Yeah yeah yeah I know you don’t like Brussels Sprouts. They’re green and cabbage. Your mother only made them on Thanksgiving – boiled and swimming in a gallon of butter. They were mushy and even the dog turned it’s nose up at them when you tried sneaking them to it under the table. I heard it before because I said it before. I HAAAAAAAAAAAATED these things growing up. OMG it was absolute torture for me when I was told “Lori, you are not allowed to leave the table until you finish everything on your plate. ” In my whole life the longest I sat at that table was 2 hours. And it was hell. I had my own pity party. I whined. I then played with my food, to which I got in trouble for that. I begged the to eat it. Nope. Then over came my 40 pound Maine Coon cat. Yes 40 pounds. Folks this cat was pretty much the size of a medicine ball with legs. He was GINORMOUS but so loveable. He was, as my Dad would say, ‘lurpy’. Just very ‘do-di-doh’. lol
So over waddles this cat, rubbing against my legs, purring and eventually standing up on his fat ham-hock legs pawing at arm to give him a bite of food. Yes, you know where this is going. So I cut off a piece of that mushy, butter-laden Brussels sprouts and put it up to his mouth. He sniffed it, licked it once and then stopped. He then looked up at me, almost knowing I wasn’t going to eat it, took one for the team. That damn, beautious cat ate all of my Brussels Sprouts! He went to TOWN!
However to prove that I ate some and didn’t give it to the dog, I had to take the teeniest of bites as my Mom was going to check my mouth to make sure I at least ate some. So I did this, while suffering from certain pending death. Once I/the cat was done eating them I called into the living room with an angelic “I’m done”. Mom came out to the kitchen to inspect not the plate but rather she SMELLED the dog’s breath, checked the garbage and my mouth.
Now I go on my merry way thinking my bestie (my Maine Coon) just did me a solid. Yeah… that lasted ohhhhhhhhhhh about 20 minutes until I heard the “LORI ANN! GET YOUR BUTT DOWN HERE…NOW!!!” sound of my dear mother’s voice. As I walked down to the kitchen, as angelic as I could, already working up the tears (in case I needed them) my mother stood there, hands on her hip, sternly staring at me. As I walked into the kitchen she said this “Lori Ann, I will ask you this once and only once. You know the rules – no lying, EVER. Did you feed the cat your Brussels Sprouts?”.
Immediately the tears started to flow and of course the lip started to quiver. Man I could turn that on in a snap (still can actually though it doesn’t work so well at my age). I looked up at her and then she moved aside to show me the evidence my cat ‘left’ on the kitchen floor. Apparently my bestie did me a solid but tossed it all back up. Some bestie, huh? I put my head down and very softly said ‘yes but Mommy you don’t understand they are terrible! They are all mushy and gross.” I didn’t get my butt tapped but I did get sent to bed early all week which was TORTURE for someone who didn’t sleep much. And the worst is that my cat was ticked off at me and it took like a week before he would warm back up to me.
So for years I refused to eat these things because all I knew about Brussels Sprouts is that they were boiled, butter laden and mushy. Mama I love you with all my heart but you seriously made these so wrong. About 4-5 years ago I decided to buy some at the market. I was bound and determined to make these so they wouldn’t suck. Now you all know my deep love of bacon so I figured if bacon can’t make them awesome, then nothing would. So I made my first recipe with these and OMG it made me do a complete 180 view of these. They went from mushy and yucky to OMG these are AMAZING! And rightly so I called the recipe “Brussels Sprouts – they actually don’t suck!”
So today I’m telling you, make one of my Brussels Sprouts recipes. They honestly will transform any naysayer that says they suck into praising God for creating such an amazing vegetable! So okay, what can you make with them???
So yeah today’s recipe is teaching you how to buy them in bulk and then freeze them. No you can’t pop them in the freezer without blanching them. Do you know why? Blanching (see what is blanching) helps vegetables keep their vibrant colors and retain nutrients. Additionally it stops the enzymes in their tracks. These enzymes are the things that lead to spoilage. Freezing vegetables without blanching them first leads to faded or dull colored veggies, as well as not-so-pleasant flavors or textures. Trust me, you must blanch them.
The process is really simple – boil for 4 minutes, give them an ice bath (this is what stops the cooking immediately but allows it to retain their color) and pat them dry. They MUST be dry before freezing. You don’t want ice crystals forming.
Once they are dry, freeze away!
So I know how your mind works “Do I thaw them out when I want to use them?” NO NO NO. They will get super mushy. Just roast them, pan sear them or wrap ’em in bacon frozen. Now quit making that squinched-up-7-year-old-yucky-face and go eat your Brussels Sprouts!
- 1–2 pounds fresh Brussel Sprouts off of the stalk
- Place 6-8 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil.
- While the water is heating up, clean out the outside of the sprouts of any bad leaves or bad spots. Do not remove the stems
- Make an ice bath in a separate bowl – 6 cups of water and 3 cups of ice. You want lots of ice!
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with a few sheets of paper towels.
- Once the water is boiling carefully put the sprouts in the water and boil for exactly 4 minutes.
- Using a large slotted spoon, scoop out the sprouts and place them directly in the ice water bath.
- Allow the sprouts to sit in the ice bath for 1 minute.
- Drain in a colander, shake any excess water and pour the sprouts on to the paper towel line pan. Using another paper towel, pat the sprouts dry.
- Once the sprouts are completely dry, place in a freezer safe bag and store in the freezer.
- These last ~10 months frozen