Broccoli fresh from the family backyard garden!
There was something that caught in my chest as I froze this broccoli today. Back in March when I planted my broccoli seeds I had a really hard time imagining that I would get anything out of it other than leaves and the trouble of watering it daily. I had the same feeling in June too! It took nearly 2 months out in the garden before these stinkers even gave me a dime sized head of a broccoli.
Now, fast forward 7 weeks later! The broccoli was staring me in the face as I went out to pick some tomatoes and estimate the amount of green beans there are to can (that post looks like it will be coming early next week!) I came inside and armed myself with the best knowledge available of how to make sure that my persistence of keeping these plants alive was rewarded with a worthwhile result in October as I make my first batch of broccoli, potato, cheese soup (that recipe will come in October!)
So, here is the result of 5 months of work (minus 2 heads that I used last week for broccoli beef)!
Before we officially start here is a list of needed items!
Broccoli (as fresh as possible!)
2 LARGE bowls
1 small strainer
1 large strainer
1 large pot of water 2/3 full of water
Zipper Freezer bags
The first step after bringing in your broccoli should be a no brainer!
Wash it! Wash it in cool water (don’t start the cooking process yet!)
Break the heads up into usable sizes (not to big) and remove leaves.
Toss the pieces into a brining solution (1 gallon water to 4 tsp. salt) to remove any pest still lurkin’. Keep them in the brine for half an hour.
Give that broccoli a good rinse!
Now pretend you see a picture of these florets in a big pot of boiling water!
Isn’t that an incredible sight! Wow!
Set the timer for 3 minutes. Cover with the lid! While the florets blanch, fill a large bowl with ice water (extra ice)Use a small strainer to transfer all the broccoli from the boiling water into your LARGE bowl of ice water. Let it chill for the same amount of time it was boiling. 3 minutes.
Drain that broccoli again! No rinsing! Let it drip dry for a bit (1-2 minutes).
While you are waiting, pre-label your zipper freezer bags with what is in it and a date! (Almost all green things in the freezer look the same, have you noticed or is it just me?)
Divide up the treasure into your baggies (in portions you are likely to use all at the same time, I used quart sized)
See that straw? That comes next!
Before you close your bags all the way, slip the straw into the corner and suck out the excess air! This will keep your hard work in tastier condition longer!
Here is the awesome result! Toss it in your freezer on the quick freeze setting if you have it.
With the 7 “normal” sized heads I started out with, I ended up with 6 quart sized bags most of the way full. In my deep freeze it will keep fresh tasting for at least a year (if it would last that long).
You know that thing (ya know, the thing that caught in my chest)? I think it was joy from knowing that the hard work had paid off. That my family will be blessed with healthy meals during the winter with broccoli that came from a $1 package of seed and persistence! You can do it too! I promise!
Thank you pickyourown.org for the great wealth of knowledge!