Too Many Veggies? Blanch Your Vegetables!

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?

Basically blanching preserves the color texture and flavor of your vegetables by  means of plunging them into boiling water for a short time (few seconds to a few minutes) and then into ice water.
This process breaks down enzymes in the vegetables which allows them to keep longer.  Blanching can even brighten the color of vegetables.  For those with texture issues from fully cooked vegetables, blanching softens the texture while maintaining the crisp essence.

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:

asparagus
Asparagus
brussel sprouts
Brussel Sprouts
beets
Beets
green beans
Green Beans
broccoli
Broccoli
kale
Kale
carrots
Colorful Carrots
cauliflower
Cauliflower
zucchini
Zucchini
spinach
Spinach

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

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3 thoughts on “Too Many Veggies? Blanch Your Vegetables!

  1. I love the idea of preserving greens by blanching and freezing them. That is brilliant.

    I love blanched asparagus. I love beets, but have never blanched them. Will give that a try too. I bet the water is a shocking color after cooking.

    1. Actually using the water (that is in fact a shocking color) to cook the rest of your meal (rice, noodles, potatoes, etc) will bring the vitamins and nutrients from the blanched vegetables into your dish! In addition will enhance the flavor!

      Enjoy! Thanks for staying tuned in!

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