Stock up on broccoli when it's in season. Then, freeze it to enjoy throughout the year. Fresh, tight, green florets will give you the best results.
Time Required: Varies
What You Need:
- A pot
- A bowl
- A colander
- A knife
- A clean towel
- Ice and water
- Freezer-safe bags or containers
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- While you're waiting, give the broccoli a quick wash. Then, chop it up into florets (if you know what you'll be using your broccoli for later, save time by sizing your florets accordingly).
- Toss the broccoli into the boiling water; cover and blanch for three minutes. If you have a lot of broccoli, it's best to divide it up into several batches.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop the broccoli out. Then, place it in an ice bath for three minutes to stop the cooking process.
- Transfer the cooled broccoli to a colander. Then, pat dry with a clean towel. The more water you get off now, the less freezer burn you'll have later.
- Lay the broccoli out on a cookie sheet, and flash freeze it. This will ensure that each piece freezes individually, so you can pull out what you need for a recipe, without having to break up clumps.
- Divide the broccoli into your preferred serving sizes, and package it in freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as you can; seal the top; then, toss in the freezer. Frozen broccoli keeps indefinitely, but is best used within a year. If you plan to store it for longer, consider investing in a vacuum sealer. It'll offer more protection against freezer burn. How to Prevent Freezer Burn
- Broccoli stems make a delicious addition to soups and stir-frys. Chop them up into bite-size pieces, and blanch them just as you did the florets. Be sure to label them, so you don't forget what they are.
- You can also use your broccoli stems to make vegetable broth.
- If you've had a big problem with broccoli pests in your garden this year, soak the broccoli heads in salt water before you blanch them. This will get rid of any bugs that may be hiding where you can't see them.
- If you only use the florets in recipes (not the stems), consider buying just the florets at the grocery store. It'll save you money and cut down on food waste. You can often buy two broccoli florets for the price of one full stalk of broccoli.