When Is Cabbage In Season?
It seems like cabbage is available late fall into early winter. For those of you who don’t really know what cabbage is, this vegetable is round in shape and has many, many layers or leaves over lapping each other to form a ball or head. There are many different varieties but the most popular is the green, red and savoy. The green is the most familiar to those of us who shop for it in our local stores and at farmers markets. There is the red cabbage, which is much higher in vitamin C than any other variety, and looks kind of purplish with veins running through. The savoy is milder than the other two and has ruffled leaves. Savoy cabbage is great for salads.
How To Freeze Cabbage?
I ran into a problem the other day when several heads of cabbage were given to me after I already bought some at the local farmers market. I had way too much cabbage and so I went on a quest to find out how to freeze it properly. After checking some culinary schools online, I came to the conclusion they just wanted me to sign up to their school, so I found some tried and true ways to freeze cabbage: I asked some local farmers in the area how they did it.
It’s so simple I couldn’t believe it! Here’s what you will need:
- A large pot of water
- A large strainer
- knife to cut the wedges
- freezer bags
- bowl of ice water
Yes, that is it! Most of the farmers around here told me they make saurkraut but that is a process I was not interested in doing. Bill, an old time Pennsylvania Dutchman told me that instead of letting cabbage go to waste, you can freeze it and use it all winter long. Ham and cabbage, cabbage and corned beef and even cabbage soup are just some great cheap winter meals that will keep the belly full.
First, I don’t want to gross you out, but it’s a good idea to take the head of cabbage and dunk it in a bucket of water for a few hours before you even cut it up. The reason why is because it will drive out the worms, if any were hiding in the head! Then, cut into wedges while you are boiling a big old pot of water on the stove.
Don’t Skip The Blanching Process
This is a very important step when freezing cabbage, or any other vegetables. Some people don’t do it but the reason you want to blanch anything you freeze is because it is supposed to stop the action of enzymes, which is what makes a veggie grow. Now, in all fairness, a lot of people believe that it is not necessary to blanch, or boil in hot water for a few minutes. Farmers that live locally, do blanch all the time and stick by it, so I guess it is up to you to decide. Here’s how to do it:
- After boiling a big pot of water, place the wedges in for about 4 or 5 minutes depending on how big of a pot you have.
- Prepare a bowl of ice water and immediately take a slotted spoon and place the cabbage in the ice water to cool down quickly.
- Strain the cabbage
- Lay flat on some cookie sheets works best. It is wise to put them in the freezer for a bit to stiffen up before throwing the cabbage in a plastic storage bag.
Store in bags and date. That’s it, you just learned how to freeze cabbage. By doing this process, the frozen veggie can be stored for almost a year in your freezer. You can take out and thaw anytime. That is how you will go about freezing cabbage for cheap winter meals.
Making meals out of that frozen cabbage is another story.