Blanching and Shocking Vegetables Article -
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How to Blanch and Shock Vegetables

Easy steps for perfectly blanched veggies.

Blanching and shocking allows you to partially cook vegetables and cool them quickly so they retain their crunch. Use blanched vegetables in salads, pasta dishes, and as appetizers with dips.

1. Blanching and shocking can be used to cook almost any vegetable. We have chosen to use green beans to illustrate the method. The green beans have been washed, and the ends have been cut off.

    2. Prepare a pot of boiling water and an ice bath (a bowl full of ice and water). You can add salt if you wish -- salt will permeate the outer walls of the vegetable being blanched and enhance the flavors -- but salt also breaks down the vegetables over time and causes them to become mushy.

      3. Place your vegetables a few at a time into the boiling water, being careful not to crowd them. Keep the water at a consistent boil. Test the vegetables for doneness after a minute or so; green beans should be crisp, yet cooked. To test larger vegetables like broccoli, insert a small sharp knife into the thick part of the stem. If the broccoli clings to the knife, it needs more time. If the knife slides in and out easily, the broccoli is ready to be shocked.

        4. Once you have established that the vegetables are cooked, quickly remove them from the boiling water and plunge them into the ice bath (this act is called "shocking"). Immersing the vegetables in ice water will halt the cooking process completely.

          5. Keep the vegetables in the ice water long enough for them to cool completely, then drain them well. If you remove the vegetables from the ice bath before they finish cooling, they will continue to cook from the inside out resulting in a mushy finished product.

          You can try out your new skills with this delicious vegetarian menu, featuring flavors from around the globe.

          Browse these articles and links for more ideas for your blanched veggies:

