Maybe you bought several cauliflowers to make your favorite cauliflower béchamel for your guests but didn’t actually use all of them.
Or perhaps you were tempted to buy plenty of them at a discount. Now you are wondering how to keep the cauliflowers and use them optimally.
You may be baffled with questions like:
Does cauliflower go bad? How to know if cauliflower is spoiled? What is the shelf life of cauliflower?
You’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re covering how to tell if a cauliflower has gone bad, how to store cauliflower, and the kind of shelf life you can expect.
How To Know If Cauliflower Has Gone Off
It is easy to tell if your cauliflower is spoiled by just observing it. The indications that you should check for include:
- Large black or brown areas or mold: Minor imperfections are normal. So if the black patches are small, you can cut them off and use your cauliflower. But if most of the parts are affected, throw away the cauliflower.
- Slimy or soft texture: Good quality cauliflower should be firm. If yours is limp, discard it.
- Off smell: If your cauliflower emits an odd smell even though it is not next to any smelly item, then it is a sign that it is spoiled and ready for the dustbin.
Although cooked cauliflower can remain in the fridge for a week, it can also get spoiled. If you allow it to come into contact with microbes before placing it in your fridge, it may go off in 1-2 days. Mold can grow on it, too.
How To Store Cauliflower
Your fridge is the best haven for your cauliflower. There is no harm in keeping it in your pantry. But do so only for a few days. Or else, your cauliflower’s quality may deteriorate much faster.
Does that mean that you only have to pop your cauliflower on your fridge’s shelf or crisper drawer?
Cauliflower thrives in moist and cold surroundings. The fridge provides a cold temperature for it. To ensure that sufficient humidity is present around the cauliflower, put it in a plastic bag with holes punched in it. Moisture will get trapped within the bag, and the holes will help to release the excess.
Wash cauliflower under the tap just before cooking. In case you are using only a part of the cauliflower, then cut as much as you need and wash only that portion. Do not use soap. It may get stuck in between the florets.
For cooked cauliflower, keep the pieces inside an airtight container, before placing it in your refrigerator.
You can also freeze your cauliflower if you want to store it for a long time. Here are the steps:
- Remove the leaves of your cauliflower and cut the florets. Then wash them well. Soak them in salted water for half an hour so that if there are any insects, they will die and float on the surface of the water.
- Boil some water in a pot. Then blanche the cauliflower florets for about 3 minutes.
- Transfer the florets to cold water. Let the florets remain in it for a few minutes so that they do not cook anymore.
- Drain the water out. Pat the pieces of cauliflower dry.
- Put a small number of florets in separate freezer bags or airtight containers for easy portioning. Seal them tightly and write a label with the date on.
- Then place your containers or bags in the freezer.
Your frozen cauliflower will retain its quality for 8-12 months. You can add frozen cauliflower directly to your dishes while cooking. If you want to thaw it, place it in your fridge overnight.
How Long Cauliflower Lasts
Fresh cauliflower may retain its quality depending on:
- The condition in which it was allowed to remain. Whether the bag of cauliflower was suitably vented or not.
- The condition of the cauliflower when you bought it. For instance, did it have black spots?
- How long your cauliflower was sitting on the shelf in the store before you bought it.
So it is not possible to determine its shelf life completely accurately. However, we’ve provided some rules of thumb. Your best bet is to be vigilant about checking your cauliflower for signs of spoilage.
Usually, you can enjoy your fresh cauliflower at its best quality for 2-4 days if you keep it at ordinary room temperature. But if you keep it in your fridge, it may last for 1-2 weeks. Frozen cauliflower can last for 8-12 months.
Cooked cauliflower can retain its quality for 4-5 days in your fridge.
The Bottom Line On Cauliflower
If you want your cauliflower to be in its best form for a long time, keep it in your fridge in perforated plastic bags. The moist and cold environment will make it last longer.
The best part is that you can even freeze your cauliflower and use it directly for cooking purposes. Your frozen cauliflower can retain its quality for almost a year.