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Blanch and Freeze Fresh Vegetables

Blanching is a great way to preserve peak color, flavor and nutrition in vegetables. Hilah Johnson takes us through the simple steps for blanching your fresh veggies. Once blanched, they can be added to salads or cooked dishes, or frozen for long-term storage.

Find more Co+op Kitchen videos featuring information and easy recipes for making delicious meals at home, as well as handy hints from chefs and food enthusiasts who love sharing their passion for great food.

Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Hilah Johnson, and I host an online cooking show called Hilah Cooking. Today we're going to talk about blanching vegetables.

Blanching might seem intimidating, but it's really, really simple. It’s just a method of par-cooking vegetables in some boiling water briefly, and then you cool them off real quickly in an ice bath.

I'm going to go ahead and get my water boiling.

I'm going to start prepping my vegetables. We've got some green beans here. When you're prepping the vegetables for blanching, you really just want to keep in mind to make all the pieces of vegetable approximately the same size, so that they'll cook at the same rate. And you also want to cook your green beans in one batch, your broccoli in another batch, your carrots in another batch, etc. And that looks good, so I'm going to go ahead and cut these into one-inch length.

Once your water has come to a rolling boil, like this, we can put our produce in. Use something like a slotted spoon or spider to put it in so you don't splash boiling water all over yourself. And then we're going to put the lid back on it to help it come back to a boil quicker.

And green beans will probably just take maybe a minute. But you want to just keep an eye on them, and you'll see the colors just starting to change a little bit and getting a little bit brighter. All right. We'll take a look at these.

So, we're going to drop them into our ice bath now, and this is just ice and water. Once they are cooled you can either serve them as is, or, if you want to preserve them, we can freeze them.

And to do that we're going to do sort of an individually quick-frozen method. I've just got a platter here with a piece of parchment paper. You can use wax paper, either one. Just lay them out in a single layer, and the paper is just there obviously to keep them from actually freezing to your platter. So we just lay them out. So, we're just going to put these in the freezer for a couple of hours.

I've got these that I froze previously, and you can see they look pretty much exactly the same as they did when they went in.

Great and you just want to press all the air out.

And now I've got all our green beans. They're individual in there so that when you go to cook them later on they're not just frozen into one big mass, and that's what this freezing separately on the plate does.

So now once they're sealed up we can go back in the freezer for 2 to 3 months, and they'll stay great and fresh.

I'm Hilah for Co+op, stronger together.