4 easy ways to preserve cauliflower. This unassuming vegetable always has been a staple in our home. It’s recently gained considerable popularity as people reduce the amount of grains they eat with the Keto Diet.
You’ve got to love cauliflower. It has 25 calories per one cup serving. Each portion has 3 grams of fiber and is a good source of antioxidants. It is a low carb alternative to grains and beans, with only 5 grams of carbs per one cup serving.
Cauliflower has a mild nutty taste, that pares well with many dishes that would normally call for white potatoes. We’ve used it as the base for grain-free pizza crust and as a replacement for mashed potatoes.
In this article, we’ll explore how to preserve cauliflower using four easy techniques. Having several ways to preserve cauliflower comes in handy when you have a bumper crop of vegetables from your garden, or when you get a good deal on fresh or frozen cauliflower at the local grocery store.
4 Easy Ways to Preserve Cauliflower
Perhaps the easiest way to preserve cauliflower is to freeze it. Preserving can be accomplished with whole florets or riced cauliflower and gets you extended storage time of up to 8 months in the freezer. If you have space, this is a good option. The florets will thaw and have the same texture and taste as fresh cauliflower.
Here’s how to freeze cauliflower.
- Thoroughly clean a head of cauliflower by scrubbing it with warm water and a vegetable brush. (Amazon)
- Cut the head into bite-size portions, shortening the stalks
- Run the cauliflower florets through the blanching process to stop the enzymes from continuing to break down the food.
- After they cool, lay the blanched vegetable on a cookie sheet or freezing tub and place them in the freezer until solid.
- Once frozen, store the cauliflower florets in a freezer safe plastic zip top bag. Storage is up to 8 months.
How to Dehydrate Cauliflower Florets
When dehydrating you must go through the process of blanching cauliflower before you can dry it. There are only a few vegetables that must be blanched and cauliflower is one of them. Skipping this process will leave you with tough pieces that will turn off white in storage. If the dried cauliflower is to be used in soup, that might not be an issue because the liquid will mask the color.
If you have picky eaters, who will turn their nose up at cauliflower that has lightly browned, blanching is a must.
Here’s how to dehydrate cauliflower
- Begin by cleaning a cauliflower head with warm water and a vegetable scrub brush.
- Cut off any spots that may have begun to turn black.
- Cut off the stems, cut them into equal size portions and set them aside. Because of their denseness, the drying time will be longer, and they will go on a separate dehydrator tray.
- Cut the cauliflower head into equal size florets for uniform drying time.
- Blanch the sections of the cauliflower separately. The standard blanching time is 3 minutes for a boiling water blanch. Add 4 teaspoons of lemon juice to the water to help keep it white. Find detailed blanching directions in this article.
- NOTE: if you are using frozen cauliflower, you can skip the blanching process altogether. Sort these pieces by size and place them in trays while they are still frozen. You may need to extend the drying time.
- After blanching and cooling, strain and dry the cauliflower pieces. Add them to dehydrator trays, sorting by the size of the pieces. This ensures that all pieces on a tray will dry at the same rate, and keeps you from having to pick out finished pieces.
- Dehydrate at 125 to 135°F for 8 to 12 hours. The drying time will vary depending on the humidity of hour house and the moisture on the vegetable.
Quick Pickled Cauliflower
This process uses vinegar and heated brine to preserve cauliflower florets. It is not necessary to blanch the vegetables separately from the pickle. The heated brine will do some of the work for you, leaving you with a crunchy, flavorful snack that is easy to adapt to any taste preference.
Here’s how to pickle cauliflower.
For every quart of pickled cauliflower florets, you’ll need:
- 1 cup plain white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 a medium cauliflower head
- various vegetables and spices to taste. (see some ideas below)
- pack the prepared vegetables into a wide-mouth quart canning jar
- heat the brine and spices on the stovetop and pout it hot, over the vegetables
- let the hot har sit at room temperature for a few hours to cool, then cap and refrigerate.
