How to Harvest and Freeze Broccoli

How to Harvest and Freeze Broccoli

I love when I can start to harvest from my garden, and broccoli is usually one of the first things I can harvest! It’s always so satisfying to cook a meal with fresh produce you grew. I always like to plant more broccoli than I’ll use, that way I can store some to enjoy over the winter while we eat a little fresh and enjoy the things from the garden that don’t keep so well during the season, like lettuce. 

Broccoli usually will have one main harvest, and than you may get small little sprigs here and there on the plant after the main harvest is done. You’ll want to pick the main head of broccoli when the buds are still tight and haven’t started to bolt and flower. You can see this start to happen over a few days, so pick it right away if you notice signs. Cool season plants will always bolt very quickly when the weather turns really hot, so keep your eyes out. I took these photos the day I harvested, so they are good indication of what you should be watching for.

Broccoli harvest

If it does bolt on you, don’t worry, you can still eat it. Your plant will just be finished producing after the bolt. But, even if you harvest they really slow down when the heat hits and I don’t get much from them after the main harvest is over.

I hate to hear about anyone wasting garden produce because they aren’t sure how to keep it when the harvest happens all at once, or is larger than anticipated. There is always a way to store the food you grow, I promise! I keep things simple with broccoli {actually, I keep most things simple…} and I just freeze it. It’s so easy and it’s how I prefer to purchase it at the grocery store anyway so it’s a win-win.

Learn the easiest way to harvest broccoli and freeze broccoli. It's such an easy way to preserve what you grow and enjoy it all season long and into the winter!

The first step after harvest is to wash your broccoli. If you’d like to eat it fresh for a while, hold off on the washing and leave it in really large pieces. It will keep in your fridge longer this way. Once you’re ready to store it, get a pot of water boiling and briefly blanch the broccoli for just a few minutes until it’s bright green. Rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking and then let it air dry. I keep mine in large pieces for this step, it holds together better.

Broccoli post-blanch

Once the broccoli is dry, just cut it into whatever sized pieces you prefer and package it in freezer bags. I usually portion out enough for one meal. Label the bag and you’re good to go! Freezing broccoli couldn’t be easier.

Broccoli ready for the freezer

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