April 25, 20080 found this helpful
Tips for saving money on broccoli from the ThriftyFun community. Post your own ideas here.
Organize and Freeze
I buy the biggest head I can get that's firm and dark green, with tightly closed buds. I cut off the stem in one piece, peel it, and slice it to use in stir-fry or soups. Then I cut apart the florets and divide them into groups:
- Veggie Platter: bite-size florets with a stem to pick them up by
- Side Dish: bite-size florets or pieces, stems optional
- Stir-Fry: smaller, solid florets
- Casseroles: everything else - tiny florets, chopped big florets, chopped small tender stems
I blanch everything but the veggie platter florets, drain well, and lay out on a cookie sheet to freeze. When done, I bag them and label according to purpose.
Here's another tip: to label containers in the refrigerator or freezer, I use small removable stickers from the office supply store. They cost a fraction of a cent apiece, and peel off easily without a trace (if you don't let them get wet).
Use The Stem
A lot of people wastefully throw away the stem part in favor of the flowerets. I find that the stems work great in casseroles and for Cream of Broccoli Soup. You can eat the flowerets fresh and save up the stems in the freezer until you have enough to make soup.
Grow Your Own
Broccoli is a wonderful thing to plant in your kitchen garden. Growing veggies is a great way to get kids interested in eating them. You can sometimes get great deals at your local farmer's market when broccoli is in season.
Use a Vacuum Sealer
I have saved lots of money on all my veggies since I purchased the Reynolds Vacuum Sealer. But for now, I will address saving money on Broccoli. I buy it fresh most especially for salads. I cannot say for sure how long it will keep once you seal it in the special bags because I always use it up before it can go bad. But I can tell you that the broccoli that I currently have stored in my crisper drawer in a Reynolds vacuum sealed bag was purchased and sealed originally on March 30. You can open the bag, remove what you need and reseal the rest for later use. It is now April 18, and it still is as fresh as the day I put it in there. Still nice and green, and the flowerets are still compact. If you are not familiar with the Reynolds sealer, it is available at WalMart on the aisle where Ziplock bags are located. It is inexpensive, $10.00, and the special bags are also available in the same location and come in two sizes. Quarts and Gallons. They are similar to a Ziplock but but have a special seal.
Select firm, young, tender stalks with compact heads. If leaves are still attached to stems they should be dark green and firm. Yellowing flowers means the broccoli is old. Broccoli should be harvested before the individual clusters start to open and processed as soon as possible after harvesting.