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How to Store Broccoli

Before you steam it, drench it in a cheese sauce, or eat it naturally--whatever your choice method of eating broccoli--you must know how to store it. Keep it for a little while or store it for the months ahead. Just pick a good bunch and follow some simple steps to pack it away.

How to Store Broccoli

Be selective when picking the perfect bunch of broccoli. Choose broccoli that is dark green or green with hues of purple. The florets should be tightly closed. Look for broccoli stalks that are slender and firm. Never buy broccoli with yellow florets, a sign that the plant is too mature.

Follow this cleaning method for broccoli that has been harvested from a garden: Prepare a mixture of warm water and 2 teaspoons of white vinegar. Soak the broccoli for about 15 minutes to remove any insects that may be hiding between the spaces of the broccoli heads. Do not use hot water as it will kill the vegetable’s nutrients, and do not use cold water as it will not thoroughly clean the broccoli. Fresh, store-bought broccoli should not be washed prior to storing in the refrigerator as too much moisture may promote mold growth.

Refrigerate fresh broccoli for short-term storage. Free it for long-term storage. Refrigerate store-bought broccoli by placing it in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and poke holes in it to allow air to circulate. This should be done within 30 minutes of purchase. Broccoli will store fresh in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Freeze harvested or store-bought broccoli by first cutting the heads into bite-size pieces. Immerse the pieces into boiling water for 3 minutes. Stop the cooling process by immediately placing the broccoli into icy water for 3 minutes. Drain the broccoli and then place it in a sealed bag. Broccoli will stay fresh in the freezer for 6 months.

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