How to blanch vegetables?

In the brief guide, we are going to answer the question ‘how to blanch vegetables’ with depth analysis of what consequences are present inside it.

How to blanch vegetables?

Blanching refers to the process of briefly boiling or steaming vegetables until they are partially cooked. Many vegetables, such as broccoli, leafy greens, string beans, okra, and asparagus, require this step before being frozen.

Ingredients

  • Water
  • Salt
  • Vegetables
  • Icewater

Instructions

  • A large pot of salted water should be brought to a boil.
  • Prepare a large bowl of ice water next to the stove that is easily accessible.
  • Place the vegetables in the pot of boiling water with care, and use a spoon to help submerge them.
  • Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender but still bright green. Squeeze a piece between your fingers to test it; it should begin to give but not fall apart. With a slotted spoon, remove from the pot or pour into a colander.
  • To stop the cooking, immediately place the vegetables in an ice water bath.

Why do I have to blanch vegetables?

Many vegetables, such as carrots, peas, and asparagus, benefit from blanching before freezing to keep their colour and texture, but there are other reasons to include this method in your food preparation.

Blanching tomatoes and peaches loosen the skin, making it easier to peel them.

Blanching vegetables before freezing them slows the natural enzymes in the vegetables, which can cause flavour, texture, and colour loss.

Blanching fruits and vegetables remove dirt and organisms from their surfaces while also reducing bitterness.

It helps to slow the loss of nutrients by brightening the colour of certain vegetables, particularly broccoli and other green vegetables. On a party tray with dip, vibrant blanched vegetables look especially appealing (plus generally eaten much more quickly than raw veggies).

Longer-cooking vegetables, especially when used on kabobs with faster-cooking produce and meat, can be blanched before grilling.

How to freeze blanched vegetables?

Method 1

  • Place the blanched vegetables on a cookie sheet lined with a freezer-safe silicone baking mat or parchment paper and freeze. When the vegetables are completely frozen, place them in freezer-safe Ziploc bags or containers and store them in the freezer. 
  • This method has the advantage of not fusing your blanched vegetables together in the freezer, allowing you to grab just a few frozen pieces whenever you want.

Method 2

  • Cut the blanched vegetables into serving sizes that suit your needs. After that, seal the portions in freezer bags with as little air as possible. A vacuum sealer is ideal for this, but a straw tucked in the corner of the bag can also be used to suck out the air.
  • This method works well if you have a good idea of how you’ll use your frozen vegetables and can divide them into portions that are exactly the right size. This is also the best way to freeze leafy green vegetables like kale and collards.

Vegetable blanching timings

  • Although not all vegetables require blanching, the following are the most common ones that do.
  • Small asparagus spears should be blanched for 2 minutes, medium spears for 3 minutes, and large spears for 4 minutes.
  • Broccoli florets should be blanched for 3 minutes. Broccoli should be bright green and just tender when done.
  • Carrots blanch for 5 minutes for whole carrots and 2 minutes for cut-up carrots.
  • Beans (green, Italian, snap, and wax): Boil small beans for 2 minutes, medium beans for 3 minutes, and large beans for 4 minutes in batches, working in batches.
  • Blanch peas for 2 minutes. 

Blanching techniques for any vegetable

For even cooking, always cut into uniformly sized pieces. If not, some pieces will undercooked or overcooked.

Bring out your large pot and fill it halfway with water. You want your vegetables to soak up a lot of hot water so they cook evenly.

Make your water salty. While most chefs recommend a few tablespoons of salt per gallon of water, this is supposed to keep the flavor in the water and prevent natural sugars and nutrients from leaching out.

Maintain the salt ratio and make sure there is enough water in the pot for the number of blanched vegetables. Salt will keep the vegetables green while also seasoning them.

For vegetables that will be stored and cooked later, useless blanching time. Use maximum blanching times for vegetables that are going straight to the grill or saute pan.

Observe the pot. Blanching is good, but overcooking results in soggy, tasteless vegetables.

To ensure even cooling, stir the vegetables once or twice during their ice water soak.

Squeeze a piece of the vegetable in the pot between your fingers to see if it’s cooked. They should start to give but not crumble.

Other FAQs about Vegetables that you may be interested in.

Can you eat canned vegetables without cooking?

Can you boil arugula

Can dogs eat rutabaga?

Can you eat jicama when pregnant?

Conclusion

In the brief guide, we discussed answering the question ‘how to blanch vegetables’ with depth analysis of what consequences are present inside it.

Citations

https://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-blanch-vegetables/

https://www.healwithfood.org/chart/how-long-to-blanch-vegetables-before-freezing.php