My broccoli is turning yellow! Is it still good and more importantly will it make me sick? Read on to find out if yellow broccoli is safe to eat.
Is yellow broccoli safe to eat?
Yes, technically, yellow broccoli is not poisonous. That being said, it doesn't mean it will taste good! In fact, it most likely won't. And it could still upset your stomach.
Yellow broccoli tastes bitter and loses its crisp texture. If only part of the head of broccoli is yellow, you can cut that part off and taste the rest. It may taste fine and be good to eat.
Just because the broccoli has turned yellow does not make it poisonous. However, it's important to look for other signs of spoilage. If the broccoli is mushy or you notice white or black patches of mold, it's time to throw it out!
Why does broccoli turn yellow?
Since you're used to a dark green head of broccoli, it may surprise you to look in the fridge and see your broccoli has turned yellow!
Since broccoli is perishable, it only lasts in the fridge for so long before it starts to degrade and age. As it does so, the chlorophyll pigment that makes broccoli a rich green color breaks down and another pigment takes over.
In other words, it's a sign your broccoli is getting old. If you notice a few specks of yellow, it's time to use it! If the whole head of broccoli looks yellow, I recommend tossing it.
Can I cook yellow broccoli?
Yes, you can cook it, but do you really want to? If you think it looks and tastes off-putting before you cook it, it's only going to get worse in a skillet!
If your yellow broccoli tastes fine and looks okay, then you can cook it as you normally would. If its slightly bitter, you could disguise the taste in a delicious casserole or with other ingredients like salty parmesan or a creamy cheese sauce!
If the broccoli is moldy, do not cook it. Throw it out!
How to prevent broccoli from turning yellow
All this talk about yellow broccoli begs the question, how do I keep it from turning yellow? Here are a few ways to prevent this from happening:
- Buy fresh broccoli that looks firm and green. Choose heads of broccoli that are bright green with a robust stalk. If the stalk is yellow or limp, look for a different one!
- Use it quickly and don't let it sit in the fridge too long. Broccoli typically lasts up to 3 days in the refrigerator before it starts to degrade. The sooner you cook with it, the less likely it is to turn mushy, yellow, or moldy.
- Store it properly. It's best to store it in the refrigerator, but don't wrap it tightly or seal it in a bag. Broccoli needs room to breathe so make sure it gets some air. Loosely wrap broccoli heads in plastic wrap or keep it in an open bag.
- Freeze the broccoli before it goes bad. If you have no plans to cook the broccoli in your fridge, you can freeze it for a longer shelf life. Which brings us to our next section on how to freeze it!
How to freeze broccoli before it goes bad
Freezing broccoli is really simple and requires just a few steps! Here's what you need to do:
- Cut the head of broccoli into florets.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium high heat.
- Carefully drop the florets into the boiling water and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the florets are bright green and crisp tender.
- Use a spider or slotted spoon to transfer the broccoli to a bowl of ice water to shock the broccoli. Doing this prevents it from continuing to cook, thus overcooking.
- Drain the broccoli in a colander to remove excess liquid.
- Lay the broccoli florets in a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze for 2 hours.
- Transfer the frozen broccoli to ziplock bags or freezer containers and freeze for up to 6 months!
Health Benefits of Broccoli
Fresh broccoli tastes delicious and it's jam-packed with health benefits! It's in the same family as cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.
It can be enjoyed raw or cooked, but certain research shows gently steaming it provides the most health benefits.
- High in nutrients and vitamins, including fiber, potassium, iron, and vitamins C and K.
- It's low in calories, which makes it great for those trying to cut calories without sacrificing nutrients. One cup of broccoli is only 31 calories with no fat and minimal sugar!
- It's rich in fiber, which is important for a healthy gut and reduces the risk of certain disease.
- Higher in protein that most vegetables. One cup of broccoli contains 3 grams of protein.
If your broccoli is turning yellow, but you've determined it's still good to eat, the best way to eat it is raw with a tasty dip or combined with other ingredients in a tasty dish. You will notice the bitterness more when you eat it plain.
Yes and no. A yellow color means the broccoli head is starting to age and degrade, but it doesn't mean its unsafe to eat. Look for mold, and if you don't see any, you can try the broccoli to see if it tastes okay.