In this article, we’ll discuss how to freeze broccoli, including blanching and flash freezing, as well as tips for storing frozen broccoli. Following these tips will help you enjoy the health benefits of broccoli year-round.
Preparing Broccoli for Freezing
For proper and long-lasting freezing, it is important to be aware of the nuances that can affect the preservation of this vegetable. And while broccoli is for the most part perfectly tolerant of freezing without compromising both health and flavor, it is still important to follow some basic guidelines for selecting florets that are sure to be suitable for freezing.
The prerequisites for selecting suitable specimens of this vegetable are:
- Inflorescences are not too large for convenient storage and use; it is better to limit the size to 4–6 in.
- Also, forks should have uniform and bright coloration according to their variety. Well-ripened broccoli often has different shades of green, most often a dark green;
- The inflorescences themselves should be intact and resilient, with no damage, soft or rotten areas, traces of pests, diseases, or other mechanical damage.
- Remove the leaves from the selected inflorescences and soak them in a solution of salt water, which is obtained by adding 10–15 grams of salt to a liter of water. By keeping this variety of cabbage in such water for 15-20 minutes, you will certainly be able to eliminate the presence of insects inside the stems and inflorescences;
- After soaking, rinse the broccoli with plain water;
- Large inflorescences should be divided into smaller ones for easy storage;
- If the stem is long enough, it is better to cut it off and store it finely chopped;
- To preserve the appearance of vegetables, you can soak them in water with 5-7 grams of lemon juice, so the color of broccoli is better preserved;
How to Freeze Broccoli
There are several preprocessing methods that allow you to freeze broccoli in different ways. But, first of all, it is important to choose the container in which the vegetable will be frozen and where it will be stored.
However, the question of choosing a container is not voluminous or complicated, as trial and error experience has shown that the best way to freeze broccoli is to use either plastic containers or plastic bags, preferably one that has the ability to seal hermetically.
How To Freeze Fresh or Florets of Broccoli
Freezing cabbage in this unassuming way will affect its appearance, making its color less rich and bright, however, the taste and availability of useful vitamins will not be affected.
Suitable for further preparation of various dishes, the process of freezing is quite simple:
- The broccoli, cut into small florets, should be washed and placed on a paper towel or cloth to dry. Excess water can be blotted with the same paper towel or cloth;
- Dried cabbage should be placed on a large plate or cutting board and placed in the freezer for 2–3 hours for primary freezing;
- Frozen vegetables should then be placed in containers so that it is possible to close them tightly;
- Ready containers of cabbage can be placed in the freezer.
How To Freeze Broccoli Without Blanching
This option will facilitate further cooking; you can even just reheat the cabbage and serve it as a side dish. To the process of freezing, described earlier, will be added cooking, which includes a few simple steps:
- You need to boil water in a pot and add 5-10 grams of salt;
- Broccoli, sorted into small florets, is placed in boiling water;
- Boil the vegetables for 5–7 minutes;
- Boiled inflorescences should be immediately put in cold water to preserve the richness of color;
- Cooked broccoli can be spread into dishes and placed in the freezer.
Blanching and Freezing Broccoli
This method is the best for the best preservation of both the appearance of the cabbage as well as its taste and usefulness.
The process itself is much the same as cooking broccoli, but with some differences:
- It is also necessary to bring the salted water to a boil;
- Dissected inflorescences should be placed in boiling water for 2-3 minutes;
- Boiling water can be replaced by steaming water and soaking in it for 5 minutes;
- Like after boiling, after blanching you should quickly put the broccoli in cold water; in this case, this will also preserve the color and structure of the florets;
- The processed broccoli should be dried by placing it on a towel;
- After drying, the broccoli can be placed in bags or containers and frozen.
Storage Conditions and Terms
Properly cooked broccoli should be frozen and stored under certain conditions to ensure the longest shelf life. Optimal conditions include:
- Ensure a stable low temperature of -16 to -18 °C, and it is important to remember that the cabbage cannot be frozen again after defrosting;
- For convenience, you can use measuring containers to store broccoli in portions of 200–400 grams; this will allow a single use of all the cabbage stored in the container or bag;
- It is not superfluous to mark a container with a vegetable to determine the duration of storage because even properly prepared broccoli can last in frozen form for no more than 10 to 12 months, after which it is better not to eat it.
Defrost and Use
In order to end up with pleasant-looking and tasty broccoli, it is important to keep in mind that broccoli should not be thawed before using or cooking. It can be added to a dish just before or during the cooking process, which means it can be placed immediately in boiling water, in a pan, or on an oven tray.
In addition, frozen broccoli would be great in the mix:
- Pies and casseroles;
- Different side dishes and stews
Video: How to Freeze Broccoli
There are many ways to store different types of cabbage, but when it comes to duration and preservation of health benefits, there is little that can compete with freezing. And when it comes to broccoli, there aren’t many alternatives to freezing. And with freezing broccoli being simple, quick, and efficient, other options fall away by themselves. This storage method allows you to provide yourself with delicious broccoli that looks and feels as fresh after freezing for months to come.
It is best to blanch the broccoli before freezing.
This kind of cabbage is quite usable, and color change in the freezing process is normal.
Allergies can occur, but this can be avoided by soaking the broccoli first in cold water, then in salt water.
For freezing, it is desirable to use fresh broccoli, the harvest season of which comes in June and July, that's when it is advisable to buy and freeze this cabbage.
You can freeze any broccoli, regardless of the variety.