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Blanching Vegetables  What does this pot and bag of sliced beets have to do with freezing vegetables?  Well, surprisingly, I just learned a lot about the proper way to freeze my vegetables.  Now that I load up on deals at my local farmer’s market, I have found myself with more veggies than I can eat.

On a recent trip I was given some information on storing fruits and vegetables, how timely.  It said something about blanching before storing your vegetables in the freezer which was totally new concept for me.  I assumed I could just throw them in a freezer safe bag and they’d last me.

Blanching is the process of starting to cook something and then stopping it mid stream, basically by boiling for a short time and then shocking it in cold water.  Above is how I started that process with my beets.  As usual I forgot to take pictures but this is the same batch during the shocking process.

Blanching Beets

How to Blanch and Freeze Veggies

  1. Boil about one gallon of water to one pound of peeled/sliced vegetables.
  2. Place prepared vegetable in water. Boiling time (see below) starts from when the water returns to a boil after adding your vegetables.
  3. Prepare some ice cold water in a large bowl.
  4. Once vegetables are done boiling, drain, and dump them in ice water and cool for same amount of time as boiling.
  5. Drain vegetables and pack in freezer safe bags.

That’s it!  Simple right?  I’ve frozen beets, potatoes, and squash so far.  There are some vegetables that you just can’t blanch, but I have successfully frozen some, non water based, vegetables without blanching.  Try it out and do what works best for you.  I like this method because there was no need for thawing.  I threw my sliced potatoes into a pan, seasoned them, and baked them in the oven and they were done in the same amount of time they would be if they were fresh!  Great way to have seasonal local vegetables out of season, and easy on your wallet too.

Blanching Times

  • Asparagus                                                          3-4 min
  • Beans (lima, snap, green)                               3-4 min
  • Beets                                                                    30 min
  • Broccoli                                                                 3 min
  • Brussels Sprouts                                                 4 min
  • Cabbage                                                              1 1/2 min
  • Carrots                                                                  4 min
  • Cauliflower                                                           3 min
  • Corn                                                                       5 min
  • Greens (collard, chard, kale, spinach)             2 min
  • Mushrooms                                                          3-5 min
  • Parsnips                                                                 2 min
  • Peas (green, snow, sugar)                                 1 1/2 min
  • Potatoes                                                                 5 min
  • Summer squash and zucchini                            3 min
  • Turnip and turnip greens                                     2 min

 

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