If you love to have vegetable dishes as sides alongside your meals or just generally love vegetable recipes, then you must have come across the concept of blanching them. Simply put, blanching is pouring vegetables or fruit into boiling hot water and letting them sit for very few minutes. Read on for the importance of this process and how to do it best.
You can blanch your vegetables or fruits before cooking or freezing for long-term storage but you must ensure that dousing them in hot water is closely followed by an ice bath that stops them from continuing to cook.
Blanching isn't just a menial task, it plays numerous essential roles. Some of them are:
Some vegetables like kale are naturally bitter which can ruin the overall flavor profile of any dish they are added to. That's why blanching is essential as it easily destroys specific enzymes in vegetables that cause this bitterness.
Cooking the vegetables becomes even faster since you have already blanched them, giving you more time to focus on other aspects of the recipe.
The heat kills some bacteria and removes some of the dirt from the vegetables. This is why blanching is recommended before freezing as it'll keep the vegetables fresher for longer.
Many green vegetables turn a brighter green color when blanched, making them aesthetically pleasing and appetizing.
This is mostly due to the enzymes that are destroyed by the heat. Again, this is why it's best for when you're planning to freeze the vegetables.
Blanching can be performed in various ways, with boiling water, steam, or with a microwave. However, the boiling water method is the easiest to do.
Here's a simplified guide to the technique of blanching with boiling water: