|Beverage | Bread | Chicken | Chutney | Dairy | Dessert | Lamb | Legume | Nuts | Rice | Seafood | Snack | Spices | Vegetable|
Blanching Vegetables for freezing or pickling
|Vegetables have a natural enzyme that continues to effect texture, color and flavor. Blanching stops the enzyme action
The natural enzymes help vegetable to grow and mature until they are harvested. After the vegetables have been harvested, they continue to remain active even when frozen or pickled making the pickles to be tough, effect the color and flavor. Blanching stops the action of the enzymes.
The purpose of blanching is not to sterilize or pasteurize vegetables. It may kill some but not all the surface micro-organisms
Blanching is done by either scalding vegetables in rapidly boiling water, or in a steamer for a short time period. The vegetables must be scalded just long enough to stop the enzyme reaction, but not too long to make them soft and mushy by breaking up the cell-walls.
Under-blanching stimulates enzyme activity and is worse than not blanching
Over-blanching causes loss of texture, color, flavor and vitamins
Vegetables are blanched for freezing or making Indian pickles.
How to blanch?
Water blanching is easier than steaming and more predictable than the microwave. The steps follow
Step 1 Bring water to a boil
Select a deep pot. Add one gallon of water per pound of vegetables to pot. Bring water to a boil
Step 2 Add Vegetables
Don not turn heat down. Add vegetables. Cover. Bring water to a boil again
It should come to a full boil within one minute. If it takes longer, you have either too little water or too much vegetables
Step 3 Time the Blanching process
As soon as the water comes to a boil after the vegetables have been added, you start a timer.
Time to blanch depends on the vegetable, cut of the vegetable etcetera. Blanching time of interest to Indian Cuisine are as follows
Bell Pepper (¼" thick rings): 2 Minutes
Broccoli ( 1½" across flowerets): 3 minutes
Cabbage Shredded: 1½ Minutes (90 seconds)
Carrots sliced: 2 minutes
Carrots small: 5 minutes
Cauliflower ( 1" across flowerets): 3 minutes
Cranberries: 1 Minute
Green beans : 3 minutes
Mattar (Green Peas): 1½ Minutes (90 seconds)
Okra (Small pods): 3 minutes
Okra (Large pods): 4 minutes
Onions (¼" thick onion rings): 15 seconds
Turnips (½" Cubes): 2 Minutes
Step 4 Cooling
Place a colander in the kitchen sink. As soon as the blanching time has expired, drain the vegetables in a colander. Turn on cold water tap on top of the vegetables in the colander for two to three minutes to cool off the vegetables.
Add ice cubes (2 cups of ice per pound of vegetables). Mix with the vegetables in the colander.
Step 5 Drain and dry
Whether you plan to pickle or freeze, the vegetables should be fully drained and dried. Extra moisture can cause loss of quality when frozen, and spoilage when pickled.
Scatter the vegetables on a cookie sheet in a single tier and dry the vegetables in hot sun for 4 hours. If such access is not feasible, dry the vegetables in the oven as follows
1. Preheat oven to lowest setting about 200º F.
2. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
3. Put the cookie sheet in the oven.
4. Do not close the oven door. Leave it ajar about 2 to 3 inches.
5. Remove the cookie sheet after 45 minutes.
If the vegetables are not yet dry enough, bake on temperature longer.
|HOME | About-us | Disclaimer | Contact-us|