Brussel sprouts can add some flavour and colour to your meal, and depending on how you prepare them, they can be crispy or soft. They can bring a different texture that really spruces up your meal and gives it some variety. There are plenty of people who can’t stand the smell of cooking Brussel sprouts, but we think they are missing out on a unique vegetable that deserves a spot on your dinner table from time to time.
We love our Brussel sprouts and like to try new ways of preparing them to bring out their flavour and add something different to a meal. This is a vegetable that used to be looked down on, perhaps thought of as the unwelcome cousin of cabbage, but they are very popular these days.
We think that’s because there are so many resources like ours out there that show people some new ways to prepare them and that make Brussel sprouts look appetising. You can toast yours, grill them, put them in a salad, wrap them in bacon (our favourite), boil them, steam them in the microwave, and so much more.
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This article will show you how to store Brussel sprouts and how to ensure they stay fresh no matter where you sourced them from and no matter how you plan to use them. If you are tired of throwing out your Brussel sprouts because they go bad before you can use them, then this article is for you.
The Importance of Storing Your Brussel Sprouts Correctly
If you don’t know how to store fresh Brussel sprouts, then when you go to use the sprouts, they will be soggy, mushy, foul smelling or discoloured. In other words, they won’t look like anything you want to put in your food. If Brussel sprouts age too fast, they will lose their proper flavour, and they go sour. No one wants that, so we urge you to follow the storage guidelines we lay out in this article to ensure that your Brussel sprouts stay fresh and tasting like they should.
A lot of the reason that Brussel sprouts have been so maligned for so long by so many people (not just children) is that they often aren’t stored properly. If your veggies go bad, of course no one will want to eat them. If you would like to introduce your kids or other family members to this delicious and very healthy vegetable, then proper storage is key. You also need to be aware of how long Brussel sprouts last and how to prepare them in a way that keeps them fresh and doesn’t rob them of their flavour.
Check your Brussel sprouts before you use them. If they look brown on the edges, they are going bad. Your nose is the best indicator, though. Old sprouts smell like old cabbage- pungent and sour. If the sprouts you are storing might be questionable, give them a whiff before trying to cook them up.
Here are just a few benefits of proper storage:
- Food Lasts Longer- You are extending the shelf life
- Less Waste- You won’t be throwing out as much food
- Lower Costs- Less wasted food means you don’t need to spend as much on groceries
- Better Nutritional Value- Properly stored food is fresher and still retains much of its nutrients
- Tastes Better- When food is stored like it should be, it keeps a fresh taste and full flavour
Brussel Sprouts- How to Store Them Properly
How to store Brussel sprouts in the fridge? You should keep them in a plastic bag away from foods that could contaminate them. If you have a vegetable drawer, that is the best place to keep them.
Should you wash Brussel sprouts you are storing? No, wait to wash them until you are ready to prepare them. Washing them can decrease their shelf life, so resist the urge to make them perfectly clean. Are you worried that their dirtiness will affect other foods in the fridge? Well, that’s part of the reason why we suggest keeping them in a plastic bag.
How to Store Brussel Sprouts on the Stalk
Sometimes, you will buy Brussel sprouts with the stem or stalk still attached. Or you might pick them from your garden this way, without fully removing the stem. Is it okay to keep that stem on there?
Let’s take a moment to talk about how to store Brussel sprouts on the stalk.
You can leave that stem on there and only take it off when you are ready to use the sprouts. This will help extend their shelf life just a little longer. Only pick off the sprouts that you need to use. If you want to use the stem later on, just place it in some water in the fridge. It will store there in good shape for a few days. You can also store it in a wet paper towel inside your fridge. This keeps the stalk fresh and hydrated so that it doesn’t dry out, shrivel, and become brown and inedible. The sprouts don’t need to be stored in water.
Storing Brussel Sprouts Long Term
For those of us who live alone and make small meals, it can be a struggle trying to ensure our groceries don’t go to waste. We only use a quarter of an onion at a time, part of a head of lettuce, and a single potato for a meal. That puts large grocery buys at risk for spoiling before they can be used. If we have a garden at home, then some of the produce can go to waste as well. How to store Brussel sprouts for longer than a few days? That would mean putting them in the freezer.
It’s perfectly fine to store Brussel sprouts frozen, so long as you use a freezer safe bag or container that is airtight. You can store fresh Brussel sprouts that way, and you don’t have to worry about them going bad for a long time. They can last for anywhere from a year to a year and a half, but there is a very important procedure you have to follow first.
Like many vegetables, Brussel sprouts should be blanched before they are placed in freezer storage. This is a process of rapidly heating the vegetables and then rapidly cooling them. You can use a blanching basket if you have one and put the Brussel sprouts in boiling water for 10 minutes. Then, take them off the heat and put the sprouts into an ice bath. They should stay on the ice for as long as they were in the boiling water.
Once the sprouts have been properly cooled, they should be dried off. You don’t want the excess water left on them, as that can cause deterioration. Place the dried Brussel sprouts directly into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and freeze immediately.
The blanching process stops the breakdown of enzymes and stops the loss of nutrients, helping the food retain its nutritional value and flavour and stay fresh for a long time.
How to Store Brussel Sprouts from the Garden
There is nothing better than garden fresh veggies. You have cared for them, weeded them, and watered them yourself, and when you pluck them and then bring them into the kitchen, it feels so rewarding to cook them up and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
How to store Brussel sprouts from the garden? Just pick them with the stem intact and keep them in an airtight plastic bag in your fridge. Be sure to wait on washing them until they are ready to be used.
Keeping Brussel sprouts on the stalk is a good idea, because it makes them stay fresh for longer. Just like separating bananas from the bunch can open up the peel a bit and cause them to go bad faster, taking Brussel sprouts off the stalk causes them to brown quicker and get sour faster. They may not look as appealing with the stalk attached, but you are giving them an extra few days of shelf life.
How Long Do Brussel Sprouts Last in the Fridge?
If you followed all of our storage directions, then your Brussel sprouts should last for about four days. If you are waiting the full four days to use them, be sure to check them for signs of spoiling. Look for browning edges and changes in smell. If in doubt, we say you should throw them out. Don’t risk eating spoiled Brussel sprouts. Not only might they taste bad, but they can make you sick as well.
Safe storage is super important for all veggies, and there are a few different methods of storage you can use. Now that you know how to store Brussel sprouts in the freezer or fridge and even on the stalk, you should get a lot more use out of them and extend their shelf life. This will help you save money and ensure your food stays fresher for longer.
What’s the best way to store Brussels sprouts for short-term use?
For short-term storage, keep Brussels sprouts in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. They’ll typically last for about a week. If possible, store them in a paper bag to help absorb any excess moisture.
Can Brussels sprouts be frozen for long-term storage, and if so, how?
Yes, Brussels sprouts can be frozen for long-term storage. To do so, first clean them and trim off any yellow or damaged leaves. Blanch the sprouts in boiling water for about three minutes, then immediately plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Once they’re cooled, drain them well and transfer to freezer bags. Frozen Brussels sprouts should be used within 12 to 14 months for the best quality.
How can I tell if my Brussels sprouts have gone bad?
If Brussels sprouts have gone bad, they’ll often have visible signs of mold or decay, and they may have a strong, unpleasant smell. If the sprouts are slimy or discolored, they should not be consumed. Also, if the leaves are yellow or have black spots, it’s probably time to toss them out.