How to know when broccoli is bad? (+5 health benefits)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to know when broccoli is bad?”, and how to safely store broccoli?

How to know when broccoli is bad?

When fresh broccoli starts to go bad, it loses its crispiness, develops a limp and the florets turn yellow from dark green. Black or brown spots present on the head of the broccoli head can be removed using a knife. If the broccoli has moldy surface growth or gives off a really bad smell, it is a sure indication of spoilage.

When it comes to cooked broccoli, the presence of white moldy spots or patches is a sign you should immediately discard your broccoli. If the broccoli feels slimy to touch, throw it out.

How long does broccoli last?

Fresh broccoli stored in the fridge will stay fresh for about 5-7 days. After 7 days, the degradation process will be rapid. The broccoli may not necessary go bad or rot but you might want to throw it for quality purposes.

Freezing is a good option if you want to keep your broccoli for more than 7 days. Frozen broccoli has an indefinite shelf-life if stored properly. While cooked broccoli will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.

In the fridgeIn the freezer
Raw broccoli4-7 daysMore than 3 months
Cooked broccoli3-5 daysMore than 3 months

How to store broccoli?

Storing broccoli at room temperature is not recommended. It will turn yellow in only 1-2 days. To preserve the freshness of broccoli, it must be refrigerated. It is recommended to not cut the broccoli days before its use. 

Maybe you wonder if Can you still eat broccoli when it turns yellow.

Cut broccoli will rot quickly than the whole head intact. Cooked broccoli can be stored in the fridge in air-tight containers after it has been cooled to room temperature. 

How to freeze fresh broccoli?

To freeze broccoli follow the step below.

After washing, cut the broccoli head into florets. The stalks can also be stored by cutting them into small pieces.

In a large enough pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Then add broccoli and let it blanch for 2-3 minutes depending upon the size of the broccoli. Transfer the blanched broccoli to an ice bath. Keep it there for 5 minutes at least. This step is important to halt the cooking process. Finally, transfer the broccoli to a paper towel and let it dry completely before freezing.

On a baking tray, spread the blanched, cooled, and dry broccoli florets. Place the tray in the freezer. This is the pre-freezing step.

Last but not the least, transfer the frozen florets to a resealable plastic bag or freezer bag. Label the bag and chuck it into the freezer.

How to freeze cooked broccoli?

Cook the broccoli according to your personal preference. After steaming or roasting broccoli, let it come to room temperature. Then transfer the broccoli to freezer bags. Do not overfill the bag. One freezer bag should only contain a single-serving portion of the vegetable. Label the bag and chuck it into the freezer.

How to choose the best broccoli?

The stems should be firm, crisp, and fresh while the heads should have a dark green color. The florets should have a compact form. Do not buy broccoli heads with saggy florets, yellowing, and/or withered or wilted leaves.

The head and the thick stem of the broccoli should not have any cuts or soft spots. It should have a uniform firm texture.

Health benefits of broccoli

Rich in anti-oxidants

Broccoli contains a rich amount of glucoraphanin and is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin. Sulforaphane formed by the digestion of glucoraphanin has been found to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol and fight oxidative stress.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties

A flavonoid compound, Kaempferol, present in broccoli, has been found to possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Eating broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of prostate, gastric, breast, renal, bladder, and colorectal cancer.

Regulates blood sugar

The high fiber and antioxidant content of broccoli help regulate blood sugar. It is particularly a very healthy choice for diabetic patients. 

Protects heart

Broccoli reduces the levels of bad cholesterol(LDL) and triglyceride in the blood while increasing the amount of good cholesterol(HDL). This property may be attributed to the high fiber and anti-oxidant levels of the broccoli.

Improves gut health

Broccoli regulates bowel movements and contributes to a healthy digestive system. It has been found to reduce colon inflammation while favoring healthy gut bacteria.

Other FAQs about Broccoli that you may be interested in.

Can you boil broccoli and carrots together

Can you boil broccoli

Can you boil broccoli and carrots together


In this article, we answered the question “How to know when broccoli is bad?”, and how to safely store broccoli?


How Long Does Broccoli Last?