Can Broccoli Be Frozen?

You betcha! And it might be easier than you think.

First you’ll have to gather your broccoli – as much or as little as you want. Plan on ½ to 1 cup per serving and make sure that the your broccoli is fresh and crisp. If it’s yellow and sad now, it’ll be even sadder when you pull it from your freezer. And now washy wash! Some people prefer to use soap made specific to remove pesticides and other chemicals from the vegetable, but if you don’t have this or if it isn’t your preference, a large sink or basic or nice cold water will do. You’ll also need to gather a large pot of boiling water and 2 large bowls or sinks of cold water and ice. Get one sharp knife and your choice of either a vacuum food sealer or simply a heavy duty freezer bag.

You’re going to split the flowerets so that they are smaller than 1 ½ inches across the vegetable. Cut off the leaves and woody parts and separate the heads into sections that are convenient for you to work with and eventually, eat. If this is broccoli you obtained from your own garden or a farmer’s market, soak these parts in brine (which is salt) water for 30 minutes. This will remove any insects that may be hanging out. And then rinse it under fast running water.

Now it’s time to get the pots ready. You’ll use one pot of boiling water and another bowl or sink filled with ice and cold water. Place the broccoli in the boiling water, cover your pot, and start a three-minute timer immediately. This process is known as blanching and it destroys enzymes and bacteria that will, during storage time, break down the nutrients and the color, flavor and texture of your food.

Next you’ll want to cool the broccoli by quickly placing it into the ice water for the same amount of time as you cooked it. When this is finished, place it in a colander until it’s completely drained. It is important to cool them after they’ve been steamed to prevent them from continuing to cook – and thereby overcooking.

For the next and final step you’ll need to grab that vacuum sealer or ziploc bag we mentioned earlier. Wrap your broccoli or place it in the bag, being sure to remove as much of the air as possible. And then, of course, the obvious – pop this yummy veg in your freezer and use it the same way you would use broccoli that is frozen when you bring it home. Fix it up however and whenever you want, enjoying the bountiful nutrients that broccoli supplies and the satisfaction that you did it all yourself.

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