Vegetable growing » Cabbage



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Kira Stoletova

Vegetables are an indispensable storehouse of vitamins for the human body. Knowing some secrets, you can eat fresh plant foods all year round. Storing cauliflower at home without losing its valuable properties is possible using several methods.

Rules for storing cauliflower at home

Harvest correctly!

Cauliflower is harvested from June to October, because different varieties differ in the length of the growing season. Moreover, due to the characteristics of ripening, late-ripening is stored better and longer. Vegetables that ripen in early and mid-summer have a low shelf life.

Harvest Features:

  • cabbage inflorescences are removed from the beds only in warm, dry weather;
  • They begin to harvest cabbage while it is still growing, when the heads reach a diameter of 8-12 cm and gain a weight of 300-1200 g. Overripe heads of cabbage (faded yellow, crumbly inflorescence) are not suitable for long-term storage;
  • cut off the head of cabbage with a sharp wide knife, without touching the lower leaves;
  • Vegetables removed from the garden are immediately transferred to a dark place. In the light, the vegetable quickly turns yellow and withers, which significantly reduces its shelf life.

Important! The shelf life of vegetables is affected by the application of certain types of fertilizers during the growing process.

For this crop, restrictions are placed on nitrogen fertilizers, since keeping cauliflower fresh for the winter will be much more difficult in this case.

How to store cauliflower in the cellar: different ways

Experienced gardeners say that cauliflower lasts a long time if you dig it, along with its roots, into boxes with sand or soil taken from the garden. Residents of northern regions, where crops do not have time to ripen before the onset of cold weather, often use this method. The fact is that the growing season will continue for some time. Even unripe inflorescences will increase in size due to the nutrients accumulated by the leaves.

Unripe cauliflower

This storage method is not suitable if there are too many bushes.

Reference. You can also dig in plants cut off with part of the shoot, and not just those that have roots.

In a clay mash

This storage method is not so popular, but some vegetable growers use it. It is suitable for those whose harvest is not too large. Each inflorescence is dipped into a solution prepared from clay diluted with two parts water. Next, the vegetables are hung in the fresh air to dry. When the clay on the surface hardens, the forks are placed in boxes or on shelves.

Reference. Getting rid of the protective shell is simple - you just need to hit it. The clay layer will immediately crumble, leaving no mark on the vegetable.

In wooden boxes

Cauliflower is stored in wooden boxes. To prevent the heads from touching each other, partitions made of plywood or very thick cardboard are laid between them. The inflorescences are laid loosely, trying not to damage them.

Attention! If the air in the basement is dry, the boxes are covered with polyethylene to maintain a normal level of humidity inside.

In limbo

It is possible to preserve cauliflower heads for up to 6 months if you hang them by the stems in the cellar . The leaves are not cleaned; they serve as an additional barrier that protects against wilting and microbes. It is important to maintain a small distance between the fruits for better air circulation.

In paper

Cauliflower will last for several months in a paper wrapper. Before storing, the inflorescences must be completely dry. Each fruit is wrapped in several layers of paper and carefully placed in boxes.

Attention! Newspapers cannot be used, as printing ink contains substances hazardous to health.

Gardeners recommend inspecting the crops in the basement every week. If you find wet marks on the paper, you need to make sure that the head is not rotten. It is advisable to periodically replace the old paper casing with a new one.

Traditional storage methods

In the cellar or basement, cauliflower is stored in different ways. The most popular options:

  1. Place the heads without leaves in cardboard boxes or boxes (plastic, wooden). Cover with polyethylene. Check regularly and remove any inflorescences that are beginning to deteriorate. In such a container, the vegetable can be stored for up to 7 weeks.
  2. The cabbage is dug up with the stalk and the lower leaves are torn off. The spine is tied with twine. They are hung in the cellar on hooks (rope) at a short distance between individual heads of cabbage. The shelf life with this method is 1 month.
  3. Cabbage inflorescences are dipped in a solution of ordinary clay. Dry, put on a shelf (in a box). Without access to air, the fruits remain fresh for six months. Vegetables will remain fresh for the same amount of time if you cover them completely with sand.

Important! Only clean cabbage without signs of rot can be stored for a long time. If there are damaged areas on the inflorescence, it cannot be stored for long-term storage.

Or you can simply marinate it, as in this video - it’s very tasty!

Recipe: Cauliflower Puree

You can make a smooth, creamy puree from cauliflower. Garnish it with grated Parmesan and herbs to make the taste of the dish more expressive. Cauliflower puree is a healthy alternative to potato puree. It contains much less calories and carbohydrates. To retain more vitamins, the cauliflower should be steamed first.

For 2 - 3 servings of puree you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower:
  • grated parmesan - 60 g;
  • pancetta - 150 g (you can also replace it with regular bacon);
  • vegetable oil - 2 tbsp. spoons;
  • granulated broth - 1 - 2 teaspoons;
  • parsley, salt, pepper and any other spices to taste.

First you need to remove all the leaves from the cauliflower, wash and cut the head of cabbage into large pieces. Boil or steam them until the florets become soft. Meanwhile, grate the Parmesan cheese. Bacon or pancetta should be fried in a frying pan until crispy. Wash the parsley and chop finely.

When the cabbage is cooked, place it in a blender and blend until pureed. If it is too thick, add hot water to it. Add granulated broth, pepper, salt and other spices to the chopped cabbage. Mix thoroughly again. Sprinkle the finished puree with pancetta, parsley and Parmesan.

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How to store cauliflower in an apartment?

