Looking for easy tips on how to freeze cauliflower without blanching? Well, we’ve got everything you need to know about freezing cauliflower florets the easy way in this simple guide. With these simple tips you’ll be able to freeze cauliflower for months and we’ll also share some great ideas on how to use and cook the frozen cauliflower!
Cauliflower is in season right now! Maybe, you’ve bought a fresh head or maybe you’ve even harvested a few cauliflower heads from your own garden…Whichever way you got your hands on that antioxidant-rich cruciferous vegetable, if you never got the chance to cook it, you might be wondering what to do with the cauliflower in order to preserve it.
Well, here’s an idea, if you’ve got no other plans: freeze the cauliflower, so you can avoid food waste and save money! Freezing cauliflower is quite a simple and straightforward process and you don’t even need to blanch the vegetable, so let’s get into it!
Why Freeze Cauliflower?
Well, there are a few very good reasons to freeze cauliflower, especially when it’s in season:
- It is cheaper and more affordable than buying fresh cauliflower throughout the year. In most cases, fresh cauliflower will be available in abundance during its natural harvest season (September through November). During this period it is the cheapest and of the best quality. This is the time when you should buy and freeze some.
- Cauliflower is a good choice for all healthy food fans because of its highly-nutritional and low-calorie value. One cup of fresh cauliflower contains only 27 calories and covers 85% of your daily vitamin C requirements. This versatile vegetable is high in fiber and vitamins and provides antioxidants and healing phytonutrients. What’s more freezing cauliflower retains these nutrients and is one of the best methods to preserve food in general.
- It’s very practical! You know how when you’re tired the last thing you want to do is wash and cut vegetables? Well, by preserving cauliflower as described below you will do the work beforehand and have your vegetable already washed and chopped!
- You’ll always have it on hand! If a recipe calls for cauliflower and you didn’t buy any – no need to rush to the store, just reach into those deep freezer reserves and grab that frozen cauliflower!
- Last but not least, freezing cauliflower helps reduce food waste. If you have some fresh cauliflower in your fridge, but you don’t have the time to cook it, think no further. Put it in the freezer, so that you don’t have to throw it away.
Cauliflower Health Benefits
Cauliflower is one of the healthiest vegetables from the cruciferous family. It is considered a superfood because it is:
- Loaded with vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system.
- Rich in fiber to promote the health of the digestive system.
- Low in calories to maintain a healthy weight.
- Rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that can prevent cancer.
- Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral.
How To Freeze Cauliflower (Without Blanching)
Freezing cauliflower is super easy, especially when you don’t blanch it and you’re using the raw vegetable! Here’s what you need to do:
First of all, you will need a quality product, so for freezing, ideally, make sure you buy cauliflower during the harvest season. If possible, try to find an organic farm nearby and purchase directly from there. Once you have the high-quality vegetable, wash and drain it.
Make sure to wash the cauliflower thoroughly and remove bad florets if there are any. This way you get rid of the bacteria, dirt and rotten parts of the vegetable. You could also soak the cauliflower in water for a few minutes. This way you will reduce the pesticide residues (if the vegetable isn’t organic). Don’t overdo it, though, as this can destroy the water-soluble vitamins.
Break or cut the cauliflower into small florets, aim for bite-sized pieces as these are more practical for cooking with frozen cauliflower (and more importantly, eating!).
Then, let the florets air dry completely for about 20 minutes. I usually leave them on a rack, so that the water can drain off of them. Also, fun fact, you can actually eat the core of the cauliflower as well!
Once you’ve washed, chopped and dried the cauliflower, it’s time to portion out the florets into freezer bags. Before doing this, consider the amount of cauliflower you want to put in each bag. It is advisable to freeze conveniently-sized portions, so you don’t open the bags of frozen cauliflower too many times.
