Broccoli is one of those veggies that, if refrigerated while fresh, can last for a long time. Given that one knows how to freeze broccoli well, you can directly use the frozen veggies in delicious dishes without losing any of their nutrients.
Why freeze broccoli?
Before learning how to freeze broccoli, it’s good to know the benefits of doing so.
When you freeze broccoli, eliminate food spoilage, save from bulk purchases, and can forget the last-minute trips to the grocery store.
How to freeze broccoli [Step by Step]
It begins at the grocery store.
First, to enjoy the best possible flavor and high nutritional value of frozen broccoli, you need to buy a fresh, green one. Then, pick and choose the freshest broccoli at the store; even if there is the slightest hint of yellow, skip the bunch.
Preparing the vegetable
The second step is to prepare your fresh broccoli for freezing by chopping off the stalks, peeling off the tough outer skin, and trimming off the stubborn bottoms.
After that, immerse the broccoli for 30 minutes in cold, salted water to remove any insects that may be present. Next, rinse well with cold water after swishing it around to eliminate the dirt. Once cleaned, you can cut the florets and stems into separate pieces for best results and uniform cooking.
In batches, add the trimmed broccoli to the salted, boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes, or until bright green and crisp-tender. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a dish with ice water. The broccoli is blanched, retaining its color and doneness degree. Then drain carefully and pat dry with paper towels once cool.
It’s critical to get the broccoli into the ice water as soon as possible to prevent the remaining heat from cooking the vegetable further. Allow 3 minutes for the broccoli to cool in the ice water. The broccoli should then be transferred to a colander and allowed to drain for a few minutes.
Broccoli can be packaged for freezing once it has been boiled and dried. Arrange them on a sheet pan with parchment paper on a single layer, and freeze for 1 to 2 hours.
Transferring to Ziplock bags or containers
Now you can freeze the broccoli in zip-top freezer bags (no headspace required). Before putting the containers in the freezer, don’t forget to write the name and date on them. One pound of broccoli will make around one pint of frozen broccoli.
FAQs about freezing broccoli
For how long can you keep broccoli in the freezer?
Frozen broccoli can stay between 6 and 8 months in the freezer. Remember to write down the date you save it!
Can you freeze broccoli without blanching?
You can. But the bleaching process helps to preserve the color, texture, and flavor of the broccoli.
Implements and equipment you need to freeze broccoli
To freeze broccoli at home, you don’t need any complicated equipment. But it is good that you have everything prepared and ready. This way you will save time and everything will be more comfortable for you.
- Large pot.
- A container for ice water.
- Paper towels.
- Sheet pan.
- Parchment Paper.
- Plastic bags.
How to thaw frozen broccoli
Thawing broccoli is super easy. You can put it in hot water.
The blanching process before freezing has partially cooked the broccoli. So you have to take it to room temperature.
Then, incorporate it with the rest of the ingredients you use in your recipe, be it a frittata, quiche, or pasta.
You can also place it in boiling salted water and leave it for a couple of minutes or a little longer. However, don’t let it boil too long so that it does not become excessively soft.
Another way to defrost it is in the microwave. In a microwave-safe container, add water to the broccoli, lid it and turn it to full power for about 5 minutes.
And if what you plan to prepare is a delicious broccoli cream, just put it in the pot to let it cook until it is soft enough.
What can you make with frozen broccoli
You can use your frozen broccoli to prepare healthy and quick meals with all the flavor.
You can cook the frozen florets for 1 to 2 minutes in a pot of boiling salted water. This way, the broccoli defrost and heat without overcooking.
In that way, you can use it to make quiche, a casserole, or on top of a pizza.
Frozen broccoli can also be cooked in a frying pan with butter until warmed through. Season it as you prefer, and you have a side dish in no time.