If you are looking to freeze and store blanched vegetables, here is the ultimate guide to help you out.
These methods have worked like a charm for me and others.
So, let’s dive right in.
- Assorted Vegetables
- Boiling Water
- Ice Bath
- Paper Towel
- Ziploc Bags
Cut and Prep: Cut the vegetables into sizes and shapes that you would normally use for your recipes. It could be thin slices or chunks, depending on your preference.
Blanch: Add the vegetables into a pot of boiling water and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Depending on the vegetable, it could take more or less time to cook. Then strain out the vegetables and put them in an ice bath to stop further cooking.
If you want crunchier veggies, you could add a bit of salt into the boiling water when blanching the vegetables.
Dry and Portion: Once the vegetables have been chilled in ice water, strain them out and lay them on a paper towel, and dry them thoroughly.
Then portion the dried vegetables into quantities that you can easily use in one recipe or mealtime.
Pack and Seal: Pack the blanched and portioned vegetables into Ziploc bags and seal them. You can use a straw to make sure that most of the air is sucked out of the bag before sealing them.
Label and Freeze: Add a best before date on the Ziploc bag, and you are all set to freeze the blanched vegetables.
You could check out this awesome tutorial by “Road to the Farm” on YouTube to see how it’s done -
Freezing Blanched Vegetables After Flash Freezing
After blanching your vegetables, you can take the added step of flash freezing the veggies, making them easier to separate and thaw later.
Blanch and Dry
Following the steps mentioned above, blanch the vegetables and then dry them thoroughly.
Lay the dried vegetables on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure not to clump the vegetables together and spread them out evenly.
Leave the tray of blanched veggies in the freezer for a couple of hours and let it freeze solid.
Portion and Pack
Portion the frozen blanched vegetables into manageable quantities and then pack them into Ziploc bags. Seal the bags after making sure to squeeze out all the excess air.
Label and Freeze
Add a label on the Ziploc bag with the best before date, and you can leave it in the fridge till you need it next.
Here is a tutorial by “Cooking and Calm” on YouTube –
How Long Can You Freeze Blanched Vegetables?
If done right, the blanched vegetables can stay in the freezer for 8 to 12 months. Blanching the vegetables considerably reduces the chances of freezer burns, and it is one of the best ways to freeze vegetable long-term.
How to Store Frozen Blanched Vegetables?
You can store frozen blanched vegetables in any freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bags. You could also freeze them in a mason jar if they are freezer-safe.
When using containers, make sure to leave some room at the top to accommodate any expansion upon freezing.
The key is to make sure that they are completely covered from being exposed to air or odor, and is protected from freezer burns.
Since the vegetables are chunky, it would be hard to store them in bulk using containers unless you have plenty of freezer space.
So, the best option would be Ziploc bags, which can be stored compactly stacked on top of each other.
How to Defrost Blanched Vegetables?
You can defrost blanched vegetables using a couple of methods, the best of which is thawing in the fridge. Leave the bag or container in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight and let it thaw gradually.
Drain any liquid in the bag or container before using the veggies.
You could also microwave the blanched vegetables if you are in a hurry. Another method is to leave the portion of frozen blanched veggies in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours to let it thaw quickly.
If you use the last two methods, make sure to use the vegetables up quickly.
The best way to use frozen blanched veggies is to sauté or cook them directly without thawing them. This way, you get to avoid having to deal with mushy and soggy vegetables.
Do not thaw the veggies at room temperature because it can increase the chances of bacterial build-up.
Can You Refreeze Blanched Vegetables?
Although you can refreeze blanched vegetables, it is not recommended and depends on several conditions. The vegetables, if partially defrosted, can be refrozen.
But if it was left out for long, the vegetables most likely have bacterial build-up and would be unsafe to refreeze and eat.
Repeated freezing deteriorates the quality of the vegetables, and it is best to consume it as soon as it thaws or right from the freezer.
To avoid wasting the vegetables once it thaws you can portion them beforehand into manageable quantities or measures that you would use for a particular recipe.
Do Blanched Vegetables Freeze Well?
Yes, blanched vegetables freeze well and are in fact, the best way to freeze veggies for the long term. Blanching helps keep the vegetables fresh and also locks in the vibrant colors.
Although the veggies may lose some of their nutritional value, it is the best way to have them in stock all year long without letting them get dehydrated.
But keep in mind that not all vegetables work well in the freezer when blanched. Most root vegetables, like potatoes, are better frozen without blanching.
The most commonly blanched and frozen vegetables are carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, beans, peas, and corn. The National Centre for Home Food Preservation has a comprehensive list of vegetables that you can blanch and the guidelines for each specific vegetable.
I hope this article helped you freeze and store blanched vegetables. If you have any queries or would love to share your freezing tips, it would be great to hear from you.
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