Learn how to freeze broccoli without blanching and how to use frozen broccoli to make soups, stews or curries.
Whether you’ve been growing broccoli in your garden or bought a large head that was on sale and you just can’t finish, freezing broccoli florets is a great way to preserve this delicious healthy vegetable!
Broccoli has more vitamin C than oranges and freezing it is a great way to make its nutritional benefits long-lasting. You can use frozen broccoli to cook soups, stews, stir-fries or even in roasting recipes.
Another great thing about freezing raw broccoli is that it’s a super easy process and doesn’t take a long time or much equipment either.
So, wonder no more what to do with all that broccoli and let’s get started!
Why freeze broccoli?
Here are a few great reasons to freeze broccoli, especially when it’s in season:
- To preserve essential nutrients for a longer time. Broccoli is available in grocery stores throughout the year, but the best season to enjoy it is from October to April. It only makes sense to freeze broccoli at the peak of its freshness.
- To have a reliable source of vitamin C. A 100-gram serving of broccoli will cover your daily needs for vitamin C which is about 81 mg. Interestingly, studies have discovered that freezing vegetables like broccoli helps to preserve the vitamins better than storing the plant at room temperature.
- To save time. Frozen broccoli is a valuable timesaver. The washed and cut veggie is super handy to cook with. All you need to do is grab it and throw it into the meal you’re making – it will thaw while your dinner is getting ready.
- Save money and reduce food waste. Freezing leftover broccoli can be a great way to save money because you can buy it in bulk when it’s in season and it’s SO much cheaper. Also, if you bought a huge broccoli head and know you won’t be using it within the next 5-7 days, preserving it this way will help reduce food waste and save you money. Now you will have more than three months to use up the frozen broccoli. Anyone can finish a head of broccoli within three months, right?
How To Freeze Broccoli Without Blanching To Preserve For Months
Freezing broccoli without blanching is a breeze! You don’t really need to blanch the florets – you can freeze broccoli raw and it takes 10 minutes of actual work. Here’s our step-by-step guide.
Wash and cut broccoli into florets. Before freezing any vegetable, it is crucial to wash it, as you won’t be doing it after it’s frozen (that would ruin the texture). I like to wash the broccoli roughly while it’s whole, then cut it up into florets, no even smaller – into bite-sized pieces. This makes cooking with frozen broccoli so much easier! You can use some of the stems too. Once, chopped wash broccoli florets thoroughly again using a colander.
Let the broccoli air dry. And by that I mean leave it on a wrack (I use the dish drying wrack when it’s empty) for about 15 minutes until there is no water on the broccoli anymore. This step is super important because if you freeze broccoli while it’s still wet, the florets will stick together into clumps when frozen. This will ultimately lead to lower quality of the final product.
Put Into Ziploc Bags. Or use any other freezer bags you have once the broccoli florets are completely dry.
Close and Freeze. Make sure to gently press out the extra air when closing the freezer bags. This is important as it is the air that leads to oxidation and shorter shelf life.
How long Will Frozen Broccoli Florets Last For
Raw frozen broccoli will stay good for about three months, sometimes even longer. During this period, it is essential to store it properly and avoid damaging the package.
In comparison, you can store raw broccoli for roughly a week and cooked broccoli for up to four days.
It’s important not to thaw and refreeze frozen broccoli as this will result in a loss of moisture and a consequent decline in taste quality. Although the vegetable will still be edible, its texture may become mushy.
Frozen Broccoli Can Be Better Than Fresh
Recent studies suggest there are no nutritional differences between fresh vs frozen vegetables. In fact, many frozen vegetables tend to be more nutritious than their 5-day-old fresh stored counterparts.
The only difference between fresh and frozen broccoli has to do with its appearance. In contrast to fresh raw broccoli, frozen broccoli will be less firm. Further, in the process of cooking, it will become soft more quickly.
How to Cook With Frozen Broccoli
Broccoli can play different roles in daily diet: it may serve as a main course, a side dish, or a quick snack. There is a wide selection of dishes that you can make with frozen broccoli, from soups and stews to even smoothies.
By preserving broccoli properly, you can use it in pretty much any recipe. Depending on the cooking method, you can thaw frozen broccoli or use it without defrosting (it will make the dish juicer).
Cook With Frozen Broccoli
For instance, the latter option will be preferable for soups, stews, and sauces that will only benefit from additional moisture.
In contrast, if you want to roast broccoli, make sure to defrost it first. Therefore, always thaw frozen broccoli before roasting or baking and discard the extra moisture.
To preserve the shape of frozen broccoli for any way of cooking, leave the veggie to thaw for about 10 minutes at room temperature. Then place it in cold water. You can accelerate the process by changing the water several times.
Use Frozen Broccoli In Smoothies
You can use frozen broccoli without thawing in smoothies too! It will provide healthy nutrients and you won’t need to add ice to your blender cup. Don’t overdo it in smoothie recipes, as broccoli can make the taste of your smoothie a bit bitter. A few frozen broccoli florets are more than enough to make a smoothie more nourishing.
Health benefits of broccoli
I personally love learning more about the health benefits of the food I’m eating, because it helps keep me motivated to eat better and reassures me that I’m doing the right thing. And don’t we all love to be right? On that note, here are a few health benefits of broccoli:
- Supports the optimal functioning of your immune system. That’s thanks to its highly beneficial nutrients and antioxidants including pro-vitamin A, vitamin K, C as well as phytochemicals called glucosinolates shown to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
- Compared to other brassica vegetables, broccoli has more protein.
- Strengthens your bones and teeth due to its high vitamin K content.
- Prevents cancer. Valued for its cancer-fighting potential, broccoli has proven to be particularly efficient in combating gastric, lung, stomach, colon, and rectal cancers.
- Supports weight loss. Broccoli is a nutritious low-calorie food, with one cup of chopped broccoli having about 31 calories. According to recent research, broccoli has promising anti-obesity properties, likely because is rich in fiber and water.
I hope you enjoyed our simple guide on how to freeze broccoli, no blanching required.
Below you’ll find some nutritious and simple recipes that you can make using frozen broccoli. Whichever meal idea you choose, experiment with your cooking by omitting or adding new
ingredients and applying different methods. It’s the best way to explore the potential of frozen broccoli and enhance your diet with its unique nutrients daily.
- Broccoli and Red Lentil Detox Soup
- Creamy Tortellini With Broccoli and Tomatoes
- No Cream Spiced Broccoli Soup
- Lentil Coconut Curry
- Creamy Keto Chicken And Vegetables
- Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup
- a head of broccoli
- Wash and cut broccoli into florets. Before freezing any vegetable, it is crucial to wash it, as you won’t be doing it after it’s frozen (that would ruin the texture). I like to wash the broccoli roughly while it’s whole, then cut it up into florets, and even smaller – into bite-sized pieces (makes cooking with it so much easier). You can use some of the stems too. Then wash it thoroughly again using a colander.
- Let the broccoli air dry. And by that I mean leave it on a wrack (I used the dish drying wrack when it’s empty) for about 15 minutes until there is no water on the broccoli anymore. This step is super important because if you freezing wet broccoli will lead to the florets sticking together when frozen and ultimately to lower quality of the final product.
- Put Into Ziploc Bags. Or use any other freezer bags you have once the broccoli florets are completely dry.
- Close and Freeze. Make sure to gently press out the extra air when closing the freezer bags. This is important as it is the air that leads to oxidation and shorter shelf life.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 130Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 152mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 12gSugar 5gProtein 9g