How to Blanch Vegetables

Learn how to blanch vegetables and why it's important. A list of
vegetable blanching times is at the bottom of this page.

Why should you blanch vegetables?

  • Cleans off surface dirt and microorganisms
  • Keeps the color bright
  • Helps retain vitamins
  • Reduces the action of enzymes which can destroy the fresh flavor after four weeks
  • Shrinks the product, making packing easier

Vegetables used for their flavor such as green onions, hot peppers, and herbs do not have to be blanched.

How to blanch vegetables?

  • Wash vegetables
  • Use 1 gallon of water per 1 pound of vegetables (2 gallons for leafy greens)
  • Bring water to a vigorous boil
  • Put vegetables into a blancher (wire basket or metal strainer)
  • Lower vegetables into boiling water
  • Keep on high heat and stir water or keep container covered during blanching
  • Follow the blanching times for each vegetable.
    See blanching time chart below.
    • What if I under-blanch my vegetables?
      It stimulates the activity of enzymes and is worse than no blanching at all.

      What if I over-blanch my vegetables?
      Prolonged blanching causes loss of vitamins, minerals, flavor and color

  • As soon as the blanching is complete, put vegetables in cold water. This stops the cooking process.
  • Put blanched vegetables in freezer bags and freeze.

How long do I blanch vegetables?

  • Artichoke (Globe) – 7 minutes
  • Artichoke (Jerusalem) – 3 to 5 minutes depending on size
  • Asparagus - 1 ½ minutes small spears, 2 minutes medium spears, 3 minutes large spears
  • Green Beans – 3 minutes
  • Beets – Cook until tented usually about 10-15 minutes
  • Broccoli – