When you first start Vacuum Sealing Vegetables one of the most common terms you’ll hear thrown around and one of the most important things in the process is Blanching & Shocking, well what is Blanching & Shocking and how does it work, and why is an important part of the Vacuum Sealing process.
Blanching is a cooking process in which a food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is scalded in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocking, sometimes called refreshing) to halt the cooking process. Blanching stops enzyme actions which otherwise cause loss of flavor, color and texture. In addition, blanching removes some surface dirt and microorganisms, brightens color and helps slow vitamin losses. It also wilts greens and softens some vegetables (broccoli, asparagus) and makes them easier to pack.
It is essential that vegetables are correctly blanched before freezing, as blanching removes dirt and bacteria. Most importantly, blanching stops the enzyme action which destroys the fresh flavour, colour, and texture of your vegetables. Watch your vegetables carefully as you blanch. Under-blanching actually stimulates enzyme action and over-blanching removes colour and vitamins – so ensure that you do your research and have the correct blanching times.
How to Blanch & Shock your vegetables
- drop half a kilo of vegetables at a time into approx 3-4 litres of rapidly boiling water.
- Use 6-8 litres of boiling water for leafy vegetables.
- Cover and begin timing immediately.
- You can Google “Recommended blanching times” to find the appropriate cooking time for whatever you are blanching.
- Remove blanched vegetables with a slotted spoon and plunge into ice-cold water this is called Shocking. The same boiling water may be used for 6 to 10 batches of blanching.
For more tips that can help make the most out of your Vacuum Sealer be sure to check back with the PacFoods blog – here.