How to Freeze Cauliflower (Perfect for Smoothies)
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 smoothie for a sneaky way to hide your veggies.
Most fresh cauliflower can be stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to several weeks. I recently found myself with an extra head of cauliflower, though and I couldn’t use it in time before it was going to go bad. So, I decided to freeze it.
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.
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. Don’t worry, it’s not that hard to do, and I will show you exactly how I do it.
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.
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.
After you have lightly steamed or blanched the cauliflower florets, 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.
Or, for savory options, try my Instant Pot Vegetable Stew.
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.
Leave any questions about the process in the comments.
Other Guides to Freezing Food
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If you want to freeze cauliflower so that you can hide it in smoothies, you’ll want to check out this step-by-step guide on how to freeze cauliflower.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 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.
- Carefully 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 3 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.
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Freezer
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: freezing cauliflower, how to freeze cauliflower for smoothies
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