The plant commonly referred to as broccoli is a part of the cabbage family. It is also classified as the Italica Cultivar Group of the Brassica oleracea species.
Flower heads of broccoli are usually green in color and are arranged on the branches of the plant that are growing from a thick and edible cabbage stalk. Leaves enclose the large mass of these heads.
Can you can broccoli? Due to the heat involved in canning, it is not advisable to can it; however, you can try other methods such as keeping them fresh, using plastic wraps, and freezing them for preservation.
The article answers critical questions such as, can you can broccoli? How do you preserve broccoli?
Related: Can You Freeze Shrimps?
Can You Can Broccoli?
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Due to the unique nature of broccoli, it cannot survive the rigorous process required to preserve it.
According to the USDA’s guide for preserving vegetables, most vegetables must be boiled before they can be placed in cans to kill off harmful bacteria.
Broccoli will eventually turn into a pulp when cooked for a long time at high temperatures, such as over 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
This happens even if the florets survive the initial heating. They will also eventually get damaged again if they’re kept inside a sealed can.
Either way, the finished product is usually a yucky mess.
While it may seem like a pile of overcooked vegetables, keeping them inside a sealed can ruin their flavor and increases their odor. This is why people tend to get an unpleasant taste and smell from broccoli.
Another important reason it’s a bad idea to can broccoli is that some people believe that canned broccoli is no longer safe to eat due to tests conducted in 1996.
This is why the recipes for making broccoli were removed from the Ball Books. Since the recipes for making broccoli were removed, it is now recommended to freeze the vegetables.
How Do You Preserve broccoli?
It is general knowledge that keeping your broccoli fresh for a little longer can be challenging. Left unattended, broccoli can go wrong in twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
But there are proven methods to store your broccoli successfully, sometimes for up to a year. These are some of the proven methods;
1. Preserve Fresh in a Bouquet
An unconventional way to keep your broccoli fresh is by keeping it in a bright and vibrant bouquet. This method works just as well for several flowers.
Put the broccoli stem into a bowl with 1/2 inch of water at the bottom. The “head” portion should be out of the bowl. The “bushy” part of the broccoli should be pointed out.
This preservation method can buy your broccoli a week of freshness.
To keep the broccoli head fresh, cover it loosely with plastic wrap.
The bag will allow air to circulate through the head. You can also change the water daily.
2. Use Plastic Wrap
Another method to keep the broccoli head fresh is to cover it loosely with plastic wrap. You can also use damp paper towels to keep it fresh.
This method mimics the effect of the automatic misters that you might have seen in the produce section of your local grocery store.
Keep the broccoli head loosely covered with paper towels to prevent it from getting too tightly wrapped. The broccoli needs air to remain fresh.
Therefore, it should be kept in the fridge. This method should keep it fresh for at least three days.
Read: Can You Freeze Shredded Parmesan?
3. Use a Plastic Bag
It’s straightforward to keep your broccoli fresh even if you don’t have the patience to follow the abovementioned steps.
To keep the broccoli fresh, put it inside the bag and close it. To ensure that the air can circulate in the bag, carefully poke holes in it near the head.
The bag should be kept in the fridge for at least three days.
4. Consider Freezing Them
One of the best ways to keep your broccoli fresh is by freezing it. It will keep it for a long time and will allow you to incorporate it into your dishes.
However, before you start freezing broccoli, it’s essential that you first boil it through a process known as blanching.
This step involves preparing a large pot of boiling water and a bowl or pot of ice water.
While waiting for the water to boil, cut the broccoli into small pieces. You can also use kitchen shears or a knife to do this.
The headpieces should not be more than an inch across. In addition, the stems should not be more than an inch long.
If you’re not cutting the broccoli into small pieces, then the boiling water might unevenly affect the outer edges of the broccoli.
Doing so will prevent the water from blanching the inner portion of the broccoli.
When all of your broccoli pieces have been separated, dump them into the boiling water and let them boil for around three minutes.
Continue to stir the broccoli pieces to ensure that they’re evenly cooked.
After three minutes, drain the broccoli pieces using a strainer or a colander. Dump them into the cold water when the water has come out of the pot.
After three minutes, the broccoli pieces should be submerged in cold water. Continue to stir the pieces to ensure they’re immersed in the cold water.
The goal of the ice water is to prevent the broccoli from continuing to cook. Doing so will keep it from turning into an unappetizing vegetable.
Placing hot broccoli pieces in the freezer will not cool them down as quickly as putting them in the ice water. This method is better for our purposes.
After three minutes, the broccoli pieces should have absorbed enough ice water to feel as cold as the water coming out of the pot. After a while, drain the broccoli using a colander or a strainer.
As the broccoli rests, toss it occasionally to allow the excess moisture to drain. After a couple of minutes, use a paper towel or a clean rag to remove any excess water.
To keep the broccoli pieces fresh, label them in a plastic bag with the date. After squeezing the excess air out of the bag, toss them in the freezer.
This method of storage can preserve your broccoli for up to a year.
Read: Can You Freeze Shredded Lettuce?
As promised, the article answers pertinent questions such as, can you broccoli? How do you preserve broccoli? We hope you find it helpful.