How to Dehydrate Cabbage

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How to Dehydrate Cabbage via The Survival Mom

When you think of dehydrating vegetables of any kind, learning to dehydrate cabbage is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. It sure wasn’t for me. As an outdoor guide who provides meals to my clients, I need to plan and prepare a wide variety of offerings, especially when I’m guiding a multi-day climbing, backpacking, or white water rafting trip. One of my main concerns is the weight of the food that I’m packing, along with the rest of the gear, so years ago I quickly learned the value of dehydrating certain foods. To this day, I enjoy having a variety of dried vegetables, berries and fruits on hand to cook with and eat, cabbage being one of my favorites.

Why Dehydrate Cabbage?

Cabbage is one of the unsung heroes of the vegetable world. Part of the dark leafy greens group, it’s rich in vitamins A, K and C, not to mention folate, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and certain trace minerals. A serving has only about 22 calories, while providing 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein.

Did you know that per serving size (one cup), cabbage provides over 50 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C our bodies should get – even more than oranges? Or that one serving of cabbage provides 85 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin K? I had no idea. I just know I love cabbage, especially in soups.

Types of Cabbages

I’ve never met a cabbage I didn’t like, and there are plenty to choose from when adding to your stores of dehydrated vegetables:

  • Green – The one most familiar to Americans, especially if you like cole slaw, salads, stir fry or cabbage soup.
  • Savoy – Considered the “prettiest” cabbage, it’s often used in salads, especially with baby greens.
  • White – Also known as a Dutch cabbage, it’s very similar to the green cabbage in texture and density.
  • Red – Great, thin sliced in salads or used in a red cabbage slaw.
  • Napa (Chinese cabbage) – Used to make Korean Kimchi.
  • Bok Choy – Looks a lot more like Swiss chard. A favorite in stir frys. I like the leafy part in my salads.
  • Brussels Sprouts – Looks like a “mini” green cabbage. I’ve called them hamster cabbages since I was a kid; my personal favorite, especially roasted!

As you can see, there is a great variety to choose from when deciding which cabbage to dehydrate.

Preparation

Prepping this great vegetable for dehydrating is fairly simple:

  1. Remove the outer leaves from each head of cabbage.
  2. Stem and core the larger cabbage varieties. Those parts don’t dehydrate or reconstitute that well.
  3. Clean and wash, then let stand or pat dry.
  4. Cut or process the head into quarters, and then into thin strips approximately 1/8” wide. Length can vary with no problem.
  5. Remember, there is no need to blanch the cabbage prior to dehydrating.

Dehydrating

  1. Arrange the the slices onto your dehydrator trays. They can nestle close together, even overlap just a touch.
  2. Turn on your dehydrator to the recommended temperature. Usually between 125 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Dry between 8 – 11 hours depending on the thickness of the cabbage leaves. Don’t forget to rotate your dehydrator trays for even drying.
  4. After your cabbage pieces are fully dry, I suggest letting the cabbage stand at room temp for a night before packaging them for storage.

Storing dehydrated cabbage

There are a wide variety of choices as far as storage containers. For me, it depends on what my goals are. If it is long term storage, then I use everything from canning jars to mylar bags. I make sure to add some type of oxygen absorbers in each container. I don’t suggest using plastic containers of any kind. I have had leakage problems no matter how carefully I store and stack them.

If the dehydrated cabbage is for more immediate consumption, such as on an outdoor adventure of some kind like backpacking, biking, rafting or kayaking, then zip-loc bags will work just fine.

Uses

There are so many great ways to include and use dehydrated vegetables, including cabbage, in your meal planning and cooking. It rehydrates quickly, and if your recipe contains plenty of moisture already, there’s no need to rehydrate before adding to your dish. Whether you are crafting a casserole, or simmering a stew or soup, consider adding some flavor, texture, color and nutrition to your next dish by adding some dehydrated cabbage!

How to Dehydrate Cabbage via The Survival Mom

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Robert Camp

Robert Camp turned his love of the outdoors into over 35 years of professional guiding and outdoor leadership. He has helped develop programs, lead trips, and taught for juvenile diversion programs, the U.S. military, The Sierra Club and many others.

