Correct freezing of Brussels sprouts for the winter is within the power of everyone
Frozen vegetables are an invaluable treasure for every housewife, especially during the cold season. Freezing Brussels sprouts for the winter is a rather laborious process that requires some knowledge. In case of violation of certain preparation technologies, vegetables lose their useful properties, taste characteristics, as well as decorativeness. As a result, all the efforts of the hostess will come to naught..
Choosing cabbage is the key to success
Carefully selected heads of cabbage are suitable for freezing. By tradition, specimens of the same size are chosen. The gold standard for storage is heads about 2–3 cm in diameter. Large vegetables have tough leaves, and the inside is usually loose.
In the original, the heads of cabbage should be:
- without traces of damage;
- no mechanical damage.
Samples showing signs of lethargy are not suitable for freezing Brussels sprouts for the winter, but not always. In some cases, damaged or soft leaves are simply removed. Examining each head, pay special attention to the stump. If there are cracks on it, then even when frozen, it can deteriorate, because bacteria, pests and microbes settle in these holes, contributing to the destruction of living tissues. These processes are often not visible from the outside, as they take place inside, between the leaves..
Brussels sprouts will be much tastier if the crops are harvested from the garden after frost. Some are waiting for the temperature to drop to -5˚С.
Vegetables are selected bright green, because light is often dried or “aged”. The leaves in the head of cabbage should fit snugly together. The smaller the head size, the tastier and sweeter the cabbage is. If necessary, the stalks are shortened or refreshed. Be sure to rinse under running water using a colander. To remove the larvae, vegetables are soaked in salted water so that all pests and insects float up. The solution is prepared according to the recipe: 5 tsp. salt per 3 liters of liquid.
Freezing Brussels sprouts quickly and easily for the winter
Selected specimens are prepared for blanching. Water is collected in the pan at the rate of 3 liters per 1 kg of product. As soon as the liquid boils, the cabbage is dipped into the container and boiled for 2-3 minutes. This is how much time is needed to preserve the maximum amount of nutrients, as well as a rich green hue. Salt and lemon juice are not added during blanching, since the bitterness goes away when the vegetable is exposed to critical temperatures.
Heat treatment helps to destroy enzymes that cause food spoilage.
Then the boiled heads of cabbage are dipped in ice water. To enhance the effect, ice cubes are added to the dishes. After cooling, the vegetables are transferred to cloth or paper towels. Thanks to this, excess water flows off, and the heads of cabbage are thoroughly dried..
Next, perform a series of simple actions.:
- the heads are laid out in several rows on a pallet so that they do not freeze into one piece;
- sent to the freezer;
- take out frozen Brussels sprouts from the freezer;
- packed in tight plastic bags with a fastener;
- pack the container by removing the air;
- sent to the freezer again.
Refrigerators often have a Quick Freeze or Super Freeze function. This option is ideal for Brussels sprouts, as it ends up with the highest quality and healthiest..
Store frozen vegetables at a temperature not exceeding -18˚С, indicating the date of packing on the packaging. Under these conditions, the product is suitable for food for 12 months. If it is frozen without heat treatment, then the shelf life is reduced to several months. In addition, in this form, cabbage can quickly deteriorate, turn black. In addition, its taste becomes significantly worse. However, this technology does not require unfolding the heads on the pallet. After washing, vegetables are immediately packed in bags.
This is not the end of the topic of how to freeze Brussels sprouts at home. When preparing large batches, an important point is taken into account. Each time, the water for blanching is replaced with fresh water, because the resulting broth negatively affects the texture and taste of the product..
Some freezing tricks
Re-freezing destroys a large amount of nutrients. It also impairs the appearance and taste of the cabbage. In this regard, at the very beginning, vegetables are packed in containers of the required size. And for this, the hostesses determine what dishes they plan to cook in winter. Defrosting is carried out in several ways. Defrosting is often practiced naturally at room temperature. However, professionals simply pour boiling water over the cabbage or immediately send it to the pan..
Thus, all valuable substances are saved, which:
- strengthen the immune system;
- prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases, including blood pressure;
- remove cholesterol from the body;
- improve memory and brain function;
- serve as the prevention of breast cancer;
- prevent the development of respiratory diseases;
- prevents damage to the retina.
Large heads are cut in two. These halves look perfect with vegetables such as carrots, corn, peas and bell peppers. Broccoli and cauliflower are also added to this mixture..
Freezing Brussels sprouts for the winter includes another important technological trick. In the blanching process, some housewives have successfully used a sieve, colander, or wire basket. With the help of these devices, they quickly and “together” take out all the vegetables from the pan, and then also lower them into ice water. As a result, the heads of cabbage remain elastic, retaining their decorative effect. Various salads and soups are prepared from such frozen heads. The product is not afraid of stewing, boiling, baking and frying. The dishes are juicy, tasty and aromatic..
Now everyone knows how to properly freeze Brussels sprouts in order to preserve the entire “arsenal” of useful properties and flavor characteristics..