Blanching is a technique used to retain the colour, texture and nutrients of fibrous vegetables or fruits. It is also used to peel the skin off fruits like peaches and tomatoes.
When blanching, use vegetables and water in the ratio 1:10. That is, for every 100 gram of vegetable, use one litre of water. The water has to be plenty because less water would cause the vegetables to stew and become limp, thus losing their colour, texture and nutrition. The water also has to be boiling rapidly to allow the vegetables to cook quickly.
Also, choose a deep vessel appropriate to the quantity of water to be boiled. You could choose to blanch the vegetables in batches according to the quantity.
Blanched vegetables can be used in a variety of dishes including salads or as accompaniments with barbecued or grilled food.
Blanching slows or stops enzyme action. So you can use this method before storing vegetables in the freezer for use over 3 to 4 months.
- Single or assorted vegetables (peeled/cleaned and cut to required size)
Step 1: Heat water, add salt and bring it to a rapid boil.
Step 2: Add the vegetables. Do not cover. Keep the vegetables in the boiling water for no longer than 35 to 40 seconds.
Step 3: Remove the vegetables and immediately immerse in ice cold water or run cold water over it in the sink for a few minutes.
Use as needed.