Cabbage is one of the easiest vegetables you can grow in your home garden.
And while it isn’t as easy to grow as other veggies like tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, it doesn’t require any special equipment either.
It’s a versatile veggie that can be used in many ways.
You can make pickled cabbage, sauteed cabbage, fermented cabbage, and even use it in soups and stews.
But what if you’ve got some spoiled cabbage sitting around?
How do you know if it’s good or bad?
Well, there are a few things you should consider before trying to use it.
- How can you tell if cabbage is bad?
- What are some signs that cabbage has gone bad?
- How long does cabbage last before it goes bad?
- What are some tips for storing cabbage to keep it fresh?
- Can you eat cabbage if it has started to go bad?
- What happens if you eat bad cabbage?
- How can you tell if cabbage has gone off?
- What does bad cabbage smell like?
- What does bad cabbage look like?
- Is it safe to cook with bad cabbage?
How can you tell if cabbage is bad?
First, let’s talk about the basics.
Cabbage is a leafy vegetable that comes from the head of the plant.
The head of the plant grows into a large ball-shaped structure called the “cauliflower.”
The cauliflower contains both leaves and buds that can grow into new plants.
When you cut off the top of the cauliflower, all of those buds become heads of cabbage.
The heads of cabbage are generally in two different shapes: round or wedge shaped.
Round cabbages are more common than wedges.
They typically weigh between 2 and 5 pounds (0.9 and 2.3 kg) each.
Wedge shaped cabbages tend to be smaller and weigh between 1 and 3 pounds (0.45 and 1.4 kg).
If you buy a bunch of cabbage at the grocery store, most likely the ones you get will be round.
However, you might see some wedge shaped varieties too.
There are many reasons why we choose one shape over another.
For example, round cabbages are easier to work with when they’re getting ready to be cooked.
Round cabbages are also easier to clean up since they have more flat sides.
Wedge shaped cabbages are better suited for salads.
Their wide bases give them stability and prevent them from rolling around too much during transport.
Wedge shapes are also easier to slice and dice into small pieces.
This makes them great for stir fries and curries.
What are some signs that cabbage has gone bad?
You probably won’t want to eat anything that looks bad.
So, if you notice brown and/or black spots on the leaves, they may be an indication that cabbage has gone bad.
These spots are caused by bacterial growth.
Bacteria thrive in warm temperatures, so if you have a lot of cabbage sitting around in your fridge, it could turn bad fairly quickly.
Other signs that cabbage has gone bad include wilting and discoloration.
The leaves of old cabbage can start to develop dark spots or cracks.
They also have a strong odor.
These symptoms indicate that the cabbage is starting to lose moisture and nutrients.
If you try to store cabbage with these problems, it could cause more damage.
How long does cabbage last before it goes bad?
Cabbage will last longer if you refrigerate it properly.
Store raw cabbage in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Make sure to cover it with a damp paper towel to help prevent mold.
After you take the cabbage out of the fridge, leave it in the same container until you need it again.
If you don’t plan to use the cabbage right away, it’s best to put it back in the fridge after you remove it from its original container.
Don’t just toss the container in the trash though.
You can throw away the plastic wrap and re-cover it with a moist paper towel to keep it fresh.
What are some tips for storing cabbage to keep it fresh?
When you first remove your cabbage from the fridge, it is going to be really wet due to condensation.
Try not to wash it off right away.
Instead, wait a little bit and then gently pat the leaves dry with a paper towel.
Do this only once, otherwise you risk spreading bacteria onto the rest of your food.
Store your cabbage in an airtight container to prevent any more moisture loss.
Once your cabbage is nice and dry, you can put it back in the fridge.
As mentioned above, don’t toss the container in the trash unless you’ve already washed it out.
Instead, place a damp paper towel in the bottom of the container to absorb extra liquid.
Can you eat cabbage if it has started to go bad?
Yes, you can still eat cabbage if it has developed mildew.
Just make sure to wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly before handling the produce.
Wash the leaves separately from the core of the cabbage.
Then, soak the leaves in a bowl of water mixed with bleach.
Let it sit for 30 minutes and then rinse it well under running water.
Dry the leaves before cooking them.
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What happens if you eat bad cabbage?
There are several health risks associated with eating rotten cabbage.
The worst part is that you can’t taste it because the flavors are masked by the mold.
Eating it could lead to nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, and breathing difficulties.
In addition to being unpleasant, you could end up with digestive issues as well.
Because bad cabbage smells terrible, you could also experience bad breath.
This can be especially problematic if you’re pregnant or nursing.
In fact, doctors recommend against consuming raw cabbage and other raw fruits and vegetables during pregnancy.
How can you tell if cabbage has gone off?
The best way to find out if cabbage has gone bad is to taste it.
If the flavor and texture of your cabbage are bland and unappealing, chances are it has gone bad.
You can also check the inside of the stem area of the cabbage.
If you can see mold growing there, it could mean that the cabbage has been rotting for quite some time.
What does bad cabbage smell like?
Bad cabbage has a very strong odor.
It can often overpower the aroma of other foods you’re cooking.
This means that it’s possible to detect the problem early on without needing to sample the product yourself.
What does bad cabbage look like?
Bacterial fermentation causes cabbage to develop dark spots.
The color of these spots depends on which bacteria is causing the problem.
Some spots may have a reddish tint while others may appear gray or blue.
The spots can eventually coalesce together and form patches.
As the patches grow larger, they can easily be mistaken for a bruise.
Is it safe to cook with bad cabbage?
Cooking with bad cabbage can be dangerous.
Raw cabbage contains high levels of oxalic acid.
Oxalic acid is toxic when consumed in large quantities and can cause kidney stones.
Cooking the cabbage will reduce its toxicity somewhat.
How can I tell if cabbage has gone bad?
Here are 7 ways to tell if cabbage has gone bad:
Look for spots on the leaves.
Check the stems for a slimy appearance.
If it smells foul, you’ve got problems.
Cut it open.
If it looks mushy.
Delicious Shoneys Cabbage Soup
- 1 can Tomatoes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 3 cans beef broth
- 1 can kidney beans
- ½ medium size chopped cabbage
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Chop the tomatoes and reserve the juice.
- Brown your beef together with the onions and drain off the fat.
- Add the beef broth, tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, beans, and tomato paste if you like.
- Pour in the cabbage and cook until tender- season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Cook for at least 30 minutes, then serve.