Blanching Vegetables

June 10, 2020
| Created by HarmonsHarmons

Depending on your skill level, there are many cooking terms you may or may not be familiar with. For example, do you know what it means to fold, deglaze, or par-bake? How about what it means to blanch?

Blanching is a cooking process where a large amount of water is brought to a boil and a fruit or vegetable is added into it to cook for a short amount of time. After cooking, it is transferred to ice water (or shocked) for a brief period and then removed and set to dry. Depending on what you are blanching, salt may or may not be added to the boiling water.

There are many reasons to blanch fruits and vegetables, including these:

  • Simplifies peeling (peaches, tomatoes)
  • Helps to remove dirt and bacteria from an item’s surface
  • Helps slow the loss of nutrients
  • Helps retain a vibrant color and texture
  • Slows or stops the enzyme action in vegetables and fruits being frozen
  • Makes some vegetables easier to digest
  • Partially cooks vegetables you intend to use on a fondue platter (pearl onions, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus)
  • Helps tenderize and retain bright color on vegetables for a crudité
  • Helps different vegetables used together in a recipe cook more evenly

Blanching times:

Broccoli—3 minutes
Cauliflower—3 minutes
Green beans—3 minutes
Snap peas—2-3 minutes
Instructions for blanching:

Wash, drain, trim, and cut vegetables.

Use 1 gallon water per pound of prepared vegetables or 2 gallons water per pound leafy greens.

Put vegetables into boiling water or blancher (wire basket or perforated metal strainer).

Cover. Start counting blanching time as soon as water returns to a boil.

Keep heat high for the time given in the directions.

Cool immediately in ice water or cold water (60 degrees or below) for the same amount of time used in blanching. Stir vegetables several times during cooling.

Drain vegetables thoroughly.

Credit: University of Minnesota Extension