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Freezing Brussels Sprouts – Step-by-Step Instructions

Freezing is a great way to preserve Brussels sprouts from your garden or a local farm when these little baby cabbages are in season. By freezing them, you'll be able to enjoy the wonderful health benefits of Brussels sprouts later in the year, and you'll know exactly where your frozen Brussels sprouts come from, which is rarely the case with the Brussels sprouts that come from the frozen section of your local supermarket.

So, ready to learn how to get your Brussels sprouts from the garden to the freezer? Here goes:

How to Blanch Brussels Sprouts Before Freezing

Freezing Brussels Sprouts

If you plan to store Brussels sprouts in the freezer for several months, blanching them before freezing is definitely something you'll want to do. Blanching, or scalding fresh vegetables and fruits in boiling water or steam for a brief period of time, helps stop the action of enzymes and micro-organisms that cause off-flavors, discoloring and loss of nutrients. After blanching, the vegetables are shocked with very cold water so that they don't overcook and get mushy. Here's a detailed step-by-step on how to properly blanch Brussels sprouts before freezing:

  1. Bring a kettle of water to a rolling boil, and cook the Brussels sprouts in the boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on size. If you want to blanch them in a steamer instead, multiply the boil-blanching times by 1.5.
  2. As soon as the blanching time is up, transfer the Brussels sprouts to a large bowl filled with water and ice, and let chill for the same amount of time they were blanched.
  3. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the ice water bath and drain thoroughly.
  4. Spread the drained Brussels sprouts out on a cutting board covered with a clean dish towel, and pat dry.

Note: When preparing Brussels sprouts for the freezer, you should use plenty of water relative to the amount of Brussels sprouts when you blanch and cool the vegetables, and if necessary, to work in batches. Using a lot of water means that the water will quickly return a rolling boil after you add the sprouts into the boiling water and that the ice water bath will not get too warm when you throw in the blanched sprouts.

How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts

After your blanched Brussels sprouts are cool and dry, it's time to freeze them. Here's how to freeze Brussels sprouts:

  1. Pack the Brussels sprouts into heavy duty freezer bags or freezer-safe containers (freezer-safe glass containers are great if you don't like plastic).
  2. Label and date the bags or containers, and make sure they are properly sealed.
  3. Pop the bags or containers in the freezer. Properly prepared and frozen Brussels sprouts fresh from your garden should have a freezer life of at least 6 months.

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