Cabbage is featured in many delicious, hearty, and healthy meals and can last longer than most vegetables around. The shelf life of cabbage in the fridge depends mostly on how it’s stored.
I like adding cabbage in my salads and juices because of its health benefits but I don’t really know how to properly store it in my fridge. I have been keeping it in my pantry where it only stays fresh for a few days before I notice the leaves have dried up and are starting to brown or it has a strong funny smell.]
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How to select the right cabbage
Image: Adobe stock
Cabbage contains very little water compared to other traditional veggies like spinach and romaine which helps to give it longer shelf life. When you go to the store to buy your cabbage, there are a few things you need to know so that you can select the right cabbage.
- An average cabbage weighs around 1-7 pounds and a cabbage head should be large and not be fluffy, heavy according to its size, and tender green leaves that don’t have any signs of damage, insect bites, blemishes or dark spots.
- Fresh cabbage has a lot of outer leaves that are mostly removed as the cabbage ages. To get a fresh cabbage check at the stem to make sure the leaves aren’t beginning to separate. This is an indication of how old the cabbage is.
- If you’re buying already shredded and bagged cabbage, remember to use it by the best before date. It saves you time but it can be more expensive and make sure to rinse it with cold water before eating.
- Cabbages either have a green or red colour, look for the ones that are shiny and bright with an almost lime green color. As for red cabbage, go for the ones with a deep-maroonish colour.
- Make sure the cabbage is firm to touch on the outside. If it feels soft and hollow inside rather than firm and compact it could be rotten on the inside.
- Go for a cabbage that only has a few hanging leaves from the head. If it has many leaves that aren’t tightly pressed to the center, it may have a funny texture and flavour. Also, go for leaves that are crisp rather than soft because soft leaves could be because the cabbage is old or it’s damaged.
- Cabbages with a larger head have a milder flavour than small ones that are more compact.
Cabbage in the fridge
How long does cabbage last in the fridge – fresh raw cabbage
Once you cut your cabbage it begins to lose vitamin C and to maximize the shelf life of your cabbage, refrigerate it in a plastic bag. Don’t wash it until you’re ready to use it. If stored properly raw cabbage in the fridge can last for 1-2 months. Keeping your cabbage cold can help retain its crisp texture and nutrients.
You can also freeze raw cabbage and all you need to do is to wash the cabbage thoroughly and remove rough leaves, separate it into leaves or cut into thin wedges, blanch it for 2 minutes then dip in ice cold water, and lastly, drain excess moisture and place in air-tight containers and freeze. If properly stores, frozen cabbage can stay in good quality for more than 18 months.
Freshly cooked cabbage
The duration that cooked cabbage in the fridge stays fresh depends on how it’s stored in the fridge within two hours after being cooked. To prolong its shelf life and preserve its quality and keep it safe to eat, use an air-tight shallow container or wrap it with aluminum foil before placing it in the fridge. If properly stored, it can last for about 3-5 days in the fridge.
Cooked cabbage can also be frozen by freezing it in air-tight containers or using heavy-duty freezer bags. If kept constantly frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, they will retain their quality. Cooked cabbage that has been thawed in the fridge is good for only 3-4 days before cooking but if it has been thawed in cold water or in a microwave, you need to eat it immediately.
If you leave cooked cabbage at room temperature, bacteria will quickly grow and should be throw away if you leave it for more than 2 hours. If the cooked cabbage has an off smell or has a funny appearance don’t taste it throw it away.
Now you know how long cabbage can last in the fridge
The good thing about cabbage is it has the longest shelf life among all the other veggies. From selecting the right cabbage to how you store it in the fridge, all these processes are important in determining how long your cabbage lasts in the fridge. Cabbage can last between 3 days to 18 months depending on how you store it. Watch this for more on how to store cabbage in the fridge.
Should cabbage be refrigerated?
Once you cut off the head of cabbage it quickly loses its freshness so it’s best to use it the same day. If there is some that have remained, sprinkle a few drops of water on the cut side them put in in a plastic bag and refrigerate it.
Does cabbage need to be washed?
Although cabbage is usually clean on the inside because it’s protected by the outer leaves, it’s good that you wash it under running water. To preserve its nutrients especially vitamin C, cut and wash the cabbage right before you cook or eat it.
Can fresh shredded cabbage be frozen?
You don’t need to blanch cabbage before you freeze it but you need to use it before 4-8 weeks. But you can blanch it for 90 seconds to make the frozen cabbage last longer.
Is frozen cabbage still good?
Freezing raw cabbage for months changes the texture and damages the structure. The best thing is to put it in the fridge.
How long can cooked cabbage last in the fridge?
At most 3-5 days but for a longer shelf life freeze it an air-tight container or heavy-duty freezer bags.