In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to blanch cauliflower in the microwave?”, discuss answers to other related questions like what is the influence of different methods of blanching on vegetables and why is it important to blanch vegetables.
How to blanch cauliflower in the microwave?
To blanch cauliflower in the microwave, wash the cauliflower thoroughly and remove any dust particles is present on the cauliflower. For 2 quarts casserole size, cut 1 head of cauliflower in the flowerets and place it in a microwave-safe dish. Add ½ cup of water to the dish and cover it with the lid. Do not add salt. Set the power on high and microwave for half of the time, 2 minutes. Now recover the dish and microwave for the second half 2 minutes or 2 and a ½ minute (total duration of microwaving is 4-5 ½ minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender). Take out the dish from the microwave and stir. Now, drain the hot water from the dish and submerge the cauliflower immediately in ice water to stop the cooking process. In the end, blot extra moisture from the cauliflower flowerets with paper towels and it is blanched! You can either serve it or store it in the freezer.
2 other ways to blanch cauliflower
Microwaving the cauliflower is not the only method to blanch, you can also boil or steam cauliflower to blanch cauliflower if you are not having a microwave.
To blanch cauliflower by boiling, wash the cauliflower thoroughly and cut it into equal-sized florets so that they blanch uniformly. Take a large-sized pot and fill it with about ¾ full of water. Place the pot on the stove and turn the burner to high. Bring the water in the pot to a vigorous boil. Once the water comes to boiling, carefully lift off the lid from the pot and add the cauliflower florets. Leave the lid off of the pot as the cauliflower cooks. It will take 3 minutes for the florets to become fork-tender. After 3 minutes, strain the hot water in the sink and transfer the florets to an ice bath. Let the florets submerged in the ice bath for 3 minutes and then place the blanched cauliflower in a strainer to drain. Now the blanched cauliflower is ready to be used or you can also dry it with blotting paper to store it.
To blanch cauliflower by steaming, place a steamer basket in a pot of accurate size. Fill the pot with water to a level that the water should not touch the bottom of the steamer basket. Cover the pot with a lid and let the water boil by turning the burner high. Meanwhile, rinse and cut the cauliflower into equal-sized florets. Once the water boils, lift the lid from the pot and place the cauliflower florets in the steamer basket. Put the lid back on the pot and set a timer for 4 ½ minutes. After 4 ½ minutes, turn off the burner. Then, carefully lift the steamer basket up and out of the pot. Put the cauliflower into the ice water so the florets are covered and leave them to chill completely. Now, place the blanched cauliflower in a strainer to drain. The blanched cauliflower is ready to be used or you can also dry it with blotting paper to store it.
What is the influence of different methods of blanching on vegetables?
The methods described above for blanching vegetables influence the particular properties of vegetables in different ways. But for home freezing, the most satisfactory way to blanch all vegetables is by boiling them while heating in steam is recommended for a few vegetables only including broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. On the contrary, microwave blanching may not be effective, since research shows that some enzymes may not be inactivated. This could result in off-flavors and loss of texture and color.
However, these blanching procedures have drawbacks too. In blanching vegetables with steam or microwave, the loss of peroxidase activity occurs while a decrease in vitamin C content is observed by blanching vegetables through boiling or steaming.
Why is it important to blanch vegetables?
Blanching, scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time, is important for almost all vegetables that are to be frozen as it stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture of vegetables during freezing. It also cleanses the surface of dirt and microorganisms, brightens the color, and helps reward the loss of vitamins from the vegetables.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How to blanch cauliflower in the microwave?”, discussed answers to other related questions like what is the influence of different methods of blanching on vegetables and why is it important to blanch vegetables.