26 thoughts on “How to Dehydrate Cabbage”

  1. Can you put the cabbage in quart jars and use the food saver to seal the jar and
    not use the oxygen absorbers . I dehydrate other veggies but never cabbage will try it this year. Sue

      1. Yes I’ve done it and it saves very well. Make sure to “proof” your dehydrated stuff before packaging. Put it in a zip-lock and let it set at room temperature for a day. If at any point you see some humidity on he inside of the bag, toss everything back in the dehydrator. A can of “almost dry” lima beans doesn’t look good after a year.

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  3. Sue, Thanks for your comment and question. I concur with The Survival Mom. I have not tried using the food saver personally, but I have a friend who swears by it. I like using the oxygen absorbers when I am packing food for an extended outdoor trips.

  4. Awesome article Lisa! Cabbage is the bomb! If you are thinking about trying to grow a few garden veggies, and everyone should try.. add a head or two of cabbage to your space! Cabbage is also a wonderful item to ferment and pickle!

    1. Agreed! It’s so versatile. We make Eggroll in a Bowl, which is just thinly sliced cabbage, lean ground meat, and a few other veggies and Asian seasonings, all cooked together in a skillet. It’s so good!

    2. Make sure to put something over your cabbages in the garden. I bought a bolt of tulle at JoAnne Fabrics. You will need it to cover your cabbages so the cabbage worms don’t get to them before it’s time to harvest. We put them over the cabbages and just used rocks to hold down the edges. As the cabbages grew, we just added more slack to the net. It worked great. We also use tulle on our blackberries to keep the birds and squirrels away from them. I don’t share my blackberries with anybody, well except my husband. The tulle works great. I haven’t tried regular nylon netting because the holes are bigger than the tulle.

  5. Also, for anything prone to bugs I add bay leaves. I read it somewhere for storing rice and pasta, but beans seem like a good candidate too. Can’t hurt.

  6. Ok, off-topic from cabbage, but I’ve looked all over for info and can’t find any: anybody have experience dehydrating fennel? Not the lacy little fronds; the sliced/diced bulb. Is it worth it? Does it reconstitute well? I know some veggies don’t. What about roasting it first (or roasting any veg first, for that matter?) are the stems palatable dehydrated or even fresh.
    I’m new to fennel and I’m experimenting. Any thoughts at all would be helpful and this is a pretty fresh article so I thought someone might respond.
    It supposedly keeps well in a root cellar, anybody ever do that? I always like to store everything at least 2 ways.
    Somebody with some fennel experience (actual experience and not stuff pulled off the internet) really needs to write a post for the blog. I’ve found lots of recipes but I’m looking for storage options. Someone very excitedly told me that she pickles it in the same jars wit beets… yeah…I’ll get right on that

    1. I dehydrate all of my veggies—fennel, leek, bok choy, onions (bulb and greens), and everything in my garden, along with edible flowers and fruits. I dehydrate tips from my gardenia bush and leaves from my red raspberry plants for tea. All of my herbs get dried and powered. I usually end up with 3-4 its of tomato powderer per annum, which I mainly use in place of tomato paste and to flavor sauces and soups. it is so satisfying to know that almost anything I need is on hand.

    1. Can I put my dehydrated cabbage in seal a meal which sucks out all the air without adding oxygen absorber

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  8. LOL “Hamster cabbage” Love it.
    For cabbage, I’d opt for slaw style, or puree it after dry as a soup thickener.

    I see a LOT of dehydrate this and that, and most are great guides, but nearly all FAIL to incorporate re-hydrating.

  9. ‘Remember, there is no need to blanch the cabbage prior to dehydrating.’
    Tasmanian quarantine authorities asked me to cook all foods prior to dehydrating, due to the disease-free nature of Australia’s island State.
    I am sea-kayaking out to various Tasmanian islands, and so was wanting advice on taking dehydrated food from my Australian mainland home.
    In my experience, blanched vegetables dehydrate quicker than raw vegetables – even those you can eat when raw.

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