Go Green with Broccoli Pops
Eating frozen vegetables? Well, yes! In fact, through many a discussion with mothers it was discovered some could get their kids to eat vegetables this way.
In short, nutritious broccoli pops are probably one of those things you have to try to see if it holds appeal for you.
First of all, to get the best results, make sure your broccoli is fresh and crisp. Old broccoli, which is usually limp, will make nasty-tasting broccoli pops. The best quality broccoli are those that are tight, before the florets start to open and turn a yellow color.
You’ll want to choose firm, young and tender stalks with compact heads. Split your flowerets lengthwise so they are no more than 1-1/2 inches across. And don’t forget to remove leaves and woody portions. Separate the broccoli heads into bite-size portions.
Prepare the Broccoli
Soak the broccoli in brine for 30 minutes to remove insects. Then rinse under fast running water. For the brine, you use 4 teaspoons salt to 1 gallon ordinary tap water.
Blanch the broccoli. Blanch the broccoli with steam for 5 minutes. This kills bacteria. If you are preparing a lot of broccoli, you may use the same blanching water several times (up to 5). Be sure to add more hot water from the tap from time to time to keep the water level at the required height.
Immediately cool broccoli in ice water and then drain thoroughly. Now you can drop pieces of your prepared broccoli into Popsicle molds and freeze! If you wish, you could puree the broccoli and place tightly (think packed brown sugar) into Popsicle molds. This option depends upon whether you want to A) do the extra work and B) want broccoli pops that melt in your mouth or need some chewing action.
Once your broccoli pops are frozen solid, remove them from the Popsicle molds and place into freezer bags or containers for best storage. They can easily get freezer burned if left in the molds.
The recommended storage time for frozen broccoli pops is 12 months for best for taste and quality. For the absolute BEST storage, be sure to get rid of any air from inside your freezer bags or containers. This will help avoid freezer burn. Vacuum-sealed bags are great for long term storage.
Bonus Recipe: Sweet Broccoli Salad
Like broccoli but not sure you’d care to eat it as a frozen treat? Give this salad recipe a try, instead! A delicious way to get raw broccoli into your diet.
1 head of broccoli, chopped finely
1 carrot, grated
2 apples, cored and chopped
1 cup raisins (Soak in water 1/3 hour before using. Drain and discard water.)
1/4 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
Mix all the above ingredients together.
1/2 cup extra-virgin oil
1 tablespoon unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon unpasteurized honey
Mix the dressing ingredients together. Pour on vegetable mixture. Toss and enjoy.
Did you know?
Broccoli is the superhero of the vegetable kingdom with its rich vitamin A content.