Quick pickled cauliflower will keep refrigerated for up to one month. Get detailed directions for Spicy Quick Pickled Vegetables from Cookie and Kate.
Fermenting is another way of pickling food but without using vinegar. It’s the way food was preserved in the days before refrigerators and has gained a resurgence in popularity in recent years.
Fermented foods provide many health benefits such as anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-atherosclerotic activity. They contain lactic acid bacteria (LAB), one of the most studied microorganisms for gut health. During fermentation, these bacteria synthesize vitamins and minerals, produce biologically active peptides with enzymes such as proteinase and peptidase, and remove some non-nutrients. [source]
Here’s how to ferment cauliflower.
To make 3 pints of fermented cauliflower, you’ll need
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 4 cups of non-chlorinated water
- 2 tablespoon of sea salt
- various flavor additions to suit your taste (optional, see below)
- mix the water and salt together to make a brine
- add vegetables to each pint jar
- fill the jars with brine to within one inch of the rim
- place a glass weight or plastic bag filled with water, to keep the vegetables completely submerged in the liquid
- cap the jars with a GoFerment anaerobic airlock to release carbon dioxide and prevent oxygen from spoiling the food
- let the container sit on the kitchen counter for 3 to 5 days, then check the batch for the flavor you are looking for.
Once the taste of the ferment is to your liking, remove the airlock tops and cap the jar tightly with a regular canning jar lid. Store it in the refrigerator.
Lacto-fermented food will last up to one month in your refrigerator. Get the detailed recipe for Pepper-Garlic Lacto-fermented Cauliflower in this article from Attainable-Sustainable
Ingredients to add to pickled and lacto-fermented cauliflower for flavor variety
Because you will not be canning either of these pickled cauliflower recipes, feel free to add additional ingredients to change the flavor.
- bell pepper
- lemon / lime
- hot peppers (jalapeno)
- lay leaf
- fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, mint)
Using one of these four ways to preserve cauliflower will give you flavor variety for an otherwise bland vegetable and extend the shelf life of fresh cauliflower heads and florets. Give them a try!
This post is part of the blogger roundup Preserving the Harvest.
Do you love preserving the harvest as much as we do? Click the links below and get detailed instructions for preserving 23 of the most popular fruits and vegetables
Preserving Vegetables (in alphabetical order)
How to Preserve Carrots by Freezing, Canning, and More from Oak Hill Homestead
4 Easy Ways to Preserve Cauliflower from Dehydrating Made Easy
Cucumber Fresh Pack Garlic Dill Pickles Recipe from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
Make Your Own Garlic Powder and Other Ways to Preserve Garlic from Learning & Yearning
How to Freeze Your Green Bean Harvest from The Reid Homestead
How to Preserve Leafy Greens from Homespun Seasonal Living
Preserving Okra by Freezing, Canning, Fermenting, and Dehydrating from Schneider Peeps
5 Ways to Preserve Onions for Storage from Rockin W Homestead
How to Dehydrate Parsnips & Make Parsnip Chips from The Purposeful Pantry
3 Ways to Preserve Peppers from Grow a Good Life
5 Ways to Store Potatoes from A Modern Homestead
Ways to Preserve Radishes from The Purposeful Pantry
How to Freeze Squash (and Other Preservation Methods) from Our Inspired Roots
Freezing Tomatoes for Preserving Later in the Year from Stone Family Farmstead
3 Easy Ways to Preserve Zucchini from Grow a Good Life
Preserving Fruit (in alphabetical order)
Guide to Preserving Apples from Oak Hill Homestead
3 Ways To Preserve Fresh Summer Berries from Better Hens & Gardens
How to Make Cherry Jam from Scratch from The Self Sufficient HomeAcre
3 Quick Ways to Preserve Grapes from Homestead Lady
3 Best Ways To Preserve Mulberries from My Homestead Life
How To Preserve Oranges On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead
How to Freeze Peaches from A Modern Homestead
How To Preserve Strawberries On The Homestead from 15 Acre Homestead