One of the easiest way to save excess garden produce is by freezing it. Some things can just be tossed right into the freezer, but others have to be blanched first. Here’s what you need to know about blanching vegetables before freezing!
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How To Blanch Vegetables
- Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
- Prepare vegetables by washing, peeling if needed, and cutting into uniform pieces.
- Prepare ice water bath using ice and a large bowl.
- Place vegetables into boiling water.
- Quickly cool vegetables by plunging into the ice water.
- Drain produce to dry.
- Freeze on trays.
What Types of Vegetables to Blanch
Here are the vegetables that need to be blanched before freezing, and also how long you should keep them in the boiling water. As a general rule, they are done when they are the texture you want to eat them at.
- Artichoke Hearts 6 minutes
- Asparagus 2-4 minutes
- Beans 3 minutes
- Beets 30 minutes
- Broccoli 3 minutes
- Brussels Sprouts 3-5 minutes
- Cabbage (shredded) 1 1/2 minutes
- Carrots 2-5 minutes
- Cauliflower 3 minutes
- Celery 3 minutes
- Chard 2 minutes
- Corn 4 minutes
- Eggplant 4 minutes
- Kale 2 minutes
- Mushrooms 3-5 minutes
- Okra 3-5 minutes
- Onion 3-5 minutes
- Peas 1-2 minutes
- Peppers 3 minutes
- Spinach 2 minutes
- Squash 3 minutes
- Zucchini 3 minutes
Tomatoes don’t have to be blanched, but blanching for about 60 seconds makes them easier to peel. This also works for peaches.
Blanching vegetables is a good skill to have. It’s easy to learn, and can really improve your food storing abilities. Not all of us have a fancy canning set up for pressure canning vegetables (or even want one)! If you have a bumper crop you can easily save some vegetables for later in the year.
It’s also handy for when produce goes on super sale or if you have access to bulk produce in season. You can score a super deal and preserve your own food even if your garden is on the small side.
Have you blanched vegetables? How did it go? Share in the comments!
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