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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