Blanching Vegetables

Blanching is the exposure of the vegetables to boiling water or steam for a brief period of time. Without blanching, the flavor in vegetables changes noticeably. Blanched vegetables when dried will have better color and flavor than unblanched. The brief heating also reduces the number of microorganisms on food and enhances the color of green vegetables. Fruits are not blanched like vegetables because the blanching process gives fruits a cooked flavor. 

The blanching time is counted as soon as the vegetable is immersed in vigorously boiling water. Do not add so much food that the water stops boiling. The quality of water used to blanch the vegetables can have an effect on the texture of certain vegetables. Very hard water can cause the toughening of vegetables, such as green beans. If you have problems with excessively tough green beans, check into the level of hardness in your water supply.
A properly blanched vegetable will be a bright color all the way through, when sliced with a knife. If the center of the blanched vegetable remains the raw color, the vegetable may need slightly more blanching. 

To Blanch Vegetables in Boiling Water

Clean and cut vegetables as needed (or follow our instructions)

Place water in a large kettle or vegetable blancher and bring it to a rolling boil. Use 1 gallon of water per pound of vegetables (approximately 2 cups of prepared vegetables). 

Bring water to rolling boil.

Immerse wire basket or the perforated blancher insert containing vegetable in boiling water. 

Cover kettle and boil at top heat the required length of time (For blanching times consult the time table).

Begin counting time as you place the vegetable in water. The water should return to a boil within one minute. If it takes longer to boil, vegetables will taste soggy. You may use the same blanching water 2 or 3 times, just keep it at required level. Change the water if it becomes cloudy.

Drain the vegetables thoroughly.

To Blanch Vegetables in Steam

Put 1 inch of water in kettle and bring to a rolling boil.

Suspend a thin layer of vegetables in steaming basket over rapidly boiling water. If you don't have steaming basket you can use loose cheese cloth bag. 

Cover and steam blanch vegetables required amount of time (For steaming time consult the time table).

Remove from steamer.

If you have a steamer, you can use it for blanching but it will usually take longer to adequately heat-treat the food.

Nutrient losses from blanching are slightly less when you steam-blanch.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
According to the most dietary guidelines, nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods. Foods provide an array of nutrients and other compounds that may have beneficial effects on health. In certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful sources of one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts. However, dietary supplements, while recommended in some cases, cannot replace a healthful diet.

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Preservation usually involves preventing the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other micro-organisms, as well as regarding the oxidation of fats which cause rancidity. It also includes processes to inhibit natural ageing and discolouration that can occur during food preparation such as the enzymatic browning reaction in apples which causes browning when apples are cut. Some preservation methods require the food to be sealed after treatment to prevent recontamination with microbes; others, such as drying, allow food to be stored without any special containment for long periods.

Common methods of applying these processes include drying, spray drying, freeze drying, freezing,vacuum-packing, canning, preserving in syrup, sugar crystallisation, food irradiation, and adding preservatives or inert gases such as carbon dioxide. Other methods that not only help to preserve food, but also add flavour, include pickling, salting, smoking, preserving in syrup or alcohol, sugar crystallisation and curing.