After cutting the cabbage, prepare a pot of clean water to blanch them. Heat the water and put the cabbage in the boiling water and heat it for 3 minutes. Prepare a separate bowl of water enough to submerge the prepared cabbage. Add some ice cubes to the same bowl of water. Turn off the stove of the boiling water and remove the cabbage safely using a tong. Put the cabbage in the ice water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Separate the cabbage from the ice water and remove excess moisture. 

Freezing and Storing The cabbage

Freezing and Storing The cabbage

Arrange the dried cabbage on a baking sheet or parchment paper in a single layer. Put the arranged cabbage in the freezer and let it sit for an hour. After it is frozen, you can replace the frozen cabbage in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed Zip-lock bag. Make sure to label the container with the date of the storage. You can enjoy the blanched cabbage texture for up to a year.

Preserving The Cabbage By Pickling/Canning

Preserving The Cabbage By Pickling/Canning

Pickling veggies is a popular culinary art found in every corner of the world. It is one of the best methods to store vegetables like cabbage for a long period. To be concise, this procedure can help you store the cabbage for up to 1 year. 

Not only long storage, but fermenting cabbage is also rich in probiotics that can eliminate bacteria in your gut.  

It is important to select the best cabbage before you start the pickling process. Choose fresh and crispy cabbage that has no sign of spoilage. You can enjoy it as toppings for hot dogs, burgers, or salads.

You will need:

  • Cabbage
  • Chopping board
  • Chef knife
  • Sea Salt
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Pepper (optional)
  • Other vegetables(optional)

Steps:

  1. Slice the cabbage into shreds using a chef’s knife. You can also choose to grate it if you like. Put the sliced cabbage in a bowl.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt to the bowl of cabbage. If you want it sweet, you can add a tablespoon of sugar. For spicy additive, you can add 1/2 tablespoon of minced pepper.
  3. Mix it well and wait for 3 minutes. 
  4. Put 1:1 vinegar and salt in a saucepan full of water and heat it.
  5. Add the cabbage and other vegetables if you want and stir it well for 2 minutes.
  6. Retrieve the cabbage from the bowl and put it into an airtight glass jar and secure the lid.
  7. Secure the prepared glass jar and let it sit at room temperature for 2-4 weeks.
  8. To store it without spoiling, keep it in the refrigerator and enjoy it for a year.

Storing Cabbage In The Root Cellar

Root or earth cellar is a structure underground that uses natural cooling and humidifying of the earth to store the vegetables. Count yourself lucky if you have one in your space because only fewer people can experience the natural benefits of a root cellar nowadays. This is a good way to store the cabbage for 4-6 months.

You will need:

  • Brown paper 
  • Straw

Steps:

  1. Wrap the cabbage head with brown paper. 
  2. Place the cabbage upside down on the shelf a few inches apart from each other. So that if one is spoiled, it will not affect the other. 
  3. You can also place them in the extra thermal layer of straw if your cellar shelf is full of vegetables. 
  4. Keep checking the status of the cabbage as months progress. Look out for wilted covers or yellowing leaves.

Dehydrating Cabbage To Keep It Intact

Dehydrating Cabbage To Keep It Intact
Credit: Homestead Corner

Dehydrating the cabbage is another easy method to store the cabbage for longer use. This procedure works well for every type of cabbage. You will need a dehydrator and you are good to go. You can use dried cabbage for liquid dishes like soup and stews. 

You will need:

  • Cabbage
  • Chopping board
  • Chef knife
  • A glass container or vacuum-sealed bags
  • Dehydrator 

Steps:

  1. Remove the wilted and yellow outer leaves of the cabbage.
  2. Wash it thoroughly under running water to get rid of dirt and pesticides.
  3. Chop the cabbage into small pieces using a stainless chef knife.
  4. Arrange the chopped slices of cabbage in the dehydrator trays. 
  5. Put the trays in the dehydrator and set the temperature between 125oF and 135oF.
  6. After heating it for 8-10 hours, put it at room temperature and pack it in a vacuum-sealed bag or a glass jar.