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Like most people, I treated Brussel Sprouts with complete disdain, growing up. I always thought of it as cabbage’s poor cousin. But as I’ve grown older and realized there are excellent ways to cook Brussel Sprouts that actually make them delicious, I have done a complete turnaround and cook Brussel Sprouts almost every other week in some form or another. As much as I enjoy them now, my family is not always so enthusiastic and very often I end up throwing a whole bag of Brussel Sprouts away. This is why I researched how long Brussel Sprouts can last, how best to store them, and if there is any way to extend their shelf life.
If you are someone who buys more Brussel Sprouts than you use, then this article is for you. There are some tips and tricks to store these misunderstood sprouts, how best to use them, if they spoil and how to tell when they do and of course how long they actually last. So, if you see Brussel Sprouts in your future or already have them in your fridge, here is what you need to know.
- Do Brussel Sprouts Spoil?
- How Long Do Brussel Sprouts (Cooked + Uncooked) Last?
- How to Store Brussel Sprouts?
- How To Freeze Brussel Sprouts?
- How to Tell If Your Brussel Sprouts Have Gone Bad?
Do Brussel Sprouts Spoil?
Yes, they do. Like all things organic, Brussel Sprouts too have an end date. While they seem like hardy little vegetables, they have a relatively short shelf life. There are of course ways to increase their shelf life, but both cooked and uncooked Brussel Sprouts will perish soon if not stored properly.
Brussel Sprouts bought from the stores usually come in bags with a best-by date or sell-by date. This refers to how long the product will reach peak quality, this date does not indicate when the product will spoil.
How Long Do Brussel Sprouts (Cooked + Uncooked) Last?
- You can buy Brussel Sprouts either with the stem or without. The ones that are still attached to the stalk have a marginally longer life span.
- Brussel Sprouts usually last for about 5-10 days, if you want them to last longer, buy them with the stalk and you can get a couple of extra days.
- Uncooked Brussel Sprouts without the stem last for 5-10 days in the fridge.
- Uncooked Brussel Sprouts with the stem will last for about 5-15 days in the fridge.
- Cooked Brussel Sprouts will be good for about 3-5 days in the fridge.
- If you really want to extend their life span, the best thing to do will be to freeze the Brussel Sprouts and they can last for about 10 months to a year. But there are some very particular steps you need to do before freezing your Brussel Sprouts and if you want them to last a long time. We will learn more about that when we discuss storing them.
Here is the Brussel Sprouts’ life chart to give you a brief glimpse into their life span. Keep in mind, that these are just estimates, as a number of factors are involved in how long they actually last.
|Types of Brussel Sprouts||Pantry/Counter||Refrigerator||Freezer|
|Uncooked Brussel Sprouts with the stalk||1-2 days||5-15 days|
|Uncooked Brussel Sprouts without the stalk||1-2 days||5-10 days||10 months to 1 year|
|Cooked Brussel Sprouts||3-5 days||2-3 months|
How to Store Brussel Sprouts?
I can honestly tell you that figuring out the best way to store Brussel Sprouts has been a game-changer in my household. Storing it properly not only increases its shelf life, but it makes it taste better as it stays fresher longer. This has saved me time, effort, and money while reducing waste.
First, a few things to watch out for when buying Brussel Sprouts from the store:
- If possible, buy them with the stem as they last longer.
- Another good option is to choose Brussel Sprouts that are sold individually so that you get the option of only choosing fresh ones. Sometimes the packaged ones might have a couple of old ones.
- Brussel Sprouts that are fully closed and green are the best to buy. If they have lots of withering leaves or seem dry, they are already on the way out.
Now to store them to ensure they don’t spoil prematurely, there are a few things you can do.
- If you are buying prepackaged Brussel Sprouts you need to make sure they are all clean and fresh. This means you do have to open the pack and get rid of old, moldy, and discolored ones. Do not leave the decayed or decaying sprouts with fresh ones as they will all start spoiling sooner.
- Also, get rid of fallen or withering leaves.
- Then store the remaining Brussel Sprouts in an airtight container.
- Do not wash the Brussel Sprouts in advance. Wash them only when you are going to use them because moisture will cause them to deteriorate faster.
- Similarly, when using Brussel Sprouts with the stalk, break off only the ones you are going to use and only when you are going to use them. Taking them off the stalk will reduce their life span.
- Uncooked Brussel Sprouts that have just been bought from the store and picked from the garden, can last on the counter or in the pantry for a day or overnight. More than that they need to be refrigerated.
- Cooked Brussel Sprouts cannot be left outside at all, as soon as it cools, refrigerate in an airtight container.
- Brussel Sprouts cannot be left open in the fridge. They can be placed in an airtight box or Ziplock bag or any container where they can be sealed tightly.
- Brussel Sprouts need to be blanched before freezing, this helps them retain freshness, taste, and texture.
How To Freeze Brussel Sprouts?
Now, if you are planning ahead and you want to store your Brussel Sprouts for a long time, then freezing them is a great option. Frozen Brussel Sprouts can even last a year. But they need to be blanched first before freezing them. Here’s how to freeze your Brussel Sprouts:
- Trim the edges of the Trim the edges
- Discard old, moldy, and withered Brussel Sprouts
- Wash and dry the rest
- Prepare a bowl with cold water and ice and set aside
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil
- Add the Brussel Sprouts and let them boil for about 5 minutes
- Immediately transfer the Brussel Sprouts into the ice bath for another 5 minutes
- Remove, drain and dry the Brussel Sprouts
- Transfer into a freezer-friendly container and store in the freezer for 10 to 12 months
- The blanched Brussel Sprouts can be left in the fridge overnight to thaw before using
If you do not blanch Brussel Sprouts before freezing, they get very mushy when thawed and lose their flavor as well.
How to Tell If Your Brussel Sprouts Have Gone Bad?
- The smell is always the first clue if Brussel Sprouts have gone bad. They will have an overwhelmingly bad smell.
- Next check for any discoloration. If they have black spots or something white or green growing on them, they are definitely spoiled and need to be thrown away.
- If they have a slimy texture, it is a dead giveaway that they are no longer good to eat.
- If your Brussel Sprouts have any of these signs, don’t even second guess yourself, just get rid of them immediately.
If you are looking to give Brussel Sprouts a try again, keep these tips in handy so that you can enjoy the freshest, tastiest morsels of Brussel Sprouts which are long overdue for their own spot at the dining table.