How To Freeze Your Broccoli Harvest

  • Broccoli is high in Potassium, Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, & it has more Vitamin C than an Orange!!  As if you needed another reason to eat tons of this yummy veggie!

Broccoli harvest happens all at once rather than sporadically throughout the season like, say, green beans for instance. If you can’t eat it all fresh straight out of the garden, freezing is the best method to preserve it for another meal and it’s really easy too!  Select firm, tight broccoli heads to preserve!

You Will Need:

  • Large Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Pot
  • Cookie Sheets Lined With Freezer Paper/ Food Saver
  • Colander
  • Salt
  • Ice

The Method:

First, give your broccoli a good rinse to remove any dirt. Then cut away the leaves. (I like to save them for the chickens.) Then fill a large pot with enough water to cover the broccoli and let it come to a boil and begin to prepare the broccoli for blanching.

Broccoli with the leaves gone.

Now run a sink full of cold water. For every gallon of water in the sink add 1 tablespoon salt and dissolve it to create a brine. Cut the broccoli florets off the stalk and put them in the brine bath and allow them to soak for at least five minutes. – This actually has nothing to do with adding flavor, nor does it aid in preserving the broccoli. It’s to get rid of any worms (caterpillars) or bugs that may be inside that pretty stalk of broccoli you brought in from your garden. Even the most perfect looking broccoli will have bugs hiding in it, so don’t freak out it’s just a fact of life! The brine kills them and they fall out of the broccoli florets. Typically they sink to the bottom of the brine bath, but when fishing the broccoli out of the sink for the final rinse in the colander you will need to look to make sure none got stuck to the florets.

This is why we brine folks! I’ll take my broccoli without the added protein THANKS
Broccoli In The Brine

 

After the brine, rinse the broccoli in the colander and give them a good swishing around. Cut up the stalks into bite sized pieces and toss them in the pot of boiling water. Add the florets. Allow the broccoli to cook for 3-5 min or until it is bright green.

Chopped stalks

Drain the broccoli into a colander and fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the broccoli, gently stir it around to cool it. This stops the cooking process and prevents the enzymes in the vegetable from breaking down the food any further. Drain once more. From here you can pack the broccoli cuts into food saver bags and freeze them OR you can spread the cuts out on freezer paper lined cookie sheets and pop them in the freezer for about 4 hours or overnight. Once frozen, grab a corner of the freezer paper and pull it towards you. The broccoli should free from the paper in perfect loose pieces, then bag the broccoli in portion sized bags and store them in the freezer.

Blanched Broccoli Ready For Freezing


Have fun broccoli-ing!

Oh Hot Damn! Strawberry Rhubarb Jam!

This is the first year our four rhubarb plants produced enough stalks to actually do something with, so for the first time I made Strawberry Rhubarb Jam! I just love this combination of two of the seasons first crops. It’s tangy, sweet and perfect on warm flaky biscuits, on top of ice cream, or even smeared all over your morning waffles!

This recipe contains no added pectin to help it thicken so you will need to set aside a bit more time to allow the jam to cook down and thicken on it’s own. As always remember: Safety First! Sterilize your jam jars, lids & rings before you begin. You can do this by running the jars and rings through the dishwasher, or boiling them in a pot on the stove. In a small pan, boil the lids for 5 minutes.

Jam on a fresh warm biscuit…irresistible!

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Yield: 8, 8oz Jelly Jars
Cook Time: About1 hour

Special Equipment needed:

  • Sterilized jars, lids and rings
  • Funnel
  • Ladle
  • Large pot

Ingredients:

  • 8 Cups Rhubarb, chopped
  • 5 Cups Strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 4 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • Shot of vanilla – optional

What to do:

In a large pot combine all ingredients, stir gently over medium heat until contents begin to boil but NOT violently. You may need to adjust the heat as you go. Lava jam burns are no fun! Stir occasionally but allow to cook for at least one hour or until the mixture has thickened. When it coats the back of your spoon and doesn’t have runny drips the jam is done! Ladle into prepared jars on a towel, secure rings and lids. Now it’s time to can the jam! Place your jam jars in a hot water bath canner (a large pot will work just fine if you don’t have a canner), cover the jars with water and boil the jars for 10 minutes. After canning remove the jars from the canner and allow them to cool undisturbed on the counter for 24 hours. You will hear the “pop” of the lids shortly! This means your canning efforts were successful. If any jars didn’t seal, pop them into the fridge and use up within a week.

Enjoy! My family loves this recipe, and …if you can manage to not stuff it all in your face it makes a great gift too!

Carrot Cake Fruit Leather

Inspired by my mom’s famous carrot cake, I came up with this yummy carrot cake fruit leather recipe. It’s got the sweetness, spice, and textures of a classic carrot cake without all the calories, and it’s totally transportable. It’s a great snack and a great gift. Your house will smell fantastic, too!

Carrot Cake Fruit Leather Recipe:

Prep: 20 min

Dehydrator Time: 8-12 hours (depending on your machine or if you use your oven instead)

Ingredients:

• 1 20oz can crushed pineapple
• 1 cup steamed and pureed carrots
• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions:

1. Combine pineapple, coconut, walnuts, raisins, and maple syrup. Pulse in a food processor about five times then Return to bowl.

2. Stir in pureed carrots.

3. Spread mixture 1/4-inch thick onto the fruit roll-up trays that go with your dehydrator. Dehydrate according to your machine’s directions for fruit leather, typically 8 hours, or until fruit leather is no longer shiny or tacky.

*Oven Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 150 F.

2. Spread the mixture onto a silpat on a cookie sheet 1/4-inch thick for up to 12 hours, until fruit leather is no longer shiny or tacky.

3. Cut finished fruit leather with a pizza cutter and roll it up with waxed paper. Enjoy!

carrot cake fleather
Carrot Cake Fruit leather!

This recipe is a huge hit with my family!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!