What’s green, has a unique look and texture, is great for health, and tasty whether steamed or sautéed? If you know your veggies well enough, you’d know we’re talking about broccoli. This wonder veggie has many life changing benefits. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, a powerful antioxidant, a detoxifier, and a highly effective solution for reducing inflammation. It’s also a great choice for your bone health, and due to the high fibre content, it works magically as a diet aid. However, to get all these benefits out of broccoli, it should be consumed fresh.
Knowing how to store broccoli properly is crucial in ensuring it remains fresh for a maximum amount of days. In this article, you will learn how refrigeration is the best option to store broccoli. Yet, for storage success, the correct techniques of storing broccoli in the fridge must be followed.
If you want to witness the broccoli staying fresh for as long as possible, we strongly recommend it shouldn’t be left out of the fridge at room temperature. Instead, it should be kept chilled in the fridge. You should remember to store it in the fridge immediately after purchasing it from the grocery store.
Read on, to learn the answer to the important question “how long does broccoli last in the fridge” and more.
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So, How Long Does Broccoli Last In The Fridge?
When properly stored in the fridge, raw broccoli can stay fresh for about 4 to 5 days. The foremost tip for proper storage is — do not wash the broccoli prior to storage. Washing it adds moisture to it, which will lead to growth of mold and speed up the rotting process. Broccoli should only be washed when it’s time to use it for consumption.
Preparing Broccoli For Storage in a Fridge
Store it in a damp paper towel
Fresh broccoli requires adequate air circulation for it to remain fresh. By loosely wrapping fresh broccoli in a damp paper towel, it receives proper air circulation and stays fresh in the fridge. For this reason, you need to avoid packing it in sealed containers or airtight plastic bags prior to placing it in the refrigerator. The damp paper towel method is the most recommended method.
Store it in a loose perforated plastic bag
Alternatively, if you do decide to store raw broccoli in the fridge in a plastic bag, the only way that’ll work is if the bag is quite loose and perforated for proper air circulation.
Store it as a bouquet
Another great way of storing broccoli in the fridge is by arranging it as a bouquet. Simply, put the broccoli (stem submerged into the water) in a semi water filled vase with the bushy head peeking up. The vase should be filled with only a few inches of water, and this water should be replaced everyday.
What about cooked broccoli?
To properly store cooked broccoli in the fridge, you should completely wrap the food in either aluminum foil or a plastic wrap. In this scenario, your focus should be to wrap it airtight rather than loosely with air circulation. Cooked broccoli properly wrapped and refrigerated also stays fresh in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Can Broccoli Be Stored In The Freezer?
Yes, it can. In fact, if broccoli is stored properly in the freezer it can stay edible for up to 1 year.
Steps to store broccoli in the freezer:
Step 1: Wash the broccoli.
Step 2: Cut it into florets by chopping off the stalks.
Step 3: Steam the edible broccoli florets for 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 4: Chill the steamed broccoli florets in ice water.
Step 5: Pat dry the broccoli florets.
Step 6: Place them in a sealed bag.
Step 7: Store in the freezer.
When you’re ready to use the frozen broccoli, simply toss the contents out of the sealed bag directly onto the cooking dish. There’s no point thawing it first, because frozen broccoli cannot be consumed raw anyway. Broccoli that’s been frozen becomes mushy if thawed.
What about cooked broccoli?
You may store cooked broccoli in the freezer as well. Cooked broccoli that is stored adequately in the freezer can remain edible for up to 1 year. To properly store it in the freezer, you will have to place the contents in an airtight container or a freezer bag. Make sure you don’t store it while it’s warm or hot. Wait for the cooked broccoli to cool down for a few minutes first.
The Signs The Broccoli Has Gone Bad
To determine if the broccoli has gone bad, the easiest method involves using your senses. Looking at your broccoli, if you notice the dark green color of the florets is now light green or turning yellowish, it’s a sign it’s well on its way of becoming rotten. The florets are the most perishable part of the broccoli. The changing color of the florets is a sign the vegetable is fast losing its crispness and nutritional value. The best way to avoid this is to store your broccoli chilled in the fridge or freezer using the adequate storage methods we described.
Touching the broccoli to notice if the rich rough texture of the florets has become softer and slimy is another way of confirming its becoming non-edible. At this juncture, you might also notice mold spots — brown in color — on the head of the broccoli, which is a sure sign it’s rotten.
You can also do a smell test to know if your broccoli is now ready to be thrown in the waste. A bitter odor is a clear sign it has gone bad. Remember, fresh broccoli smells fresh as a vegetable should, and not bitter.
When we buy broccoli at the grocery store, it’s not uncommon to find it displayed in the non-refrigerated produce section. That’s because, at that point of time, broccoli is fresh out of the farm and the grocers know it will be wiped out of their shelves within hours. The mistake to avoid when you bring this broccoli home, is to not leave it on the countertop (at room temperature) for over 1 or in some cases 2 days.
Storing it at room temperature allows the broccoli to go bad, and you’ll notice the signs as it starts turning from green to yellow. In this article, we outlined the proper methods of fridge and freezer storage, for both raw and cooked broccoli, so that you don’t end up consuming this rich veggie in a stale, rotten form.