wikiHow to Blanch Vegetables

Four Methods:Boiling Water Method (Using Steamer Basket)Boiling Water Method (No Steamer Basket)Steam MethodBlanching Time Chart

Blanching vegetables is part of the preservation process when freezing vegetables. Fresh vegetables are briefly cooked and then chilled in a cold water bath before they are frozen. This process helps stop enzyme growth thereby preserving food quality. Blanching is part of preserving vegetables when planning to use freezer preservation.

Method 1
Boiling Water Method (Using Steamer Basket)

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    Wash and prepare vegetables as appropriate for the selected vegetable.
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    Pour 1 gallon of water into a pot.
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    Add a steamer basket to the pot.
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    Bring to a rolling boil.
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    Add 1 pound of vegetables. Make sure all the vegetables are put into the basket in a single layer. This is done for even cooking.
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    Cover with a lid.
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    Bring the water back to a boil within 1 minute.
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    Blanch for specified time.
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    Remove blanched vegetables from boiling water.
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    Immediately place vegetables in ice cold water or in clean sink with running cold water. This is called shocking the vegetables.
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    Drain.
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    Freeze. Most cooks freeze vegetables in a single layer and then place in a freezer container. This makes it easier to use what you need when it comes time to use the frozen vegetable.

Method 2
Boiling Water Method (No Steamer Basket)

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    Use a lot of water. Use 2.8 litres/ 3 quarts of water per 450 g / 1 pound of vegetables. There needs to be enough water to allow the vegetables to cook quickly; less water would cause the vegetables to stew and they will become limp, losing color, texture, and nutrition.
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    Cook the vegetables without a cover. It is fine to cover the pot when bringing the water to the boil but the blanching part should be done without the lid. Otherwise, you will trap the volatile acids released by the vegetables during cooking and this will cause the vegetables to become limp and deteriorate in color.
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    Keep it at a high heat level. Boiling water is important for keeping the green vegetables in top condition. The vegetables should be cooked as quickly as possible and boiling water will enable this.
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    Test if cooked as explained below ("Blanching Time Chart").
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    Serve immediately. Drain and serve. Don't leave the vegetables to sit or they're freshness will deteriorate as they keep "cooking". If you must leave them rather than serve them immediately, plunge them into ice water and serve reheated or cold later (as explained above).

Method 3
Steam Method

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    Bring water to a boil as directed.
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    Add vegetables to a steamer basket as directed.
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    Keep the basket above the water to allow the steam to cook the vegetables. Steaming vegetables will take about 1 1/2 times longer to cook than when using the boiling water method.

Method 4
Blanching Time Chart

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    Test for doneness. To know when a vegetable is cooked by blanching, use a slotted spoon to remove a piece from the boiling water and taste it. If the texture is to your liking, it is done. As a general guide:
    • Leaf vegetables - removed and drain as soon as they stop being stiff
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    • Tough greens, or strong-tasting greens - cook for up to 5 minutes, long enough to soften their texture and improve the flavor.
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    Use these general time guides to help you:
    • Asparagus, 4 minutes for a large spear
    • Green Beans, 3 minutes
    • Broccoli, 3 minutes (boiling water) 5 minutes (steamed)
    • Brussels Sprouts, 5 minutes for a large head
    • Carrots, small, 5 minutes
    • Carrots, sliced, 3 minutes
    • Corn, large ear, 11 minutes
    • Corn, kernels, 4 minutes
    • Green Peas, 1 1/2 minutes
    • New Potatoes, 3 to 5 minutes
    • Summer Squash, 3 minutes
    • Cabbage 30 seconds to 2 minutes

Tips

  • Use a spider to remove vegetables, if not using a steamer basket.

Things You'll Need

  • A large pot
  • Steaming basket
  • Large container to hold ice water or use a clean sink and cool running water


Article Info

Categories: Blanching Food