Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Resourceful Tip - Blanching Vegetables

Having a vegetable garden has afforded me lots of opportunities to learn about preserving vegetables. Prior to having a garden I had heard of blanching, but hadn't really ever done it to anything other than chicken. So what is it?

Blanching is basically a quick steam or boil that barely cooks food. I learned that if you blanch veggies before tossing them in the freezer it helps retain color, flavor, & texture which certainly would make for more enjoyable veggies in the winter months. This is super easy with green beans and snap peas. Just blanch, put in a freezer bag or container, and that's it. It's a little harder with tomatoes because blanching makes the skins loose and you have to peel them, but I prefer to freeze tomatoes without the skins anyway so it all works out. It's much easier to chop a peeled, frozen tomato to toss into a sauce than one that still has a skin.

Here is a photo of blanching green beans:

I have also employed blanching as part of my freezer meal swap dishes from time to time if I am incuding fresh veggies. For example in a stir-fry or meat & veggie skewers for the barbeque.

Give it a try!


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