Brussel sprouts are not just perfect for your Christmas or Holiday dinner, they are great for meals all year round. For this reason, if you are an avid gardener and grow your own, then you might be left with an abundance of Brussel sprouts with no idea what to do with them.
They are great in a medley of vegetables in a roast dinner, as well as an extra ingredient in a soup or even as a snack with salt and chili. The possibilities are endless for such a small seemingly forgotten about vegetable!
You can absolutely freeze Brussel sprouts, just the same as you can freeze a lot of vegetables. But this guide will go into some more details about the specifics of freezing Brussel sprouts, be it for your next roast dinner, or for a soup prep.
Read to the end for some tips and tricks when you are freezing your Brussel sprouts, as well as some things you might not have thought of that you may need to consider when freezing them.
How to freeze Brussel sprouts
There are a couple of ways that you can go about freezing Brussel sprouts. But the most common way to do it is this:
- Step one: select your sprouts. If they are on a stalk, then trim them off. While on this step, you can also check for any mould, insect or even any mushiness, none of this is good and the sprout should be discarded or composted.
- Step two: wash your freshly trimmed Brussel sprouts under some cold running water, you can use a strainer or a colander for this step. Following on from the last step, if you have grown these yourself or are just simply not sure if there are insects, you can soak your Brussel sprouts in some cold water with some salt.
- Step three: boil some water in a pan on a high heat over the hob.
- Step four: separate your sprouts into some differing sizes, since larger sprouts will take longer to blanche.
- Step five: add your larger Brussel sprouts to the water first, these may take around five minutes, depending how big they are. Then progressively add the others in groups of size order.
- Step six: take your Brussel sprouts off the boil and drain them, then dunk them straight into some ice-cold water in a bowl (have this prepped to make this process quicker). This will serve to halt the cooking of the Brussel sprouts immediately.
- Step seven: spread out your Brussel sprouts on a baking tray that is freezer safe and make sure they are dry. Then flash freeze them.
- Step eight: after an hour of flash freezing, you can transfer your blanched and frozen Brussel sprouts into freezer bags.
And that’s it! All you need to have is a saucepan, a baking tray, a bowl of water and a colander or drainer. The best tip for this freezing process is to label your sprouts into portioned sized in the freezer bags when you transfer them from the baking tray. This way you can simply grab a bag out and start thawing.
The other way to freeze Brussel sprouts is to roast them first. Here is a quick step by step guide for that process too:
- Step one: trim the Brussel sprouts like the method above.
- Step two: clean the Brussel sprouts like the method above.
- Step three: roast your Brussel sprouts to your desired instructions until they become tender. Make sure you are frequently shaking the tray they are on so that the sprouts have a chance to evenly roast.
- Step four: when they are finished roasting, let them cool completely to room temperature.
- Step five: move all of the roasted sprouts into freezer bags and label them according to portion size and even the date that you put them in the freezer.
How to defrost Brussel sprouts
Speaking of thawing, that tis the next step of this guide. Once a few months have rolled around and you find a recipe that requires a portion of Brussel sprouts, you can sleep easy because you have some prepared in the freezer! But before you sleep, make sure to take your desired amount of frozen Brussel sprouts and place them in the fridge the night before you need them. This will give them at least eight hours to thaw.
There are not really nay tricks to defrosting Brussel sprouts, but the best tip that can be given is to make sure that you are prepared and know what meals you are cooking so that you are able to defrost your sprouts ahead of time.
The main reason for this is that if you defrost your Brussel sprouts in the microwave, they are likely to go mushy and lose their texture. This is why thawing them out slowly is a better option.
However, if you are likely to add your Brussel sprouts to a soup when they are defrosted, then you could potentially think about using your microwave to thaw them out. If your soup is going to be a blended creamy consistency, then this should be fine. But the best results will come from thawing in the fridge overnight.
If you are defrosting your roasted Brussel sprouts, the same thawing process applies as with the blanched sprouts. But you can sauté the thawed-out Brussel sprouts in a pan to get some heat back into them once they have thawed. They will retain the roasted flavor then.
Things to consider when freezing Brussel sprouts
The main thing to consider is the way that you want to cook your Brussel sprouts before freezing them. Blanching them leads to an easier process that is better for sprouts that you aren’t sure what you will be using them for but roasting then freezing locks in a flavor that is perfect for a quick reheat and serve.
The most important thing to remember is that you should thaw them out completely in the fridge overnight before you use them, this way you will retain some of the natural and fresh texture and flavor.