How Long Does Broccoli Last – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3-5 days

Broccoli is a common vegetable eaten in many parts of the world. The green flowering head of a broccoli plant is what is edible. It has a distinctive taste and can be added to any meal or eaten as a main meal.

It is eaten raw, steamed, boiled, or roasted. Broccoli is very beneficial to humans as it provides a large number of nutrients, which include vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.

Broccoli has been cultivated in some parts of Italy for over two thousand years. It resembles cauliflower and can be grouped in the same category of vegetables as kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and turnips. Broccoli was introduced to the US in the 1920s by Italian immigrants.

How long broccoli lasts

Broccoli StateLifespan
Room Temperature3-5 days
Refrigerator10-14 days
Freezer1 year

Like any other vegetable, broccoli is highly perishable. How long the broccoli remains fresh depends on how it is stored.

Shelf life at room temperature

Broccoli that is freshly picked from the garden will last 3 to 5 days before it goes bad. If the broccoli is purchased from a grocery store, it is hard to tell how long it has been on the shelf. Broccoli from the market will typically last 2 to 3 days. It is therefore recommended to refrigerate this vegetable if it is to be used on a later date.

Shelf life in the refrigerator

Freshly picked broccoli will last approximately 10 to 14 days in the fridge before it goes to waste. On the other hand, broccoli purchased in the market lasts 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator, if it’s fresh and dry. Generally, broccoli in the fridge stays fresh for approximately 7 to 14 days.

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Shelf life in the freezer

If broccoli is packed and stored well in a properly maintained freezer, it can reach a lifetime of 12 months or more. Already frozen broccoli florets purchased from a store will usually have an expiry date of about three months.

Cooked broccoli

The shelf life of cooked broccoli is much less than fresh broccoli, whether at room temperature or in the fridge. It is best to eat cooked broccoli sooner than later. If appropriately stored inside the refrigerator, cooked broccoli can last approximately 5 to 7 days. Before placing broccoli in the fridge (cooked or raw), it is necessary to put it in a tightly sealed container. If cooked broccoli is stored correctly in a freezer, it can last 10 to 12 months.

Why does broccoli last that long?

How long the broccoli lasts depends on how well it is stored. Below are variables that determine how long broccoli will last.

a. Store broccoli in the fridge or freezer.

If the harvested, cooked, or purchased broccoli must be stored to be eaten at a later date, it is best to place it in a fridge where it will last longer. Inside the refrigerator, bacteria that decay foodstuffs won’t thrive as much as when the broccoli is placed under room temperature.

Placing broccoli in freezers is mostly done by manufacturers who intend to sell them and require a much longer shelf time.

b. Store broccoli in its raw form.

As discussed earlier, raw broccoli lasts longer than cooked broccoli. It is, therefore, better to store broccoli in the fridge as natural. The same goes for storage under room temperature.

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Raw broccoli can either be freshly picked from the garden or purchased from the grocery store. Cooked broccoli contains a lot of moisture, which fastens the decay process.

c. Ensure broccoli is tightly sealed in a plastic container before storing it.

It is better to try to minimize the broccoli’s exposure to light and open-air when storing it. Bacteria are freely moving in the air and can easily contaminate the broccoli if it’s not sealed. Wash the plastic bag very well, dry it, and place the broccoli inside.

d. Pick fresh and healthy-looking broccoli

The more healthy-looking it is, the longer the chances of it staying clean longer. If the broccoli florets show some discoloration or drying, it usually means the plant was infected with some disease. A discolored broccoli floret perishes much faster than a healthy one. If placed in the same sealed container as fresh florets, it will contaminate the rest.

Vegetables such as broccoli are so beneficial to humans; most people don’t want to see it go to waste. It is, therefore, up to everyone to ensure that they are correctly stored if need be. Although the steps of adequately storing broccoli are simple, it is better to acquire small amounts that could be eaten at one go. Broccoli has many health benefits to the human body and should be consumed daily.

References

https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/clim/13/5/1520-0442_2000_013_0951_tcatlg_2.0.co_2.xml

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