Like I said before, Brussel sprouts are very healthy. And if you are someone who prefers health and nutrients over flavor, you would love this vegetable. However, I believe its flavor is not that bad at all. If you cook it properly, Brussel sprouts are a nutty, slightly sweet, and smoky flavor. Furthermore, it is crunchy, which is a plus point. Check out Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Sweet Potatoes, Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
You might know Brussel sprouts from Christmas dinners only, but there is a lot more to this vegetable than that. This vegetable is a mini version of cabbage. Not in taste, of course, but In appearance. It looks precisely like cabbage, but the only difference is that it is super tiny. On average, a Brussel sprout is about 1 ½ to 4 inches in diameter.
Did you know that it is among the oldest vegetables that were ever cultivated? Brussel sprouts are said to have been cultivated in the 5th century. However, it wasn’t until the 13th century that its cultivation and consumption were known in Brussel, Belgium. That’s how it got its name.
Can You Freeze Brussel Sprouts?
The answer is yes! You can definitely freeze Brussel sprouts. Now If you are thinking, why would you want to do that, it’s because this vegetable lasts for a few months only. If you freeze them, you can use them whenever you want. Isn’t that amazing?
There are so many ways you can cook Brussel sprouts. And when you have them frozen in your kitchen, you can use them whenever you want. Brussel sprouts last for five days in a refrigerator. After that, their flavor starts to change. So, the most convenient way to preserve their authentic flavor is by freezing them.
However, you should keep in mind that the right way of freezing any vegetable is not buying it fresh from the grocery store and placing it in the freezer. In fact, it will ruin the produce. The right way to preserve a vegetable requires time, effort, and skill. If you are not sure about the third point, don’t worry; we will tell you all about freezing this great vegetable in the proper manner.
Why Should You Freeze Brussel Sprouts?
Well, thanks to modern technologies, you can find almost every vegetable at the grocery store in its frozen form. So, why go through the labor of freezing it? You have a point here, but there are many reasons why you should freeze your vegetable.
Firstly, it is the quality. Although the companies that offer frozen vegetables also claim these are of high quality, there is still a shred of doubt. So, it’s better to freeze vegetables on your own than to have doubt.
Secondly, it costs less. When you buy fresh produce and freeze it, you are saving money that you would have invested in buying frozen vegetables from the market.
And lastly, if you love cooking, the whole process of freezing the vegetable is very satisfactory and gives you pleasure. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment and happiness. You can’t beat that, can you?
What To Look For When Buying Brussel Sprouts?
When looking for Brussel sprouts from a freezing point of view, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
- The first thing you should notice is the color; the Brussel sprouts you choose should have a bright green color. Leave the ones that have yellow color; it is a sign that the vegetable is old. So, the flavor won’t be as you expect. Furthermore, black spots indicate fungus. So, avoid them too.
- Next, have a look at the size. Choose smaller ones that are a bit heavy as well. Don’t go for larger ones. That’s because smaller ones are more tender and sweeter than the larger ones.
- Lastly, press then using your thumb lightly. If they are firm, they are fresh. If they are mushy or soft, it means they are bad.
How to freeze Brussels Sprouts?
Here are a few simple steps that you should follow to freeze Brussel sprouts to perfection:
1. Separating from the stalk
The first step for freezing Brussel sprouts is to separate them from the stalks. It is a fairly straightforward process. All you have to do is cut the stalks from the part that connects with the head. Cut by using a sharp knife. It is a bit time taking as you have to separate the stalk from every Brussel sprouts individually. So, patience is the key here. Moreover, you don’t need to cut it in half. Cutting the stalk is enough.
2. Washing and draining
Once you have separated the stalks, the next step is soaking them in cold water for about 30 to 40 minutes. This step is crucial if you suspect insects. Add salt to the water and let the Brussel sprouts sit for some time. Salt will help you get rid of worms and insects hiding in the leaves. Drain the Brussel sprouts and rinse to get rid of salty water.
