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How to Freeze Broccoli

Nothing beats the flavor of freshly-harvested broccoli straight from the garden. However, broccoli season often comes on all at once, with too many heads ready to harvest and eat at the same time. 

Freezing broccoli is the best way to preserve the broccoli bounty to enjoy for months after the harvests have ended. Broccoli florets will retain their flavor and resist freezer burn when you learn how to freeze broccoli and follow a few simple steps before freezing. 

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Learn how to freeze broccoli for the best flavor and longest storage life with these steps:

1. Select the best quality broccoli at the peak of ripeness to freeze.

Produce that is beginning to flower or beginning to soften will not improve in flavor once frozen. If you can’t freeze broccoli right away, store it in the refrigerator. Freeze broccoli as soon as possible for maximum flavor and nutritional value. 

2. Trim the broccoli crowns into similar-sized florets. Peel stalks if desired and cut into the same size as the florets.

How to Freeze Broccoli

3. Rinse florets in a large bowl of cold water and drain well.

4. Fill a large pot with water (1 gallon of water per pound of prepared broccoli) and heat water to boiling. Add broccoli to boiling water. Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

What is blanching?
Blanching is the process of briefly plunging food into boiling water and then into ice water.

5. As soon as the blanching time is complete, transfer the broccoli to a large bowl filled with ice water. Cool broccoli for the same amount of time it was blanched (2-3 minutes).

How to freeze broccoli

6. Drain broccoli and allow it to dry for 1-2 minutes on a dish towel. 

How to freeze broccoli

Why blanch broccoli before freezing?
Blanching ensures the broccoli retains its color and crispness once thawed. 
Blanching stops or slows down enzymes that cause a loss of flavor and color.

7. Transfer florets to a cookie sheet (single layer, not touching) and place in the freezer until frozen solid (1-2 hours).

How to freeze broccoli

8. Once the broccoli florets are frozen, transfer broccoli into labeled freezer bags or containers. Remove as much air as possible before sealing.

How to freeze broccoli

9. Use frozen broccoli in your favorite recipes within 8-10 months. Do not thaw before cooking for the best flavor.

How to freeze broccoli

How to Use Broccoli and Cauliflower Leaves

Make a green powder “superfood” with extra leaves from brassicas after harvesting. Learn how in this blog post.

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