Do not let perfectly good produce go to waste! If your eyes were bigger than your stomach at the grocery store or farmers market this week what better way to preserve your vegetables than blanching. (Perhaps canning but that is for a different post.) This is also another option for bulk items from your CSA.
(What is a CSA?)
Community Shared Agriculture – I highly recommend looking into local CSAs – stay tuned for a post regarding how to pick a CSA
For Interested Madisonians : MACSAC is a great resource.
Friends of mine are just starting a barter CSA check out Bliss ‘n Blossom
What is Blanching?
Benefits of Blanching:
- Perfect for veggie platters (crudités for you foodies)
- Preserve bulk vegetables in the freezer after blanching
- Enhance salad dressings and sautés as blanched veggies more readily take up flavors
Veggies I like to blanch:
How to Blanch your Vegetables!
1.As with any preparation step 1 ~ Wash your vegetables
2.If you are freezing immediately, cut them to size suitable for freezing
3.Bring water in a large pot to boil (optional add a small amount of salt in order to increase the boiling point)
4.While water heats fill a medium bowl with Ice Cold Water
5.Add a small amount of veggies at a time
6.Tip: keep the water boiling even after adding the veggies and boil until they start to soften ~ never hurts to test one!
7.Strain the Vegetables
8.Plunge them into ice cold water
9.Once cool (should take about as long as time in boiling water), Strain
10.If you are going to freeze them, don’t forget to label the date (after a year they are not so yummy)
11.If you would like to serve them warm – reheat them in any desirable fashion (just make sure you merely heat and not overcook!)
Blanching time will vary depending on the veggie and the size …
To look up the recommended time for your favorite veg : University of Missouri Extension
I’m also a fan of this post from Stretch Exercise Eat