Take a long look at the canned food section of your grocery store. You may notice something is missing: canned broccoli. Why is that? They have everything else: corn, carrots, green beans, even creamed spinach. Yet broccoli is where canners drew the line? Really?

As it turns out, broccoli is one food that just doesn’t can well.

Broccoli Breakdown 

Katherine Baker

For starters, broccoli doesn’t survive the canning process intact. According to the USDA’s guide for canning vegetables, in order to kill off any bad bacteria most vegetables need to be boiled, placed in cans, and then heated again to make sure nothing bad survives. They don’t mess around when it comes to botulism.

Unfortunately, broccoli disintegrates into a pulp when cooked for periods of time above 200°F, and water boils at 212°F. Bummer. Even if the florets manage to survive the first heating, they’re damaged a second time in the canning process when they’re heat-sealed inside their cans.

So either way, the final canned product is a mushy, unappetizing broccoli mess. It really gives a new meaning to “double bubble, toil and trouble.” 

How Canned Broccoli Would Taste

herb, vegetable
Jennifer Weintraub

In addition to looking like a pile of overcooked goo, canning completely ruins the flavor of broccoli while intensifying its odor. So if you try to can broccoli, you’re basically going to get an awful pile of green stuff that tastes and smells as bad as it looks.

There’s no way you can trick yourself into liking broccoli when it’s like that. There goes finding unique ways to eat your vegetables.

You're Better Off Without It

cauliflower, broccoli, vegetable
Becky Hughes

Despite the fact that broccoli doesn’t hold up well during the canning process, there’s still some homemade recipes for how to can it. I personally would not try them, because any safe procedures are going to leave you with a limp mush. There’s only so many ways to make broccoli taste good, and canning just isn’t one of them.

kale, broccoli
Emily Hu

After hearing the facts, I’m kinda glad that canned broccoli doesn’t exist. The world is better off without that product lining grocery store shelves--not that it would sell well if it did. This just proves that the best way to eat broccoli is to freeze it or serve it fresh, not canned. Remember that the next time you’re stocking up on canned foods for your doomsday stash.