How to Freeze Broccoli and Cauliflower


George N. sent an email asking me about freezing broccoli and cauliflower.

Can I put them in the freezer after blanching?

The Answer:

Yes!  I use freezer bags with all the air pushed out.
When it's time to use the frozen veggies, I've learned the best and fastest way to reheat is by dipping them in a simmering pan of hot water for 30- to 60-seconds.  I do this right before adding them to a stir fry or in pasta dishes.

They will heat through rather quickly.  Don't leave them in the hot water or they will cook and become softer.

If you're blanching the veggies just so you can freeze them, then only blanch to 2 minutes.  Knowing you'll dip them in hot water when you want to eat them.  That should work to keep them crisp or have a bite to them in the final dish.

Have fun cooking!

Your friend,



I want to add a little more on the subject.

You might think to yourself, "Why go through all these steps when you could just blanch fresh broccoli or cauliflower at the time of the meal?"  Good question.

Consider that your favorite grocer put these veggies on sale and you bought in bulk to save money.  Blanching vegetables then storing them in the freezer is a great way to stretch the savings.

Why Blanch Vegetables? Enzymes.
Most vegetables do need to be blanched to stop enzyme reactions. Enzymes are chemicals that continue the ripening process in food. If they are not destroyed, enzymes reaction will go on even during frozen storage--the longer the time in storage and the higher the freezer temperature, the more noticeable will be the results of this enzyme activity. Enzyme activity does not produce harmful food poisoning type spoilage, but rather a deterioration of quality. Blanching improves the quality, preserves vitamins, and retains color, texture and flavor.

And DO NOT toss away the freezer bags that stored the blanched veggies, they are good to go for at least 5 more trips to the freezer.  Don't put the bags in the microwave or boiling water, that distorts the plastic and messes up the seal.  After each use, wash with hot soapy water, rinse, and hang up side down to air dry.  Try to set it so the bag is opened out to allow maximum air flow.  When completely dry, they can be stored away until you need them again.