Preserve the Harvest Series: How to Freeze Broccoli
Steaming helps to retain vital nutrients of the broccoli and serves to prevent over cooking that often takes place when blanching in water. A ice water bath is necessary to halt the cooking process that continues even after the broccoli has been removed from the steam. Quick freezing the broccoli prior to freezing prevents the broccoli from becoming one solid mass; making it easier to grab a handful of frozen broccoli from the bag and reseal for later.
  • Broccoli
  • Ice
  1. 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.
  2. Rinse broccoli well to remove dirt and debris and to make sure no insects are hiding within the head of the broccoli.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Place broccoli into steamer basket for large pan.
  6. 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.
  7. Once timer goes off, immediately remove broccoli from pan, pour broccoli into colander and plunge into ice bath.
  8. Allow broccoli to cool for several minutes, remove from ice water bath, drain and shake to remove excess water.
  9. 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).
  10. Once frozen, remove broccoli from freezer, place into heavy duty freezer bags or vacuum seal broccoli, as desired.
  11. Date and label broccoli. Will keep for up to 1 year.
Recipe by Pure Grace Farms at