Brussels sprouts resemble tiny heads of cabbage, the texture and flavor are almost the same as well, but for those who have a subtle taste, they can realize the slight difference between Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
The little sprouts are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that are really good for our health. These nutrients can help us to prevent cancer, reduce inflammation and control the sugar level in our blood.
As Brussels sprouts are low in fat and calories, you can pair them with other meat like chicken or beef and fish to complete a healthy meal. With zero saturated fat and rich in vitamin K and C, it’s so ideal to add these sprouts to your diet menu.
Unfortunately, besides the wonderful benefits this veggie provides, it is quite tricky to store them so we need to dig further into Brussels sprouts like how long they can be safe before being spoiled.
What we should do to store them for a long time but still keep their health benefits and best flavor. That is all we will mention in this article, let’s check it out.
How long do Brussels sprouts last?
Like many other veggies, the shelf life of Brussels sprouts will depend on several factors like when they were picked and how they are stored, but in general, this veggie has such a short life.
Normally, a raw fresh bunch can only be safe at room temperature within a day or two before becoming stale or rotten soon.
Keeping Brussels sprouts refrigerated might lengthen the life span to 1 to 2 weeks and for prolonged storage, Brussels sprouts in the freezer can be safe to consume within 12 to 16 months.
Furthermore, Brussels sprouts which still have the stems are likely to survive safely a bit longer than the ones picked individually.
There is one obvious thing that fresh vegetables that you bought from a store never has a best-by date or expiration date, so you better remember the date they were picked (if you have your own garden planting these veggies) or when they brought it home from the grocery.
How to tell if Brussels sprouts go bad?
The best Brussels sprouts when stay fresh will have a bright green at the exterior, tight and bundle leaves and are very firm to touch. So how to know if Brussels sprouts have gone bad?
The most reliable instrument to determine a bad Brussels sprout is your nose. Over time, if stored improperly, this veggie will smell moldy like old cabbage.
The sweetness will also be gone and replaced with the sour taste. It’s time your Brussels sprouts are no longer valid and need to be discarded.
By appearance, when there is discoloration from a lightening green to brown or yellow, or the leaves start to pull away from the center, that means it’s not safe to consume this veggie and you should toss them away.
If the spoiled portion in the sprouts is tiny and not severe, you can cut off that part and keep the rest to consume, but if you are picky and always put the health of your family on top, you can choose to trash them all.
How to store Brussels sprouts?
The best place to store Brussel sprouts is in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. You shouldn’t wash the sprouts until ready to use and they need to be wrapped in a plastic bag before freezing to prevent drying out.
However, even the fridge can help you lengthen the sprouts’ life up to 2 weeks, but the sooner you take them out to consume, the fresher they are.
Freezing is an ideal choice when you expect to have Brussel sprouts on hand the whole year, even after the veggie’s season. It will allow maximizing the shelf life of Brussels sprouts up to 16 months but still retain at peak quality.
One notable thing is sprouts that are still attached with stems will have a longer life expectancy and the stem is stored better in a moist environment, even in water but it’s not gonna happen with the sprouts heads.
Therefore, you better watch out when storing stem and individual sprouts together to have the best result.
Can you freeze Brussels sprouts?
Yes, you can totally freeze Brussels sprouts for long-term storage, they just require one more step before freezing that is to blanch.
So you must be wondering that why you should blanch Brussels sprouts in particular and vegetables in general before freezing and can you freeze them without blanching them first?
The answer is there are two ways to freeze with or without blanching sprouts. But the first one will help the sprouts retain their beautiful green color and essential nutrients, also stop the enzymes that could lead to spoilage.
If you freeze them without blanching them first, it won’t be harmful at all, but the result will be discoloration or a bit change in the sprouts’ texture and flavor.
Below will be the detail instruction on how to freeze Brussels sprouts for the best quality.
How to freeze Brussels sprouts?
Now you are going to learn how to freeze Brussels sprouts properly in just some simple steps.
Tips to freeze Brussels sprouts
- You should use a vacuum sealer to remove any air in the bag to avoid freezer burn
- The time in ice-cold water should be the same as in blanch step
- Small, medium and large sprouts will require 3, 4 and 5 minutes blanching respectively
- It’s better to submerge the sprouts in brine (4 teaspoons salt to 1-gallon water) for 30 minutes to remove insects before blanching
Things you’ll need to freeze Brussels sprouts
- A vacuum-sealed bag or an airtight container
- A pot
- Ice cold water
How to freeze Brussels sprouts in just 4 steps
- Wash the sprouts thoroughly (you can keep or separate the stem)
- Blanch the Brussels sprouts in a pot for 3-5 minutes depending on sizes and chill quickly in ice-cold water
- Drain excess moisture then package in airtight containers/ freezer bags
- Label the bag or container with the name and storage date then stick in the freezer
How to defrost/ thaw Brussels sprouts?
Actually, frozen Brussels sprouts can be directly added to cooking dishes without calling for a defrosting process.
However, you can still thaw a bit to eliminate any ice crystal by transferring them from the freezer to the fridge for several hours.