Monday, February 23, 2015

Easy Method to Freeze Broccoli

In August I wish for more hours in my day.

Not only would it alleviate my stress level when five things shout for attention, maybe I would find more time to blog. There is so many fun things to blog about in August with gardening and food preserving going full swing. But though I write dozens of posts in my head while peeling peaches and skinning tomatoes, most never are seen.

So when a friend gave me two cases of broccoli recently, it was the perfect time to take some photos and share a super easy way to blanch broccoli.

My sister-in-law shared this method with me. Before, I would chop up the broccoli, then blanch it in boiling water. All that chopping is a lot of work and my counter would be covered with tiny green broccoli particles.



But my sister-in-law keeps the whole broccoli head intact. She boils a pan of water (enough to cover the head but not the stem) and emerges the broccoli in the water.



When the broccoli turns bright green (only a minute or two), pull out the broccoli and immediately dump in ice cold water.



After it is cooled, chop the broccoli off the stem and pack into freezer bags. (And wearing a Daniel Boone coonskin hat makes any job more fun.)



It is SO much easier to chop the broccoli after it is blanched than before. In fact, my sons chopped almost all of it. (Of course they love to have any excuse to use sharp knives.) And I didn't have nearly as much shattered green broccoli pieces.

In less than an hour, thanks to my good help, we had both cases of broccoli in the freezer.

Do you freezer broccoli? Any tips you want to share?

14 comments :

  1. Great tips! Blanching made easy, add two cute boys to help chop, and it's a wrap!!

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  2. So you don't use the the stems?

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    1. I know I could cook and peel the stems - but I had so much that I only used the tops. Maybe I was wasteful?
      Gina

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    2. Stalks are the best! I peel them and like them raw and eat lots while I'm working on the freezing. They are very good sliced onto vegetable soup. I add them close to the end so they don't get over cooked. You can make broccoli slaw with them. They are good with hummus or ranch dip.

      I also do with them the same as with the tough asparagus ends. I peel them and put in freezer bags to make cream soup over the cold months. You get the same flavor as the florets or asparagus tips.

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  3. Genius! Love it when such a small change simplifies a task. I remember feeling brilliant when I discovered that leaving measuring spoons in my salt/baking powder etc. was much more efficient!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. What a wonderful idea! Thank you! Mine always seems to get so mushy. I'm going to try this next summer!

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  5. Broccoli stems, as long as they are not "woody", make great cole slaw when shredded and used raw. They only need to be peeled if the outer skin is tough. They also make very good sauerkraut. I do blanch and freeze the stems for other purposes, but separately, and I use those in small pieces for soups, etc. After you cut the heads off maybe the stems could go back into the blanching water for a bit. This is still a very useful tip that I will try if Mother Nature lets me have broccoli in the garden this year. I can see that if you have over a reasonable amount to process, using the stems might be overkill. Chickens love them, probably other livestock would as well, and they are good additions to the compost. In any case, they are not wasted.

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  6. Thanks for the tip, that will save lots of time! My mil often will come help me, I take the tops and she is happy with the stems. But still its a couple hour job when we blanche broccoli to freeze. The house reeks but my family does enjoy broccoli.

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    1. It does leave an aroma doesn't it!
      Gina

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  7. oh, thank you, gina! i love time-saving ideas for anything food-related, & canning/freezing esp.! =)

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  8. Great ideas, I hope I will remember them by the time I have broccoli ready! We do not use the stems either as it is just Hubby and I and he acts like the stems are made of zucchini and it is a government plot to poison him!! :)

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  9. Great idea but I have to say, I couldn't bring myself to toss the stems. I use the whole thing. If I'm steaming, sautéing or whatever, I peel whatever needs peeling from the stems then slice them on an angle & add them to the pan first as they take a bit longer to cook, then add the tops to finish off. I'll oftentimes julienne broccoli stems to add to salads as well as they're a lovely addition to salads. I rarely freeze veggies nowadays as there's only the two of us at home now, but in my past canning/freezing days, all parts of the veggies from my garden or picked up fresh from a nearby farm was used.

    Joycelyn

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  10. I often file time saving tips on a recipe card and store them under canning in my recipe box.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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