Proper freezing of cauliflower
Freezing cauliflower at home is a simple matter, the main thing is to know what points to look for when preparing a vegetable for the procedure and thawing it.
Proper freezing of cauliflower
The choice of heads for freezing
Before freezing heads of cauliflower for the winter, carefully select the heads. Head out with medium-sized inflorescences. It is advisable to freeze young cauliflower, in which the taste is more delicate. Pay attention to the appearance of the vegetable. It must not be damaged by pests or diseases. If dark spots are present on the inflorescences, the crop was exposed to direct sunlight during cultivation. It is advisable to choose specimens that do not have burns.
Do not freeze loose heads of cabbage or use inflorescences that have already begun to fade. It is better to freeze cauliflower, which has small and medium sizes.
There are hybrids designed to freeze for the winter. It is they that should be used for winter harvesting.
Before freezing cauliflower at home, you need to prepare heads in a certain way. Preparation of heads for freezing consists of 2 stages:
- cutting a head into inflorescences;
Let us dwell on each stage in more detail.
Selected heads of cabbage are washed under running water. This procedure is carried out carefully so as not to inflict mechanical damage to the inflorescences. For better purification of inflorescences, warm water is collected in a deep bowl and a vegetable is immersed in it for a while. After 2-10 minutes, head out and leave to dry.
Next, leaf plates are removed and the head of cabbage is divided into inflorescences. It is best to cut the vegetable into inflorescences, which will have identical sizes. Pre-remove all damaged and browned parts of the vegetable crop, if any. Before freezing cauliflower for the winter at home, they are determined with the size of the inflorescences.
Head of cabbage should be divided into inflorescences of the right size
After this inflorescence is soaked in brine. To prepare 1 liter of brine, take 4 tsp. table salt. Soaking in brine is necessary so that all insects that love to hide in dense inflorescences crawl out. The prepared vegetable is soaked for 30 minutes. After this time, the vegetable is washed in warm water.
Cauliflower inflorescences can be frozen already at this stage, but experts previously recommend that heat treatment be performed.
Before freezing cauliflower in the freezer, blanching is performed. In any large pot or metal bowl, they collect water and put it on fire. As soon as the water begins to boil, inflorescences prepared for freezing are lowered into it. Blanch a fresh vegetable for 3 minutes. During this time, a large container with ice is prepared, where a small amount of water is poured. After 3 minutes inflorescences are removed from boiling water and transferred to an ice bath to cool. After 3-4 minutes water is drained and ice is taken out. Once the inflorescences have dried, cauliflower can be frozen.
You can freeze cauliflower for the winter in bags designed for freezing, or plastic containers. If the cauliflower is frozen for the winter in packages, it is ensured that there is a minimum amount of air in them. The more air is in the tank, the shorter the shelf life of the vegetable in the freezer. It’s best to get rid of excess air with a cocktail straw. If you need to freeze a lot of cabbage for the winter, it is better to use special vacuum packers.
In addition to how to properly cook and freeze cauliflower, it is important to know how to store and thaw a vegetable.
- In the freeze, cauliflower is stored for a maximum of 9 months. Freezing prepared cauliflower should be accompanied by labeling of containers. On each package indicate the date of freezing.
- Defrost vegetable culture for no more than 1.5 minutes. This applies to both heating in the microwave and heating in a double boiler. If you heat the vegetable for a longer time, it will become loose and lose some of its taste.
- If you freeze moist cauliflower, ice crystals form on its inflorescences. After thawing, such a vegetable will not be crispy and dense.
To freeze cabbage, it is important to adhere to a number of rules: choose the head of cabbage for planting correctly, divide it into inflorescences, and carry out blanching.