It’s my 100th post! That went by way too fast! Also, to my readers.. So sorry for the lack of updates these past few weeks. This past week in particular, was well… full of life’s unexpected moments. Praise the Lord for family and friends 🙂 Anyway’s, back to preserving!
Have you ever frozen any vegetables and pulled them out 3 months later to find that they look horrible and quite honestly taste like cardboard? This is the work of enzymes and why it is so important to blanch (boil quickly) before freezing them. After so much labor in the garden, it’s well worth the few extra minutes in the kitchen to blanch your veggies for the long winter ahead of us.
Vegetables, as they come from the garden or your farmers market, have enzymes working in them. These break down vitamin C in a short time and convert sugar into starch. By freezing your vegetables they only slow down the process, however, they are stopped by the blanching process. By blanching you will preserve your vegetables taste, texture, color, and nutrients.
Steps to Follow for Freezing Vegetables
- Pick young, tender vegetables for freezer storage. Avoid bruised, damaged, or overripe vegetables.
- Line up everything you will need for blanching and freezing before you start. Time and speed is of the essence when holding on to freshness, taste and nutrients.
What you will need:
- Large pot with boiling water
- Large bowl with ice water or placed underneath running cold water
- Towels to dry vegetables
- ziplock freezer bags or other suitable freezer containers
- Vegetables should be cleaned, cut and then blanched. As a general rule, use at least a gallon of water to each pound of vegetable, preheated to boiling point in a covered pot. When you plunge your vegetables into the boiling water, start timing when the water returns to a boil.
- Cool quickly to stop the cooking process. Veggies that are not cooled quickly are overblanched and show a loss of color, taste, texture and nutrients. Plunge your blanched vegetables immediately into cold water, ice water, or cold running water.
- Towel dry and package at once in freezer bags or suitable containers.
So, what can I blanch and how long does it take?