Not everyone has utility rooms with conditions suitable for performing the task, how to properly store cauliflower. What to do in this case? Where to keep supplies?

In the apartment you can use an insulated, glazed balcony or loggia for these purposes. If the temperature inside remains above zero, but does not rise above +5 degrees, cabbage and other winter vegetables are stored as in a cellar - in boxes covered with plastic or in containers with sand.

In order for vegetables to last as long as possible, you need to sort them regularly:

  • Leaves that have begun to turn yellow or rot should be trimmed;
  • remove heads that begin to deteriorate;
  • if a lot of condensation has accumulated on the polyethylene covering the boxes, you need to remove it and replace it with a dry one;
  • try to maintain the temperature on the balcony in the range from 0 to +5 degrees;
  • systematically ventilate the balcony.

If all requirements are met, fresh cauliflower will have a shelf life of 1-3 months.

If it is too warm or cold on the balcony, there is only one way out - the refrigerator. The inflorescences (without stalks and leaves) are wrapped each separately in cling film or placed in plastic bags.

In refrigerator containers for vegetables in such packaging, fruits are stored for no longer than a week. Vegetables placed in the freshness zone with a convector are stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, no longer.

Benefits of cauliflower

Cauliflower is much better digestible than regular cabbage. It does not cause increased gas formation and also contains few calories. 100 g of inflorescences contain only 23 kcal. It is useful for those who want to lose weight, as cabbage helps remove excess moisture from the body.

If the inflorescences are cooked correctly, they will retain their vitamins. Cauliflower is a source of fiber, protein, vitamins C, K and B6. It contains calcium and phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Cabbage should be included in the diet of pregnant women. Its inflorescences are a rich source of folic acid, necessary for normal fetal development.

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How to preserve this truly valuable vegetable in your apartment until spring? Freeze it, of course! You can also store other vegetables in the freezer without losing their nutritional properties.

The procedure is simple:

  1. The inflorescences are washed and the leaves are cut off.
  2. The head is disassembled into individual inflorescences.
  3. Packaged in bags.
  4. Freeze in the freezer.

If desired, before freezing, the cauliflower, disassembled into small florets, is blanched (1-2 minutes in boiling water) or boiled (boil for 5 minutes). After drying on a towel, package in plastic bags (plastic containers). sent for storage in the freezer.

Using this method of long-term storage, you can prepare various delicacies from frozen cauliflower for 6-12 months. The main thing is not to defrost and freeze the product several times - the taste and beneficial properties of the vegetable are lost from such treatment.

Cooking cabbage in individual florets

You can also cook cauliflower in individual florets. You need to start by cleaning the head of cabbage. Remove leaves and dark spots from its surface. The head of cabbage itself is cut arbitrarily: you can divide it into quarters, cut it with a wedge, or simply remove the trunk along with the core.

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Individual inflorescences should be washed in cold water to remove sand and remaining soil. Then cook in boiling water for no more than 15 minutes.

Growing method

In a cellar or basement, using this method, cauliflower can be kept in perfect condition until March - April. The point is that the inflorescences that did not have time to ripen before the cold weather are replanted and conditions are created under which the vegetable reaches the desired condition. They do the following:

48 hours before harvesting, moisten the soil in cabbage beds abundantly.

  1. Small heads of cabbage (diameter 3-5 cm) are dug up with the root system, leaving a small lump of earth on it.
  2. Transfer to the cellar and place in a wooden box filled with 15 cm of earth. Place unripe inflorescences close to each other - this way the vegetable will ripen more slowly.
  3. Cover the box with a sheet of plywood, light-proof film or a wooden lid.

Mandatory requirements for growing cauliflower: complete darkness, temperature in the range from +4 to +10 degrees, high air humidity (95%), regular ventilation. If everything is organized correctly, the cabbage will ripen safely within 1-4 months.

See also how to prepare delicious and healthy tomato juice for the winter at home easily and simply.

What to season cauliflower with?

Cauliflower can be baked, boiled or fried. The vegetable has a fairly neutral taste and aroma, so it goes well with spices. It can be seasoned with garlic, ginger, chili pepper, lime juice, coriander and even curry. Cabbage goes well with black cumin, fennel seeds and mustard. Its inflorescences are stewed with melted coconut or olive oil.

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Growing up

Rearing is used for heads, including very small ones (3-5 cm in diameter), which did not have time to ripen due to the early onset of cold weather. Essentially, this is a transplant into the cellar .

Water the cabbage generously 2 days before harvest. Then dig up the heads along with the roots and a clod of soil. Lift the leaves up so that they cover the inflorescences and carefully tie them with a rope. Plant cabbage in pre-prepared boxes with soil or clean sand. The soil layer should be about 15 cm so that it touches the leaves. Important conditions are relative air humidity of at least 95%, temperature from +4 to +10 ℃ and complete absence of light. It is advisable to cover the heads with a wooden shield. From time to time, the basement needs to be ventilated so that the cabbage can “breathe.” The heads will ripen from 1 to 4 months, depending on the variety and time of collection.

Although storing cauliflower may seem a little troublesome, this vegetable is worth the effort: it contains vitamins A, B6, B1, C, PP, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, does not irritate the gastric mucosa and is easily digestible, so including often serving as the first complementary food for a child.

Maintain an optimal microclimate, do not forget to check the harvest from time to time - and please your household with delicious and healthy dishes made from fresh cabbage!

The following video demonstrates the process of processing cauliflower before freezing:

Author: Yulia Tishchenko

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