Friday, June 25, 2010

Freezing broccoli

Yay for hot weather, and yay for enough ripe garden food to get my first batch in the freezer!

(Disclaimer: I have no place writing a how-to for freezing broccoli. I did so myself for the first time just this week, and while it went well, I haven't eaten any of the stuff I froze, so I can't vouch for how it turned out. Mostly these are notes to help me remember next summer what I did this year.)

1. Pick broccoli, peel off leaves. Cut into normal little pieces. I included as much good (not woody) stalk as possible, to increase the yield.

2. Boil water, dump in broccoli. Boil for 3 minutes, then drain and cool broccoli in ice water for 3 minutes. Drain again.

3. Spin in the salad spinner (AKA "best kitchen gadget ever") to get rid of the rest of the water.

4. Wrap broccoli in bread bag and squeeze the air out, then place in empty yogurt container. (I'd use any plastic bag, but I like bread bags because I know they're food-grade plastic, and they're thicker, which = less freezer burn.)

5. Label & freeze!

~ Broccoli goes garden to deep freeze in under an hour
~ Food miles = about 50 of my short-girl steps (hard to beat that!)
~ No wasted packaging
~ Whole process is quick & easy

~ The yield is pathetically small. Seven big broccoli plants gave me three yogurt containers worth of frozen produce. Lame. I know the plants will produce a bit more in the next couple of weeks. but I think this will be the huge bulk of the harvest.

I'm going to research more about how much of the stalk you can eat, and also see if you can use the leaves for anything - they're very pretty, and if they're edible, I've got some lettuce-wrap type ideas in mind.

Now that we've got home-grown, super-fresh broccoli in the freezer, I need to come up with a recipe to replace my standby dump-a-bag-of-it-into-a-pot-of-Annie's-mac-&-cheese.

Love, J

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