Broccoli is an excellent vegetable to keep on hand because of its nutritional value, flexibility, and ease of preparation. However, freezing is an excellent alternative if you have accidentally overbought or simply want to store up for future meals (especially if you need to freeze up space in that crisper drawer).
Can You Freeze Broccoli?
It should come as no surprise that broccoli freezes exceptionally well, given the amount of broccoli present in any freezer aisle. It’s a hearty cruciferous veggie that can withstand your freezer’s frozen wasteland. You may also cook it in a jif directly from frozen.
How Long Does Broccoli Last in the Freezer?
The greater the flavor of frozen broccoli, the sooner you utilize it. Use frozen broccoli within one year of freezing for optimal results.
How to Freeze and Blanch Broccoli (and Cauliflower)
This method for freezing fresh broccoli may also be used to freeze cauliflower, another cruciferous vegetable.
Trim your broccoli into evenly sized florets beforehand for convenient, ready-to-use frozen broccoli. To do so, first, rinse your broccoli well to remove any dirt or pests. After that, cut off the thick stem and cut the head into individual florets that are approximately 12 inches thick, using a paring knife. You may toss the stems or, better yet, freeze them as well!
Remove the rough outer skin with a vegetable peeler and slice the stems into 12-inch thick sections.
Blanch and Shock Broccoli
When freezing vegetables of any sort, including broccoli and cauliflower, blanching is a must. It protects the color, taste, and nutrients of the vegetable against enzyme damage. It can also destroy any bacteria on the surface.
Broccoli can be blanched in one of two ways: by boiling or steaming.
Boiling: Make an ice bath by combining ice and cold water in a dish. A kettle of water should be brought to a boil. Blanch the broccoli for three minutes. Drain the broccoli and place it in an ice bath to chill down. Drain thoroughly once it has cooled.
Steaming: Add ice to a dish of cold water to make an ice bath. In a saucepan, bring several inches of water to a boil. Place the broccoli in a steamer basket in the saucepan and decrease the heat to a low simmer.
Allow the broccoli to steam for five minutes, covered. Transfering the broccoli to an ice bath to chill will give it a shock. Drain thoroughly once it has cooled.
Flash Freeze Broccoli
After the broccoli has cooled, blot it dry with a paper towel. Arrange the broccoli on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a reusable baking mat in a single layer. Freeze for two hours or until totally solid. This will keep the broccoli from clumping together and freezing.
Transfer and Freeze Broccoli
Transfer the broccoli to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container once frozen, label with the date, and store for up to a year.
How to Use Frozen Broccoli
Using blanched broccoli is a breeze because it has already been cooked. You may defrost the broccoli overnight in the refrigerator, boil it in an inch or two of salted water, or cook it directly from frozen in a pan with a little oil or butter. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with a traditional broccoli and cheese casserole made using frozen broccoli.
Tips and Tricks for Freezing Broccoli
It’s a pain to cut broccoli florets into smaller pieces. Instead of cutting them all the way through, cut them halfway through with a knife (stem). Then, using your hands, break it apart. There will be little to no mess as a result of this method.
I hope you find this article helpful. I would like to hear from you. So, let me know if you have any questions about freezing broccoli.