A nice cauliflower cream soup sounds wonderful, but you don’t have the time to prepare it anytime this week. So you buy a nice cauliflower head and bring it home, with the idea of cooking it over the weekend. Where and how should you keep fresh, raw cauliflower ?
Should cauliflower be refrigerated ? Can it go in the pantry ? Can it sit out overnight ? Does it freeze well ? All this and more, coming right up !
Should cauliflower be refrigerated ?
Yes, you should refrigerate fresh cauliflower to make it last up to two weeks. We recommend using it within a week, to avoid oxidation spots. Make sure the cauliflower is in a perforated plastic bag, or a brown paper bag that is slightly open. You can also add in a paper towel to catch any moisture that may form during storage.
Cauliflower that is improperly stored, with constant moisture, will turn moldy within a week. Never wash the cauliflower if you don’t plan on using it immediately. The water will seep between the florets and slowly damage the vegetable.
If you have no refrigerator then a very cold pantry will do just fine. Make sure there is no direct sunlight or moisture in the pantry. A bit of ventilation helps to keep the cauliflower from going bad faster. Stored in a cold pantry (approx. 10 C/50 F) cauliflower should still keep about a week.
Can you leave cauliflower out overnight ?
Yes, you can leave fresh cauliflower overnight, as long as the room is not hot and there is no direct sunlight. In fact you can store fresh cauliflower on the counter for up to three days before it starts to get a bit soft.
Always leave the cauliflower and its leaves intact until the moment you decide to cook it.
Read also: Cauliflower Substitutes
Does cauliflower freeze well ?
Yes, cauliflower freezes very well and can last up tp three months in the freezer. Make sure you cut the florets into even pieces and store in fairly small portions. Don’t freeze an entire cauliflower head by itself, because you will have a lot of trouble thawing it. By the time the inside is thawed, the outside has been wet for several hours.
It’s best to cut it into even pieces and freeze in smaller portions.
Why does cauliflower get brown spots ?
The brown spots on cauliflower are caused by oxidation. This happens when the vegetable is stored for a long time, such as the two weeks in the fridge we mentioned earlier. Cauliflower with a bit of brown spotting is fine to eat, as long as there is no mold.
It may not look very good, but in some dishes it won’t be noticeable, such as cauliflower mash or cream soup.
If you really don’t like the spots, you can cut them off. They only on the very outer layer of the cauliflower, and usually don’t go as far as the inner stalks. You’d be wasting a bit of cauliflower, but it’s still an option if it’s just a few spots here and there.
Can you eat cauliflower raw ?
Yes, you can eat raw cauliflower, and it tastes a bit milder than cooked cauliflower. We recommend adding something like a dip to cauliflower, such as hummus, cream cheese, salsa, or anything else you may like.
Raw cauliflower has more dietary fiber than cooked cauliflower, so it can and will give you gas and bloating. Be careful how much you eat.
Should you wash cauliflower before cutting ?
Only wash cauliflower before you intend to use it. This is moistly to rid it of any stray bits of dirt of a possible small bug that may be hiding in the florets. Usually the florets are to tightly packed together that nothing can crawl in there, but it’s best to be safe.
After you’ve rinsed the cauliflower, be sure to strait very, very well. Shake it a few times if you have to, because water droplets will be lodged between all those little branches.
Read Also: Should Olives Be Refrigerated ?
How to pick out a good cauliflower head
When you’re out buying cauliflower, you want the best one. This is especially true if you’re looking to make an impressive-looking cauliflower roast. So this means you need a nice, beautiful cauliflower, with no spots. Let’s see how to pick out the best ones.
- Look for an even coloring, with no spots or blemishes
- If there is a strong smell, the cauliflower may already be going bad
- Make sure the leaves look fairly fresh, and are not wilted
- Weigh the cauliflower in your hands, it should be heavy for its size
When you get home with you winning cauliflower, make sure to store it in a perforated plastic bag. If you brought it tightly packed in plastic wrap, unwrap it because it can accumulate moisture and this will spoil it quicker.
And that’s pretty much it. Cauliflower can last you two whole weeks in the fridge, provided you keep it away form moisture and let it breathe a little. We still recommend you use cauliflower within a week if it’s sitting in the fridge, simply because you have less chance of brown spots appearing, and it tastes better when it’s fresh.