Who doesn’t like grocery shopping? Well, I am not sure about men, but women love it to their deepest core and when their favorite items are on sale, it sounds even more attractive to them.
Just like we buy other things in bulk when there is a sale going on, we buy vegetables as well. Because why not? How could someone resist buying this fresh-looking cauliflower and cabbage resting on the shelves? But how long does cauliflower last? Since we are planning to buy a stack of them, we must know how to store them properly so that they don’t go bad.
So, below is a guide to educate you on how to store cauliflower for a long time, with some other important facts about it.
How long does cauliflower last?
The shelf life of cauliflower depends on how, where, and in what form it is kept. A whole cauliflower, for example, will keep at room temperature for 2 – 3 days, while in the fridge it will keep for 1 – 2 weeks, but I’m not sure what happens after that. Finally, in the freezer, it can be stored for 8 months.
Cut cauliflower does not last long in the fridge and turns foul in just an hour if kept at room temperature. Precisely, you can not keep it in the fridge for more than 10 days, while in the freezer, it can rest for 8 months straight.
If you happen to cook cauliflower someday, then do not leave it outside after getting done eating it, because it will spoil in an hour or two. As a result, it is best to store it in its cooked form in the refrigerator right away, as it will keep for about 4 – 5 days. We’re not sure about freezing it, but you could try it if you want to save it for later.
These suggestions are based on ideal weather conditions; if it is too hot, the cauliflower may only last a day. Also, make sure you use an airtight container to store it.
Does cauliflower go bad quickly?
Yes, cauliflower goes bad quickly. Therefore, right after harvesting, they are stored in a cool place to prevent them from going bad. Now you know why there is a separate section of vegetables that is specially kept cool in grocery stores.
After you bring it home from the store, refrigerate it instantly if you have no plans of using it within 2 days.
How do you tell if the cauliflower is rotten?
When cauliflower turns bad, it starts showing the following signs:
Soft Texture: Fresh cauliflowers have a firm texture; if they are slimy when touched, they have gone bad. In such a case, dispose of it immediately.
Mold or Dark Spots: Fresh cauliflower does not contain dark spots, but if you find any on it, you can still make it useful by cutting off the parts that have dark spots. This way, it will become clean and ready for use.
Cauliflower completely covered with dark spots and mold must be thrown out without thinking twice. Not only will it taste bad, but it will make you sick due to the presence of mold on it.
Unpleasant Smell: Fresh cauliflower has a neutral smell; it smells bad only if it is rotten. Whenever it smells foul, dispose of the entire vegetable.
Mold growth and a rotten odor are indications that cooked cauliflower has gone bad.If you identify any of these two signs, just throw them away,
While cooked cauliflower can stay in the refrigerator for up to a week, it can go bad quickly as well if left outside at room temperature. The reason for this is that cooked cauliflower triggers the growth of microbes at room temperature, and after being left outside for a period of time when you finally put it in the refrigerator, the growth of bacteria multiplies there and turns the food foul in just a day.
Cauliflower storage guidelines
At room temperatures, keep the cauliflower in its original wrapping and away from any kind of natural and artificial heat. Let it rest in its original packaging until you decide to use it and if you want to store it in a half-cut form, then cover it with a cling sheet and keep it in a container.
In the fridge, you can either store it as a whole or in the form of florets. However, in both cases, avoid washing the vegetables as doing so will make their structure mushy and eventually cause them to rot.
Cauliflower that comes on an original plastic sheet should be kept in a crisp drawer of the refrigerator to store it, but make sure the sheet is not tight enough to cause damage to the vegetable.
If you don’t have enough space in the fridge, store the vegetables in the form of florets. Keep them in a plastic bag that has holes in it to pass air through or you can create some by yourself in a regular plastic bag. A plastic container is another option for storing it, but the lid of the container must be kept loose to help the moisture escape.
For cooked cauliflower, get an airtight container and seal it tightly to put it in the freezer.
Can you store cauliflower in the freezer?
Yes, cauliflower can be stored in the freezer. It should be done when you want to store it for more than 2 weeks.
To keep the vegetables fresh in the freezer for a good amount of time, proper storage methods must be followed. For cauliflower, a blanching method of storage is recommended to be stored in the freezer.
Blanching is a process in which vegetables are boiled or steamed for a short time and then exposed to cold water as the final part of the process. Blanching is done before storing the vegetables to keep them good for a prolonged period of time. It protects the color, taste, and texture of cauliflower in the freezer.
Get a special airtight container for freezing cauliflower as it is specially designed for storing purposes and can withstand very low temperatures. However, if you are using a freezer bag to store cauliflower, just make sure it doesn’t leak.
Ways to keep cauliflower fresh for a long time
The longevity of cauliflower also depends on the time you buy it on the market. When I go shopping for them, I always look for the freshest ones. However, checking for freshness is quite difficult in the case of vegetables, as they do not have any expiration dates written on them.
Therefore, we would recommend taking a moment while shopping to check out the fresh ones from the available stack if you are not in a hurry. Always pick the one with the good quality.
As previously stated, you cannot precisely determine the spoilage date of cauliflower, but you can identify high-quality cauliflower by inspecting the florets. If they have any dark spots, mold development, or a soft texture, don’t buy them.
Handling is another factor that plays a significant role in keeping the cauliflower fresh for a long time. Therefore, while bringing the vegetables home, always put them on top of all the other items in your grocery bag. This way, it will not get soft and bruised.
On reaching home, put the vegetables immediately in the fridge if you are not planning to use them within a day or two, or blanch them if you want to store them for a longer time.
Frequently asked questions related to cauliflower
For how long can you store cauliflower soup?
Cauliflower soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days, but for long-time use, it is best to keep it in the freezer, where it will last for 6 months.
Precisely, at room temperature, cauliflower soup will not last for more than 2 hours. Therefore, it must be frozen or refrigerated to prevent spoilage.
How can you prevent cauliflower rice from going bad?
Cauliflower rice can stay good for up to 2 hours at room temperature, but longer than this will make it contaminated with bacterial development. Therefore, a freezer and refrigerator are the best options to store cauliflower rice for a long time.
Secondly, in the fridge, cauliflower rice will last for 3 – 4 days only if stored in a sealed plastic bag or a container. Also, before putting them in the fridge, make sure they are at room temperature, otherwise hot rice will cause condensation in the container, which will eventually spoil the rice.
Lastly, in the freezer, cauliflower rice can rest for 2 months without going bad. But do not put the cooked rice in the freezer as it will become watery and you may feel some change in the taste when thawed.
How long will the cauliflower puree last?
3 days in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer. This is how long it will last in such conditions. Just like cauliflower rice, the puree must be cooled down before putting it in the freezer for storage.
To summarize, the answer to the question “How long does cauliflower last?” is highly dependent on how it is stored. If you follow all the guidelines carefully while storing it, you will never have to worry about its spoilage.