Broccoli is an adorable-looking vegetable that bears a remarkable resemblance to a tiny tree.
Well, at least that’s what I tell the kids!
Apart from its aesthetically pleasing shape, its bright green color makes this highly nutritious vegetable one of the most sought-after additions to dishes around the world.
However, like any food, broccoli goes bad. And at times, quickly!
There are many ways to prevent broccoli from going bad.
Some of the ways you can slow down the degradation of your precious broccoli from going bad are storing the broccoli in your refrigerator, keeping it frozen, and keeping it away from being in close proximity to certain fruits.
When just back from the grocery store, it’s time to put away your food.
When it comes to broccoli, and many other vegetables, there are many ways of storage.
Storing the broccoli in your refrigerator – Broccoli should be stored in your fridge and not left out on the counter or in warmer environments because it will rot way faster if stored in higher temperatures and this can cause bacteria to grow on the broccoli at a much faster rate.
Keeping it wrapped in a ventilated bag
- To prevent the broccoli from going rancid, be sure to wrap it in a plastic bag and place holes in the bag to allow some kind of air circulation.
Keeping it frozen
- Place the broccoli in a ziploc bag or any kind of plastic bag and place it in the freezer section of your fridge, doing this increases the shelf life of the broccoli thus preventing it from spoiling.
To freeze your broccoli perfectly, you can consider blanching it to preserve the bright green color and distinctive, tasty flavor.
Keeping broccoli away from certain fruits – This is a strange one!
- In order to prevent the vegetable from going rancid, it is advised to keep the broccoli away from being in close proximity to fruits that release very high levels of the gas called ethylene as this causes it to spoil at a faster rate.
Broccoli is sensitive to the ethylene gas and this does is it can cause yellowing of the broccoli and spoilage.
Some of these fruits to avoid are apples, pears, peaches, bananas, and melons.
How Do You Make Broccoli Last Longer?
One of the major ways that you can preserve broccoli to make it last for a long time is by blanching the broccoli and then freezing it.
The blanching and freezing method can make the broccoli last for up to eight months!
Of course, if you don’t need it to last that long, you can refrigerate your broccoli, which will allow it to last about 5 to 7 days.
Blanching refers to the process in which vegetables are placed in boiling water for a very short period of time and is usually followed by immediately placing the vegetables in very cold or ice water.
What blanching does is that it puts a halt to the enzyme actions which usually causes a loss of texture, color, and flavor in the vegetables.
Blanching and freezing broccoli – The first step is to ensure that the broccoli is clean and by doing this you would place it in a saltwater solution for a few minutes.
Then, rinse the broccoli with cold water and drain. This gets rid of any debris or bugs that may be inside the broccoli.
To begin the blanching process you would start by cutting the broccoli into little florets and then placing it into boiling water for around 1 to 2 minutes.
The next step is to drain the boiling water from the broccoli, then immediately place it in a container with ice and water for around 3 minutes to prevent it from continuing to cook.
Afterward, the water should be drained from the broccoli.
The broccoli should then be placed on a tray in a single layer then it should be placed in the freezer for around 2 to 3 hours until solid and frozen, in a process called “flash freezing”.
The broccoli should then be transferred to a plastic sealed container or a ziplock bag and then placed back into the freezer.
When it comes to preserving the nutrients in broccoli, flash freezing is one of the best methods available.
By freezing the broccoli quickly, you can help to preserve its vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
In addition, flash freezing helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms.
As a result, flash-frozen broccoli is not only more nutritious but also safer to eat.
Perhaps most importantly, flash freezing allows you to enjoy fresh-tasting broccoli all year long.
Whether you buy it in bulk or harvest it from your own garden, flash freezing is the best way to keep your broccoli fresh.
Can Old Broccoli Make You Sick?
Consuming old broccoli won’t necessarily make you sick.
What makes you sick is consuming broccoli that has gone rancid.
For example, blanched and frozen broccoli could stay in the freezer for up to 8 months once stored properly and this would be considered as very old broccoli but yet it is still safe enough to consume and it won’t make you sick.
The process of blanching and freezing slows down the rate at which the broccoli would go bad and drastically increases its shelf life of the broccoli.
In order to ensure you don’t ever consume broccoli that has been spoiled, look out for signs like:
- Growth of mold
- Once you start seeing black spots on the stem of the broccoli or fuzzy white spots on the floret section of the broccoli this is an indicator that mold has grown on it and it has gone bad.
- The texture of the vegetable can be a major indication it has gone bad.
- When your broccoli has gone rancid the stems become soft and the texture feels slimy when you touch it.
- Another very noticeable sign is when the broccoli has a strong and unpleasant smell such as a bitter smell or if it smells like rotten eggs.
- The color of the broccoli changes from green to brown and this means it isn’t safe to eat.
Once you’ve noticed these signs mentioned above it is important to note that you should avoid consuming broccoli as this could make you very sick.
Is It Okay To Eat Stinky Broccoli?
You should never eat stinky broccoli, or stinky-any-other-food for that matter!
The smell is one of the obvious indicators that food has gone bad.
Spoiled broccoli emits a very bitter scent or a scent that resembles that of rotten eggs.
The vegetable is a part of the cruciferous family of plant species and because of this broccoli contains sulfurous compounds that are released when the broccoli goes bad which causes that unpleasant smell.
Broccoli that smells bad usually also has a very unpleasant taste so it won’t be appetizing to eat either.
One of the major consequences to eating broccoli that has a foul odor is that it can cause you to get very sick and in some cases get food poisoning especially if you have consumed large amounts of it.
Some of the symptoms of food poisoning are stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and a fever.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.