How to Freeze Cauliflower Florets
If you want to freeze cauliflower so that you can enjoy it at a later date, you’ll want to check out this step-by-step guide on how to freeze cauliflower. You can use frozen cauliflower in a variety of ways, including in smoothies, soups, and stews.
If you’re like me, you hate to waste food! While cauliflower lasts up to a few weeks in the refrigerator, it’s nice to have the option to freeze it if you want to preserve it even longer.
Frozen cauliflower makes an excellent nutrient-dense addition to smoothies, or you can toss it into soups or stews to add more bulk, fiber, and nutrition.
Cauliflower is budget-friendly, healthy, and easy to find. Let me show you how easy it is to freeze cauliflower!
Why You Need This Recipe
- You might think that freezing vegetables is as easy as popping them into a zip-top bag and putting it into the freezer. But, there are actually some better and safer ways to freeze vegetables, including cauliflower, that reduces the chance of food-borne illness and improves the quality of the frozen vegetables. That’s why you need this guide on the best way to freeze cauliflower.
- The bottom line is that you really must blanch (cook in hot water) or steam most vegetables before you freeze them. This helps get rid of any microbes and also helps preserve the quality of the veggies once you use them later.
- Reduce your food waste by freezing extra cauliflower so it doesn’t go bad. Frozen cauliflower will last up to several months in the freezer.
Let me show you exactly how to freeze cauliflower.
You’ll need a head of cauliflower to make frozen cauliflower. You can also freeze cauliflower florets. You can prepare and freeze up to several heads of cauliflower at one time.
You will also need water and ice to make an ice bath to stop the cauliflower from cooking once you steam or blanch it.
The first step when you want to freeze cauliflower is to break it up into florets. You can use a sharp knife to cut the cauliflower in half, then use your hands to break up the florets into single pieces.
Next, place your florets in a steamer basket or a microwave safe bowl. You can also blanch your cauliflower instead of steaming it, but I prefer steaming since it is less likely than blanching to leach out all the nutrients.
Blanching cauliflower is as simply as placing the florets into a pan of simmering water for about 1-2 minutes. You can also make Instant Pot Steamed Cauliflower to prep it for freezing.
After you have lightly steamed or blanched the cauliflower florets, give them a rinse under cool running water. Or, place them in an ice bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.
Then, you can use tongs to transfer them a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
This allows the individual cauliflower florets to freeze without slicking together. If you skip this step, you might end up with a big mass of frozen cauliflower that will be impossible to break up.
Then, place the baking sheet in the freezer for up to 24 hours. You can then transfer the frozen cauliflower florets to a zip-top bag for long-term freezing.
I like to use frozen cauliflower florets in my Peanut Butter Cauliflower Smoothie.
How to Use Frozen Cauliflower
Blanched frozen cauliflower florets are actually very versatile. You can throw them into all kinds of dishes including smoothies or savory stews.
You don’t even have to defrost your frozen cauliflower before you use it. For recipes like a vegetable stew, just add a few minutes extra cooking time to your recipe to ensure that the frozen cauliflower gets warmed through.
It’s that easy! An added benefit of steaming the cauliflower before freezing it and then using it in a smoothie is that it will be easier to digest and is less likely to make you feel bloated.
Recipe Tips & Substitutions
- Store your frozen cauliflower florets in the freezer for up to 4 months. Discard your frozen cauliflower if it develops too much freezer burn or if it look or smells rancid.
- Steamed and frozen cauliflower is perfect for using in a Cauliflower Smoothie.
- You can use this same method for freezing other vegetables too. See my guide for how to freeze broccoli, how to freeze zucchini, how to freeze beets, how to freeze cabbage, or how to freeze sweet potatoes.
It is advised to steam or blanch cauliflower before freezing to reduce the chance of growing bacteria in the freezer.
Frozen cauliflower that has been properly prepared can last up to about 4 months in the freezer. Discard your frozen cauliflower if it develops too much freezer burn or if it look or smells rancid.
Yes! Most vegetables should be steamed or blanched before freezing.
More Helpful Guides to Freezing Food
- How to Freeze Avocados
- How to Freeze Spinach and Kale
- How to Freeze Peppers and Onions
- How to Freeze Cucumbers
- How to Freeze Carrots
- How to Freeze Cherry Tomatoes
- How to Freeze Zucchini Noodles
Healthy Cauliflower Recipes You Might Like
I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.Print
- 1 head of cauliflower
- ice and water (to make an ice bath)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Use a sharp knife to cut the head of cauliflower in half.
- Then, use your hands to break up the cauliflower into florets. Place the florets in a colander to give them a quick rinse.
- Then, place the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket. Steam for 5 minutes. Or, if you prefer to use the microwave, place the florets in a microwave-safe bowl with about 2 tablespoons of water. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the plastic. Microwave for 3 minutes. You can also make Instant Pot Steamed Cauliflower to prepare it for freezing.
- Transfer the steamed cauliflower to an ice bath. Leave the florets in the ice bath for 2 minutes.
- Then, use tongs to transfer the steamed cauliflower florets to the baking sheet. Spread the florets out so they are not touching each other.
- Freeze the baking sheet for 5-6 hours, or up to 24 hours.
- Then, remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the frozen florets to a zip-top bag or freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 4 months.
- An added benefit of steaming the cauliflower before freezing it and then using it in a smoothie is that it will be easier to digest and is less likely to make you feel bloated.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Freezer
- Cuisine: Healthy
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: freezing cauliflower, how to freeze cauliflower for smoothies
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