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is blanching? How to Blanche Vegetables
Before you can
freeze most vegetables for any length of time, you must prepare
them by blanching them first. Fortunately, the process is
quite quick and easy, meaning you can freeze plenty of your
vegetables for later use.
To blanche vegetables,
you will need a pot with a wire basket and a lid. Today, you
can find deep pasta pots with a deep wire basket that works
perfectly for this, such as the one on the right. This will
enable you to cover the vegetables completely when you begin
the blanching process, since they cannot be added until the
water boils, as well as removing them immediately, without
having to dump them out into strainer sitting in the kitchen
First, you will
wash the vegetables and prepare them according to the instructions
in our Freezing Vegetables Guide for the type of vegetable
you are freezing. Once the water begins to boil, you will
place the wire basket with the vegetables in it into the boiling
water. Once the water begins to boil again, place a cover
on the pot and begin calculating the time.
While the blanching
is in process, shake or spin the basket a couple of times
so that all vegetables blanche evenly. Once the specified
blanching time has been reached, remove the basket and place
it in a large bowl of cold ice water, enough so that all vegetables
are covered. And keep adding more ice as it melts, pouring
off water if neccessary. The general rule of thumb is to do
the iced water treatment for the same amount of time as they
were blanched for. This is to ensure they are no longer "cooking"
in the middle.
To freeze, if you
have the space, flash
freeze them first, then place into a ziploc bag or freezer
safe container. This will make it easier to remove only the
amount you need, instead of an entire package.
You can reuse the
blanching water for more batches of vegetables.