Make your days a breeze and learn how to keep broccoli fresh and freeze broccoli the right way! Keeping produce properly stored to make sure you get the most out of them is a skill everyone should learn at one point, right!
Today we’ll be focusing on broccoli so let me ask; are you a broccoli person? Broccoli is one of those green veggies that, as we get older, grow on us and we love more and more.
Suppose you are from the select group of people fed ‘little trees’ as a baby and have always loved it, then congratulations. Some of us need a little more time.
Whether you love it or not, nobody can deny broccoli offers tons of benefits for our health. These ‘small trees’ are high in fiber and iron, Vitamin C and A, and of course if widely praised for having anti-cancer properties. It is also fat-free and low in sodium.
So, next time you buy broccoli, make sure you know exactly what to do to keep it fresh and in optimum condition so you can obtain all its goodness! Keep reading to find out some of the most common questions about broccoli.
How To Keep Broccoli Fresh?
Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family; this sturdy vegetable is found in different shades of green and is closely related to cauliflower. It is actually an Italian word that means the sprout of the cabbage.
Most of the produce we get from the market goes right into the fridge, and broccoli is no exception. Broccoli can last up to five days inside your fridge if properly stored. As you can see, broccoli won’t last long, so it needs to be consumed rather fast.
How to Store Broccoli, So It Stays Fresh For Longer
Never on your counter, but if you keep them there, it would have to be for no more than two days; broccoli needs to be consumed quickly and is best if kept inside your fridge. It can be stored using a couple of techniques, both pretty effective in keeping your broccoli fresh and may buy you more time.
Method 1: Paper Towel Method
Using this method, you’ll broccoli will stay good for two to three days.
- Paper towel
1. Moist the unwashed heads
2. Wrap loosely in damp paper towels
3. Place in the fridge
Method 2: The Bouquet Method
For the bouquet method, imagine your flowers are a pretty bouquet. Using this method, your broccoli will be good for up to five days.
- Vase or glass jar
1. Fill a glass jar with some inches of water
2. Place the broccoli, stem down, into the jar
3. Put away in the fridge and make sure you change the water daily
Can You Freeze Broccoli?
Fortunately, you can have frozen broccoli for up to 12 months!
The Best Way To Freeze Broccoli
If you wish to freeze broccoli, follow a few simple steps.
1. Wash broccoli
2. Cut it to obtain several florets
3. Steam or blanch for about five minutes
4. Dump the florets into ice water to halt the cooking
6. Transfer into sealed freezer bags or containers
To freeze your washed, blanched broccoli florets, you can choose to do it using freezer bags or a parchment-lined tray, and only after a couple of hours in the freezer, arrange into air-tight freezer bags. This is effective only if the broccoli is dehydrated.
You should know this because if there’s any water on the broccoli before freezing it, it will freeze into a large pile, and you won’t be able to separate it. After bagging broccoli, make sure to move the pieces, so it becomes flat and freezes fast.
Prepping Broccoli For Freezing
To prep the broccoli, you must cut off and discard the tough, woody stalks. Alternatively, you can use a peeler to remove the tough outer skin on the stalks and trim off the bottoms.
Now, sink the broccoli in cold, salted water for about half an hour. This will remove any insects. Rinse well with cold water to remove any dirt. Remove and cut the broccoli into uniform pieces for even cook.
Fill a big container with ice and water. The ice water is to cools the broccoli fast after being blanched.
How Long Does Frozen Broccoli Last?
Broccoli is one of those veggies that tend to spoil rather easily, so keeping it frozen is always a good idea.
Freezing your broccoli will allow you not to waste it; the best part is that it lasts for months! Now you don’t have to worry about your broccoli going bad because it will be perfectly kept when frozen.
If the steps are followed properly, your frozen broccoli will retain its flavor and texture for up to a year; that’s right, 12 months. After that time, you can still eat it, but we can’t promise the same texture and flavor.
How To Keep Bagged Broccoli Fresh
Your bagged broccoli should be stored in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it.
