The many varieties of cabbage are vitamin-rich, especially when eaten raw or cooked briefly. The process of blanching prevents enzymes from being destroyed, which can ruin flavour, colour and texture. Blanched cabbage can be used in casseroles or with other main dishes, and blanching is an important process prior to freezer storage. The blanching process takes only minutes, and ensures that the briefly cooked cabbage retains as many nutrients as possible.
Fill the pot with water and turn the heat on high. Place the steamer basket over the pot.
Remove the rough, outer cabbage leaves, then rinse under cold water.
Cut the cabbage head into eight wedges, then place in the steamer basket.
Set the lid on top of the steamer basket, and set the timer. The cabbage needs to steam blanch for two and a half minutes. Do not overcook. Alternatively, the wedges can be water blanched. Dip the cabbage into the water for one and a half minutes.
Fill a bowl with water and ice. Drop blanched cabbage into the bowl immediately.
Make sure to set the timer. Underblanching stimulates enzymes that deteriorate the quality of cabbage. Overblanching destroys the flavour, nutrients and colour of cabbage.