Broccoli is a wonderful vegetable – packed with nutrients, incredibly healthy for the body, and super delicious too. But, can you vacuum seal broccoli? And how long will it last? Let’s answer this question, and more, in detail!
How Do You Vacuum Seal Fresh Broccoli?
Vacuum sealing broccoli not only makes it keep for a long time, but it also preserves a great deal of the nutrients contained in the vegetable.
Cooking for a long time destroys nutrients, but a quick steam or blanch doesn’t touch them at all.
Because broccoli is only blanched before it is vacuum sealed, you will be maintaining the vast majority of this nutrient dense powerhouse for the next time you use it.
How do you vacuum seal fresh broccoli? Let’s find out!
- You will need to gather together all your broccoli, and cut it into whatever shape and size that you want.
- Prepare a large pot, filled with water. Place it on the hob and bring it to the boil.
- Add the broccoli to the water, and allow to cook for about 2 minutes.
- Remove the broccoli from the water, and instantly place it into a separate bowl filled with ice cold water.
- Drain the broccoli really well, and allow it to sit so that most of the water comes off it.
- You can choose to pat your veg dry, because water on them will affect the freezing process – or you can let them air dry until there is no visible moisture.
- Place the broccoli into individual freezer bags – try not to overfill them!
- Remove all the air using a vacuum sealing machine.
- If you do not have a machine then you can squeeze out all the air you can before sealing the bags – but this will not work as well as a vacuum sealer which will suck out all the air.
- Write the name of the vegetable, and the date of sealing, then place the bags into the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use them.
- Vacuum sealed broccoli will keep longer than fresh broccoli in the fridge, but the freezer is the best place for it.
Here is a good video that shows you how to prepare your broccoli for vacuum sealing – you don’t have to have the product that is featured; the method is the same with all types of sealer:
Can I Vacuum Seal Broccoli Without Blanching?
Many vegetables can be easily vacuum sealed without having to be blanched – however, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are not part of this gang.
Cruciferous vegetables – including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage – emit gases when they are stored, which makes the bags they are sealed in expand.
When the bag expands, air can get in and cause damage to the sealed vegetables, meaning that you could open the bag to find a putrid mess!
If you want to vacuum seal your broccoli long enough that you can use it in other dishes, you will need to blanch it first.
Don’t believe us? Try vacuum sealing broccoli without blanching it, and you will soon see why we advise blanching it first!
Although the blanching process may seem like a bit of a faff, it really will help your vacuum sealed broccoli be the best that it can be.
Another advantage is that the blanching leaves the majority of the nutrients in the broccoli completely intact, meaning that it will be amazingly good for you.
How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Broccoli Last?
Vacuum sealed broccoli, because it is blanched and has all the air removed before being frozen, should last for a good long time in the freezer.
You can also keep your vacuum sealed broccoli in the refrigerator, and it will last a lot longer than standard fresh broccoli!
In the fridge, vacuum sealed broccoli can last for up to two weeks – much longer than the standard 1-3 days that vegetables typically last in the fridge.
Keeping your vacuum sealed broccoli in the freezer will keep them for even longer – you can store this vegetable in your freezer drawer for up to 6 months.
This is just a guideline, however – you can actually keep your broccoli in the freezer for far longer than this!
You should try to use it within a year, however, to prevent any issues like freezer burn or an unusual taste.
Another advantage to vacuum sealing is that when you come to use your broccoli, it will be crisp and tasty and you will not believe it was not cooked fresh that day!
What Can You Do With Vacuum Sealed Broccoli?
Because the broccoli is cooked so minutely, you can pretty much use vacuum sealed broccoli as you would the fresh vegetable.
- Lightly steam it and serve it as a side dish with Sunday roasts.
- Add it to stir fries for an added crunch and boost of vegetable goodness.
- Cook it up and make it into soup with added Stilton.
- Serve it with humous and a selection of other vegetable sticks for dipping.
- Make a delicious, Asian inspired salad.
- Jazz up cauliflower cheese by adding some of your vacuum sealed broccoli.
- Roast it with a splash of sesame oil.
Broccoli is a truly wonderful vegetable, and one that you can enjoy in a huge variety of different ways.
Having a good freezer stash of vacuum sealed broccoli means that it will always be within reach when you need it!
Broccoli is a fantastic vegetable, and a go to for those wishing for a tasty, healthy vegetable side dish, or something to feature in a nutritious dish.
Hopefully, now you know how to vacuum seal broccoli, you can have it to hand whenever you want to indulge your taste buds.