Black Spots On Broccoli. Can You Eat The Broccoli Or Should You Throw It Away?

Black Spots On Broccoli. Can You Eat The Broccoli Or Should You Throw It Away
Black Spots On Broccoli. Can You Eat The Broccoli Or Should You Throw It Away

Fresh broccoli is the all-time favorite cruciferous vegetable for healthy eaters. Plus, it is rich in vitamin A, B, C, K, and fiber. Consuming fresh broccoli always tastes better.

If you are trying to identify fresh broccoli, it has to have a dark green head and a light green stem. Also, the stem has to be with no spots, lines, or marks. But have you ever noticed black spots on broccoli and thought to yourself, can I still eat that?

The short answer is: Yes, you can eat broccoli with black spots only if they are limited to a small portion of broccoli. But, avoid eating it raw. Cut the moldy parts off and cook the rest of the broccoli. However, if broccoli head develops a soft, slimy texture and has an intense smell, throw it in a bin.

Quick view of this article:

What Are Little Black Spots On Broccoli?
Black Spots on Broccoli Plant Safe to Eat… Or Not?
Is Yellow Broccoli Safe To Eat?
How To Know If Broccoli Is Gone Bad?
How Long Does Broccoli Last?
How To Store Broccoli?

What Are Little Black Spots On Broccoli?

Black spots on broccoli are black molds or fungal growths that appear during the early stages of degeneration. Cruciferous vegetables are likely to develop fungus since the fungal spores travel through the air and spread in a moist environment. Firstly, the fungal infestation appears on older leaves in the form of yellow spots. Later, spots appear on florets that turn brown or black, gradually spoiling the whole head.

Broccoli starts showing the initial signs of decay and develops mold if left on the kitchen counter for more than 3 days. Obviously, it depends on the humidity and temperature of storage conditions.

Black Spots on Broccoli Plant Safe to Eat… Or Not?

Yes, it is OK to eat broccoli with black spots, if there are only a few small spots. But, don’t eat it raw! Cut the moldy parts off and steam or stir fry the remaining vegetable. If you eat raw moldy broccoli, it can cause health issues, like stomach upset. If there are a lot of black spots, bin the broccoli! Don’t risk it!

The same goes for brown spots. If there are a few small brown spots on broccoli, cut it before consuming it. If there are a lot of brown spots, bin it!

If the whole broccoli’s head turns black or brown, even if it doesn’t have a pungent smell, throw it in a bin!

Is Yellow Broccoli Safe To Eat?

Yellow Broccoli. Can You Eat The Yellow Broccoli Or Should You Throw It Away
Yellow Broccoli. Can You Eat The Yellow Broccoli Or Should You Throw It Away

Yellow broccoli is bitter, but, Yes, it is safe to eat. Fresh broccoli has green flowers that turn yellow when it loses freshness. You can cook the yellow broccoli to reduce the bitterness.

How To Know If Broccoli Is Gone Bad?

If broccoli turns soft, develops moldy brown or black spots, and/or has a slimy texture with a strong smell, it means it is gone bad. It is the right time to bin it.

The early signs of broccoli decay include:

  • Florets lose crispness, become soft and limp,
  • Yellowing of the head,
  • Loss of compactness,
  • Wilting leaves on stems,
  • Few black spots on the stem or florette.

Once you notice these initial symptoms of decaying broccoli, you can cut the affected parts off and use the rest of the broccoli, but use it now… like… right now 🙂

How Long Does Broccoli Last?

At Room Temperature

Broccoli freshly picked from the garden will last for 2 to 3 days when stored at room temperature. Store-bought broccoli placed on the kitchen counter normally lasts the same, 2 to 3 days. It could go bad faster… depending on how long it was sitting in the shop.

In The Fridge

If you properly store freshly harvested or store-bought broccoli in the fridge, it may last 3 to 5 days. This way, you can keep it fresh for longer.

In The Freezer

The shelf-life of frozen broccoli is 3 to 6 months. Most of the freshness will remain. Crunchiness, not so much.

How To Store Broccoli?

All cruciferous vegetables are prone to fungal diseases. So, storing broccoli at room temperature is never recommended. You can keep broccoli fresh for longer and increase the shelf life by storing it the correct way. Let’s check the ways you can store broccoli.

How To Store Broccoli At Room Temperature

As mentioned before, storing fresh broccoli at room temperature is not recommended, but if you have to store it on the kitchen counter, make sure to use it within 3 days.

How To Store Broccoli In The Fridge

You can store the raw or cooked broccoli in the fridge. Just place it in a tight container and consume it in 3 to 5 days.

If you want to learn how to store fresh broccoli for up to 2 weeks, check out an excellent method in the video below.

How To Store Broccoli In The Freezer

Frozen broccoli stems and florets have the longest storage time. If you want to freeze broccoli, here are the steps how to do so:

  • Place fresh broccoli in boiling water for 3 minutes,
  • After boiling, drain them and add them to cold water,
  • Remove as much water as you can by pat drying all broccoli.
  • To prevent broccoli sticking to each other, place them in a tray with small gap between them, and freeze them for 1 to 2 hours.
  • You can now place all broccoli in a bag or container and leave them in a freezer for up to 6 months.

Final Thoughts

Fresh broccoli is a healthy vegetable and the king of cruciferous. Of course, it is easier just to dump that not-so-fresh broccoli into the bin when you see a few black spots on it. If there are only a few black spots on broccoli, just cut them off and cook the rest of it. Don’t eat it raw! And obviously, watch out for slimy broccoli with a pungent smell. That definitely has to go to the bin!

What To Do Next

I hope this article answers your questions. Check out our Growing Guides to learn more about how to grow plants of your choice. Learn and help your plants by reading these guides.

Also, check out other similar articles in our Gardening How To section.

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