Broccoli sprouts have grown in popularity over the last few decades as more research unveils their many health benefits. These tiny greens pack a nutritious punch with high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
Freezing broccoli sprouts allows you to preserve their nutrients and enjoy their unique flavor year-round. However, proper handling is key to maintaining quality after thawing. Here’s what you need to know about successfully freezing broccoli sprouts:
Should You Freeze Broccoli Sprouts?
Freezing is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of broccoli sprouts while retaining nutrients. Fresh sprouts only last about 5-7 days when properly stored in the refrigerator.
Freezing stops enzymatic processes that cause sprouts to deteriorate. It also prevents moisture loss that causes wilting. Frozen sprouts lock in nutrients like:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Glucosinolates (beneficial phytochemicals)
Freezing broccoli sprouts allows you to:
- Stock up on sprouts when they’re in season or on sale.
- Always have them handy for recipes.
- Avoid food waste from spoilage.
So yes, freezing broccoli sprouts is recommended to get the most out of every harvest or purchase.
How to Freeze Broccoli Sprouts
Follow these simple steps to properly freeze broccoli sprouts:
1. Select High-Quality Sprouts
Pick sprouts that are at ideal maturity, around 3-5 days old. They should have bright green leaves with minimal yellowing. Avoid any soggy or wilted sprouts.
2. Rinse and Dry thoroughly.
Give the sprouts a good rinse under cool water to remove any dirt or debris. Gently spin or pat them completely dry with paper towels or a salad spinner. Excess moisture can cause clumping when frozen.
3. Portion into Freezer Bags or containers.
Divide sprouts into usable portions in freezer bags, plastic containers, or even ice cube trays. Squeeze out excess air and seal tightly to prevent freezer burn.
4. Label Bags or containers.
Include the type and date frozen so you know when they were harvested or purchased.
5. Freeze promptly.
Place bags or containers in a single layer on a tray or cookie sheet and put them in the freezer right away. Freeze at 0°F or colder. Once frozen solid, packages can be stacked or stored together.
6. Use Within 8–10 months.
Store frozen broccoli sprouts at 0°F or below for best quality and nutrient retention. Use within 8–10 months for optimal freshness and flavor.
Thawing Frozen Broccoli Sprouts
Thaw frozen sprouts properly before using to prevent a soggy texture.
Here are some thawing tips:
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing.
- Quickly thaw under cold running water, changing the water every 30 minutes.
- Thaw in the microwave using the defrost setting if available. Otherwise, use very short increments of 10–20 seconds.
- Stir the sprouts occasionally while thawing to separate any clumps.
- Drain excess liquid after thawing and gently pat dry with a paper towel.
- Use immediately after thawing for the best quality. Do not refreeze.
How to Use Frozen Broccoli Sprouts
Frozen broccoli sprouts retain their signature nutty flavor and delicate crunch when thawed properly. They can be used in place of fresh sprouts in many dishes.
- Toss into stir-fries, omelets, pasta, salads, soups, pizza, sandwiches, or tacos.
- Mix into smoothies, sauces, dips, and dressings.
- Top burgers, bowls, baked potatoes, or nachos.
- Bake into casseroles, frittatas, breads, and more.
- Sprinkle over finished dishes for an extra dose of nutrients.
Frozen broccoli sprouts are very versatile in both raw and cooked preparations. Their mild flavor pairs well with eggs, grains, poultry, beef, and citrus. Get creative with frozen sprouts!
Can You Freeze Broccoli Sprouts Without blanching them?
Blanching (briefly boiling then cooling sprouts in ice water) is often recommended before freezing vegetables to deactivate enzymes that can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture.
However, blanching broccoli sprouts is not necessary. In fact, it can actually diminish the health-promoting compounds in sprouts that provide benefits.
Broccoli sprouts can be frozen raw, with no blanching required. Their tender texture and short shelf life mean they freeze well without this extra step.
Storing Thawed Broccoli Sprouts
Once thawed, broccoli sprouts have a shorter shelf life compared to fresh sprouts. Store thawed sprouts:
- In a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Covered with a damp paper towel.
- For no more than 2–3 days.
Thawed sprouts are very delicate. Use as soon as possible for the best flavor, texture, and nutritional value.
Freezing Broccoli Sprouts long-term
For long-term freezing beyond 8–10 months, broccoli sprouts can be prepared in two ways:
If you want to freeze sprouts for over a year, blanch them first.
- Boil a pot of water, drop the sprouts in for 60 seconds, then transfer immediately to an ice bath.
- Pat dry, then freeze according to the above instructions.
Blanching deactivates enzymes, so sprouts store longer before deteriorating.
Wash sprouts thoroughly,then pack them into canning jars with a little water, lemon juice, or salt. Leave 1 inch of headspace.
Process pint jars for 65 minutes at 11 PSI in a pressure canner. Quart jars should process for 75 minutes.
Once canned, sprouts can be stored for 1–2 years or longer. Thaw and use like regular frozen sprouts.
While more labor-intensive, blanching or canning lets you freeze broccoli sprouts for extended periods.
How long do frozen broccoli sprouts last?
Frozen broccoli sprouts maintain their best quality for 8–10 months when stored at 0°F or below. Blanching or pressure canning allows them to last over a year before deteriorating.
Can you refreeze thawed broccoli sprouts?
It’s not recommended to refreeze broccoli sprouts after thawing. Refreezing causes a loss of texture and nutrients. Use thawed sprouts within 2–3 days.
What is the best way to thaw frozen broccoli sprouts?
For food safety and to prevent sogginess, thaw frozen broccoli sprouts in the refrigerator overnight. You can also submerge bags or containers in cold water, changing it every 30 minutes until thawed.
How do you store thawed broccoli sprouts?
Store thawed broccoli sprouts in an airtight container lined with a damp paper towel in the refrigerator. Use within 2–3 days for the best flavor, texture, and nutrition retention.
Can broccoli sprouts be frozen without blanching?
Yes, there is no need to blanch broccoli sprouts before freezing. Blanching can diminish nutrients. Raw sprouts freeze just fine with proper handling.
How do you blanch broccoli sprouts for freezing?
If blanching broccoli sprouts, boil water in a pot. Lower the sprouts into the water for 60 seconds, then immediately transfer them to an ice bath to stop cooking. Pat it dry before freezing.
Can you substitute frozen broccoli sprouts for fresh?
Frozen broccoli sprouts can be used in place of fresh in most recipes. Thaw first, then use immediately for the best flavor and texture. Adjust cook times as frozen sprouts take less time to prepare.
Hi, I’m Julie, the passionate foodie and founder of Juliesfamilykitchen.com. I created this blog out of a drive to prove someone wrong, and then I realized how much I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. In my free time, when I’m not running around after my kids or spending quality time with my partner, you can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes.