How to store cauliflower?
Fresh cauliflower has a short shelf life. If you already have some ideas on storing broccoli, it also applies almost the same way with cauliflower.
- Before keeping your cauliflower inside the storage area, you have to wash it under running water. Never use soap in washing the vegetable, or else some soap particles might get stuck in between the florets. Then, cut off the part that you won’t need if you have to like the leaves and the stem.
- To prolong the shelf life of your cauliflower, you have to put it in the refrigerator. Storing it in the pantry is not bad, though. However, it will not last long, and it will just deteriorate even faster compared to keeping it in the refrigerator.
- Cauliflowers love a moist and cold environment. Before tossing it in the refrigerator, make sure to leave it in a vented plastic bag. This bag will help trap the moisture that is needed by the cauliflower while the holes release the surplus. The bag should be perforated so that it won’t be too humid enough for condensation to occur. If this happens, it will become an ideal condition for microorganisms to survive and multiply.
- For longer-term storage, the freezer is there to help. Make sure to cook the cauliflower first. Have it cooled down, place it in an airtight container, and keep it in the freezer.
In freezing your cauliflower, it will take time to process it before it lands in the freezer. Here is how to deal with your cauliflower:
1.Trim off the leaves of the cauliflower and divide the head into florets.
2.Then. Wash everything thoroughly. If ever you are concerned about unwanted insects that may be living in your cauliflower florets, prepare a basin of water with added salt.
As to how much salt you should use, just add 4 teaspoons of salt for every 1 gallon of water. Soak your cauliflower florets there for an hour and a half. While soaking, you may observe that some insects will start to come out and react with the salt. Some will die, and some will float on the surface. After that, rinse the florets properly.
3.Prepare a boiling pot of water, then toss the florets in it. You may add 4 teaspoons of salt for every gallon of water. That will depend on you if you want to add salt or not anyway. Give it three minutes to blanch each batch. Prepare a basin or bowl of cold water while blanching. And, make sure you have already prepared a colander where you are going to strain out the water of your blanched cauliflower.
4.After blanching, strain out the water and toss the blanched cauliflower florets into the cold water and leave it for 2 minutes to drop the heat from cooking further. And drain it again once cooled.
5.After draining, you have to pat-dry each cauliflower floret with a paper towel.
6.Divide the floret into serving portions and keep each batch in an airtight container or freezer bag.
7.Make sure to tightly seal everything.
8.You may label it with the date on when you have blanched it before putting it in the freezer.
You don’t have to necessarily thaw cauliflower since you are going to cook it anyway. It is actually safe and very okay to add it frozen when cooking. Should you have the need to defrost it, put it in the refrigerator overnight. Or thaw in on the countertop.
Can cauliflower go bad?
Yes, it can spoil due to different factors – storage place, storage temperature, and when it was harvested. Cauliflower is classified as a highly perishable vegetable since it has a high water content. That is why you need to provide extra care for this vegetable and maximize its shelf life.
How long does cauliflower last?
At room temperature in the pantry, your fresh cauliflower can stay fresh for 2 to 4 days. So, the shelf-life is shorter compared to those that are being refrigerated and frozen. If you only have the pantry as the storage, you have to use up everything soon while it lasts.
In the refrigerator, fresh cauliflower can last for one to two weeks, depending on how it is properly kept. On the other hand, cooked cauliflower will retain its quality for about five to seven days.
In the freezer, frozen cauliflower can stay at its best quality for about 8 to 12 months.
How to tell if cauliflower has gone bad?
Check you cauliflower for these signs of spoilage:
1.Soft flesh and slimy texture. When it has already become limp, mushy, and slimy, it’s not a good cauliflower quality anymore. Fresh cauliflower should be firm to the touch.
2.Foul smell. If the cauliflower head smells off or odorous, then it is already spoiled. You should get rid of it immediately.
3.Mold growth. Whether it is cooked or fresh, if you see some large black or brown spots, there is no way of saving it but to throw it away instead. If the affected area is just small, you can cut it out, though.
4.Wilted leaves. Fresh cauliflower has leaves that appear vibrant green, and it should be securely attached.
5.Spread-out and separating florets. That means your cauliflower is starting to fall off and spoil due to excess moisture. That is why it is recommended to keep your cauliflower in a vented bag. A fresh cauliflower head has densely packed florets with compact curds.
6.Obvious discoloration. A fresh cauliflower should have a creamy white-colored head. It may already have turned brown because of oxidation.]]>