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Oct 24, 2008 05:10 PM

How to freeze brussels sprouts

I have a large bag of brussels sprouts that I want to freeze. Should I blanch them first? And how will they be quality-wise when it comes time to cook and serve?

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  1. I've never tried freezing Brussels sprouts, but you must blanch all veggies before freezing to kill bacteria that will destroy food quality.

    1. Don't freeze them. Frozen Brussels Sprouts are one of the nastiest foods that I have ever encountered. I bought a pkg. by accident a few years ago. After careful prep they went into the garbage.

      Blanching is to stop the maturation process in vegetables. I'd rather eat a rather older Brussels Sprout than a frozen and cooked one any day. Start looking for some creative ways to use them up.

      1. I've stored my fresh-from-the-garden brussels for a few years now, and have always had good results. Sometimes it's been a 3 or more days after harvest, but they've always been stored on the cold porch during that time.

        They do need to be blanched first. I have seen a couple of websites that claim you can just pop them in the freezer, and maybe that is so if you plan on using them within a couple of months, but for long time freezing, you do need to blanch them.

        Prepare them first of course, by washing off all the dirt or any pesticide you or the grower may have used. Trim the woody bottom and peel off any worn looking outer leaves.

        I blanch them by putting them in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on their size. Then I immediately place them in ice water for the same amount of time. After letting them drain for a minute or two, I put them in freezer bags marked with the date, suck all the air out, and voila.

        I use a steamer basket to aid in the process. It makes it easy to just place all the brussels in the basket and use it to transfer them in and out of the boiling and then iced waters, and then the final draining.

        Of course after they have been frozen they are not as good as fresh, they may be soft, but I have never found them to be "mushy". The key is not to blanch them too long.

        We pop them in with crockpot dinners or saute them directly from the freezer bag with some butter and salt and pepper.

        I hope this helps.

        3 Replies
        1. re: barefootgardener

          ~sigh~ I'm always sad when OPs never respond to helpful answers. Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to describe this process. It was exactly what I was googling for during this brussel-sprout peak season.

          1. re: barefootgardener

            Thank you so much for your time and all your information.
            Just what I needed.

            1. re: barefootgardener

              Thank you for this! I am finally putting up my sprouts today. AS well as 3 cabbage. I've had frozen brussels sprouts too, and never had that experience.

            2. Just adding to the mix that the other day at Trader Joe's I saw plastic bags of Brussels sprouts that had been coarsely chopped---had never seen this before and it looked like a whole other vegetable.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Querencia

                I've seen those too and they are great for making a Brussels sprout slaw. A dish made popular recently.

                Buying pre-shredded is a real knuckle saver!

                1. re: Querencia

                  TJ's has shredded bagged all the time, but for the fall, entire stalks of Brussels sprouts. Shave a fresh cut on the end of the stalk and place in a water-filled jar or vase. Keep on the counter, change the water daily, and the sprouts will be good for over a week.
                  When you've picked them all, hack the stalk into 2-3 logs and steam for 20 min. The "bark" will then be soft enough to allow you to split the log lengthwise and scoop out the delicious green "marrow", which tastes like steamed artichoke heart.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    wow, I did not know the stalk was tasty. Must try that.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Ditto, gotta try that. Just bought my 1st fresh stalk today, and excited about the newly-found possibilities (as well as nutritional value) of this beast. Picked it up at a local Russian market, just taking it out of the box and marking it $1 (!!!!). It's almost 22" will get WELL over 2 lbs of sprouts. IDK how the heck they do it, 4 lbs a stalk, shipped from CALI, really? Think the Ruskies made a boo-boo. lol

                  2. I have about a pound of blanched Brussels sprouts in my fridge. We did not end up needing them on Thanksgiving, but they still look good to me. What can I do with them? Freeze them? Add them to something that can be frozen like a soup or casserole? Eat them (not in the mood for any more B-sprouts just yet), or just chuck them and buy fewer next year?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Guardianofeatin

                      Using any soup recipe calling for cabbage, sub the sprouts. I make a
                      "stuffed cabbage" soup using all the components of sweet&sour SC but with Brussels sprouts, but don't use a recipe.

                      Include them in a stir-fry.

                        1. re: Guardianofeatin

                          I once saw it made on PBS Create's airing of an episode of New Jewish Cuisine. The host, Jeff Nathan, has written at least one cookbook so it is possible that a complete recipe exists somewhere. The soup did not contain actual cabbage rolls. It was a deconstructed version using the same ingredients.