Broccoli is arguably one of the most popular vegetables around; it has its fair share of lovers and haters, but regardless of anyone’s opinion, broccoli is filled with loads of nutrients: proteins, fibers, vitamins, potassium, calcium, vital for healthy living.
However, this doesn’t make broccoli immune to spoilage; they need to be stored properly if you want them to remain fresh for a long time.
Before you throw your broccoli into the refrigerator, you need to know how long it will last there so you know what to expect. But how long does broccoli last in the fridge?
Broccoli can last between 2 to 10 days in the fridge, depending on its condition before you placed them in the fridge.
In this article, we will talk about how to store broccoli in the fridge, pantry, and freezer to extend its life.
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How Long Does Broccoli Last In The Fridge?
A whole broccoli head can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days, depending on its condition before purchase. This period is shortened to about 3 to 5 days when the florets are cut.
Cooked broccoli is safe to store in a fridge for 2 to 3 days and should not be allowed to sit on the counter at room temperature for more than an hour or two to prevent the development of pathogenic bacteria.
Read Also: How Long Does Celery Last In the Fridge?
How To Store Broccoli The Right Way
There are different ways to store fresh broccoli but keep in mind that it won’t remain in good condition for long.
Try to use up all the broccoli within a week after purchase, or store them in the freezer; any leftover broccoli should be tossed out.
Here are some tips and tricks that will help you preserve the freshness and quality of the vegetable longer than usual.
1. Storing Broccoli in the Pantry
When storing your broccoli on a shelf, do not expose it to too much moisture as it can cause quick spoilage. This means you should skip washing your broccoli after purchase, but give it a thorough rinse under a stream of cold water just before it is added to a dish.
Broccoli keeps its shape for up to two days in the pantry, after which the vegetable can become limply. To save the broccoli for another day, you can shorten the stalk and place it in a jar with water. This rehydrates the vegetables and maintains their firmness.
If your broccoli starts to turn yellow, this isn’t an indicator that the vegetable is spoiled, but it has a bitter taste. So cut off yellow florets’ tips and use the rest before the whole head changes color.
When storing broccoli in your pantry, keep it away from fruits, particularly ethylene-containing fruits like apples, pears, and bananas. The ethylene content of these fruits will speed up the broccoli spoilage process.
2. Storing Broccoli in the Fridge
Broccoli is usually sold wrapped in a plastic bag; when purchased, do not dump the vegetable straight into the fridge with the original packaging.
The vegetable needs to be stored in packaging material with adequate airflow; if not, drops of moisture collect due to condensation and can cause the broccoli to go bad.
If you are storing the broccoli in its original packaging, you can use a knife to poke a few holes in the bag near the florets. This lengthens the storage duration for about two to three days.
You can also store the veggie by wrapping it in a damp paper towel before placing it in a vegetable section. If you have a whole stem or bouquet of broccoli, it can be stored in the fridge for a while by keeping the stalks submerged in a jar of water.
You can also store cooked broccoli in the fridge; simply transfer the vegetable into an airtight bowl before placing it in the fridge. For an extra layer of protection, you can cover the bowl with aluminum or self-adhesive foil after sealing it shut.
3. Storing Broccoli in the Freezer
To freeze broccoli, you must first blanch the vegetable and arrange the blanched florets on a cookie sheet; this keeps the broccoli florets separated from each other and prevents them from getting crushed.
Pre-freeze the florets for a few hours, take them out, and place them in zip lock bags, airtight containers, or plastic bags before returning them to the freezer.
If the intended use of your frozen broccoli is baby food preparation, you need very small portions. Freeze a few florets in an ice cube tray, baby food trays, or cookie molds.
Broccoli makes a healthy and yummy puree for babies, and it can be stored in the fridge as well. Simply dilute the puree with breast milk, formula, or plain water to the desired density and transfer it into small jars before placing it in the fridge.