I’m sure you’ve seen frozen brussels sprouts before, but can you freeze them yourself if you buy them fresh? What if you grow them yourself?
Yes, you can freeze them, and there are several reasons why you should.
You might buy them in season when they are cheaper, and freezing them guarantees that their quality and taste will be preserved.
You might also grow them yourself, but you don’t want sprouts for every meal when it comes to harvest time. Your best bet is to freeze them while they are at their freshest, and then you can enjoy them as you want.
Or perhaps you’ve got too many left over from a meal. You don’t need to worry about wasting them, as you can freeze them in just a few simple steps.
Some people also stock up on their food shopping so that they have to go less often, saving time and money, but freezing food is a must.
As you probably know by now, the freezing and thawing process does alter the texture, and sometimes the taste, of your food.
When it comes to brussels sprouts, they tend to go a little mushy, but the trade-off is worth it, as it’s only a slight change.
Brussels sprouts do have a relatively long shelf life without freezing them, but the more time you go without using up your fresh brussels sprouts means that they’ll lose more quality.
But how do you actually freeze them?
How Do You Freeze Brussels Sprouts?
Freezing brussels sprouts is a simple process, and won’t take you very long at all. In order to preserve your sprouts and save them from freezer burn, you will need to blanch them.
Preparing Brussels Sprouts For The Freezer
Only choose the ‘perfect’ sprouts for freezing. Select the brussels sprouts which are firm and green, and make sure to rinse them properly, making sure there’s no soil or insects left on them.
You don’t want any nasty bugs or bacteria going into the freezer. Remove any yellowing leaves, and dry the sprouts thoroughly.
Now it’s time to blanch them.
How To Blanch Brussels Sprouts
You’ll need to have an ice bath ready, and a pan full of boiling water. Tip the brussels sprouts into the pan, and let them boil for about 4 minutes. Don’t forget, the point of this process is not to thoroughly cook them.
Immediately submerge the sprouts into the icy water. This will stop the residual heat from cooking them through, and it will also preserve the color and texture of the sprouts.
Once they are cool, make sure to completely dry them. Put them in your container of choice, whether that’s a resealable freezer bag or an airtight container.
Make sure to write the date of freezing, as they can last up to a whole year when frozen!
You can freeze them without blanching them, but they will lose their fabulous color, and most of their texture will be lost when you’ve defrosted them.
Not recommended, especially if you are cooking for people who are quite fussy about their sprouts.
How To Defrost Brussels Sprouts
Depending on who you ask, there are different opinions when it comes to the best way of defrosting brussels sprouts.
Some people suggest that you should transfer them into the fridge and leave them for about 30 minutes.
Others argue that this method will make them soggy and generally awful, and they will lose their crunchy texture.
Thawing can also make the sprouts lose their bright green color, turning yellowish, which looks unappealing even before you cook them.
It can be especially frustrating when you remember how perfect they were when you froze them.
This method isn’t generally recommended, especially if you’re catering for someone that loudly says they only like their brussels sprouts done in a certain way.
This loss in quality also depends on whether you blanched them first, and the quality of the sprouts before you froze them.
Like potatoes, some varieties of brussels sprouts may also freeze better than others.
So what can you do differently?
Brussel sprouts take a significantly less amount of time to defrost than other vegetables.
You can cook or roast them from frozen, which will help preserve their quality, and save you time, too.
Cooking them straight from frozen does seem to help preserve their texture and taste, and there should barely be a noticeable difference.
You can even wrap bacon around the frozen brussels sprouts and put them in the oven, for a low effort and tasty side dish.
Can You Refreeze Brussels Sprouts?
You shouldn’t refreeze brussels sprouts, as the quality and texture of this fairly-delicate vegetable will plummet.
Every time you freeze this vegetable, it loses some moisture, and the structure of the vegetable alters.
As they don’t take long to defrost, and you can cook them from frozen, this isn’t really an issue. Only take out what you need from the freezer at any one time, preventing any wastage.
If you freeze the brussels sprouts when they are at the peak of freshness, and defrost them properly, there is no reason why you should notice any change in the brussels sprouts at all once they are cooked.
Brussels sprouts are one of the easiest vegetables to freeze and then defrost, thanks to their long shelf life in the freezer, and how little time they take in order to defrost.