My family loves broccoli. We eat it in stir fries, beef and broccoli, broccoli soup, in hot and cold pasta, and roasted. My best deal is 50 cents a pound, but I just caved and bought a box at 62 cents a pound. Considering it’s often $1.99 a pound at the store, it’s still a great deal.
I also tried dehydrating broccoli from fresh, which is good in broccoli soup, but the stems just come out too tough. But for some reason, frozen broccoli from the grocery store dehydrates and rehydrates like a dream. When my freeze dryer comes in, it will be interesting to see the quality. Back to freezing broccoli . . .
First you much blanch broccoli. Conventional advice is to boil the broccoli for 3 to 4 minutes, but don’t do it! One minute is almost too long. You want your broccoli to be able to cook in other dishes without becoming soggy. Here’s how I do it.
Wash the broccoli, and cut florets. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add prepared broccoli to water, and boil for 45 seconds to a minute.
Plunge broccoli into ice water, or just very cold water. Broccoli cools off quickly. Pat dry. I prefer to vacuum seal, but you can also flash freeze and store in gallon bags.
Flash freezing just means you put the broccoli in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and stick in the freezer until completely frozen. This way, the broccoli doesn’t freeze in one big lump. I vacuum seal mine in different portion sizes. I freeze the broccoli once they are in bags, so the vacuum sealer doesn’t suck up the water.
Don’t be bummed if you can’t get the prices I do on broccoli. I happen to live near an awesome state farmers market where I can buy bulk items. Just figure out the rock-bottom price for a produce item, stock up and preserve. And you don’t have to go crazy like me and buy so much. Do what works for your schedule, and according to your family’s needs.
I have to spend quite a bit of time processing the produce, so it doesn’t spoil. It will take me a couple of hours to process a 26 pound box of broccoli. But on the other hand, it saves time in the long run. I have vacuum sealed vegetables stocked in my freezer, all cut, par-cooked and ready. It’s DIY frozen food, but no preservatives, and I pay rock-bottom prices.
I freeze an assortment of my frozen vegetables such as butternut squash (24 cents a pound), kale (58 cents a bunch), broccoli (50-62 cents a pound), carrots (25 cents a pound) red bell peppers (24 cents each), corn (8 cents an ear) and green beans (50 cents a pound). I also freeze a variety of fruits. As fun it is to get these prices, I’m excited to have a garden next year so I can process my homegrown produce. Buying in bulk and preserving is the best way to economically feed your family healthy food. If you have any questions, please ask!