A cabbage scientifically referred to as Brassica oleracea refers to a healthy and inexpensive variety of edible vegetables with a head made up of green leaves. Several people have reported having a problem knowing the actual cabbage lifespan in the fridge; they always keep blogging and asking specialists the question,” How long does cabbage last in the fridge?
With the following article, which involves researchers from multiple resources, including the United States Food & Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, I have tried to cover every aspect that involves a cabbage from purchasing to preparations to storage to its benefits thus by reading this article you will never go wrong with any aspect that involves a cabbage.
What to consider when buying a cabbage.
When buying cabbage, you should ensure that your cabbage is fresh and nutritious; thus, you should follow the following tips to choose the most favorable and healthy cabbages.
- It is best to go for the green, red cabbage with a tight and combat head that feels heavy for its size.
- Your cabbage should look fresh and crisp with some few loose leaves (this is based on the fact that some sellers peel off the outer spoiled leaves of an overstayed cabbage to give it a fresh look), thus void cabbages with fluffy or pulled off outer leaves.
- Observe the bottom of your cabbage to ensure that the leaves are tightly packed. It’s key to note that their bottom leaves are normally loose and separated from the stem for overstayed cabbages.
- Check the stem of your cabbage to ensure that it does not have any cracks around the base.
- Avoid purchasing pre-cut, halved, or shredded cabbages. It’s because those cabbages normally lose vitamin C at a fast rate as compared to the full cabbages.
It’s key to note that the leafy cabbage varieties should be green with green and firm stems; hence if the stems of your selected cabbage are limp, it means that your cabbage has overstayed.
How to prepare cabbage?
The cabbage preparation process begins with removing and discarding the wilted fibrous outer leaves and then washing it under cold running water.
Note: At all costs, avoid removing the core of the cabbage. It is meant to ensure that the leaves of your cabbage will remain intact during the slicing process.
Cat your cabbage into two halves, place one of the halves on your chopping board and then use a stainless steel knife(to prevent your cabbage from discoloring) and slice it crosswise from small thin strips. You can also shred it on the largest holes of your food processor or grater.
Note: Each pound of cabbage can yield approximately two to two and a half cups of sliced cabbage.
This step involves cooking your cabbage. To get the best taste out of your cabbage, it’s advisable that you either steam or stir fry it for about 15 minutes or until it turns crisp-tender.
Note: Avoid overcooking your cabbage since an overcooked cabbage loses its nutrients and produces a very strong odor.
You can serve your cabbage by tossing it into green salads to provide extra color and crunch or stir it into soups and stews for about 15 minutes of cooking as an extra ingredient.
To understand the amount of time you’re supposed to store your cabbage before it goes bad, you should first understand how long it’s meant to last.
How long does cabbage last in the fridge before it spoils?
Of course, all foods (more especially the vegetables) last for a short period if they aren’t properly stored. Typically a cabbage is one of the longest-lasting types of vegetables available. Even though it looks like lettuce, the cabbage takes a longer period before it begins to wilt, depending on how it’s picked and how it’s stored.
• The lifespan of fresh cabbage.
When properly stored, a whole fresh cabbage can last for about 1 to 2 days on the counter, 4 to 5 days on the refrigerator, and approximately 9 to 12 months in the freezer. On the other hand, a freshly cut cabbage can stay for about 1 to 2 days on the counter, 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator, and approximately 9 to 12 months in the freezer.
• The lifespan of a cooked cabbage
When properly stored, a cooked cabbage can last for about 2 days on the counter, 3 to 5 days on the refrigerator, and 10 to 12 months in the deep freezer.
Note: It’s key to note that improper storage of the cabbage reduces its shelf life, and just like other fresh vegetables, the cabbage lacks a best before and use before date; thus, the users are advised to use the date they pick those cabbages from the garden or the date they are purchased.
General tips on cabbage storage.
There are numerous ways of storing your cabbages to extend their shelf lives, but selecting a favorable storage method greatly depends on your choice of cabbages and the time you want to consume it. Below are two of the highly recommended methods of cabbage storage.
Refrigeration, which involves storing your cabbage in the refrigerator, is probably the best method of storing a cabbage. To properly store your cabbage in the refrigerator in a vegetable drawer’s plastic bag is preferably used. Consequently, refrain from washing the cabbage until you’re ready to use it.
• Using a freezer.
It would be best if you preferably opted for the freezer in cases of long term preservation. Before storing it in the freezer is advisable that you blanch your cabbage in some boiling water for approximately 2 minutes, drain it and lastly shred it before placing it in an airtight freezer-safe container.
