Learn how to freeze broccoli, so you can enjoy your harvest months later.
Learn how to freeze broccoli so you can enjoy your harvest months later. You'll love how easy freezing broccoli is.
If you have a great crop in your garden this year you may be wondering how to freeze broccoli so you can enjoy the fresh flavor all winter long.
Freezing broccoli is a great way to preserve what is in your garden or to take advantage of a great sale at the supermarket. Both are great for helping to make feeding your family more affordable.
The good news is that it is easy to freeze fresh broccoli and you can use this simple food preservation option to help keep your food fresh for your family.
How to preserve broccoli
You may have noticed, but broccoli doesn't have a long shelf life before it begins to wilt.
If you find a great sale or a wonderful harvest from your garden you need a way to preserve it.
Methods like canning are great for preserving many foods but will leave your broccoli mushy and soft.
The best way to preserve broccoli for later use is through freezing.
Freezing your broccoli at peak freshness helps to preserve the quality and nutrition for a healthier meal overall.
This is a great way to help ensure that your family is left with the best and most nutritious food possible.
If you do not have room for broccoli in your freezer, another great way to preserve broccoli for use in things like soups and stews where the texture is less of an issue is by dehydrating broccoli.
Using dehydrated broccoli is a great way to make a creamy broccoli cheese soup.
How to clean and prepare broccoli for freezing
To prepare your broccoli for freezing, take the time to cut away the thick woody parts that most people do not eat and cut off the broccoli florets.
If you make sure the broccoli florets are about the same size, this will allow for even freezing. Smaller bite-size pieces are not only easier to serve, but they also freeze faster, speeding up the process of freezing your broccoli and preventing freezer burn.
Wash your broccoli well until the water runs clear.
Broccoli grows in the dirt and can often harbor dirt and insects that you do not want to eat. This is very important to avoid finding things like slugs in your meals at a later time.
Washing is also important because once your broccoli is frozen it can not be properly cleaned for eating.
How to freeze broccoli
Freezing broccoli is a simple way to make it last longer and can be done quickly and easily with just a few simple steps.
To keep your broccoli bright and colorful and prevent texture changes you'll want to blanch your broccoli.
I know you may not want to blanch broccoli before freezing it, but blanching is the best way to help preserve vegetable integrity when you freeze them.
If you have never blanched broccoli, you'll need a pot of boiling water as well as a large bowl or large pot of ice water.
Add your cleaned broccoli pieces to a pot of boiling water for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Drain your broccoli or lift the broccoli out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge the broccoli in ice water. The ice water stops your broccoli from cooking further.
Next, remove the blanched broccoli from the ice bath and allow it to dry fully before moving on.
After your broccoli has fully dried, lay the broccoli pieces out on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place it into your freezer to allow it to freeze until solid.
This will keep your broccoli from clumping together and speed up the freezing process to help prevent freezer burn. For the best results use the coldest freezer available to you to hemp your broccoli freeze quickly.
After your broccoli has frozen, move it into an air-tight container for later use.
To help prevent freezer burn you should if possible seal with a vacuum sealer like the FoodSaver. This will prevent issues with freezer burn when the temperature fluctuates like when the door of your freezer is opened. Using a freezer bag is another option if you don't have the ability to vacuum seal the broccoli.
Frozen broccoli in an air-tight container will last about 1 year.
How to use frozen broccoli
Frozen broccoli is great for putting into your favorite soups and stews such as broccoli cheese soup.
Frozen florets also steam up perfectly for a crisp and tasty side dish.
Frozen broccoli can be used in any way you normally use fresh broccoli when cooked. For the best results always cook from frozen to avoid a soft and mushy final result.
Steaming is the best way to use your frozen broccoli and enjoy its still crisp texture and hearty flavor even in the middle of a long cold winter.
Do not thaw your broccoli before adding it to your steamer. The steam will thaw and cook the broccoli at once, avoiding your broccoli from getting too soft.
You can choose to boil your broccoli for a soft tender texture that is perfect for soups and side dishes. To do this simply toss your frozen broccoli into the water and bring to a boil. Avoid thawing your broccoli before boiling to avoid the risk of making it soggy.
Frozen broccoli is a great option for sauteing and making stir fry. Simply toss right into your hot pan with oil and your other ingredients and cook from frozen for a simple and tasty way to enjoy your frozen broccoli without sacrificing texture or flavor when you do not have fresh broccoli on hand.
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