Q:

How do you freeze Brussels sprouts?

A:

Freezing Brussels sprouts is a relatively simple task, which involves cleaning, sorting, blanching and then freezing the sprouts. There are two ways of freezing the Brussels sprouts; one may choose to either the quick freeze or the packaged freezing method.

One of the tricks to getting good-quality frozen Brussels sprouts is to use homegrown or locally cultivated sprouts. This is because Brussels sprouts taste better when they are exposed to frost, which turns the starches in the sprouts into sugars, giving it a sweeter taste. Supermarket varieties often come from Mexico or California, which makes it highly unlikely for the sprouts to be exposed to frost. Choose farmer's market or homegrown varieties of Brussels sprouts when available.

The following shows one method of freezing Brussel sprouts.

Step 1: Soak the sprouts

Soak the sprouts in vinegar or salt solution of 1 to 3 parts vinegar or salt per gallon of water for 30 minutes. This will help get rid of any small insects hiding in the sprouts. Rinse then remove yellow leaves and trim the bases.

Step 2: Sort and blanch the sprouts

Sort the sprouts into small, medium and large, as blanching time will be different for the different sizes. Blanch the small sprouts for 3 minutes, medium for 4 and the large ones for 5 minutes. Dunk the sprouts immediately in ice water to avoid overcooking the sprouts.

Step 3: Place in freezer bags

Place the sprouts in freezer bags remove as much air as possible before putting them in the freezer. Alternatively, the sprouts may be laid on a cookie sheet and quick frozen before being placed in freezer bags. Frozen sprouts can last between 12 to 14 months.

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