It's known as the new “it” vegetable, which explains why you'll see products made with cauliflower (Brassica oleracea) everywhere from the boxed rice aisle to the frozen food section of practically any grocery store.If you've turned to cauliflower as a substitute for carbs, health experts agree that you've landed on a stellar idea.Just as zucchini has enjoyed a revival as a substitute for pasta, cauliflower is a viable alternative to rice – a complex (and good) carbohydrate that is high in fiber, low in calories and provides more than 75 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. It's also loaded with vitamins K and B6 as well as folate, Healthline says.So, if you start seeds in mid-June or plant seedlings in late July, you'll have about 80 days before harvesting cauliflower lands on your to-do list, Urban Farmer says.The task is called blanching, and it will protect the heads from the sun while remaining white in the pivotal week or two before they're harvested.The heads can succumb quickly, so check them every day to ensure they remain healthy – meaning white, smooth, hard and tight.
Cauliflower: From Seeds To Harvest
Cauliflower is a relative to broccoli and cabbage, and it is a cool-season vegetable, which makes it best for a fall harvest.For the fall crop, gardeners may need to shade their cauliflower if temperatures rise too high.When the head is about 3 inches in diameter, tie outer leaves together with twine or a rubber band. .
How to Harvest Cauliflower: 13 Steps (with Pictures)
This off flavor is increased by cooking, so it's best to eat your purple cauliflower raw. .
How to Tell When a Cauliflower Is Ripe
Harvest of timing is critical, as overripe cauliflower loses quality quickly.The average time from planting to harvest varies depending on variety."White Corona" and "Snow King" are early varieties that ripen in about 30 to 50 days, respectively.As the cauliflower head grows, the leaves surrounding the head open and expose the cauliflower to sunlight, resulting in a yellow color and a bitter, unpleasant flavor.Blanching the heads when they reach 2 to 3 inches in diameter protects the cauliflower from sunlight and maintains the color and flavor.As the cauliflower head grows, the leaves surrounding the head open and expose the cauliflower to sunlight, resulting in a yellow color and a bitter, unpleasant flavor. .
How to Harvest and Store Cauliflower
Harvest cauliflower when heads are 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) in diameter but still compact and smooth.When curds fully loosen, the head is called “ricey” and is not good for eating.Cut heads with a sharp knife leaving about 3 inches of stem to keep the florets intact.Store cauliflower in a cold and moist place, 32°-40°F (0°-4°C) and 95 percent relative humidity.Wrap unwashed cauliflower in a damp cloth or paper towel and put it in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator; this will maintain humidity.As an alternative to keeping cauliflower in the refrigerator, you can store it in a cold location—at just above 32°F (0°C)—such as a root cellar, basement, shed, or garage. .
When and How to Harvest Cauliflower
These varieties have the same deliciously smooth, nutty taste that the white ones have, and they’re all harvested in the same way.While most people know they can eat the unopened buds, or curds, they might be surprised to find out that the leaves and stalks are edible, too.But only if you know how and when to harvest the heads, stalks, and leaves.When to Harvest Cauliflower.Keep your eye on the size of the flower head.Find out everything you need to know about blanching cauliflower in our guide.Unlike broccoli, which still tastes alright after it blooms, cauliflower flowers are bitter.Pay attention to the expected mature head size for whatever cultivar you’re growing, and make sure you have a ruler or tape measure handy.Unlike broccoli, this brassica doesn’t tend to grow side shoots, so now’s a great time to harvest the leaves as well by cutting them away from the central stalk.Tease all the florets apart.One of my low-carb staples is this recipe for creamy riced cauliflower stuffed peppers from our sister site, Foodal.It’s really easy to “rice” fresh homegrown cauliflower.Even though I love broccoli, I think cauliflower might be my favorite of the two brassicas simply because of its versatility.And don’t forget to toss the leaves and stalks into your next salad! .