Freezing Brussels Sprouts Properly
Brussels sprouts freeze well, as long as you follow a couple tricks. Freezing properly preserves the vegetables' freshness so you don't have to waste excess vegetables. See how to freeze brussels sprouts for later.
You can freeze either brussels sprouts that you grow yourself or that you happen to buy a large batch in the store. That said, it is especially worthwhile to freeze when you have homegrown or locally-raised fresh sprouts to preserve their freshness. This is especially worthwhile after brussels sprouts are harvested after frost when they taste sweeter and better.
Tricks to Growing Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts aren't the easiest vegetable to grow but I think I've figured it out over the years. The first trick is that you need to take off the lower leaves as the sprouts form so that they have room to grow. The second trick is to cut back the top around Labor Day.
After successfully doing these two things this year, our brussels sprouts are spectacular.
Freezing Brussels Sprouts
Having planted quite a few plants, it was time to put some brussels sprouts in the freezer. One pound of brussels sprouts yields roughly one pint frozen.
Wash the sprouts if they're dirty or might have some insect hitchhikers. Then, cut off the stalks and pulled off all the remaining leaves.
Over a bowl, I cut the sprouts away from the stalk.
Then I went through the pile looking at each one individually and taking away any spoiled or eaten parts. I also cut the bottoms flush with the sprout.
Washing them well, they were ready to be steamed. I divided them into three parts so that they would all steam uniformly.
These were actually medium-sized sprouts so they were steamed for four minutes.
However, if your sprouts are not uniform in size, group them by size (small, medium, large) because you want to blanch them based on size.
Small sprouts = 3 minutes
Medium sprouts = 4 minutes
Large sprouts = 5 minutes
Trick: Do NOT overheat. This is how vegetables get post-freezer mushiness. Start the timer right when you put the sprouts in the boiling water and have a large bowl of very icy water ready to go, so you can plunge them into ice to stop the cooking. If you need to, add more ice cubes to the water to make sure it stays icy-cold.
Cool off brussels sprouts in icy-cold water for four minutes to cool down and stop the cooking process. If your sprouts are a different size: The amount you cool down in ice water should match the cooking time.
I use a steamer basket to shift sprouts easily between boiling and ice water.
After spinning the excess water off, they were placed on a clean towel to dry a bit more.
Trick: Make sure the sprouts are totally dry before freezing.
Placing them on a cookie sheet so that they would freeze individually, into the freezer they went.
The next morning, they were placed in pint bags, dated, and put back into the freezer. Remove as much air as possible from bags before sealing.
NOTE: If you don't have a big enough space for freezing on a tray, then pack the sprouts in serving-size groups directly into freezer bags. Keep in a single layer and avoid overpacking.
These brussels sprouts will be delicious to get out and bake or steam when the snow flies.
Introduction to Preserving
Making Quick Pickles
Making Quick Jams: Refrigerator or Freezer Jam
How to Can Pickles
How to Can Jam and Jelly
Salting and Brining