Broccoli can be used for so many things that it would be a shame not to know how to freeze broccoli. This is a pretty easy vegetable to get hold of year round, but it costs more to buy it in small amounts or buy it frozen. That’s why the best choice is to buy it in large amounts and freeze what you don’t use. As long as you freeze it before it starts to yellow you are in good shape.
How to Freeze Broccoli
Prepare for Freezing
Broccoli is easy to freeze. You just have to prepare it before you freeze it. This is especially true if you got it out of the garden. To prepare your broccoli you need to brine it, blanche it, and cut it.
Garden fresh broccoli should be brined before it is frozen in order to kill any insects. If it isn’t garden fresh you can still brine it just to be extra safe. To make your brine you will need to combine a gallon of water with 4 tablespoons of salt. Adjust as needed. For example, if you have enough broccoli to need 2 gallons of water, use 8 tablespoons of salt. Submerge the broccoli in the brine for a half hour.
Just about any vegetable you are going to freeze needs to be blanched. The blanching kills the bacteria and enzymes on the vegetable. This is something that can’t be done with the brine or by freezing the vegetable. To blanche broccoli you first need to get the water boiling. Place the broccoli in the boiling water and allow it to boil for 3 minutes. Immediately drain the broccoli and place it in ice cold water. In fact, a bowl or sink with ice and water in it is perfect. Cool for 3 minutes. This stops the cooking process so your broccoli doesn’t get soft.
Cut your florets into small pieces. Some people throw away everything but the florets. You can save those pieces and use them for soup. Put the pieces in separate bags so you know which one to use for soup and which one to use for side dishes or main servings. You want the pieces you cut to be about a half of an inch big. This allows for even thawing and cooking.
Allow the broccoli to dry so that it doesn’t stick together in one clump when you freeze it. Place your broccoli in a freezer bag that you have already labeled. It’s best to freeze it by serving size you will use so that none goes to waste when you thaw it out. If you have to freeze it all together then just hit the bag against the counter and remove the pieces you want to use before thawing them.
Learning how to freeze broccoli can lead to all kinds of freezing. Once you see how fast and simple it is you will be wanting to freeze every vegetable you buy.