How To Blanch Vegetables {Video}

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Blanching vegetables is a budget friendly way to make the most of veggies when they are at their peak quality.

Watch the video below to discover how to blanch vegetables and create your own frozen veggie stockpile.

Blanching

Plunging food into boiling or simmering water for a very short period of time, so it is only partly cooked. It also acts to render the enzymes in vegetables inactive, thus preserving and preparing them for freezing.

Why You Should Blanch

When there is an abundance of vegetables in season, blanching is a way you can make the most of them for months to come.  Here’s why:

  • Saves money – when vegetables are in season, they are at their cheapest.  Make the most of it and stock up.
  • Saves time – building up a freezer stockpile of veggies means you will have what you need, when you need it.
  • Best quality – vegetables are at peak quality when in season as they don’t get stored for long.  It helps to avoid produce that has travelled long distances and been stored to keep it looking good for another 6 months.  Try farmer’s markets to get the freshest available.
  • Prevent spoilage – blanching stops enzymes that would otherwise spoil some produce put straight into the freezer.  It also cleans off any dirt or organisms that might be lurking.
  • Maintain freshness – blanching helps to maintain the vibrant colours, preserve flavour and texture while locking in nutrients.

Here’s a great guide to help you know what is in season and when – Seasonal Food Guide

What To Blanch

Most vegetables can be blanched and it is ideal for ‘harder’ veggies.  When it comes to leafy greens, blanching is optional but it does help to reduce freezing space.

It is best to cut the vegetables into serving size.  For example, cut broccoli or cauliflower into florets, carrots into slices, and so on.  That way, when you reheat/recook the veggies, they’ll require no more cutting and be ready to go.

Here’s a list of vegetables suited to blanching:

Asparagus
Beans
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Capsicum
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celery
Corn
Kohlrabi
Leafy Greens – spinach, collard, chard, kale
Mushrooms
Parsnips
Peas
Squash
Turnips

The time for blanching can vary and if you are someone who needs specifics, here is a chart you can refer to.

Steps for Blanching

  1.  Place some water in a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
  2. Cut vegetables into even sized pieces, ideally the size they will be served.
  3. Setup a bowl of ice cold water and insert a colander.
  4. Once the water is boiling vigorously, drop the vegetables in.
  5. Leave them for 1-2 minutes, or until bubbles start to come up from the bottom of the pan again.  Don’t let them go too long and get limp or soft (except of course if they are leafy greens).  The colour should remain nice and vibrant.
  6. Remove vegetables from pan with slotted spoon and drop immediately into cold water.  Allow to cool right down.  Remove colander and allow to drain.
  7. Pat veggies dry and put into freezer bags or containers.  Freeze until ready to use.

I also have a tutorial on how to freeze fruit the right way.  You can check that out here.

If you have any questions about how to blanch, please put them in the comments below.

Have fun and happy blanching :)

Sam xx

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