How to freeze broccoli begins the first of a new feature I am starting at Pure Grace farms to help you get the most out of fresh fruits and vegetables harvested while in peak season. Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables, buy them at the Farmer’s Market or your local grocery store, the best time to preserve your bounty is when they are plentiful.
There are several reasons why preserving your produce in season makes sense. The first and foremost reason is quality, especially when buying local. The time fruits and vegetables sit in a warehouse or travel by truck, boat, or train, is sure to be reduced when buying in season. Second, preserving the harvest when the food is typically grown saves money; prices tend to be lower when seasonal produce is abundant. Lastly, my favorite reason for preserving the harvest in season is the ability to reap the rewards of that delicious produce when otherwise you might not have access to it. There is nothing better than enjoying a slice of cherry pie in the fall or a crisp dill pickle knowing you preserved it.
I hope you join me over the next several weeks as I explore all the great ways to preserve the harvest.
Broccoli is a cool-season crop. Just like spinach, it can be grown in the spring or fall. Broccoli is also a member of the cabbage family and is rich in vitamins.
- Broccoli should be harvested when the buds of the head are firm and tight before the heads begin to flower. Once you begin to see yellow petals, don’t wait; harvest immediately.
- It is best to harvest early in the morning before the soil warms up for best taste.
- Take at least 6 inches of the stem when cutting the main head.
- Side shoots will most likely develop after the main head has been harvested. Cut the small shoots often before they begin to flower and you may have broccoli all summer long.
- Broccoli can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It is not necessary to wash it before you place it in the refrigerator and will probably keep better if you don’t. If you must wash it, be sure to allow it to dry thoroughly before storing for best results.
(Above information gleaned from the Farmer’s Almanac)
- It is best to choose broccoli at peak season; mid-June to mid-July. There are several varieties of broccoli, but usually look for those with tight heads, no yellowing, and firm green stalks with no bruising or discoloration.
- Rinse broccoli well to remove dirt and debris and to make sure no insects are hiding within the head of the broccoli.
- Remove the leaves from the broccoli and cut into 1-2 inch florets, depending on your preference. Cut the remaining stem into 1 inch pieces discarding the tougher woody bit of the stem at the end.
- Prepare ice bath for broccoli. Fill sink with ice and add cold water. Important to plunge broccoli into ice bath after allotted steam time to stop the cooking process.
- Place broccoli into steamer basket for large pan.
- Place about 1 -2 inches of water in large pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, place steamer basket filled with broccoli into pan, cover with lid and set timer for 4 minutes.
- Once timer goes off, immediately remove broccoli from pan, pour broccoli into colander and plunge into ice bath.
- Allow broccoli to cool for several minutes, remove from ice water bath, drain and shake to remove excess water.
- Place broccoli on flat baking sheets lined with parchment or wax paper, careful to keep the broccoli from touching. Place in the coldest part of freezer until frozen solid. (about 1 hour).
- Once frozen, remove broccoli from freezer, place into heavy duty freezer bags or vacuum seal broccoli, as desired.
- Date and label broccoli. Will keep for up to 1 year.
Preserving the Harvest Series: How to freeze Broccoli has been shared with:
Creative K Kids: Tasty Tuesday’s *Detours in Life: Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday *The Shady Porch: Party on the Porch *Foody Schmoody: The Wednesday Roundup *My Paper Craze: The Creative Spark *Sweet Haute La Dolce Vita *Lambert’s Lately: Create it Thursday *Living Well Spending Less: Thrifty Thursday *Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyholic: Pin it Party *Happy and Blessed Home: Family Fun Friday *Turnips 2 Tangerines: Four Seasons Blog Hop *Organized 31: Inspire us Thursday – *Juggling Real Food and Real life: Let’s Get Real *Nancherrow: Friday’s Unfolded *Christina’s Adventures: The Handmade Hangout *Simple Living and Eating: Foodie Friday *My Turn For Us: Freedom Friday *Closer to Home: Friday Frenzy *The Pin Junkie: Friday Link Party *The Cookie Puzzle: Party in Your PJ’S *Kitchen Dreaming: Weekend Social *In the Kitchen with Jenny: Foodie Friend Friday *Coffee With us 3: Pretty Pintastic *Natasha in Oz: Say G’day *Create with Joy: Inspire Me Monday *My Pinterventures: Merry Mondays * Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brags *Pluckys Second Thoughts *The Sqishable Baby: Mommy’s Monday Blog Hop *21 Century Housewife: Hearth and Soul *Memories by the Mile: Treasure Box Tuesday *Lou Lou Girls
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”