After filling, be sure to gently press the air out of the freezer bags. You may use several different techniques to get as much air as possible out of the bag before freezing the cauliflower. The best way to do this is to roll the bag with your fingers from the base toward the seal. This step is important as air and oxygen in the bag can lead to oxidation of the product and can shorten the shelf-life of the frozen cauliflower.
Once you’ve squeezed out the air, zip the freezer bag and lay it flat in the freezer.
How long will frozen cauliflower last in the freezer?
You can freeze and preserve cauliflower for a period of 3-4 months. To achieve this, you must keep the frozen cauliflower at a constant temperature and avoid opening the freezer bag, as well as defrosting and refreezing.
If properly stored, the cauliflower may even last longer. However, its taste and quality might be deteriorated, leading to nutrient loss.
How to thaw frozen cauliflower?
You don’t always have to thaw frozen cauliflower before cooking. Whether it is freshly frozen or blanched before freezing, just toss the vegetable in boiling water or add it to stews, soups or curries.
If you want to use the frozen caulilfower in stir-fries, bake or roast it – it’s best to defrorst it first! Otherwise, the frozen vegetable will release moisture when it heats up and this is not ideal for these cooking methods. Give it time and let it thaw!
To defrost, all you need to do is grab as many frozen cauliflower florets as you need, place them on a plate or a bowl and leave them at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the drained water and use the cauliflower as is in your baking or roasting recipes.
Can you refreeze cauliflower after thawing?
Refreezing cauliflower after thawing is possible, but you’ve got to be prepared for some losses in taste quality, shelf-life and nutrition. In general, for best results, it’s important to only thaw as much frozen cauliflower as you need for your meals.
How to use frozen cauliflower?
Now, once your freezer is loaded, here are some great healthy ideas to use the frozen cauliflower.
- Creamy cauliflower and potato soup: peel and boil some potatoes, add the frozen cauliflower, some leeks and salt to taste. When the potatoes are tender, add some cream and blend the soup with an immersion blender!
- Cauliflower in batter: defrost the cauliflower for 20 minutes. Prepare the batter by mixing an egg, some milk, salt, and flour to get the consistency of a pancake batter. Then pour the batter over the florets and bake them in the oven until golden brown!
- Roasted cauliflower – thaw the florets for a 20 minutes. In a bowl mix some olive oil with salt, red pepper and barbeque sauce. Dip the florets into the mixture and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until they form a nice crust.
- Who doesn’t like pizza? Well, you can make gluten–free, grain–free cauliflower pizza crust. As for the topping – the choice is yours!
- Toss the frozen cauliflower into curries and stews with legumes, chicken or fish!
- Trust your imagination as the possibilities are countless. Whether you are about to cook a vegan, vegetarian or meat dish, frozen cauliflower can always be a part of it.
I hope you found this guide on how to freeze cauliflower without blanching helpful…Wait no more, grab a few heads of cauliflower while it’s still in season and load your freezer with this healthy, tasty superfood!
More On How TO Freeze Fruits & Vegetables
- Wash the cauliflower thoroughly and remove bad florets if there are any. This way you get rid of the bacteria, dirt and rotten parts of the vegetable.
- Break or cut the cauliflower into small florets, aim for bite-sized pieces as these are more practical for cooking with frozen cauliflower (and more importantly, eating!).
- Let the florets air dry completely for about 20 minutes. I usually leave them on a rack, so that the water can drain off of them. Also, fun fact, you can actually eat the core of the cauliflower as well!
- Portion out the florets into freezer bags. Before doing this, consider the amount of cauliflower you want to put in each bag. It is advisable to freeze conveniently-sized portions, so you don’t open the bags of frozen cauliflower too many times.
- After filling, be sure to gently press the air out of the freezer bags. The best way to do this is to roll the bag with your fingers from the base toward the seal.
- Once you’ve squeezed out the air, zip the freezer bag and lay it flat in the freezer.
- Store for up to 2-3 months in the freezer and avoid thawing and refreezing.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 132Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 86mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 13gSugar 12gProtein 11g