Select freshly picked, solid heads that feel weighty for their size and have fresh leaves and good color. Heads should be tightly attached to their stems and not starting to separate. If harvesting your own cabbage, leave it in the ground as late in the fall as possible before the first frost. Frozen cabbage will be wilted when thawed, but can still be used for cooking.
Preparing for Freezing:
Trim coarse outer leaves from head. Cut into medium to coarse shreds or thin wedges, or separate the head into individual leaves.
Cabbage can be frozen directly without being blanched, but for cabbage intended for sours and casseroles requiring cooked cabbage, water-blanch convenient sized wedges for 3 to 4 minutes or steam blanch them for 4 to 6 minutes. Whole leaves or shredded cabbage can be water-blanched for 1 1/2 minutes. Cool promptly and drain.
Best Freezing Method(s):
Boilable Bags Place desired amounts of shredded cabbage into boiling bags, add desired seasoning, press out air and seal. Blanch cabbage for 1 1/2 minutes in boiling water, cool bags in ice water, pat dry and freeze. Shredded cabbage can also be frozen in boilable bags without blanching. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace.
Tray Packs Clean and prepare whole leaves or wedges and either blanch or leave them unblanched. Lay in a single layer on cookie sheets and place them in the freezer. When fully frozen (12 to 24 hours), portion them into suitable containers and freeze. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace.
Dry Packs Transfer blanched or unblanched cabbage leaves, wedges or shredded cabbage directly into suitable containers for freezing. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace.
Suitable packaging for freezing includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers and heavy duty aluminum foil.
Maximum Storage Time:
10 to 12 months at 0ºF.
Thaw coleslaw in the refrigerator. Add frozen cabbage directly to dishes.
Tips & Shortcuts:
Cabbage can be brined as sauerkraut or made into coleslaw or relishes and frozen. Whole leaves can be frozen unblanched for use as wrappers for baking or stuffing, and used immediately after thawing. Cabbages should not be frozen whole. Store whole heads, roots intact, by hanging them upside down in a root cellar. Keeping the outer leaves intact will keep the inner leaves from drying out.
Do not wash until use. Store whole cabbages in perforated plastic bags for 4 to 8 weeks. Store coleslaw in an airtight container for 3 days. Sauerkraut can be stored in a non-metal, airtight container for up to 1 week.
You can freeze just about anything. What you need to consider is the texture of the product when it defrosts. Cabbage, like most leafy vegetables, are full of water. As such, when they defrost, the water will leach out of its cells. You will be left with limp and mushy produce when it is thawed. This is best suited for cooked recipes, or those that don't require a crunch.
Cut the head of cabbage across the core in half. Cut out the core by cutting a V shape through the cut side of each half. Cut shreds lengthwise across each half. I'm not a big fan of blanching, but if you want to, blanch the shreds in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Cool in an ice bath, drain and bag if freezer bags.
I would portion it out depending on the recipes you're most likely to make. If for a side dish, 2-4 cups. If for an ingredient, 1 cup in small zip-top bags. Flatten the smaller bags and remove the air and place all of them in a larger freezer bag.