Food waste is a massive problem around the world, particularly in Western countries. The wastage of food is bad for the environment as it stresses resources. So, you can do your part by not wasting your food and freezing it instead.
Extra seasonal veggies should always be frozen. Broccoli in particular stands up very well to freezing as it a hearty vegetable, to begin with. That means it can be kept for a long time provided it is properly stored.
It is also very nutritious and can be utilized alongside almost any kind of meal. With our nifty guide below, learn how to freeze broccoli and make cooking for weeknights a bit easier with this trick.
Learn How to Freeze Broccoli
Doing this on your own is quite easy. All you need is to follow a few simple steps and you are on your way to keeping your veggies fresh and ready at your beck and call all the time. Here’s what you need to do:
Preparing the Broccoli
Start by prepping the vegetable. Do this by cutting the bottom half-inch of the stem and discard this as this can be quite tough.
Then, proceed to peel and chop the rest of the stem and the florets accordingly into sectors that are no bigger than 1.5 inches across.
Trying to cut and split broccoli sections evenly so that packing and freezing them can be easier. Wash all of these under running water.
Blanching the Broccoli
Blanching your veggies is a great way to retain their crunch, color, and texture. This is particularly applicable for vegetables with high water content, such as broccoli and cauliflower.
Blanching requires boiling or steaming and immediately transferring it to an ice bath to stop the cooking, allowing the food to retain its texture, flavor, and color.
Blanching via boiling water can be done for around three minutes or so. To make your work easier, you can use a Chinese spider sieve or even a colander to quickly remove the broccoli from the water.
If you are opting for steam blanching, you also need a steamer basket that fits well inside a large pot. Let the broccoli cook for three to five minutes depending on its size and drain the vegetables in a colander.
Using an Ice Bath
An ice bath immediately stops the cooking time, so having this on hand while blanching is essential. After draining the broccoli, place the blanched vegetables on top of a bowl of ice water.
This stops the residual heat from cooking the vegetable further. Leave your veggies in for around three minutes. Transfer again to a colander to drain. You may also use a salad spinner to dry the broccoli or pat each floret.
Freezing the Broccoli
Once the broccoli is all dry, place these on a single layer on a baking sheet. Then, place the baking tray inside the freezer for around one to two hours for a flash freeze. After one to two hours is up, transfer these to freezer-safe containers or bags.
Alternatively, you can immediately freeze broccoli using zip-close bags or containers. Divide the broccoli up into the portions you will use. This way, you can use only what you need to without having to thaw or take out the whole thing.
The second option is ideal if your broccoli is already thoroughly dry, to begin with.
Broccoli is a very nutrient-dense food so utilizing it as much as you can is a good idea. Whether you are making cheesy broccoli soup or simply making a stir-fry, you’ll always have frozen broccoli on hand when you need it.