Broccoli and cauliflower are two delicious veggies that are a staple of healthy kitchens everywhere. But if you can’t use them right away, what’s the best way to keep your broccoli and cauliflower fresh in the days or even weeks to come? Here’s how.
Though it may seem convenient to chop up your broccoli and cauliflower for easier storage, resist the urge! Keep your vegetables as whole as possible to prevent premature browning and wilting. In addition, if you have multiple heads of broccoli and cauliflower, place each in its own separate container. The reason for this is that both broccoli and cauliflower release ethylene when stored, which causes vegetables around them to decay more quickly. Storing each vegetable separately will prevent them from spoiling one another through close contact.
Once each vegetable is separated into its own container, place each in a refrigerator kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Each should keep for between one and two weeks, depending on how fresh they were when purchased.
But what if one or two weeks isn’t enough? What if you have so much broccoli or cauliflower that you need your supply to keep for months? Well, you may want to consider freezing your veggies.
To start, you’ll want to clean both your broccoli and cauliflower by soaking them in water for a few minutes. Then, cut both into small chunks. Though a knife or kitchen shears may be needed to cut the broccoli, you should be able to pull the cauliflower apart with your hands once you’ve removed the green base.
Next, prepare a pot of boiling water and a bowl of ice water. Boil the broccoli and cauliflower separately, each for 3-5 minutes, before chilling them in the ice water. Let them both chill for three minutes. This process, known as blanching, kills bacteria and slows enzymes, slowing the decay of the veggies.
Afterwards, place the broccoli and cauliflower in a colander or strainer and allow them to dry. Once the excess water has been drained, put them in freezer bags, squeeze out any excess air, seal, and place those bags in your freezer. With this method, both the broccoli and cauliflower should keep for up to a year!
Broccoli and cauliflower are a great addition to any healthy meal or snack. We hope this guide will help you keep your own veggies tasty and fresh for a long time to come!
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