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.

Garden Update - Tuesday 8/10/10



Oh, another worm? Did you want some green cherry tomatoes mr. worm/future Mothra?!







NO! Bad Worm.. Die!


:)



Monday, August 9, 2010

Garden Update - Sunday 8/8/10

Been awhile again (suprised?) since last garden update.

We have beans to eat, and cherry tomatoes, a couple green peppers with bunch more that should come at once.




Nyssa snippin beans

Potato box

Potato plants got so big, but not sure how many potatoes I will really get. My sisters has early potatoes only down at the very base of the plant. So this might require some more knowledge for next year. Although we thought we had read basically what to do and heard the same from a church friend. Time will tell.



Dill

Our Dill has gotten nice and large with big flower heads, now that we have no more pickles to make. . . 



Bush Cucumbers

. . .yes no more pickles since our plant is now pffftt! Although we got I believe 24 jars canned this year, not bad.



Cherry Tomato Plant

Cherry Tomatoes


Jalepenos

JalapeƱos 

Our Serrano peppers however got too late of a start from seed to produce anything this year  (the plants are only 6 inches or so)

Then yesterday we found a little surprise (not the good kind) in our garden. . .






 Tomato Hornworm



Tomato Hornworm

Creepster! Those little decoy eyes are so amazing/creeps me out at the same time. Funny thing is we found this guy (girl?) yesterday, and today when I stopped at my sisters after work we found on on her tomatillos. Before I even had a chance to tell her about ours. Crazy. . .and gross.


That's all for now!



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