          Aug. 11, 2009 2:09 pm
          Can I freeze zucchini? I want to use it later in bread, cakes, etc. Should I just grate it and freeze that way? Or freeze whole? Slices? HELP!
          Aug. 11, 2009 5:41 pm
          When I am wanting to save zucchini for breads and such, I go ahead and grate them and measure them out for the recipe, storing each serving in it's own individual baggie. Then, remove as much air as possible before sealing. When you are ready to use the zucchini, thaw it out and remove the excess water left in the baggie.
          Aug. 13, 2009 7:18 am
          Kelly - THANK you! I have lots of zucchini - some already grated and I was wondering about blanching? I will go ahead measure and freeze. Here's to zucchini bread in Dec/Jan.
          Aug. 13, 2009 8:05 am
          Thank you very much for the info! I wanted to can my zuc, but not enough of it comes ripe, so freezing is the next best thing!
          Aug. 14, 2009 10:41 am
          Dr. Sweetie, For the zucchini question. Yes, you can freeze zucchini. I grate it and freeze it in containers, 2 cups of shredded zucchini per container and after it is froze solid I then transfer the frozen zucchini into seal bags (sealer machine, not zip lock. They might work but I never tried it with regular zip lock freezer bags). It holds for at least 6 months because the last one I pulled out was 6 months old and still tasted good in my zucchini bread. Hope this helped!
          Aug. 14, 2009 11:07 pm
          Thank you for the info and vedio of how to blanch the vegetables praperly.I used to cook everyday and also how to pickles fruit and veges very happy...
          Aug. 18, 2009 9:49 am
          This was EXACTLY what I needed on freezing the zucchini! I have so many and make tons of bread to freeze but end up buying over priced zucs in the winter. Now I will just shred and freeze the excess. I sure didn't want to blanch. THANKS SO MUCH!
          Aug. 18, 2009 9:53 am
          For Tina, and anyone else using Seal a meal with liquid type veggies- just freeze it sitting up right in the seal a meal bag, and after its frozen, seal it- saves transfer and a dirty container.
          Aug. 20, 2009 11:09 am
          Love my food saver. I have been making marinara sauce and freezing. The fresh tomatoe sauce is so gooood. I've been adding eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini. 3 of my daughters have now begun to make their own sauce instead of using canned. You do have to freeze it in the bag and then seal it. So fresh and lovely colors.
          Aug. 20, 2009 4:40 pm
          Thanks for the very valuable info. I'm glad I decided to check here on how to freeze zucchini.
          Aug. 20, 2009 6:39 pm
          candy566, Thanks for the tip. I never thought of that with the seal bags. Tina
          Aug. 20, 2009 6:43 pm
          Does anyone have a good Harvard Beet recipe that I would be able to can? I know there has to be a recipe out there since you can buy them in the store sealed in jars. Just haven't come across one yet. HELP! I have sooo many beets that I need to do something with. Thanks! Any good beet recipe ideas would be appreciated...
          Sep. 2, 2009 8:18 pm
          Thank you very much for this valuable tips. Now, my vegetables will not look overcooked or soft.
          Oct. 13, 2009 6:28 am
          I tried freezing brocolli, I used the florets and just a little stem. I did the whoe nine yards, blanching etc. & used vacuum bags. I was a little shocked to have them freeze like an ice cuble. a real brick. Next time I freeze brocolli, I'm going to use a salad spinner to get the excess water out. I can't wait to try it. The frozen broccoli looks great, tastes great(after it thawed) Well worth the little work it took.
          Nov. 14, 2009 10:34 pm
          When I froze vegetables, broccoli, cauliflour, asparagus, I went through the blanching process, then lined a cookie sheet w/wax paper, set the "shocked" vegetable pieces on the cookie sheets and froze first, then sealed. Either microwave or boil. Fresh Asparagus in December that's not $3.98 a pound? Priceless.
          Sep. 4, 2010 12:26 pm
          Can you freeze zucchini in slices rather than shredded?
          Sep. 22, 2010 7:54 am
          yes, you have to remove the skins. You boil the beets for about 2 hours and then you skin them before you put them in the jars. they just slip out of the skin. be ready for a mess though..=)
          Sep. 29, 2010 7:32 am
          Thanks for your advise. I appreciate getting it.
          Jul. 13, 2011 3:56 pm
          Can you freeze cabbage?
          Jul. 20, 2011 10:20 am
          I have yellow squash coming out my ears and love it but can't keep up! How can I preserve it?
          Aug. 7, 2011 8:37 pm
          I have froze cabbage rolls so I assume you can simply blanch and freeze your cabbage? Worth a shot! as for the lady with yellow squash, check this out! :
          Aug. 16, 2011 12:44 pm
          what do you do to freeze fresh tomatoes from the garden
          Aug. 23, 2011 12:29 am
          Can you freeze sugar snap peas in there pods?
          Aug. 23, 2011 12:32 am
          Jen-D I wash and cut up or leave whole and freeze them. Then unfreeze poor hot water over them and take the skins off.
          Jennifer Husk 
          Sep. 12, 2011 6:38 am
          Just a note for everyone, I would NOT drain the liquid when you thaw your zucchini. Leaving it in will result in a much more moist bread. It seems like a lot, but trust me, you will love the result!!
          Oct. 20, 2011 11:55 am
          some tip on mustard greens,collard,how long can these veg stay in freezer?
          May 9, 2012 7:21 pm
          I love to saute yellow squash, and zucchini. I need to know how to freeze with out it turning to mush. Is there a way to do this?
          Jul. 7, 2012 10:19 am
          is there any way to save cucumbers, besides pickling them? I have cucumbers and pickles coming out my ears and family doesn't want anymore!
          Jul. 14, 2012 3:01 pm
          Need to know about yellow squash,zucchini & cucumbers how can I freeze them so I can use them in the winter months? Also tomatoes we have so many and hate to waste them. Thanks
          Jul. 14, 2012 7:00 pm
          @teresa I got lots of tomatoes from my friend I put them in a bowl pour hot water over them and let sit until cool enough to handle then peel. I made marinara sauce out of them. My friend also gave me fresh onions so I used a little olive oil and sautéed the diced onion until "glassy" added a couple of cloves of minced garlic and then cut the peeled tomatoes into the same pot. Let it simmer on low for a few hours to reduce some of the liquid you can season at this point or do it later cool completely and freeze. Absolutely wonderful! Hope this helps!
          Oct. 14, 2012 8:17 am
          How do you freeze kale and chard?
          Oct. 18, 2012 8:53 pm
          From past experance most anything can be blanched and frozen including tomatoes.
          May 19, 2013 6:44 pm
          can you blanch corn?
          Jul. 20, 2013 7:45 am
          Jewels, Yes, you can blanch corn on the cob the same in the video. After the corn is cold I have found it best to cut the corn from the cob and transfer to a freezer zip lock bag removing the air. When removing frozen corn to eat later you WILL NOT need to add water when you cook, if you do your corn will become soggy. The frozen corn is also wonderful in soups for the winter!!!
          Sep. 1, 2013 8:41 pm
          I want to freeze veggies for juicing later on. Should I blanch them or can I just wash them and stick in the freezer?
          Mar. 16, 2014 2:43 pm
          I would like to suggest to all who have an abundance of fruit & veggies to consider others, we have a Sr Thrift & Bread store in our town & we get loads of "abundance" from others who bring them in for those who don't have gardens or who just need to cut their grocery bill some. It's truly wonderful & we get quite a variety.
          Apr. 29, 2014 6:47 pm
          I was so happy to find this thread. I just harvested some broccoli leaves - about a foot long with the stems - and was wondering if I could eat them. When I tasted them raw, they were a bit bitter, but after blanching and shocking them, they were fine in my recipe. Here's what I did. I lightly browned some chicken turkey basil pesto sausage links, then added water, covered them and let them simmer. As they cooked, I stemmed, chopped, blanched and shocked the broccoli leaves. Then after the sausage had cooked about 10 minutes, I added about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and the drained broccoli leaves, covered them again and let them steam for another three to four minutes. The sausage and greens were delicious, without any bitterness.
          Jul. 19, 2014 11:58 am
          Well I sure wish I know what I am doing wrong with blanching and freezing my green beans and califlower when I take them out of the freezer for a side dish at a meal both are either soggy or rubbery can't under stand it help I have even tryed thawing with less time no luck
          Jul. 14, 2015 8:49 pm
          I am trying to freeze blanched Eggplant slices. Every place I look it calls for adding lemon juice (a cup per gallon) to the blanching water to keep the EP from darkening. Problem, it takes for ever to juice enough lemons (plus the expense). Is it possible to add Fruit Fresh to the blanching water to keep the EP from darkening instead?? Thanks for any help here.
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