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