Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600906

BLANCHING Blanching is the process of heating vegetables sufficiently to inactivate enzymes. Enzymes are the

biological  catalysts that facilitate chemical reactions  in
living tissue.  If certain enzymes are not inactivated, they
will cause color and flavor to deteriorate during drying and
storage.  Blanched vegetables, when dried, will have  better
flavor   and   color than unblanched  ones.    Blanch   with
boiling  water   or  with steam.   Water  blanching  usually
results   in  greater loss of nutrients but it  takes   less
time than steam blanching.                                  

  Use a  kettle  with a  tight  fitting lid  as  a  steaming
container.  Other equipment include a colander, wire basket,
or sieve  that will  fit in  the  kettle.   Add  1 1/2  to 2
inches   of   water to  the steamer, and  heat  to  boiling.
Place  the  colander, basket, or  sieve  containing  loosely
packed  vegetables  into  the steamer and  leave  until  the
vegetables  are heated through and wilted.  Test by  cutting
through a piece of food.  If sufficiently blanched,the  food
should appear cooked (translucent) nearly to the center.    

  Use  only  enough water to cover  the  product.  Bring the
water  to  a  boil  and  gradually  stir  in  the vegetable.
Re-use  the  water to  blanch  additional  lots  of the same
vegetable,  adding new water  as necessary.  Keep the lid on
the kettle while blanching.                                 

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