Next, you have to prepare for blanching Brussel sprouts. It is a simple process. All you have to do is heat water in a large stockpot. Once it starts to boil, add rinsed Brussel sprouts and let them boil for some time. The boiling time depends upon the size of the Brussel sprouts. You can blanch the larger Brussel sprouts for 5 minutes, the medium ones for 4 minutes, and the smaller ones for 3 minutes.
4. Ice bath
Once the timer is up, remove the Brussel sprouts from the pot and immediately add them into the ice bath. This will stop the cooking process and will also help the vegetable to firm up. Let them sit in the ice bath until they are cool.
Next, drain the Brussel sprouts and place them on a clean kitchen towel to get rid of excess water. This process is crucial. The Brussel sprouts should be dry before moving to the next step.
6. Flash freeze
Next, line the tray with parchment paper and place dried Brussel sprouts on it. Make sure there is some gap between vegetables. Place the tray in the freezer for about an hour. This process is called flash freezing and is crucial. See How To Freeze Cauliflower? and How To Freeze Broccoli?
Lastly, take the tray out of the freezer. Place the frozen Brussel sprouts in a plastic zip-lock bag or container, seal it tightly and store it in the freezer. The Brussel sprouts are good to go for about 12 months.
Can You Freeze Brussel Sprouts Without Blanching?
If you are planning to skip the whole process of blanching, I would ask you to reconsider. That’s because some additional time and effort are definitely worth it.
If you don’t blanch the Brussel sprouts, they won’t retain their health benefits and nutrients. Furthermore, they won’t stay firm and fresh. Instead, they will get mushy upon defrosting. Also, if you freeze Brussel sprouts without blanching, their shelf-life will decrease, and they will develop a foul odor.
Benefits Of Blanching Brussel Sprouts
Here are a few reasons why you should make some extra effort and blanch Brussel sprouts:
- Blanching helps you preserve the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals of the vegetable.
- It helps in keeping the Brussel sprouts firm and fresh.
- It prevents the loss of color, flavor, and texture and allows the Brussel sprouts to remain crunchy.
- It also preserves vitamins and minerals in the vegetable and retains them.
How To Thaw Frozen Brussel Sprouts?
- Because of their small size, Brussel sprouts are very easy to thaw. You don’t have to wait for a whole day, nor you have to microwave them. Simply place them at room temperature and wait for 5 to 10 minutes. That’s enough for them to thaw. Furthermore, you can add them to the cooking pot directly. As they get the heat, they will automatically thaw and cook. No problem at all!
The process of freezing Brussel sprouts may seem tedious, but it is not. That’s because the vegetable is small. So, you can freeze a large number of this vegetable in less time. Furthermore, the Brussel spouts frozen in this manner stay fresh for a whole year. They don’t lose their unique flavor, not the crunch. You can cook them, use them in a salad or whatever, and come out as if they are just harvested. And you can present them to your loved ones proudly!
Other Brussel Sprouts Recipes
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- Energy: 97.5 kcal / 408 kJ
- Fat: .68 g
- Protein: 7.66 g
- Carbs: 20.3 g
- Preparation: 20 min
- Cooking: 5 min
- Ready in: 25 min
- For: 4 Servings
- Blanch Brussel sprouts, heat water in a large stockpot. Once it starts to boil, add rinsed Brussel sprouts and let them boil for some time. The boiling time depends upon the size of the Brussel sprouts. You can blanch the larger Brussel sprouts for 5 minutes,
- Remove Brussels sprouts immediately using a large slotted spoon. Drain and submerge into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- Drain the Brussel sprouts and place them on a clean kitchen towel to get rid of excess water.
- line the tray with parchment paper and place dried Brussel sprouts on it. Make sure there is some gap between vegetables. Place the tray in the freezer for about an hour. This process is called flash freezing and is crucial.
- Lastly, take the tray out of the freezer. Place the frozen Brussel sprouts in a plastic zip-lock bag or container, seal it tightly and store it in the freezer. The Brussel sprouts are good to go for about 12 months.