Blanching is a a great way to to cook your vegetables while retaining most of the nutrients. Blanched vegetables have a vibrant color and are still crispy when you eat them. Blanching, or quick boiling, helps to quickly break down the fiber of raw vegetables more than steaming does, which aids digestion—this is good for people who have GI issues. Blanching vegetables also removes the raw flavor and brightens up their color. So, here is a quick tutorial on how to blanch vegetables.
How to Blanch Vegetables
- bring water to a boil.
- add a pinch of salt
- wash and chop the vegetables
- drop the vegetables into the water and lower the heat
- cook until they become bright
- if you prefer softer vegetables, let them cook longer
- while they’re cooking, prepare a bowl with cold water and ice
- when finished, put the vegetables in the cold water bath to stop the cooking process.
Some things to keep in mind when you are blanching vegetables:
- Blanching differs from boiling in how “done” the vegetables get. You want to lightly cook the vegetables here, removing them when their color is most vibrant. Different vegetables need different cooking times. Harder vegetables—like roots—take the longest. Green leafy vegetables—such as kale or Swiss chard—take less time. You just need to watch the pot the first time you blanch your vegetable to see how long it takes to get to your desired level of “done”
- Any vegetables can be blanched. Blanching is a great way to “get to know” a new vegetable because you will really taste its essential flavor.
- You can serve blanched vegetables plain, with a dressing, or a wedge of lemon. I often just use a little salt and pepper. Try adding roasted nuts or seeds as a topping too.
- Experiment with different combinations of vegetables. Pay attention to colors, textures and flavors!
What is your favorite vegetable and have you tried blanching it?