Blanching Vegetables

Cookbook Recipes

About Blanching Vegetables

Blanching vegetables is the important first step to freezing vegetables. First, you need to know how to blanch vegetables…. it’s easy. Second, you need to identify the  blanching time for each vegetable, as it varies by vegetable.

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 overripe 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 effect 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 is 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 them.

  13. Place it in the freezer immediately.

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

USDA Recommended Vegetable Blanching Times (Source: USDA)


Vegetable:
Blanching time
(minutes):
Asparagus, Small2
Asparagus, Large4
Beans, Regular Cut3
Beans, French Cut2
Beans, Lima, Small2
Beans, Lima, Large4
Beets, Small25-30
Beets, Large45-50
Broccoli3
Brussels Sprouts, Small3
Brussels Sprouts, Large5
Cabbage, Minute1 1/2
Carrots, Whole5
Carrots,  diced or sliced2
Cauliflower3
Corn, kernels4
Corn on cob, small ear7
Corn on cob, large ear11
Collards3
Spinach1 1/2
Okra, small pods3
Okra, large pods4
Peas, small pods1 1/2
Peas, large pods2

Additional Resources

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