Fresh red cabbage is definitely healthier than the glass version. We explain how you can freeze red cabbage and feed on it all year round.© Osterland - Fotolia.com If you want to preserve vegetables and at the same time want to ensure that as many of the valuable nutrients as possible are preserved, you can choose to freeze. So why not freeze red cabbage if it is abundant in the garden or is currently cheap at the weekly market? In fact, red cabbage is suitable for freezing without any problems, provided that a few important basic rules are followed. So that the winter vegetables can still be enjoyed in summer, they must be prepared accordingly before freezing. So it's time to clean, chop, blanch, quench red cabbage and so on. We have detailed instructions below that provide easy-to-understand information on the steps required to freeze red cabbage.
Why is freezing red cabbage useful?
Red cabbage is not only considered a particularly nutritious, but also a very tasty vegetable. The fresher the red cabbage, the more nutrient-rich it is. In addition, the finished red cabbage from the glass or from the bag was usually provided with sugar and other additives. If you want to avoid them and eat an even healthier diet, fresh red cabbage can be preserved in winter so that you can enjoy it for longer. Frozen red cabbage in its raw form without additives will often not be found on the freezer shelf of most supermarkets. This also speaks for freezing on your own.
While the healthy cabbage is a must in the vegetable compartment in the refrigerator, it can only be stored there for a maximum of ten days. Depending on how fresh the cabbage has been placed in the refrigerator and how exactly the refrigerator has been set, red cabbage may even be kept in the refrigerator for only five days. Freezing is therefore a tangible advantage in that it can be stored in the freezer or in the freezer for up to six months.
Freeze red cabbage - the correct procedure
In order to freeze fresh red cabbage, the cabbage must first be cleaned. The following procedure has proven itself:
- Separate the outer leaves from the red cabbage and discard
- Rinse the cabbage briefly now, if this makes sense
- Quarter the cabbage - please use the largest possible sharp knife
- Remove the stalk
- Cut the red cabbage into strips as narrow as possible (this works best across the board)
- Use a sieve to clean the cabbage strips thoroughly under running water and to remove any dirt
Red cabbage is one of the strong-coloring cabbages. It is therefore particularly important to wear gloves and an apron when processing fresh red cabbage in your own kitchen. Otherwise unsightly stains on clothing may be the logical consequence. After the red cabbage has been prepared accordingly, it should be sautéed briefly. This preserves the valuable vital substances, while the cabbage is optimally prepared for freezing.
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Tips for blanching fresh red cabbage
If you want to freeze fresh red cabbage, you should first blanch the cabbage. To do this, please take a sufficiently large pot to hand. Bring lightly salted water to the boil. Now you have to wait until the water boils completely. Then add the head to the bubbling salt water. In the next step, the cabbage should be cooked on the stove for between one and three minutes.
After the cooking process, it is extremely important that the cabbage is quenched. Only then will the vegetables stay crisp and taste much better even after thawing. Therefore, it is best to put the winter vegetables in a sieve again. Then quench with tap water as cold as possible.
If the tap water did not want to be cold enough, ice water is an alternative. Fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. The red cabbage can then cool in the ice bath for one to two minutes. This type of quenching has proven to be particularly effective in practice. After that, the red cabbage can in principle be frozen.
In which container can I freeze red cabbage?
When freezing red cabbage, it is also important to choose the right container. If the container is not suitable for permanent freezing of food, freezer burn is almost guaranteed. This would be a great shame, because freezing fresh red cabbage is ultimately associated with the effort just described. A frost-proof container is therefore a must. Whether a food storage box or freezer bag should be used is, however, a question of personal taste. The advantages and disadvantages of these different containers are shown below:
- Freezer bags are cheaper
- Fresh storage boxes are more environmentally friendly because they can be reused more often
- Freezer bags take up less space in the freezer and can be stored more easily / flexibly
- Inferior fresh food boxes may take on the red color of the cabbage and change color permanently
- Freezer bags can freeze if they are not sealed properly
- Freezer bags can be labeled with the freeze date directly on the bag
Now that the red cabbage has been transferred to a container of your choice, the freezing date should be noted on the container. This is important to guarantee that the red cabbage is really still stable and edible at the time of removal. This can be easily checked later by looking at the freeze date. So that the red cabbage freezes particularly quickly and evenly, it is best to use the shock freeze function.
Alternative: First cook red cabbage and then freeze it
Not only fresh red cabbage that has been blanched can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. It is also possible to finish cooking red cabbage and enrich it with the desired spices before it is preserved in the freezer.
Major advantage: After thawing, the red cabbage only has to be warmed up and can be consumed immediately as a side dish. However, the possible uses are limited, although a finished red cabbage side dish can be prepared more quickly later.
By the way, how the cabbage was prepared beforehand (for example, marinated and then braised) does not matter for freezing. However, care must be taken to freeze the cabbage in practical portion sizes that suit your own eating habits.