Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blanching Garden Fresh Vegetables for Freezer Storage

Blanching serves a few purposes.

  • Stops enzymes that destroy the freshness of your vegetables: non-blanched veggies will lose color and flavor around 5 weeks of being frozen.
  • Removes dirt and bacteria
  • Removes some of the strong flavors (Nyssa thinks that just picked/uncooked beans taste "Too Beany!")
Too Beany Beans ? :)

They kind of are, but good to eat a few fresh picked.

Some steps are bean only for obvious reasons.

1. Wash and Snip off ends of beans.  ("bean only" step, get it?)

Decapitated beans

2. To make sure that all the vegetables are blanched properly, boil 1 gallon water for 1 pound of vegetables.

You don't need to be precise of course, just make sure there is plenty of water for them to float around in.

Not like when you forgot to boil enough water for pasta and had to add more tap water, wait for it to boil and subsequently over or undercooked your pasta while turning everything else you were preparing to mush while it waited. Or was that just me. . .

The good news is you can just keep using that boiling water to do a bunch of the same vegetables. Just top off the pot if you slopped a bunch of it out trying to remove 3 beans (like me) and make sure its boiling hot again.

3. After you boil them for 3 minutes (green beans), put them right into Ice water for at least 3 minutes.

4. Bag 'em and freeze 'em.

Boom, done.

The beany beans did taste great right out of the ice water after blanching. Less beany, but fresh and delicious.

As for salting the water before blanching (<-see at the bottom of article) I don't have an opinion at this time. . . so you choose

A list I do not take credit for of times for blanching various vegetables in Boiling Water.

  • Green Beans, 3 minutes
  • Broccoli, chopped or stalks, 3 minutes
  • Beets, small, 25-30 minutes; medium, 45-50 minutes
  • Brussels Sprouts, small, 3 minutes; medium, 4 minutes; large, 5 minutes
  • Carrots, tiny, whole, 5 minutes; diced or strips, 2 minutes
  • Cauliflower, 3 minutes
  • Corn on the cob to freeze on the ear, small ears, 7 minutes; medium ears 9 minutes; large ears 11 minutes
  • Corn on the cob to cut for whole kernel corn, 4 minutes-cool and cut from ear.
  • Corn on the cob to cut for cream style corn, 4 minutes-cool and cut from ear, scraping the cobs.
  • Greens like spinach, 2 minutes
  • Shelled Peas, 1½ minutes
  • Snow or Sugar Snap Peas, 2-3 minutes
  • Summer Squash like zucchini, slices or chunks, 3 minutes; grated, 1-2 minutes.


  1. Good stuff, a couple notes to add: after the beanybeans cool, I put them on a clean towel to air dry some before freezing. If I get too impatient I end up blotting them with paper towels to get more water off. Then put them loosely on wax paper on a cookie sheet, and put it in the freezer that way first. Quick freeze method. The faster they freeze the less mushy, icy, freezer burn they become...then they are not all frozen in one big beany ice block... Once frozen on the tray, you may gather the loose beans up and then put them in ziplock freezer bags or plastic freezer containers to keep them frozen nicely for quite a long while. About Summer Squash/Zucchini: It took them about 5 minutes in ice bath until very cold too stop all the cooking. Then dried on towels too and patted dry, trying to avoid as much ice crystal build up as possible in the freezer. They did really well on the wax paper first same as beans, but I am sure they will be considerably more mushy once defrosted. I simply froze the grated zucchini (2 cup portions for zucchini bread)double bagged, without blanching and have heard of several other people having success that way too, although I did read that instead of boiling you can steam grated squash in a sieve 3 inches above boiling water for 5 min.

  2. Annnnd this is the reason you should write a blog. :)

  3. Dear Mr. JonOfAllTrades,

    I can't find the plumbing section of your website.

    My facet is dripping and I don't know how to fix it.



Related Posts with Thumbnails