How To Clean Broccoli

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Broccoli is a tasty and nutritious vegetable that grows in large blooming heads that are divided into pieces called florets. Broccoli florets can be served as a side dish or added to a stir-fry, salad, or casserole. Unfortunately broccoli may contain pesticide residue, insects, or dirt.

Before you prepare broccoli, make sure to clean it thoroughly. You may quickly wash your broccoli with a water, or a water and vinegar solution. You can also soak your broccoli in a salt water brine to remove any bugs.

Washing with Water Only

Soak Broccoli for 5 to 10 Minutes. 

Clean your sink well before filling the sink with cool water. Place the broccoli in a bowl or colander and submerge it completely in the water. Swirl the broccoli around a few times to help remove any larger dirt particles. If you don’t have a sink, a large bowl will work in a pinch as long as the broccoli is fully submerged in the water.

Rinse with water

Drain the sink after the broccoli has soaked and rinse the broccoli in the colander before draining it. If you don’t have a colander, hold the broccoli in your hands under the running water.

how to clean broccoli

Let it dry

Once the broccoli is rinsed, shake the colander of broccoli florets three or four times, or tap the florets against your palm to drain as much water as possible from inside each floret. If the broccoli florets and stalks are still wet, pat them dry with a clean cloth or paper towel before cooking.

Washing with a Vinegar Solution

Making the Vinegar Solution

In a large mixing bowl, combine three parts of water and one part of white vinegar to make your veggie wash. Make enough wash to completely cover your broccoli.

Soak for 10 to 15 Minutes

Allow the broccoli to soak for 10 to 15 minutes in your vinegar veggie wash solution. Swirl the broccoli several times to remove any debris or dirt, then let sit.

A vinegar wash takes longer than a cold water wash to complete, but it is more likely to eliminate germs and pesticides than just plain water. You can also use this vinegar veggie wash for other veggies and fruits, such as raspberries before eating them.

Rinse With Cold Water

Remove the broccoli from the vinegar veggie wash and run it under cold water to remove any remaining solution. Make sure you rinse the broccoli thoroughly. If you soak the broccoli for more than 30 minutes, it can acquire a vinegary flavor.

Removing Bugs With Salt Water

Put in Cold Water

Concerned that your organic or homegrown broccoli may have bugs? Place the broccoli in a container with cold water and set them aside while you prepare your salt water brine solution.

how to clean broccoli

Combine Salt and water

Mix 1 tablespoon of salt per cup of water to make your brine. Make sure you make enough brine to completely cover your broccoli. Add the broccoli to the solution. Swirl the broccoli around in the water to ensure that all of it has been covered.

Soak for 15 to 30 Minutes

Allow the broccoli to soak for 15 to 30 minutes to flush out any pests. If there are any bugs the should float to the surface of the water and can easily be removed with a slotted spoon.

Rinse With Cold Water

Remove any brine from the florets by rinsing them in cold water. Hold the broccoli under cold running water for about 15 seconds, twisting it to ensure that it is thoroughly rinsed.

Shake the broccoli to remove excess water and pat dry with a paper towel. Once the broccoli has been cleaned and dried, it can be sliced and cooked, or it can be served immediately.

Final Thoughts

Before you cook broccoli you want to make sure it is clean. There are different ways to clean broccoli, as we discussed above. Always make sure your broccoli is clean before digging in!