Proper storage of:
1. A whole head of cabbage
The proper storage method for your whole head of cabbage is by storing it in a root cellar. The root cellar has much storage means some of them to include: placing your cabbage heads in rows on the shelves while maintaining a distance of about 10 inches apart, hanging them from the ceiling with a string, or otherwise wrapping them in several layers of newspapers and storing them on the floor.
2. A partial head of cabbage.
The shelf life of a cabbage automatically reduces significantly when you cut it into half; hence its storage will require some extra steps to ensure that they stay fresh for as long as possible.
The steps include wrapping it in a plastic bag or a plastic wrap before storing them in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. In this case, you should check from time to time for any color change.
3. Shredded cabbage.
The best way of storing a shredded cabbage is refrigeration. This process involves placing your shredded cabbage in a perforated plastic bag then put it in the vegetable crisper section of your refrigerator.
Note: With proper storage, your head of cabbage will last for about 3 to 4 weeks.
4. Cooked cabbage.
For cooked cabbages freezing is the best method of storage.
Methods of determining that your cabbage is spoiled or rotten.
1) By using our noses.
Our noses are typically the best method of determining if our cabbages are beyond the eat by date. Typically, the cabbage’s odor gets stronger as its ages; hence our Noses will automatically detect a rotten or spoiled cabbage just by smelling it.
2) By looking for some of the common traits of a spoiled or rotten cabbage.
Some of the most common traits of a rotten or spoiled cabbage include:
• Shivering and shrinking of the outside leaves of the cabbage.
• A greyish color will begin to appear on the edges of cut cabbage.
• The edges of your cut cabbage begin to age.
Health benefits of cabbage.
This research will be incomplete if we don’t look at the benefits that the cabbages offer its user. According to several medical researches, cabbage’s health benefits are tremendous. Some of those benefits include:
1. The cabbage is one of the best sources of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a very important collagen in the body that serves several important purposes; for instance, this type of Vitamins is used in the manufacture of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. Research had proven that both the red and green cabbages are excellent sources of Vitamin C, with a cup of approximately 89 grams of chopped cabbage packing approximately 85% of the required vitamin intake.
2. It keeps the heart of the user healthy.
According to scientific researches, the red cabbage contains anthocyanin. The anthocyanin is a powerful plant pigment that belongs to the flavonoid family, giving the cabbages their vibrant colors. Several studies have found a link between consuming foods rich in pigments to reduced heart disease risks. Thus by consuming meals rich in cabbages, you are reducing the risks of contracting heart diseases.
3. Cabbages play a great role in the reduction of heart diseases.
In the current generation, blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke and heart diseases, affects close to one billion people worldwide. Recent evidence has suggested that an increase in dietary potassium by an individual plays a great role in reducing a person’s blood pressure by simply counteracting the effects of consuming sodium in the body.
It’s key to note that the red cabbages are excellent potassium sources with a 2 cup of approximately 178 grams of chopped cabbage, delivering about 12 percent of the RDI. Therefore consuming potassium rich cabbages is an excellent way of lowering the risks of contracting heart diseases.
4. It helps in lowering cholesterol levels in the body.
Cholesterol refers to a waxy like substance that is found in the cells of the human body. It’s key to note that even though high cholesterol levels are harmful to the body (high risks of contracting heart diseases), the body still requires some little amounts of this cholesterol for some proper functioning of the bodies’ system such as digestion and synthesis of hormones.
It has been proven that the cabbages have two substances that help the body in reducing the unhealthy levels of cholesterol to normal. Those substances include soluble fibers and plant sterols.
5. It helps in improving the digestion of the user.
If your goal is improving your digestive health, the fiber-rich cabbages are the easiest and beneficial way to go. This nutritious vegetable is rich in gut-friendly insoluble fibers, which keeps the digestive system healthy by simply adding regular bowel movements and adding some bulk to the users’ stool.
6. Helps keep inflammation in check.
To protect you from infection and speed up healing, your body relies on acute inflammation, a normal response to injury and infections. On the other hand, there is another type of inflammation known as chronic inflammation, which occurs over a long period. Consequently, it leads to contacting several diseases such as heart diseases, arthritis, and chronic inflammation. According to research, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbages contain several antitoxins, reducing this chronic inflammation.
By studying all of the above facts on preparation, storage, health benefits, and tips of consideration before purchasing a cabbage, it’s key to note that the cabbage is one of the most exceptional health and beneficial food available. It offers its users easier storage, outstanding health benefits, and it’s also a tasty and inexpensive addition to several recipes.
With so many potential advantages of these cabbages, it’s quite obvious why this edible vegetable deserves a room on your plate and sometimes in the spotlight.