Billets for the winter. How to store cauliflower?
Sometimes you can hear about cauliflower from experienced gardeners that this is not a vegetable, but a capricious queen. On the one hand, the dishes with its addition are worthy of even the royal table, they are so delicate and elegant to taste. And on the other hand, its cultivation will require much more effort from the gardener than other vegetables. Yes, and the period of its maturation is very short, and the heads of cabs spoil just before our eyes. But how to store cauliflower in this case? It is so a pity to lose the harvest, which is grown by own hands.
It is very important for long-term storage to choose the right cauliflower. And you need to start with the choice of varieties for planting in the ground. It is best to plant several different - from early to late. Thus, it will be possible to enjoy fresh cauliflower from mid-June to late autumn. However, it also matters how to cut the cabbages and how to store the cauliflower during harvest.It is equally important that they are ripe, but not overripe.
Cauliflowers ready for harvesting have a dense structure and a uniform white color. The weight of one such head on average ranges from 500 to 1500 grams. Yellowed, friable, and even more blackened fruits are no longer suitable for storage. It is better to get rid of them immediately. In addition, it is very important that the cauliflower is not in the sun for a long time. On the beds, you can cover the cabbages with the broken leaves of the cabbage itself, and the harvested crop should be immediately carried away into the shade. In this case, it should be cut off, making a small leg and leaving several sheets on it. However, after collecting a new question arises. How to keep cauliflower longer at home?
During the season, when a lot of cauliflower, usually no one thinks about long-term storage. However, it would be desirable that the already collected cabbages stay fresh longer. Usually the storage of cauliflower is trusted in this case to the refrigerator. But here there are secrets. Clean and dry vegetables should be wrapped with cling film so that not a single air bubble is left. In this form, put in the refrigerator, preferably in a special section for storing vegetables (it maintains a temperature of about 0 degrees).
But even in this case it will be possible to keep the cauliflower fresh for no more than 10-15 days. You can extend this period a little more if you change the food film every 3-4 days (as condensate forms under it). As soon as yellow, purple or black spots appeared on the surface, you should immediately get rid of such a cauliflower head.
Storage in the basement
But the owners of their basement in the house have the opportunity to keep the cauliflower fresh for a longer period. But it is important that the room maintained the desired temperature and the appropriate level of humidity. Ideally, the temperature should be about 0 degrees, and humidity - 95%. However, there are some subtleties here, how to store cauliflower. There are two sure ways to do this.
The first is still used to store white cabbage. Heads of cabbage should be placed in separate grids and placed at some distance from each other, hanging the rooms under the ceiling. Or you can lay them out in wooden or polymer boxes for vegetables. At the same time the cauliflower must be cleaned from the leaves and roots. In any case, the shelf life will not be more than 50-60 days.It is also advisable to periodically check the crop for safety and throw away spoiled fruit.
Growing in a greenhouse
But perhaps the most original way to store cauliflower in the winter is to grow it in a greenhouse. The latter, by the way, can replace the usual basement at home, if you create in it all the necessary conditions. The room should have a very low temperature - about 2-3 degrees Celsius, high humidity - 95%, good ventilation and a complete lack of light (for this you can cover the beds with cauliflower with thick cardboard).
It is also important to properly dig the cabbages from the ground. To do this, 2-3 days before the planned transplant, they are watered abundantly. Then they dig together with a large lump of earth, completely preserving the entire root system. Give cauliflower to take root in a new place, feeding with fertilizer and watering. It should be noted that only plants with heads no more than 3-5 cm in diameter are suitable for transplantation. You also need to plant them almost flush with each other. As a result, in a month it will be possible to get the first harvest. We can say that this is the stocked fresh cauliflower for the winter.
But those who do not have their own basement, and even more so the plot with the greenhouse, should not be very upset. After all, there is also a suitable way for them, how to preserve cauliflower for the winter. This is a freeze. Dense and white cabbages should be well washed and disassembled into inflorescences. To keep their color, they need to be dipped in boiling water for 5 minutes. In it, pre-dissolve a teaspoon of citric acid. Then fold the inflorescences into a colander, drain and cool.
Then spread the cauliflower on a silicone mat or cling film. Thus freeze individual inflorescences. Then collect them in a container or package. In this form, the vegetable can be stored up to 8 months, just before the next harvest. Frozen cauliflower can be used to make casseroles, omelets and vegetable stews, even without defrosting.
Despite the fact that there are many ways to store cauliflower for a long time, remember that this is a perishable vegetable. And so you need to carefully follow him. This is the only way to protect yourself and your family from troubles. Otherwise, you can enjoy this vegetable almost all year round.