Though it is not ideal for keeping your broccoli bagged, if you need to use a plastic bag to store your broccoli, verify the bag is not tightly wrapped. You can even make a few perforations to ensure air circulation. This way, your broccoli can stay in a bag and keep fresh.
How To Keep Cooked Broccoli Fresh
To increase the goodness of cooked broccoli and ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible, refrigerate it in shallow airtight containers or wrap it tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Your cooked broccoli will last 3 to 5 days if well stored.
You can also keep cooked broccoli in the freezer by placing it inside a container or freezer bag.
What To Do With Broccoli Before They Go Bad?
Before your broccoli becomes a waste, make it into a delicious recipe like the one below! But before you do that, check out that the broccoli is still edible; how can you check if your broccoli has gone bad? The easiest way, but not the only way is by checking its color; broccoli has this rich green color; if yours have gone from that beautiful green to a yellowish tone, then the rotten process has begun.
Another way to check it is by smelling it; broccoli should smell fresh, and there shouldn’t be any bitter smell, and the last step is to touch it; the broccoli heads’ should have any soft or slimy texture. have no brown spots.
Once you follow these steps and your broccoli passed all of them, you can proceed to your recipe.
Easy Lemon And Garlic Broccoli
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound broccoli, separated into florets
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp. of water
2 tsp. of lemon juice
3 tbsp. butter
- Place broccoli pieces in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir 2 teaspoons lemon juice into the water in a small bowl and pour the mixture. Cover and steam until broccoli is bright green and tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
- While broccoli is steaming, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in garlic and salt; lower the heat down and let the garlic gently fry until golden brown.
- Drain water from cooked broccoli and return to skillet; sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of lemon juice and the butter and garlic mixture.
- Sprinkle broccoli with pepper, mix to combine, and season with a bit more pepper if desired.
Additional Questions About How to Keep Broccoli Fresh
Can You Freeze Broccoli Without Blanching?
You really don’t want to skip this vital step. Otherwise, you’ll have bitter stems if you freeze the broccoli without blanching.
Blanching will help kill any bacteria and deactivate the enzymes responsible for the aging of broccoli. In other words, by blanching, you’ll ensure your broccoli stays bright green and, most importantly, tasty.
How Do You Blanch Broccoli For Freezing?
Freezing your broccoli is always a good idea since you won’t waste any of it. To retain its texture and flavor, broccoli should be blanched before freezing.
If you wish to blanch broccoli, there are two ways you could do it; steaming or boiling.
What Is Flash Freezing?
Flash freezing is known as the procedure where food is frozen quickly; it could take a few hours by exposing items to low temperatures or directly by applying liquid nitrogen.
There are important steps you must know to keep your broccoli frozen. Flash freezing is one of the key steps to ensuring you properly know how to freeze your broccoli.
How to Flash Freeze Fresh Broccoli
Once the broccoli has been drained and dried, it’s ready for flash freezing. Flash freezing is widely known in the food industry, and you can perfectly do it right at home to extend your food’s shelf life.
To flash-freeze broccoli, all you need is a baking sheet. Once your broccoli is ready, all you need to do is spread the broccoli pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet, then place it in your freezer and keep it there for about two hours. Once your broccoli is completely frozen is ready to be bagged.
Steaming Broccoli For Preserving
If you choose to steam blanch, you will need a pot to hold your broccoli. Fill it with about 2 to 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Put the prepared pieces in a wire basket or steaming basket insert. Place it over the boiling water pan, cover it, and begin timing. Steam for 5 minutes.
Water Boil Blanching
If you opt for boiling, you must bring a big, deep pot of water to a full boil. Working with about 1 lb of broccoli at a time, submerge the vegetables in the water. Blanch for 3 minutes. Begin clocking as soon as the water returns to a boil.
Ice Bath To Stop Cooking Process
Once the broccoli has blanched, immediately submerge it in the ice water and swish it to cool quickly; this will stall the cooking process and prepare the florets for year-long storage. Once cool, remove and drain well.