When it comes to making a dish, you generally have two choices in terms of how much you should make.
There are plenty of people out there who will want to make their food fresh every single day, as food that is fresh from the stove often tastes notably better than food that has been stored in the fridge or the freezer.
With that being said, some people prefer to make everything that they can afford to make, all at once, and simply take care of preserving the food for the rest of the week so that they won’t have to give a second thought to cooking for the rest of that week.
If you find that you are one of the people who tend to fit into the later category, you might realize that there are more than a few situations where you may not know just how well a dish that you have made keeps.
The general rule of thumb for preserving food is that you should always freeze the food if you are planning to keep it long-term and that the fridge is better storage for short-term options, but knowing which foods are safe to freeze and which foods are safe to fridge takes experience.
Over time, you might begin to hear information about storing food that you will take to heart. A good example of this is the fact that you should not put bread in the fridge, but you can usually get away with freezing it.
Some types of food simply do not handle the environment of the fridge very well, and likewise, there are some foods that cannot handle the environment of the freezer either. If you are planning on storing your mashed cauliflower for later, you might feel torn between the two options.
On one hand, mashed cauliflower is functionally very similar to mashed potatoes, and plenty of people will freeze their mashed potatoes, so there should be no reason why you shouldn’t be able to freeze your mashed cauliflower.
On the other hand, many sources will recommend against freezing cauliflower, so should that mean that mashed cauliflower is off the table as well?
Before you get to freezing your mashed cauliflower, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. For one, you should keep in mind that your mashed cauliflower has been radically changed from the original cauliflower, which means that the original rules do not apply to your dish.
You can absolutely freeze your mashed cauliflower for approximately one week or up to three months before noticeable texture and taste changes start to take place.
Working with Your Ingredients
Just about all different recipes of mashed cauliflower are going to vary to some degree.
Some people will opt to use no dairy in their mashed cauliflower, while other people will opt for different kinds of dairy. Where some people might use butter, others may use sour cream, or even cream cheese.
What you put into your mashed cauliflower is going to make a massive difference in how long it can last in the freezer, as it is a known fact that dairy does not freeze well.
If your recipe for mashed cauliflower includes dairy in any form, you may want to hold off on the freezing, or consider altering the recipe to not require dairy if you plan on making enough mashed cauliflower to work through for a whole week.
You can expect mashed cauliflower with dairy in it to last little more than a few days and not more than a week if it has dairy in it. If you cannot alter the recipe to not include dairy products, you will either want to eat all of the mashed cauliflower, or you should consider storing it in the fridge for about five days at most.
There are many ways to make mashed cauliflower without dairy in it, if you are unsure about how to recreate the taste that you love without the ingredients you usually use.
Aside from the dairy, a traditional mashed cauliflower dish will last anywhere between three and four months in the freezer.
When you are freezing it, you should always remember to mark the date on the back that you are putting the mashed cauliflower into so that you will not lose track of when the cauliflower will begin to lose its taste and go bad.
How Do You Freeze it?
Now that you are aware of the fact that mashed cauliflower can be frozen, you will want to make sure that you do it right.
Not taking the proper precautions when you are freezing anything can lead to trouble. That trouble can range from being as mild as a barely altered taste to as irreparable as freezer burn on your favorite dish of mashed cauliflower.
First things first, you will want to allow the mashed cauliflower to cool down when you are done cooking it. If you are planning on eating any of it before you put it in the freezer, this would be the time to serve yourself a dish or two of it.
While you are waiting for the mashed cauliflower to cool down and be ready to be put into the freezer, you will want to search for some freezer bags that you can put the mashed cauliflower in.
If you do not have or want to use freezer bags, you can also use any other freezer-safe and airtight container to get the job done.
Freezer bags tend to be the easiest to work with as you can shape the mashed cauliflower to be whatever shape you need to fit into your freezer, rather than having a hard container that you need to work around.
All that your mashed cauliflower needs is that its container must be airtight and it must be freezer safe.
You will want to put portions into each freezer bag or container that is going in the freezer. This will make it easier for you when you are able to take out a single portion to serve yourself, rather than chopping off a block of frozen cauliflower mash to reheat each time you want to have a portion of it.
Once that portion has been placed into the bag, you will want to flatten it to ensure that you will be able to store it easily.
From here, you can simply place the bagged mashed cauliflower into the freezer for no more than four months. After the three-month period, you will want to check in on the cauliflower every so often to make sure that it is not degrading in quality as it reaches its limit of how much time it can stand in the freezer.
When you are ready to reheat the cauliflower to eat it again, you will want to take a portion of it out of the freezer and out of its freezer bag. You will want to place it in a saucepan for it to heat and eventually thaw out.
To help speed up the thawing process, you should turn the heat under the saucepan onto medium and work with the cauliflower mash until it has been thoroughly heated through and has reached serving temperature.
Before you know it, you will have a portion of mashed cauliflower that will taste almost as good as it did when you first froze it. No matter how much mashed cauliflower you make for yourself, you can rest assured knowing that you will know how to properly store and prepare it again so that you will never run out of it.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.