How to Freeze Fresh Broccoli? When stored properly, broccoli is one of those veggies that may last for a while. When kept in the refrigerator when fresh, broccoli can last for up to two weeks. However, you might need to freeze the extra if you mistakenly bought too much, are taking advantage of the season with farmer’s market broccoli, or are producing this item yourself. Fortunately, broccoli freezes well. If you use either of the two methods for pre-blanching, you will have colourful, ready-to-cook crowns that are ideal for a hectic weekday.
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Although it is easier to just place the vegetables in a zip-top bag and place them in the freezer, blanching them first produces broccoli that is more nutrient-dense, fresher tasting, and visually appealing. Blanching is the process of briefly boiling something before halting it to prevent the enzyme activity that would otherwise lead to flavour, colour, and texture loss. Additionally, blanching intensifies the vegetable’s colour and reduces the rate at which vitamins are lost. If you have a surplus of broccoli, freezing it is a fantastic strategy to prevent wastage. When you come to cook it from frozen, it will also cook a little faster.
Like most vegetables, broccoli’s texture and flavour will deteriorate if frozen uncooked, becoming a mushy, grey, and disagreeable shadow of its former self, with the goodness evaporating. How to Freeze Fresh Broccoli So make sure to blanch it to maintain its colour, flavour, and nutritional value.
Learn about broccoli’s health advantages and our favourite broccoli recipes, including scrumptious side dishes, soups, and salads.
Methods for Freezing Fresh Broccoli in the Basics
As usual, prepare the broccoli by cutting any woody ends and, if necessary, splitting into small, equal-sized florets.
Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil before blanching the broccoli. How to Freeze Fresh Broccoli Prepare a tray covered with kitchen paper and a bowl of chilled water.
For two to three minutes, cook the broccoli in boiling water. With a slotted spoon, remove the broccoli and place it in the bowl of ice water. Let it sit for an additional two to three minutes. Put the drained food on the lined tray.
Lay the broccoli in a single layer on a tray, pat dry, and then freeze until solid. Place in a freezer bag with a label and store there for up to a year.
cooking frozen broccoli
Frozen broccoli doesn’t need to be defrosted before cooking; How to Freeze Fresh Broccoli it can be used right away to stews, casseroles, and pasta bakes, or added at the end of the cooking process with the pasta.
heating up broccoli
Remember that the cooking time will be shortened due to the pre-freezing blanching technique and drop frozen items directly into salted boiling water for roughly 2-4 minutes.
Broccoli that has been frozen can be roasted. Place on a baking sheet, brush with a little oil, season, and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned in spots.
In a pan with butter, fry a small quantity of frozen broccoli while tossing frequently until it is cooked.
Broccoli in the microwave
Put some water and frozen broccoli in a plate that can go in the microwave (about 50ml). How to Freeze Fresh Broccoli Cook the broccoli on high for 5 minutes, or until it is tender and cooked through, covered with cling film (or a microwave-safe lid), pierced several times throughout.
Getting ready the broccoli
There are a few steps you need to take before you can blanch the stalks. Remove and discard the tough, woody stalks from the broccoli before preparing it. As an alternative, you can just cut off the bottoms of the stalks after removing the rough outer skin with a vegetable peeler.
After that, soak the broccoli for about 30 minutes in cold, salted water. How to Freeze Fresh Broccoli Any insects that might be there will be eliminated as a result. After thoroughly rinsing with cold water, swish it around to get rid of the dirt. To ensure equal cooking, remove the broccoli and cut it into uniform stalks or pieces.
Put ice and water in a tidy sink or a sizable container. After being blanched, the broccoli will be swiftly cooled in the ice water.
Water Boiling and Blanching
Vegetables can be blanched in either a boiling or steaming process. If boiling is your preferred method, you must bring a sizable pot of water to a full rolling boil.
Immerse the vegetables, about 1 pound of broccoli at a time, in the boiling water. How to Freeze Fresh Broccoli For three minutes, blanch. As soon as the water boils again, start the time.
Blanching using steam
You’ll need a saucepan and a basket attachment that fits snugly within it if you’re going to steam blanch. A big, deep, hefty pot should have two to three inches of water in it. Using a high heat, bring to a boil.
Put the cut broccoli in a wire basket or steaming basket insert, working with roughly 1 pound at a time. Place it on top of the boiling water in the pan, close the lid, and start the timer. For five minutes, steam.
Freezing and Ice Bath
After the prescribed amount of time has passed, immediately submerge the broccoli in the ice water and swish it around to help it chill down rapidly. How to Freeze Fresh Broccoli Remove and thoroughly drain once cool.
The broccoli is now prepared for freezing and packaging. Place in freezer bags or jars with a wide opening, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Alternately, you may freeze the broccoli in zip-top bags (no headspace required). Before putting the containers in the freezer, label them with the name and date. A pound of frozen broccoli will make around 1 pint.
Because it has already been cooked, blanched frozen broccoli is simple to prepare. It only needs to be placed in a saucepan with an inch or so of water, covered, and boiled for a few minutes just until soft. The broccoli can also be stir-fried in a little butter or extra virgin olive oil until just soft.
In recipes that call for cooked broccoli, such as simple broccoli with cheese sauce, broccoli and cauliflower casserole, and broccoli cheese casserole, frozen, blanched broccoli works perfectly.
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