Ever wondered how to blanch food? Blanching is a cooking technique that keeps food, usually fruits and vegetables, crisp and tender by boiling the food for a short period of time and then “shocking” them in an ice-bath for an equal amount of time.
Blanching food maintains color and texture
This easy cooking technique will keep your food flavorful, colorful and texturally perfect! One of the most common reasons to blanch is to stop cook-time.
For example, asparagus will continue to cook after it has been removed from the boiling water and will become soggy and unappetizing.
Blanching makes peeling easier
And when you find yourself reaching for the peeler, keep in mind that tomatoes, almonds, celery root, onions, and many other kinds of food can be blanched to loosen their skin, making them easier to peel.
Blanching helps food stay fresh longer
Blanching with salt comes in handy when you are planning to freeze and store food for a long period of time.
The blanching process kills bacteria and enzymes that would normally make the food go bad quickly.
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Here are a few simple steps that you can apply to any food you want to blanch:
- Bring a large pot of water (1 gallon of water per pound of food) to a rolling boil. If planning on preserving the blanched food, add a tablespoon of salt to the water.
- Wash and prepare fruits or vegetables before submerging in boiling water.
- Add food to boiling water. Smaller batches will cook quicker than larger ones.
- After food has cooked, remove from boiling water and plunge into a bath of ice-water. Let food sit in ice water for equal amount of time.
- Remove from ice water when food is no longer warm.
- When you are ready to reheat the blanched items, you may grill, sautée, or boil but make sure not to cook through again.
Vegetable blanching times
- Artichoke hearts – 7 minutes.
- Asparagus– 2 minutes (small)/3 minutes (medium)/4 minutes (large).
- Beans (with shells) – 2 minutes (small)/3 minutes (medium)/4 minutes (large).
- Brussels Sprouts– 3-5 minutes Carrots– 2 minutes (after slicing).
- Baby Carrots – 5 minutes.
- Celery – 3 minutes. Corn– 9 minutes (medium)/11 minutes (large).
- Eggplant– 4 minutes.
- Summer Squash – 3 minutes.