QUESTION: Can you freeze a cabbage? How to I need to prepare it and does it need to be blanched? -Hollie L
ANSWER: Freezing cabbage is a simple process that allows you to have access to cabbage long after the growing season. When selecting cabbages for freezing, look for dense, solid cabbage heads that feel heavy for their size. You want the freshest heads possible, with good color, never dingy or yellow looking cabbage heads.
The first step in freezing cabbage is to wash the heads. Then you want to give them a soak in salt water to encourage cabbage loopers, aphids, earwigs, beetles, or any other caterpillars to leave before you freeze it. Use one to three tablespoons of salt for every gallon of water used and soak the cabbage heads for thirty minutes each. Alternatively, you could soak your heads in plain water for a few hours.
Next, rinse heads and remove any yellow outer leaves. Then, using a stainless steel knife, cut your heads into quarters, or wedges, or separate leaves. Using stainless steel is important because the carbon of other metals reacts with the phytonutrients in cabbage and can damage the skin of the plant, sometimes even turning it black. Decide how to cut your heads based on how you plan to use them in the kitchen. Keep the core inside wedges, as it helps hold leaves together during blanching.
Skipping the blanching step before freezing is possible with cabbage, but only if you plan to use it all within four to eight weeks. For the longest lasting frozen cabbage, blanch the pieces for 90 seconds. To blanch your cabbage pieces, toss them into boiling water for 90 seconds, and then give them an ice water bath for an additional 90 seconds. After removing the pieces from an ice water bath, use a colander to help drain and dry the pieces before freezing. Once your pieces are dry, place them into freezer bags in serving sizes and put them into the freezer.