Until recently, broccoli was not as popular as, for example, cauliflower. Although this is her version. Cauliflower and broccoli are very similar. But cauliflower heads are white, and broccoli is green or purple.
Broccoli tastes like cauliflower, but its chemical composition is much richer. Broccoli heads contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C, PP, E. This cabbage is rich in salts of potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus.
Due to the large amount of protein and essential amino acids, broccoli is used in dietary and baby food.
Many housewives grow broccoli in their backyards. Especially since this cabbage grows well. She is responsive to irrigation, does not require shading heads, resistant to cold.
Its disadvantage is that overgrown broccoli becomes practically inedible. Therefore, you need time to start harvesting this cabbage. Timely harvested broccoli not only has excellent taste, but is also better stored.
When to Harvest Broccoli Crop Storage
In hot weather, broccoli quickly reaches physiological maturity. To start cleaning when the cabbage heads reach a diameter of 10-20 cm.
All buds of which the head consists should be completely closed.
The color of broccoli during this period is dark green. If broccoli began to turn yellow, it means that part of the buds has already been revealed. Of course, it can still be eaten, but you should not keep such broccoli. Broccoli heads cut off quickly in the sun, so it is better to harvest the crop early in the morning or in cool weather. It is not necessary to cut off the heads immediately after rain or watering, as they will quickly rot.
Broccoli heads grow on a long stem. The central head is cut off, leaving a petiole 10-15 cm long. After 15-20 days, new heads appear on the side stems, but of a smaller size, which can be eaten immediately or prepared in advance.
How to store fresh broccoli
Personally cut broccoli heads should be placed in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
If cabbage is bought on the market, then it should be green (less violet) in color. Heads should be tight, all buds - closed. On the heads should not be dark spots, mechanical damage. The cut of the stem should not be rotten.
Broccoli is not subject to long-term storage, such as white cabbage. Even in the refrigerator, it can be without loss of taste for more than 10 days. And only if all storage rules are followed.
- For storage, only select tight heads without signs of damage or dirt. Wash cabbage before laying in the fridge can not be!
- Cut the strongly protruding part of the stem.
- Take a plastic bag, make several small holes in it for free air circulation.
- In each bag, fold only one head.
- Without closing the bag, put it in the fridge in the vegetable compartment. Next to the cabbage should not be fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene, otherwise cabbage blossoms will begin to actively bloom and broccoli will turn yellow.
Note: Broccoli can be stored in the bag for about a week. Do not leave it for a longer period, because the taste of cabbage will be much worse.
- Prepare a small container, the diameter of which is slightly larger than the diameter of the broccoli head. Pour water in it at 1, 5-2 cm.
- Place the prepared head with the stem in this improvised vase. Cover the structure with a clean plastic bag, making small holes in it for air circulation. Put the broccoli in the refrigerator. If you change the water daily, the broccoli will remain fresh for several days.
Wrap the prepared broccoli head loosely in a slightly damp paper towel, put in the refrigerator. In this form, broccoli can maintain its freshness for 3-4 days.
Wrap each broccoli head with food foil, put it in the fridge in the vegetable compartment. Properly prepared broccoli in such a package can be stored 1-1, 5 months.
It is important! Periodically check the safety of broccoli. If you see that it has started to turn yellow, try to use it as soon as possible in some dish.
How to store fresh broccoli in the cellar
Some housewives store broccoli in the cellar, creating favorable conditions for cabbage:
- Broccoli is stored at an air temperature of 0-6 °.
- Humidity should be 90-95%.
- Condensate must not fall on the cabbage.
- The room must be well ventilated.
Freshly cut cabbage does not remove the outer leaves. They will help the cabbage stay fresh longer.
Each head is wrapped in a newspaper.
Send for storage in the cellar or basement. In this form, broccoli can be stored for up to two months.
As the paper gets wet, it changes. If the outer leaves start to spoil, they are removed, and the stalk is pruned a little. But we must remember that the long-term storage of broccoli tastes become much worse.
How to store frozen broccoli
If the broccoli harvest is big or you are not going to cook a dish out of it in the near future, you should freeze the cabbage. This is the only way to save it until winter or even until the next harvest.
- Most often, frozen vegetables are not defrosted before use, so they must be washed before freezing. Head broccoli disassembled into inflorescences of the same size, rinse under running water. To get rid of possible insects or larvae, fill the cabbage with salt water: for 1 liter of water, take 1 tbsp. l salt. Leave on for 20 minutes, then wash the cabbage well.
- Boil water in a large saucepan. Dip in her inflorescences. Blanch for 2-3 minutes. Then quickly transfer broccoli to ice water or cool under running water. Heat treatment will help preserve the color of broccoli and improve its taste.
- Put the broccoli prepared in this way on a clean cotton towel and dry well.
- Pack the broccoli in portioned sachet with zip fastener, remove air if possible, pack it tightly. Put it in the freezer. Instead of bags, you can use plastic containers with a lid.
Note. Broccoli can be frozen without blanching. Cabbage disassembled into inflorescences, wash in cold water, dry on a paper towel. Pack in plastic containers or plastic bags. Freeze.
There are varieties of branched broccoli. In her food are tender shoots with undeveloped buds. Just like with ordinary broccoli, after removing the central shoot, lateral thin shoots up to 20 cm long grow after a few weeks. After boiling in salted water, they become similar in taste to asparagus. Cook them just like regular broccoli - 8-10 minutes. They can be prepared for future use by subjecting to blanching, and then put in plastic bags and freeze in the freezer.