What Is Blanching?
Blanching means to cool or heat something down, usually with water. This method of cooking food is used in many countries around the world. The main reason why it’s so popular is because it makes food taste better and faster. If you have ever had a piece of meat cooked at too high temperature, then you would know what I’m talking about! You can’t even imagine how delicious it tastes when cooked properly.
When you cook food using boiling water, it takes longer time than if you use cold water. For example, if you were to boil some pasta for dinner, it will take much longer to eat your meal.
On the other hand, if you are going to make a pot of soup from scratch, then the time saved by not having to boil your own broth is worth it. So when it comes to cooking food in different ways (boiling vs. boiling), there is no one right way. There are pros and cons to each method.
In our home, we like to cook most things in the microwave. This way, we don’t have to worry about overcooking anything since everything gets done in less than 5 minutes!
However, sometimes it’s nice to do dishes after eating something quick and easy. That’s where blanching comes into play.
Blanching is a quick way to get your food prepared without the hassle of doing dishes immediately afterwards. This is a great relief for my mom since she doesn’t enjoy doing dishes at all.
A while ago, I decided to help out my mom by researching how to blanch different vegetables for freezing. I found a great website that gave step-by-step instructions on how to prepare everything from artichokes to zucchinis! So if you’re ever in need of a good resource, be sure to check out this website:
How To Blanch Cauliflower
Now that you know where to go for great information on how to prepare vegetables for freezing, let’s get started on how to blanch cauliflower.
Our first step is to gather all of the tools that we will need for this job. This list includes:
A large pot (to boil water in)
A larger container (that will fit inside the large pot, with a little space left over for the cauliflower)
A cutting board (for slicing up the cauliflower into florets before blanching)
A sharp knife (for slicing up the cauliflower into florets before blanching)
Gloves (to protect your hands from hot water or steam burns)
A large bowl full of ice water (to plunge the cauliflower into after blanching)
Once you have all of your materials ready, you can begin preparing the florets for blanching. To do this, pull out your cutting board and sharp knife.
Cut the head off of the cauliflower. Now cut it into several large sections (you should have at least four). Now remove the outer leaves and trim away any brown bits from the outside. After this, you should have several large chunks of cauliflower with a thick, white core in the center. You need to slice these into evenly sized florets so that they can all be cooked at the same time. Be sure to leave them as large or as small as you like!
Your florets should now be ready for blanching. Whether you chose to do them all at once or in batches is completely up to you!
You will need to use the large pot of water and the larger container that can be lowered into the pot. Fill up the pot with enough water to completely cover all of the florets as well as the container you are going to lower them into. After this, make sure to add enough salt to the water so that it tastes really salty (like the saltwater of the ocean). Turn your stove on HIGH and wait until the water starts to boil.
Once the water is boiling, lower the container of florets into the water and time them for exactly 2 minutes. Make sure to stir them around in the container every 30 seconds or so to make sure that they are all being exposed to the water at the same rate.
After two minutes has passed, pull the container out of the water using oven mitts (to not burn yourself) and pour out the contents into the large bowl of ice water. This is to immediately stop the cooking process. Stir the florets around in the ice water to make sure that they are all being chilled. After this, you can either package them and refrigerate (for immediate use) or freeze (for future use).
There are many different ways you can cook your blanched vegetables, but I usually like to saute them with some oil, salt, and pepper. You can also add other ingredients like onions, garlic, or spices and marinate them before hand.
Feel free to experiment with different flavors and cooking methods to find your favorite way of preparing them.
Blanching vegetables is really easy once you get the hang of it. Just be sure to have fun and enjoy yourself in the process!
After all, cooking is supposed to be for the people!
Tip: You can blanch vegetables in large quantities and freeze them for later use. This can save you a lot of time if you are preparing a meal that requires a lot of vegetables to be cooked.
You can also freeze them after you have prepared them, but this may result in a loss of flavor and color.
Tip 2: You can blanch vegetables individually and then freeze them in single serving bags. For example, you can blanch a head of cauliflower and then package the florets into meal sized bags.
Whenever you want to eat some, you can just pull out however many you want and either cook them right away or freeze them for a later time. This is really convenient if you want to take out just enough for one or two meals.
Tip 3: You don’t have to blanch vegetables before freezing, but it is recommended for most vegetables. Blanching not only stops the enzymes in the vegetables that cause spoilage, but it also neutralizes some of the harshness in the flavors and makes the color of the vegetable brighter.
This is recommended, but if you find that the final product is too soft or doesn’t have enough of a particular texture, then you might want to experiment with not blanching in the future.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of blanching method on the quality characteristics of frozen peas by S Lin, MS Brewer – Journal of Food Quality, 2005 – Wiley Online Library
Influence of different treatments on dehydrated cauliflower quality by DM Kadam, Lata, DVK Samuel… – International journal of …, 2005 – Wiley Online Library
Effect of steam and hotwater blanching on ascorbic acid content of snap beans and cauliflower. by JL Retzer, FO Van Duyne, JT Chase, JI Simpson – Food Research, 1945 – cabdirect.org
Color kinetics of aonla shreds with amalgamated blanching during drying by RK Gupta, P Kumar, A Sharma… – International Journal of …, 2011 – Taylor & Francis
A multi-criteria decision approach to choosing the optimal blanching–freezing system by M Bevilacqua, A D’Amore, F Polonara – Journal of Food Engineering, 2004 – Elsevier