Fresh broccoli reaches its peak in the mid-summer, but it is tasty all year round. Broccoli is a vegetable which can last a while when stored properly. But can you freeze broccoli?
How long does fresh broccoli last?
When refrigerated correctly, broccoli can stay fresh for up to two weeks.
To keep it fresher for longer, you should mist the unwashed heads and wrap them loosely in damp paper towels before refrigerating.
You should then use it within two or three days.
You can also store it in a well-ventilated bag to keep it fresh for a few days.
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Can you freeze broccoli?
Yes, it is possible to freeze broccoli.
It is a fairly easy process and you may in fact find that frozen broccoli can have a better flavour and texture than the store-bought version of frozen broccoli.
You can follow two methods of blanching beforehand then you will be left with read-to-cook, vibrant crowns.
By quickly cooking and then stopping the cooking, which is how blanching works, enzyme actions that would cause flavour, colour, and texture loss are ceased.
Blanching also effectively brightens vegetables and slows the leaching of vitamins.
Once you have chosen your head of broccoli you should rinse the broccoli to remove any dirt, bugs or traces of pesticides.
You should prepare boiling and ice-cold water then cut the broccoli heads into smaller florets.
Then you should boil the broccoli pieces for three minutes in the boiling water, stirring periodically to ensure the broccoli pieces are evenly blanched.
Next you should drain them with a colander or strainer, before letting them chill in ice-cold water for around three minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure all the pieces come into contact with the cold water.
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Afterwards, you should drain and dry them by tossing them around a colander or strainer.
Then you should pat it clean with a rag or paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
Transfer the broccoli pieces to a plastic bag with an airtight seal and label the bag with the date.
Next you should squeeze out the excess air before sealing it and tossing it in the freezer.
Once frozen, you can keep it frozen for up to a year.
To get the maximum lifetime out of your frozen broccoli, you should use a low-temperature “deep freezer” setting.
How to eat frozen broccoli
To use broccoli from frozen, you should bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.
Then you should remove the broccoli from the freezer and add the broccoli to the water.
Remove the broccoli after one minute to ninety seconds, otherwise it will end up soggy.
If you wish to roast broccoli, you should preheat the oven to 218C (425F).
Next, remove the broccoli from the freezer and spread it evenly onto a baking sheet, using a knife and fork to separate.
Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper.
Afterwards, you should place the broccoli in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until the florets have parts that are brown and crispy.
Then you should remove the broccoli from the oven and serve.
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