Saturday, August 29, 2009

Freezing Broccoli and Cauliflower

Today was the day to harvest the rest of the broccoli and cauliflower. We have had several meals already but I noticed the broccoli was trying to flower. Just so you know you can eat broccoli when it has flowered and remember the stalks can be cut thinly and used steamed or cooked in stir fry.

We went out to the garden in a soft rain and cut the broccoli and cauliflower from the heavy stalks. After washing well in the sink, the bounty was trimmed and inspected for bugs. The cauliflower did not grow into large heads this year but that is fine. It has a nice purple blush. The broccoli grew very well this year.

Most vegetables need to be heated by a process called blanching before they can be packaged for freezing. Blanching involves scalding the vegetables in boiling water for a few minutes to slow down the enzyme action and retard the spoiling process. This preserves the vegetable’s color, flavor texture and nutritive value. Always look up blanching times a cookbook or check

The stainless steel stockpot with colander was put on the stove to boil water. We processed the cauliflower first. It was blanched for three minutes in a rolling boil then put carefully into cold water to stop the cooking. Next it sat in the colander for a few minutes to drain excess water. Last it was put in two serving sizes into Foodsaver bags and sealed. The broccoli was blanched for four minutes.

The USDA sites states, “Freezing to 0 °F inactivates any microbes -- bacteria, yeasts and molds - - present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food.” So when cooking frozen food remember to cook it thoroughly.

All in all we have four double servings of cauliflower and eight double servings of broccoli for the winter from six plants of each vegetable. I also froze a few bags of blanched broccoli stems.

I am sure next year when I add to the garden I will plant even more and plan on leaving one plant to go to seed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Howdy! This post couldn't be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

my web-site diets that work For women
My site: diets that work fast for women