You've Been Storing Broccoli Wrong Your Whole Life

Some people like to keep a lot of produce on hand in the refrigerator, but for vegetables to remain fresh, it'll require some extra care and technique. One vegetable that you might be storing wrong is broccoli, whether it is raw or cooked. Chopped broccoli doesn't keep in the fridge for much more than two days no matter how you store it, so you'll want to eat it fast once you have it (via My Recipes).

Broccoli is a vegetable that keeps fresh best when it has some room to breathe. So, avoid wrapping this veggie in anything that can restrict its access to air. Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and resealable bags will not be helpful here. Instead, reach for paper towels. Just wrap the broccoli lightly in a damp paper towel for a breathable storage environment.

Another way to store broccoli that allows it to breathe is in a cup or glass or water, stalk side down. Both of these methods will prolong the life of your favorite green vegetable so you have more time to enjoy it. Either way you choose to store your broccoli, don't wash it beforehand. The extra moisture will cause mold to grow (via Sweetwater Organic).

How to freeze fresh broccoli

It's also possible to freeze fresh broccoli. To do so, you'll want to wash it first and dry the florets well. Next, cut the head of the broccoli into smaller florets and chop up the stalks if you so choose. Boil the broccoli for about three minutes before placing the cooked vegetables in ice water for another three minutes. Once the broccoli is dry, place the pieces into a resealable bag or container and store it in the freezer until you're ready to eat it. Once frozen, broccoli can stay good for up to a year (seriously!), so you'll have plenty of time to use and enjoy.

Whether you keep your broccoli for a week or a year, remember to keep the cooking time relatively short when you prepare it for a meal (or snack). In fact, you only need about seven minutes to cook broccoli to perfection. Any more time that that, and the broccoli won't live up to its potential. When broccoli is overcooked, it loses some color, creates an aroma, and even leaches out some of the great nutrients.