How to Blanch Fruits & Vegetables

When you blanch a fruit or vegetable, you cook it briefly in boiling water and then cool it quickly in ice water. The most common occasion for blanching vegetables is when preparing them to be frozen because the process decreases the enzyme activity that causes frozen vegetables to spoil over time. Fruits are sometimes blanched to soften them and make it easier to remove their skins. When blanching fruit and vegetables, follow blanching times carefully to decrease enzyme activity rather than activating it, and to avoid over cooking fruits and vegetables.

 Instructions

Blanch Fruits & Vegetables

Blanch Fruits & Vegetables

  1. Wash the vegetables and cut them into pieces of your desired size. Wash fruits and cut a small “X” in the bottom of the skin if you are blanching them to help remove the skin more easily.
  2. Look up the proper blanching time for your fruit or vegetable on a chart in a cookbook or in the resource.
  3. Prepare a cold-water bath with at least 1 gallon of ice water in a large bowl.
  4. Boil 1 gallon of water in a large pot. The water must be at a full, rolling boil before you can blanch fruits or vegetables in it.
  5. Pour no more than 1 pound of your fruit or vegetables into the strainer basket that fits into the pot. With leafy greens, blanch no more than 1/2 pound at a time. In either case, this will be about 4 cups of fruit or vegetables.
  6. Lower the strainer basket into the boiling water, and cover the pot.
  7. Start the timer when the water has returned to a full boil. If it has not returned to a boil within 1 minute, there is too much of the fruit or vegetables.
  8. Pull the strainer basket out of the boiling water when the correct amount of time has passed.
  9. Pour the fruit or vegetables into the ice water immediately so they stop cooking. Leave them in the ice water for as long as they were in the boiling water, after which you can scoop them out with a slotted spoon, dry on towels and use or freeze as desired.
  10. Repeat the blanching process with other batches of fruit or vegetables if they did not all fit in the pot the first time.