How to Blanch Vegetables

Learn how to blanch vegetables. Some types of vegetables need to be primarily thermally processed (blanched) before they can be frozen.

Almost all types of vegetables can be frozen, except for those with a high level of water (tomato, lettuce, rue), because the ice damages their tissue.

Some types of vegetables need to be blanched before they can be frozen, to preserve more quality, to keep the good taste even after unfreezing, and ultimately to be able to remain frozen for a longer period.

Blanching vegetables refers to the process of shortly dipping the vegetable in boiling water followed by exposure to vapor, in order to deactivate the enzymes that cause undesired changes in vegetables (loss of nutritive substances, softening, loss of color, flavor and vitamin C).

It enables you to also remove a large number of microbes from the surface.

It also helps to preserve juiciness in vegetables by preventing the juice to drain out while we process it further on.

Blanching also helps us peel fruit and vegetables, for example tomatoes, for a sauce or apricots for a jam.

It removes some bitterness or saltiness from certain vegetables, and the procedure is recommended for vegetables we intend to freeze.

The harder the vegetable the longer it needs to blanch - root vegetables need 4 minutes to boil, while very soft vegetables only need about 1 minute.

After you are finished blanching, wash the vegetables in ice-cold water and dry them well.

After they cool off, put the vegetables in special containers or bags. You need to put them in the freezer as soon as possible.

Vegetables that are used for salads and desserts aren’t the only types of vegetables we can freeze.

Most of the vegetables can be kept in a freezer for up to 12 months. Anything longer than that won’t make it inedible, but will make it lose its quality.

How to blanch vegetables

Swiss chard, kale and spinach should be boiled for about 2 minutes, dried and stored into freezer bags.

Asparagus - Don’t freeze asparagus that is too thin or too thick. Remove the hard part and peel of the remaining part. Leave it in one piece, or cut it into smaller pieces. Boil for 4 minutes.

Zucchini - Clean and peel, chop into rings (remove the part in the middle for filling), blanch for 2 minutes.

Green beans - Wash them, cut off their ends and slice them into the desired size, or leave them in one piece for a salad. Boil for 2 minutes.

Brussels sprouts – Let them sit for half an hour in salted water. Boil for 4 minutes.

Carrot - Scrape young carrots. Leave the smaller ones in one piece, but slice the bigger ones to desired shape and size. Boil for 3 minutes.

Broccoli - Wash it thoroughly under a stream of water. You can keep it for half an hour in salted water to remove any possible insects trapped in it. Boil for 3 minutes in hot water. Same procedure for cauliflower.

Celery - Peel and slice into 2 cm/1 inch pieces. Boil for 4 minutes.

Kohlrabi - Wash, peel and cut it, or leave in one piece. Boil for 1 minute.

Mushrooms- (champignons, boletus) - Shorten the stem and slice the mushroom. Cook for about 5 minutes in a little bit of butter. Cool it off.

Onions, chive, parsley - Boil for a short while (a few seconds), dry and cool off. Freeze. When you decide to use them, slice while still frozen.

Peas- Boil for 1 minute.

Paprika- Cut in half and remove the seeds. Boil for 2 minutes.

Eggplant- Wash, slice into rings 1 cm/ ½ inch thick, put in salted water for 5 minutes then boil for 4 minutes.

Fresh herbs - Wash under a stream of water, leave to dry then store in freezer bags.

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