Nobody would love to see their fresh veggies getting bad in the fridge. We all want our fruits and veggies to stay fresh in the refrigerator for several days; that is why we will fill our stores and fridges with hearty veggies for future use. However, it is frustrating to see these healthy foods decompose and grow moldy after a few days.
It is not just a waste of food as we throw them in the garbage bin, but also a major hit on our pockets. The question is, how do you avoid this mess? How do you properly store veggies like broccoli to stay fresh for an extended period without decomposing? To get clear answers to these questions, we need to look at how to keep broccoli and how long it lasts in the fridge.
Knowing how long does broccoli last in the fridge helps you to determine if you are going to add this edible green plant to your daily dish. It will also help you know where and how to store broccoli so that it maintains its color, taste, and aroma. Therefore, read on to get vital information about broccoli growth, storage, and how to know if it has gone bad.
How Long Broccoli Takes to Grow
Our mothers will always fight to get the best meal for the family. Since buying groceries every day from the stores could be an expensive idea, they will also try to develop an alternative to grow these healthy veggies in their herb gardens. One of these veggies is broccoli. However, most mothers, especially first-time gardeners, do not know how long broccoli takes to mature for harvesting.
If you are one of those who feel like trying out simple broccoli farming, you should identify different broccoli varieties. These varieties have a unique color, size, shape, and maturity period, although they contain the same nutrients. This means broccoli has no specific maturity period, but you can use an average of 10 to 20 days.
Therefore, depending on the variety you choose to plant in your garden, most types are recommended to be grown in the winter or early springs so that they can mature and come to harvest when the temperature is below 23 degrees Celsius. It also makes sense to know the maturity period of the variety you want to grow to harvest at the calendar’s cooler time.
How to Store Broccoli
After waiting for 20 or 50 days to harvest your broccoli, you will be worried about where to store it to keep it fresh and safe to eat. Remember, vegetable varieties vary in modes of storage. Some veggies need a cool and dry place at room temperature, while others should be stored in a cool and moist place with temperatures below four degrees Celsius.
So, which temperatures are suitable for broccoli? It is recommended to keep broccoli in a cool and humid area with a temperature below four degrees Celsius. The only place that can offer these conditions is the fridge. However, it is challenging to achieve these conditions for most varieties harvested from the garden.
This is because the fridge makes the air inside dry, which makes broccoli decompose quickly. Therefore, how do we prevent this? Simple; by packing broccoli in a dry perforated plastic bag. Do not jam-pack them in one bag. Additionally, please do not wash your broccoli before storing them because it encourages heat rot. How long does broccoli last in the fridge? If properly stored, then it can last fresh for 7 to 14 days.
Whether you purchased or harvested broccoli from your farm, it will take between five days and 12 months before your broccoli begins to rot in the fridge. This period, however, depends on the variety of broccoli stored in the refrigerator. Other varieties can even last longer than 12 months, depending on how you treat them. Additionally, how long the broccolis last in the fridge differs between the freshly harvested and cooked broccoli. Therefore, here are the variations of time taken by different broccoli in the refrigerator;
- Properly stored fresh broccoli can last between seven to 14 days in the fridge.
- Chopped or sliced raw broccoli can take one to two days in the refrigerator.
- Cooked broccoli can last for about three to five days in the refrigerator.
- If cooked broccoli is allowed to freeze, it can last for about 10 to 12 months in the refrigerator. However, if it is properly prepared and stored in the freezer, it can take 12 to 18 months to maintain its quality.
- If you store freshly harvested broccoli in the freezer and maintain a constant temperature of zero degrees Celsius, it can stay safe indefinitely.
How Do Identify Tell A Bad Broccoli
Although some people will only rely on the time taken by broccoli in the fridge, sometimes it is vital to tell if broccoli is bad. Conditions in the refrigerator can change, exposing broccoli to unfavorable conditions. Therefore, here are the factors to use in telling if your broccoli is bad;
The smell is the most basic way to tell if veggies are bad. The easiest way to identify bad broccoli is the intensified smell. Most fresh broccoli does not have any scent, making it possible to tell a rotting variety once you notice fresh air changing to a strong moldy smell. You can place it close to your nose or notice the bad odor in the fridge.
Feel and Texture
Do you know how fresh broccoli feel? When you buy fresh broccoli from the market or harvest them, you will realize they feel very firm with extremely crisp stalk. Once you recognize this firm texture changing to a soggy and loose feeling, know it is time to throw your edible greens away. The crispy texture will also start becoming limp.
Fresh broccoli is usually dark green or bright in color. Bad broccoli will start changing its green color to yellow or lose its natural color. Alternatively, bad broccoli will have slippery spots on the buds or holes on the florets. You can also tell bad broccoli by noticing the wilting of the florets.
From the little information provided above, anyone can tell how long broccoli can last in the fridge and how to store broccoli so that it last longer safely. Therefore, when you properly keep broccoli, it can even take one year before changing its color, taste, and smell with the right temperature and treatment. In summary, you should store your broccoli in a dry perforated plastic bag for short-term storage and in an airtight sealed container for long-term storage.