Can You Freeze Brussels sprouts?

Q. I receive a weekly fruit and vegetable delivery from a local organic farm. Each week, I get a big batch of whichever fruits and vegetables are in season in my area. This week I received some Brussels sprouts in my delivery box. While I like Brussels sprouts, I’m not planning on cooking them this week and I want to save them for later. I’m not sure how long they will last in the fridge, and I don’t want them to rot before I’m ready to use them. Can you freeze Brussels sprouts?brussel_sprouts

A. Yes, you can certainly freeze Brussels sprouts. In fact, freezing is a great way to preserve the nutritional value of Brussels sprouts until you’re ready to cook and eat them. The only time it’s not recommended to freeze Brussels sprouts is if you are planning to eat them raw. Brussels sprouts are great grated or chopped into salads, but they will not have the same crispness after being frozen. It’s best to use previously frozen Brussels sprouts in cooked recipes.

How to freeze Brussels Sprouts?

To freeze Brussels sprouts, first soak them for a few minutes in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. This helps not only clean the Brussels sprouts, but it also drives out any bugs. Drain the sprouts and dry them. Trim the Brussels sprouts by trimming off any hard woody ends and by picking off any dry or brown outer leaves. Brussels sprouts should be blanched before freezing.

Place a pot of water to boil on the stove, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Have more water on hand to replenish the water as it heats up. In batches, place the Brussels sprouts in the boiling water and leave for about 3 minutes. Remove the sprouts with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water. This stops the cooking process. When cool, remove the Brussels sprouts from the ice water and lay on a clean dish towel or on paper towels to dry. Repeat the process until all of the Brussels sprouts are done.

How to defrost Brussels Sprouts?

Place the blanched and dried Brussels sprouts in freezer bags, smoothing the bags so that they can be stored stacked in the freezer. Remove the excess air, then seal and label the bags. Brussels sprouts can be frozen for about six months before they start to lose texture or flavour, although some people freeze them for much longer. When ready to use, Brussels sprouts can be added to recipes directly from the freezer, or they can be thawed in the fridge first.

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