This is something that’s been bugging me for a while, and especially when I started getting those bagged salads again (ate my 2nd one this week so far and I’m jotting down ingredients to chop up so I can save on crap plastic and packaging in the future). I’ve learned that I really have to watch the expiration dates on those bagged salads not because of gross browning lettuce or weird smells, but weepy cabbage.
I don’t see weepy cabbage all the time, certainly not when I’m using part of a cabbage head. Maybe it’s the chopping that makes cabbage do it after a few days. I mean, coleslaw weeps to help make the creaminess that’s the tangy dressing… mmm. Now, if there’s too much eventually, I dunno, because in my potluck experience, coleslaw always disappeared too fast. No leftovers to see how much weeping could occur and how bad it might taste, so I can’t judge on that account.
But when trying to feed my parakeets (and myself one night), that’s when I noticed the weepy salad effect happening. The bagged salad that has cabbage as the majority of the greens will get watery real damned close to the expiration date. And it amazes me how damp and gross it all feels. I can only drain it in a colander (or blot with towels) for so long, and even then I hesitate to eat it. I’ll dry it out enough to feed it to the ‘keets in the morning, but that’s about it (and that’s only if I haven’t made it to the store yet and they don’t have enough chopped greens to fill the bowls at feeding time).
It makes me wonder, though, what makes cabbage weep? Is it the age, the storage, the chopping or slicing? Is it what’s in the mix with it? I wish I knew.
I see articles on how to prevent weeping in coleslaw, but I wonder about just basic cabbage. Nothing found yet on that.
I want to know most because I want to be able to make my own greens base for many salads, copying what I’ve been buying in the pre-packaged section. I lost a lot of the salads the past few months due to weepage or my birds needed the greens more, so I’d open a bag (yes, I spoil the chirpy darlings). So, I’ve got probably 20 packages of those “add-ons” that I’d like to use up and get out of my fridge with my own salad mix (and learn to invent my own salads again). But I worry that I’ll make a mix and a few days in it gets all watery and weepy and there goes a whole bunch of money.
I might have to make only a day or two at a time at most, if that’s the case, which will be a pain in the rear, but probably quite doable… depending on how long the cabbage, lettuce, whatever else lasts in the crisper drawer.
One of the few ideas I can see is using half a cabbage head and chopping it (and wrapping the other half back in the plastic wrap tight to store it for a few days to keep the moisture). A little salt helps prevent too much weepage in coleslaw. Might work for that, too.
Any ideas or tricks you guys/gals/etc. have come up with, my eyes and ears are open.
P.S.–I also learned when browsing for answers that cabbage can be good or bad for your stomach… especially in regards to gas. That probably explains my not-so-hot feeling in my belly the past few days and the desperate need for me to drink more water and lessen my food intake to curb the odd feeling (hmm… guess I’ll have some soup for dinner… NOT cabbage soup, of course).