What does blanch mean in cooking

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “What does blanch mean in cooking ?” With an in-depth analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of blanching. Moreover, we are going to discuss the method of blanching and the difference between blanching and parboiling.

What does blanch mean in cooking?

The process of scalding food, particularly vegetables and fruits in boiling water or steam is called blanching in cooking. This process is followed by cooling the vegetables in cold water. Blanching is done to stop the enzyme’s action which can cause the loss of flavour,  colour or texture of the vegetables.

What are the advantages of blanching?

Before freezing the fruits and vegetables, they are required to undergo the process of blanching.

There are several benefits of blanching,   which is why it is done. Some of the benefits of the blanching are given below;

Blanching stops the action of the enzymes and helps in preventing the loss of colour,  flavour and texture of the food.

Blanching also wilts the greens, removes microorganisms and brightens them up.

It also slows vitamin loss and wilts greens and helps in softening some vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli.

What happens when blanching time is not correct?

It is very critical and essential to keep the correct blanching period. If the blanching time isn’t correct, the then following things will happen;

  • Under_blanching will boost the enzyme’s activity and it will be worse than not blanching the vegetables and fruits.
  • And if you have done the over blanching,  it will lead to ial cooking and loss of flavour, vitamins and minerals etc.

What are the disadvantages of blanching?

Along with the benefits that are gained by the process of blanching, there are some disadvantages of blanching too.

Some of the disadvantages of blanching are given below;

  • Blanching is a thermal process,  but the temperature for this process usually doesn’t kill all the microorganisms.
  • Blanching in the hot water can also cause the leaching of the essential nutrients in the food into the water and the degradation of thermal sensitivity compounds.
  • Because the drainage of the vitamins and minerals etc from the food into the water can decline the quality of the food.
  • In the industry,  blanching can produce effluents from the water. If blanching is done by reused water, it can make water-soluble compounds that are pollutants.
  • It also increases the capital cost at the industry level, that’s why several new blanching technologies are being developed.

How is blanching done?

You can blanch the vegetables at home before freezing them.

To blanch the vegetables yourself,   you must follow the instructions mentioned below;

  • Take a blancher and a blanching basket and cover or you can fit a wire basket into a large pot.
  • Take one gallon of water per pound of vegetables.
  • Then put the vegetables into the blanching basket with the boiling water and cover the blancher with the lid.
  • The water usually returns to boiling within 1 minute.  As soon as the water returns to boiling,  you should start counting the time taken for the blanching.
  • Depending on the vegetables you are blanching, the blanching time varies, you should blanch the vegetables according to their time on high heat.
  • Then you should put the vegetables into the cold water having a temperature of less than 60° Fahrenheit.
  • You should keep on changing the water or keep them under running water.  Ice can also be used for this purpose.
  • The time taken for cooling the vegetables is the same as that of blanching them.
  • Then remove all the water as moisture can decline the quality of food being blanched, now you can store them by freezing.

Here are the blanching techniques for different kinds of vegetables.

What is the difference between blanching and parboiling?

It has been said by the majority of people that the difference between blanching and parboiling is that in blanching food is chilled after boiling but parboiling doesn’t require it but that’s not true.

The main difference between these two is that boiling leads to the partial or complete cooking of the food,  but if the food can be eaten with or without the ice bath, it is blanched.

But if the food requires additional cooking than eating, it is parboiled.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we answered the question “What does blanch mean in cooking ?” With an in-depth analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of blanching. Moreover, we discussed the method of blanching and between blanching and parboiling.

Citations:

https://www.clemson.edu/extension/food/canning/canning-tips/43why-blanch.html#:~:text=Blanching%20is%20scalding%20vegetables%20in,of%20flavor%2C%20color%20and%20texture

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanching_(cooking)#:~:text=Drawbacks%20to%20the%20blanching%20process,and%20the%20production%20of%20effluent

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.