For health reasons, I have recently decided to be a vegetarian. My favorite dish is vegetable salad made mostly of cabbage, kale, and other greeneries. However, due to my busy career life, I don’t have enough time to go to the market weekly just to buy cabbages and other vegetables. Is it a good idea to buy many cabbages and store them all in the freezer?
Cabbage is a great source of many important nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B2. It is also a luscious component of many dishes – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
Yes, preserving cabbages by freezing is a good idea. Freezing slows down their respiration with their metabolic process, keeping them from spoiling quickly. It is necessary to slow the metabolic rate, so you can preserve their flavor, color, texture, and nutrients.
Can You Freeze Cabbage?
The goal for preserving cabbages effectively is to delay their metabolic process. You can do this by slowing down their respiration or so-called ‘breathing’.
Refrigeration is an effective way to do this. In addition, it is a huge help in preserving its vitamin C content.
It is important to wrap them in plastic bags to limit their exposure to air flow, reducing their respiration. Wrapping cabbages with plastic keeps moisture out, preventing spoilage.
However, take note that wrapping with plastics has a health risk. The plastic residues have been found to move into foods at refrigerator temperatures and may contaminate the body if not detoxified; hence, it is better to use reusable Tupperware containers.
Canning may also preserve cabbage. However, take note that this process also tends to degrade the color and quality of cabbage.
You can also preserve cabbages without freezing or canning. You can do this by using certain ingredients such as salt, oil, sugar, and alcohol.
How to Freeze Cabbage
Freezing is usually the most convenient way to preserve cabbage. Here’s how you can do it:
- Wash – Before anything else, wash the cabbage thoroughly. Freshly-picked cabbage is likely to contain vegetable worms, aphids, beetles, or earwigs. Soak them in a solution of 1 to 3 tablespoons of salt per gallon of water for about 30 minutes.
- Cut – Cut the cabbages into smaller pieces. You can do so by halves until your desired size is attained.
- Blanch – Freezing cabbage without blanching is possible. However, blanching them first can help extend their storage life. It also helps kill bacteria, mold, and fungi. Immerse the cabbage in boiling water for about 3 minutes.
- Pack – After cooling, you can now pack them in freezer boxes or other secure containers. Keep out as much air as possible to reduce the risk of freezer burn and increase their shelf life.
- Store – You can now finally put them in the freezer. The quality of cabbage deteriorates the longer you freeze them so do not expect the same quality from fresh ones once it’s time to eat the frozen version.
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