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We’ve been eating greens and broccoli for a few weeks but yesterday I arrived home to discover a basket of broccoli in the kitchen. More than we can eat so that means it is time to start freezing. Frozen broccoli is nothing like freshly steamed but it is perfect to drop into soups and stews for some extra vegie power in the winter.
Freezing vegies is easy and I like doing small batches so it doesn’t seem so labor intensive.
Start with the freshest vegetables you can get. We joke that sometimes we start the water boiling before we’ve even picked the crop 😉 This time, it was a day old as I was away yesterday. But still fresher than anything you’ll get in the grocery store.
I use the florets and save the stems for either stock, or in this case, for the pigs and chickens. Chop first, dropping into colanders. I do one colander load at a time as that amount fits nicely in my big pot. Then, a quick wash under the water. You don’t have to soak broccoli like you might do with greens as it grows pretty far above the dirt. Plus, it’s going into boiling water that will help with a good cleaning.
I get a good boil going and add the broccoli gradually to try and keep the boil going. Broccoli needs only a minute or two in the water. Any more and it will get too mushy to be of much use. It turns a beautiful green in the water.
Pull it out. I use a large chinese strainer, the best tool for the job, worth purchasing. Drop it in ice water for a couple minutes. From there, put it out on towels to dry a bit. I pat the tops as well.
My last step may seem excessive to some but it’s worth it: I put the cooked vegies on trays and into the freezer. They’ll freeze more evenly and you’ll be able to pull out just what you need from the freezer bag. No big chunks of ice and vegies. I give them about a day before putting them into the freezer bags.