Broccoli, often known as the “tree of doom” among children, doesn’t come with a specific shelf life written over it. Much like every other vegetable in the market, even this one doesn’t come with a particular date that you have to use it before.
But, it does get rotten and spoiled and won’t stay bright green forever. If you want to spare yourself from the adverse impacts of the broccoli on your health, we would suggest you know how long does broccoli last in the fridge or otherwise.
With the enriching vitamins, minerals, and nutrients broccoli is composed of, it is one of the healthiest veggies out there. Not only is it known for being incredibly healthy, but for its amazing anti-cancer properties as well.
How Long does the Broccoli Last?
Before we discuss how long does broccoli last, it is crucial that we break it down into different sections. Not everyone comes and asks about the shelf life of the properly stored fresh broccoli. It could be that you have some cooked broccoli, and you want to know how long it will last.
To ease your queries and give an answer to how long broccoli will last, we have sorted them out into sections.
Shelf Life at Room Temperature
The majority of the people who buy fresh broccoli tend to have a habit of keeping it outside. In case you are wondering how long does broccoli last at room temperature, it is somewhere from 3 to 5 days.
Mind you, we are talking about the organically grown fresh broccoli and not the ones you readily get in the supermarkets filled with pesticides. Those tend to last a little less when out in the room temperature.
If you are keeping the fresh broccoli out in the room temperature, make sure you always dry it out completely. Any water traces can further help spoil the broccoli faster.
When you are buying broccoli, always pick out the ones that look vibrant green. It lasts longer than the dry and wilted ones.
But, even though a fresh piece of broccoli will stay good for around 3 days at room temperature, we wouldn’t suggest you do that.
Shelf Life in the Fridge
Like any other average person, you must store your broccoli in the fridge. Any freshly picked broccoli from the market or your garden will last in the fridge for 7 to 14 days.
The fridge is often the best way to keep your broccoli the freshest to ensure that its shelf life is prolonged so that you can enjoy it for a few more days.
But, while storing broccoli inside the fridge sounds too easy, you need to follow through some specific steps to ensure that you store broccoli the right way.
Shelf Life in the Freezer
Now, if you are a health nut who devours their broccoli like nothing else, freezing your broccoli florets can be a good option. In case you come across one, and you don’t want to eat all of it at once, freezing them is the best way to preserve them and help them stay good.
As for the shelf life, the shelf life of broccoli inside a freezer is around 3-8 months. But, there are some essential tips that you need to keep in mind while storing it.
In case you are storing the store-bought broccoli, you need to blanch it in hot water, dry it, and then store it. The one thing that you need to cross-check is any sign of spoiled bits before you freeze the florets.
Shelf Life of Cooked Broccoli
It happens more than we can count on fingers that you cook a big batch of broccoli and have leftovers. Cooked broccoli has a shelf life of 6-9 days when stored in the fridge. This stands true for the broccoli that has been cooked by itself and not mixed with other vegetables.
But, in case you want to eat it for the coming few days or add it as part of meal prep, we would suggest that you cook the broccoli separately.
Always use an airtight container to store your broccoli in the fridge.
How Do You Know When Broccoli is Bad?
Like any other vegetable, even broccoli comes with an expiration date. While you won’t have that written over the vegetable when you are buying it, you can still know how to tell if broccoli is bad.
If your broccoli is starting to go bad, it will impart a significant rotten smell. Not just that, your broccoli will also change its color and turn into yellow broccoli. It is a significant sign that your broccoli has begun to go bad.
Aside from that, rotten broccoli also witnesses a change in the texture. The once fresh and crisp broccoli becomes limp when you touch it. You will also see darkness appearing on the tiny buds of the vegetable once it starts to get spoiled.
Is it Bad to Eat Old Broccoli?
Eating anything out of its expiration date is terrible for you. Eating old and rotten broccoli will have the same impacts as eating a piece of stale, fungus filled bread.
To prevent any health risks like stomach ache, diarrhea, and even food poisoning, it is always best to avoid eating broccoli that is old or has gone bad.
How Can One Make their Broccoli Last Long?
If you love your broccoli and want to eat it as many days as possible, there are ways in which you can extend its shelf life.
And, while you might think it’s just freezing, there are some other ways too. Keep reading to know how to store broccoli properly.
How Do I Keep Broccoli Fresh in the Fridge?
One of the best ways to preserve your broccoli is to freeze it. It enhances the shelf life and ensures that you can eat it for the months to come. You need to follow through some steps to help keep the florets and stems as fresh as possible.
- Start by boiling some water in a deep bottomed vessel.
- Cut the broccoli florets and stems into smaller pieces and blanch it in the boiling water for 3 minutes.
- Once done, take out the florets and stem and dunk them into an ice-cold bath.
- Drain all the excess liquid once everything has cooled down.
- Lay it out on the counter and pat dry with a dry kitchen towel.
- Take out a tray and sort out the florets and stems on them.
- Place this inside the freezer for 45 minutes, so they are almost frozen and don’t clump together.
- Once done, take them out and put them inside an airtight container.
- In case you don’t have a box, place them inside a vacuum-sealed pack and store them inside the freezer for the coming months.
How Can You Pickle Broccoli to Enhance its Shelf Life?
Apart from freezing, another way to preserve your broccoli is by pickling it.
In case you don’t like the taste of pickle and don’t enjoy it, you can just freeze it. In case you like the taste of pickle, you can try this out.
Pickled broccoli has a shelf life of 4-6 months, which is pretty amazing. Make sure that you store it in the fridge to prevent any further risks of bacterial contamination.
For the pickling liquid, it is best to use a mixture of vinegar and water and add the spices and flavorings you like.
Place the broccoli florets and stems inside the pickling liquid and then let it stay inside the fridge for the coming 4-6 months.
Is it Possible to Can Broccoli?
Canned broccoli is a hit or miss among people. While some people like it, some don’t. For the most part, there are two simple types of canning process – water bath canning and pressure cooker canning.
If you want to enhance the shelf life of broccoli, it is suggested that you use the pressure cooker canning method. It helps keep the temperature optimal and ensures to kill any harmful bacteria that could otherwise impact your health, especially with the risks of botulism. The temperature used in this process is around 250°F or more.
This is optimal to preserve your broccoli and enhance shelf life so you can enjoy it for more days.
Can You Dehydrate Broccoli for Improved Shelf Life?
Yes, dehydrating your broccoli is another way to store it for more extended periods.
You can either lay it out under the direct sun or even use a dehydrator to draw out over 90% of the vegetables’ liquid. This slows down the process of rotting and helps it last longer.
But, even when you dehydrate the broccoli, you need to store it inside the fridge in an airtight container.
If you have been wondering how long does broccoli last, we hope this article gives you a concrete answer to that. Always try and get the fresh and organic variants of broccoli. These are a lot healthier and ensure better impacts on your health.
Nobody wants their vegetables to get wasted, and in case you have been wondering about something similar, we hope this answers all your queries regarding how long does broccoli last and how to store broccoli, both the raw and cooked version.