How to Blanch and Freeze Broccoli

There was this one day when I saw that I could order 20 pounds of broccoli for just $12.50 and we all know how much I love good deals on good produce.  Then there was that other day I picked up my order and found that 20 pounds of broccoli filled a box big enough for my 10-year old to play in.  This was also the day we had four basketball games and the day I wanted to make heart-shaped pancakes for my family because they might not have known how much I loved them unless I shaped their pancakes into hearts and also because it was Valentine’s Day.  I  never bite off more than I can chew.

I also never can make nicely shaped heart pancakes, which is clearly another issue to tackle another day.

So there I was, flipping a triple batch of ugly heart pancakes on the griddle, packing lunches to take to our basketball games, and staring down 36 crowns of broccoli.  I love relaxing Saturday mornings.

I started a pot of water boiling on the stove, flipped the pancakes, and started to chop broccoli.  I almost (happy valentine’s day) slid the prepared broccoli into the pancake batter, but stopped myself just in time, took a deep breath, and got my camera because that’s how quickly my brain moves on to the next thing.  I am a blogger, after all, which means that just at that moment I realized that I should probably document the project so as to share the broccoli blanching details with you.

Matt suggested I also take a picture of the heart pancakes and I was all, seriously?  No one wants to see these.  So instead you get to look at my pot of boiling water which mostly looks like I’m about to set my kitchen on fire.  It’s just steam though, I think.

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How to Blanch Broccoli

Step One:  Boil water.  One might wonder at the fact that it takes an entire tutorial to explain this process. Don’t worry.  The exciting part is yet to come.

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Step Two:  Wash and cut your broccoli.  (Told you it would get more exciting.)

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Step Three:  Place cut broccoli into your pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  (This stops the aging process so your vegetables will maintain better nutritional value.)

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Step Four:  Immediately remove broccoli from boiling water and run it under very cold water.  (This stops the cooking process.)

Step Five:  Spread the cooled broccoli on a clean towel to dry.  I didn’t get a picture of this.  I was probably flipping ugly pancakes.

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Label a freezer bag and fill the bag with blanched, cooled, and dried broccoli.  Freeze for up to 6 months.

You can use your prepared broccoli for soups and stir fry.  The work is done!

How to Blanch and Freeze Broccoli

If you have a trick for making nicely shaped heart pancakes – do tell.  If you have any tasty broccoli recipes, I believe I’ve made it clear that I would benefit.  And in case you’re wondering, I slept very well the night of the basketball/broccoli/ugly pancakes.  


  1. michelle says

    I use a cookie cutter small enough to leave the outside pancake with a heart shaped hole. Then I serve both. (actually, I don’t do this with pancakes but with tortillas.) anyway, thanks for the tutorial. What are you going to do with the jicama? I’ve never had it before! (I bet your pancakes looked great.)


  2. alicia says

    Heart pancakes? Have you tried just making normal circle shaped pancakes, and then using a cookie cutter to cut out a heart? It’s fun to eat the actual heart and the “negative” part too! It’s like an inside out heart…kind of. I can sell that to my little kids, not sure how your big boys would feel about that. (:


  3. Kristin says

    If you think hearts are tricky, try making pancake men at Christmas, LOL. I make them every year for my girls as Ma did for her girls in Little House in the Big Woods. Of course I have done many other shapes upon their request as well. The secret is an empty condiment (think ketchup) bottle, I found mine at a local cooking supply store. Make sure your batter is super smooth, as lumps tend create clogs in the nozzle. Simply squeeze the bottle to draw the outline of your shape and then flood it with batter. An easier idea is to make heart shaped French toast, (cut out bread with cookie cutters) and top with heart shaped strawberries (cut top near stem to look like the top of a heart, then cut in half length wise to make 2 hearts) or raspberries.


  4. Lindsay says

    Do you start counting the 2-3 minutes right when you put the broccoli in (which will cool the water so it is no longer boiling) or do you wait until it comes to a boil again before you start the countdown?


    Laura Reply:

    Start the time right when you put the broccoli into the boiling water. Otherwise it will become overcooked. :)


  5. Ashley says

    My absolute favorite way to cook broccoli is to toss the florets and chopped up stem pieces in a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake on a cookie sheet at 375 until starting to turn slightly brown (maybe 8-10 minutes). It is delicious, and my kids love it!


  6. Becky says

    Re: your heart-shaped pancakes…. You should get a “pancake pen.” It is awesome and you can make fun shapes with it. I got mine at Williams & Sonoma. It makes nice heart-shaped pancakes :)


  7. Jennifer says

    I have heard (haven’t tried it) that you can reuse a ketchup bottle or similar squeeze type to make pancake shapes. It sounds like the pancake pen, but less expensive :)

    Also, I don’t know if your family enjoys quinoa (you can get it pretty much anywhere now), but one of my favorite recipes is broccoli-cheddar quinoa. Just chop a head of broccoli and cook the brocccoli, 1 cup quinoa, and 2 cups water for 15 minutes. Then add a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. The cheese melts beautifully and it is so simple and delicious :)


  8. kathy says

    I grew broccoli for the first time this year! Just harvested it tonight! so excited to find this blog! Thanks so much cannot wait to do this and freeze some of my harvest!! :)


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