How to Store Broccoli

Once called “Italian asparagus”, this green vegetable, with its distinctive look, taste, and texture, boasts many beneficial properties. This makes broccoli a top choice for dieters all over the world. However, this fact should not make it limited to only those who want to lose weight. Consumed fresh and in high amounts, it can help prevent some diseases, like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and age-related diseases. So, you should definitely learn how to store broccoli appropriately to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible.

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How to store broccoli

how to store broccoli - counterCan broccoli be kept on a counter?

Yes, but…

It can only be kept the counter for up to 2 days. Storing it at room temperature means it will quickly turn yellow and go bad. Therefore, it’s not recommended to store it on the counter.

how to store broccoli - fridgeCan broccoli be kept in a fridge?

Yes, and this is definitely the best place for it when fresh.

For this, you’ll need to wrap fresh broccoli loosely in a damp paper towel instead of a sealed container or plastic bag. This is because fresh broccoli needs to have good air circulation in order to keep it fresh.

However, make sure there isn’t too much moisture around broccoli. This might cause mold to grow on it. Therefore, there is no need to wash the vegetable before refrigerating it, because this will speed up the rotting process. However, it should only be washed when you’re ready to use it to make sure it’s completely clean.

If properly stored, it can stay fresh for about 4-5 days.

When it comes to storing cooked broccoli, make sure you have either aluminum foil or plastic wrap to cover up the vegetable before refrigerating it. Make sure that what you wrap it in is as airtight as possible, too.

how to store broccoli - freezerCan broccoli be kept in a freezer?

For sure.

To do so, the first step is to cut washed broccoli into florets and slice off their stalks. Then, steam them for about 4 minutes before chilling in ice water. Finally, pat them dry and place them in sealed bags.

Frozen broccoli prepared and stored in this way can be added directly into a dish while cooking. However, don’t be tempted to thaw it and use it raw. This is because the freezing process destroys the vegetable’s cell structure, meaning it’ll be mushy once it’s thawed. When stored appropriately in the freezer, broccoli stays edible for about 1 year.

To keep cooked broccoli in the freezer, place it in an airtight container or freezer bag.

How long does broccoli last?

On the counter In the fridge In the freezer
Fresh broccoli expires in… 1-2 days 4-5 days 1 year
Cooked broccoli expires in… 4-5 days 1 year

how to store broccoli - gone badHow to tell when broccoli has gone bad?

To tell whether how broccoli has gone here are a few things to look for.

Look. To tell if your broccoli is still edible, simply check its color. If broccoli florets have changed from its typical dark green into a yellowish color, this means that it has started to spoil.

Touch. When spoiled, broccoli stems become soft with a slimy texture. What’s more, you can see brown moldy spots on the broccoli head, meaning it needs to be thrown out.

Smell. One of the reliable signs to tell whether broccoli has gone bad is to see how it smells. If its odor is more bitter than normal, simply get rid of it. Fresh and healthy broccoli should smell as fresh as possible.

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Other Useful Tips

how to store broccoli - yellowHow do you keep broccoli from turning yellow?

When broccoli turns yellow, it is a reliable sign of age or improper storage. When its color changes, the vegetable loses its crispness and will start to wilt. When this happens, it means that it has lost most of its nutritional value.

To avoid this, it’s best to keep broccoli frozen or chilled in the fridge. When storing it in the fridge, be sure your head of broccoli is wrapped in damp paper towel and is placed in the produce drawer. However, don’t wash it until you are ready to use it. Doing so will prevent excess moisture, ensuring that broccoli will not go moldy and inedible afterward.

how to store broccoli - stemsAre broccoli stems edible?


Broccoli stems may not be the more aesthetically pleasing part of the vegetable, but they contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients that are essential for the human body. So, make sure you eat them up along with the florets.

how to store broccoli - plastic bagIs it possible to use a plastic bag for storing broccoli in the fridge?

Yes, it is.

Although wrapping broccoli in damp paper towel is optimal, plastic bags can be used to wrap the broccoli for its storage in the fridge. However, make sure it is loosely wrapped and perforated. This is because broccoli needs fresh air to circulate around it when being stored in order to keep it fresh.

how to store broccoli - perishableWhich part of the broccoli is the most perishable?

The florets.

Broccoli florets are the most perishable part of the vegetable. They are more likely to lose their green color first than other parts do. Yellowing happens due to chlorophyll breaking down which is triggered by ethylene produced as the vegetable begins to go bad.

In general, broccoli is a highly perishable product and does not keep for long. Yellowing, water loss, and off-odors are obvious signs of its spoilage, meaning it has lost its nutrients and is not fit for consumption.

Did you know about broccoli helping to prevent cancer? What are your methods of keeping it fresh? Have you ever stored the vegetable on the counter for longer than 2 days without it going bad? Let us know in comments!

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