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Information and discussion about canning and dehydrating tomatoes and other garden vegetables and fruits. DISCLAIMER: SOME RECIPES MAY NOT COMPLY WITH CURRENT FOOD SAFETY GUIDELINES - FOLLOW AT YOUR OWN RISK

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
b54red
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Default Is there a good way to freeze broccoli?

We have tried freezing broccoli repeatedly over the years but the finished product was mushy when cooked. I was just wondering if anyone knows a good method for freezing broccoli that results in something a bit more crisp after cooking?

Bill
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
Hunt-Grow-Cook
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Quick blanch, into ice water to completely stop the cooking. Drain well and lay in a single flat layer and freeze on sheet pan. Then portion into bags or containers from there. IMO the stalks hold the majority of the moisture and thus can be softer. At least in my experience. Can do the same procedure for "Broccoli Rice."
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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We do the very same as HGC. Cauliflower too. Just keep in mind that what we do at home will never be exactly the same as the professionally flash frozen product but will still be great for casseroles, etc.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
b54red
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What do you mean by quick blanch?

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
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Originally Posted by b54red View Post
What do you mean by quick blanch?

Bill
For me that's dumping them into boiling water for two minutes and then immediately into ice water for three minutes before draining and blotting off the excess water. It's also called "shocking" vegetables. It stops the enzymes that make stuff keep ripening and sets the color.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
Hunt-Grow-Cook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
For me that's dumping them into boiling water for two minutes and then immediately into ice water for three minutes before draining and blotting off the excess water. It's also called "shocking" vegetables. It stops the enzymes that make stuff keep ripening and sets the color.
Bingo. I use lots of ice, you want to cool them as quick as possible all the way through. I even throw them in a salad spinner sometimes after draining to get as much water off as possible before freezing. Blanching is the hot water part, shocking is the cold water part and both are necessary. Quick blanch will "par-cook' the veggies, but not to the point they lose texture and as GoDawgs mentioned color.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
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I even throw them in a salad spinner sometimes after draining to get as much water off as possible before freezing.
Bingo right back at ya! I hadn't thought of the salad spinner. Brilliant!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
b54red
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We have done it exactly that way but it still is only good for casseroles as it is just too mushy for eating by itself. I wonder if blanching for a far shorter time would work?

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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
ddsack
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I don't blanch broccoli for 2 minutes, unlike other things like sweet corn or beans.
I blanch in serving size pieces, putting the more solid stem pieces without florets into the boiling water first, when the water returns to a boil, I put in the florets, dunking them with a spoon so that they all get submersed at some point. I remove them when they have turned the darker green, maybe after just 30 seconds to a minute, tops. I have very cold tap water from our deep well, so they go into several changes of cold water in a dishpan sized container until they are cool enough to drain and bag up. I believe freezing itself causes some limpness, so they will never be as crisp as fresh, but I think reducing the blanch time helps.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #10
b54red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddsack View Post
I don't blanch broccoli for 2 minutes, unlike other things like sweet corn or beans.
I blanch in serving size pieces, putting the more solid stem pieces without florets into the boiling water first, when the water returns to a boil, I put in the florets, dunking them with a spoon so that they all get submersed at some point. I remove them when they have turned the darker green, maybe after just 30 seconds to a minute, tops. I have very cold tap water from our deep well, so they go into several changes of cold water in a dishpan sized container until they are cool enough to drain and bag up. I believe freezing itself causes some limpness, so they will never be as crisp as fresh, but I think reducing the blanch time helps.
Thanks dd. I may try that if my fourth planting does well. I have already given away or used all the heads in my third planting. I may get some good side shoots to try it with though since those are mostly Arcadia which have given me the best side shoot production the last few years.

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