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Blanching Vegetables Recipe

Blanching vegetables is the important first step to freezing vegetables. Listed below are the easy instructions to blanch your homegrown vegetables and fruits. 

First, let's answer the question "Why should I blanch my vegetables?"

Enzymes in fruits and vegetables help the fruit to grow and to mature. After you pick them, the enzymes are still in the fruit, and they continue the maturation process. If you do not kill the enzymes, the vegetables and fruit will ultimately turn over ripe and tough. Sugars will be converted to starch.

Blanching kills the enzymes, stopping this process. Without blanching, frozen foods still contain active enzymes. These enzymes will continue to work, even while the food is frozen.

Note: While we speak about the enzyme affect in fruits and vegetables above, fruits are usually not blanched.

How to Blanch Vegetables:

  1. Wash vegetables, and cut them to sizes for freezing.

  2. The blanching process starts with a big pot of boiling water.

  3. Add a little salt, to lower the boiling temperature.

  4. Add a small amount of vegetables.

  5. The trick it to keep the water boiling, even after adding the vegetables.

  6. Boil the vegetables until they just begin to soften.

  7. There is a recommended boiling time for each vegetable. We have listed many of them below for your convenience.

  8. Remove the vegetables with a strainer.

  9. Immediately plunge them into ice cold water.

  10. As soon as the vegetables have cooled, strain them from the cold water.

  11. Use a clean towel or wipe off excess moisture.

  12. Place the vegetables in airtight freezer bags, mark the bags with the vegetable name and the date you froze it.

  13. Place it in the freezer immediately.

Note: Blanching time varies by the size of the vegetable pieces.

USDA Recommended Blanching Times (Source: USDA)

Blanching time
Asparagus, Small 2
Asparagus, Large 4
Beans, Regular Cut 3
Beans, French Cut 2
Beans, Lima, Small 2
Beans, Lima, Large 4
Beets, Small 25-30
Beets, Large 45-50
Broccoli 3
Brussels Sprouts, Small 3
Brussels Sprouts, Large 5
Cabbage, Minute 1 1/2
Carrots, Whole 5
Carrots,  diced or sliced 2
Cauliflower 3
Corn, kernels 4
Corn on cob, small ear 7
Corn on cob, large ear 11
Collards 3
Spinach 1 1/2
Okra, small pods 3
Okra, large pods 4
Peas, small pods 1 1/2
Peas, large pods 2

More Information:

More on Freezing Vegetables

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