How to Blanch Vegetables

Blanching veggies before you freeze them will lock in feshness and flavor.

July 20, 2011

Before you freeze your produce, heat it and then cool it rapidly to seal in homegrown flavor and nutrients and protect the food from spoiling. Follow these steps to blanch properly. (Visit National Center for Home Food Preservation for crop-specific blanching times.)

Blanching Vegetables, step 1
Get a blanching pot, which has a basket and cover, or fit a wire basket into a large pot with a lid. Boil 1 gallon of water per pound of vegetables in the pot. Lower the basket of vegetables into vigorously boiling water and cover with the lid. The water should resume boiling within 1 minute; if it doesn't, you have too much vegetable or too little water. Start counting blanching time when the water returns to a boil.

 
 

Blanching Vegetables, step 2
As soon as the recommended blanching time elapses, pull the vegetable basket out of the boiling water and plunge it into cold water (60°F or colder) for the same length of time as you blanched them.

 
 

Blanching Vegetables, step 3
Drain the vegetables thoroughly after cooling—extra moisture ruins the produce in the freezer.

For more information of freezing your harvest, incuding blanching times for vegetables suitable for freezing, see our Guide to Freezing.

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