How to Store Cabbage So It Won't Lose Its Texture

Don't let cabbage lose its crunch!


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Cabbage is one of those versatile vegetables that can be thrown into almost any dish. From stuffed cabbage, hearty stews, and salads, to grilled cabbage and casseroles, this nutritious and inexpensive vegetable is always good to have in the refrigerator. And the good news is, you can extend the shelf life of cabbage by weeks and even months when it's stored properly.

There’s nothing worse than buying a head of cabbage, only to realize it’s not fresh after cutting into it. Vegetables like cabbage and lettuce can be so tricky to shop for because you don’t know what the leaves will look like inside, and if you buy pre-shredded lettuce, you’ll have to use it within a day or two, since it goes bad much quicker. When picking out a head of cabbage, you always want to look for one that’s firm and heavy, but not too big. The leaves should be green and crisp, with minimal browning. And while you can find cabbage all year round, you’re more likely to find a good crop between the months of April and November. If you notice wilting, holes, brown spots, and dried out tips, those are clear indicators that the cabbage has spoiled. Here are a few ways to store and preserve the freshness of cabbage, whether it’s whole, cut or shredded.

How to Store a Head of Cabbage

Believe it or not, if a head of cabbage is stored properly, it can last for up to two months in your refrigerator. The reason why it can stay fresher for longer is that when you cut into it, it releases vitamin C, causing it to spoil faster. If you’re not quite ready to use your head of cabbage, don’t rinse it, put it in a plastic bag, and store it in the crisper drawer of the fridge. You will be shocked at how long it will remain vibrant and crisp.

How to Store Cut Cabbage

If you don’t need a whole head of cabbage, you can store whatever you don’t use for up to three days in the fridge. Be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, a large plastic bag, or in an air-tight food storage container. The key is to lock in moisture to avoid oxidation, so your cabbage can stay fresh over the next few days.

How to Store Shredded Cabbage

Having pre-shredded cabbage on hand is a great way to meal prep for the week. It can also stay fresh for up to three days when stored in an air-tight container or sealed plastic bag, and placed in the refrigerator. Just be sure to put the shredded cabbage in the coldest part of your fridge (which is usually in the very back) to obtain optimal freshness.

And if you’re looking for different ways to use shredded cabbage, don’t sleep on this Japanese Cabbage Pancake—it’s so easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes.

Can You Freeze Cabbage?

Like many other vegetables, cabbage can be stored in the freezer for up to a year. But there is a bit of a process to follow before storing it. Firstly, never put a whole head of cabbage in the freezer—it should always be cleaned, shredded, and cooked in boiling water for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, carefully spoon out the cabbage into a bowl of iced water to stop it from cooking further. Spread the cabbage out on a lined baking sheet and pat it dry until as much of the water is removed as possible. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for an hour so the cabbage can harden. Lastly, take all the frozen shredded lettuce and store it in a reusable storage bag or a freezer-friendly plastic bag.

When you’re ready to use your frozen cabbage, simply remove it from the freezer and let it thaw completely before cooking. There are so many ways to use frozen cabbage like in tacos, a stir-fry, casseroles, and soups.

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