How To Freeze Dry Brussels Sprouts

how to freeze dry brussels sprouts

Freeze Dried Vegetables

Brussels sprouts are gaining popularity and with good reason. They’re so tasty and can liven up a meal with their distinctly sweet, nutty, and smokey flavor. If you love cabbages, you’ll love their milder flavor.

With their creamy inside, Brussels sprouts are highly perishable. They only last for up to 5 days in the fridge, even if covered in plastic wrap. And when they spoil, they stink up the fridge like crazy. Here’s how to freeze dry Brussels sprouts so they last longer and you don’t have to worry about a smelly fridge.

Do You Cook Brussels Sprouts Before Freeze Drying?

This is optional, especially if you prefer to go on a whim when cooking Brussels Sprouts. But in case you need inspiration on how to cook them before freeze-drying, you could try the following recipes:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The recipe writer believes that there’s a key to bringing out this vegetable’s flavor. Brussels Sprouts are so clean in flavor that they go well with almost anything. But if you want to bring out the best flavor? You got to season it right.

This recipe brings out the vegetable through the right touch of lemon, thyme, and parmesan. The tangy, earthy, and nutty medley of flavors can make skeptics of the vegetable huge fans. And to pull this off, you need to make sure that the vegetables are the same size as much as possible.

roasted brussels sprouts in cast iron pan

Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Imagine tender, flavorful sprouts caramelized with a sweet-and-savory sauce. And if you’re not a fan of washing and drying small globes of vegetables, this is a must.

To get that delicious caramelization going, you only need to take out the outer leaves of the vegetable. Washing the sprouts will dilute the glaze and turn your vegetable into mush.

Another trick here is to put the Brussels Sprouts very carefully on a hot baking sheet. Yes, you’re going to warm the tray lined with a baking sheet inside the oven while it’s preheating. Once the baking tray and sheet are all hot, carefully take the tray out with a pair of tongs. Use a stable rack on the counter to keep the tray steady, and you safe from burning. Then using tongs, place, all the seasoned sprouts cut side down carefully on the hot tray. Let it cook back in the oven, and you have a delicious side dish.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

You might be thinking bacon and freeze-drying don’t go together. But they do! Since you’re going to cook the bacon in the oven, the fat will render off. They even go first before the sprouts, so you’ll take out much of the fat.

The yellow onion and garlic accent the flavor of this savory dish. The black pepper and chili flakes give it an interesting heat, but you can skip the chili if you want.

Go sparingly on the oil as much as possible. Remember that oil doesn’t freeze dry well, so use slightly less than needed in the recipe. If you want, you can also blanch the sprouts for 3-5 minutes then freeze-dry them.

Do I Pre-Freeze?

Pre-freezing is an option, but it can certainly help with your freeze dryer’s load. Although you can freeze food inside the Harvest Right freeze dryer, it does increase the freeze-drying time.

If you’re going to freeze the tiny globes, use the same freeze dryer trays you will use. This keeps the temperature stable and maintains a steady freeze-drying process.

How To Freeze Dry Brussels Sprouts

Once you’ve prepared your sprouts the way you want them, it’s time to start freeze-drying.

  1. Turn on the machine and choose “NOT FROZEN”.
  2. For pre-frozen vegetables choose “FROZEN” and set the unit to precool for 15-30 minutes. This is to prevent defrosting the sprouts since the chamber will be warm.
  3. When the unit is ready, close the drain valve and put the trays in.

You can use the preset of the Harvest Right freeze dryer for vegetables to make things easy. This process is certainly shorter than freeze drying using a freezer and more effortless than dry ice.

whole brussels sprouts with garlic and bacon

How Long Does The Freeze Drying Take?

Freeze drying can take between 24 hours up to 36 hours, depending on how you prepare your Brussels sprouts. Raw, unprepared sprouts need about 24 hours, while cooked ones can take longer, depending on the amount of oil you use.

How Do I Know They’re Done Freeze Drying?

Done properly, the freeze-dried Brussels Sprouts should be like mini Styrofoam balls. They’re so airy, crunchy, and have that strong taste of mini cabbages. If you season them with balsamic vinegar, you’ll get that intense hit of acid right at the end.

If you get soft, cool, and a bit moist sprouts, you need to put the trays back. Set in 2-4 hours of extra dry time until the sprouts become dry and crunchy.

How Will I Store Freeze Dried Brussels Sprouts

You can store them in Mylar bags if you want to keep them long-term. Or if you’re going to take them as camping or hiking food for you and your family.

Use Mason jars if you plan to eat them within the week or month. They’re easy to reseal using a vacuum sealer each time you open them. They’re also reusable, making them perfect for on-demand eating.

In both types of containers, remember to add oxygen absorbers. These are used per gallon size of your container since they take out the air from the empty space. If you’re using 300cc oxygen absorbers, place one to two before sealing.

Remember to replace the oxygen absorbers each time you open the bag or jars.

How Long Do Freeze-Dried Brussels Sprouts Last?

Freeze-dried properly, the vegetables can last for 25 years or more under ideal storage conditions. Keep it in a room free of light, moisture, and air, so they stay good to eat, especially if you’re using Mason Jars. Remember to keep the room temperature below 72°F (22 °C), as heat can lead to spoilage.

What’s your favorite way of cooking Brussels Sprouts? Let us know in the comment section.

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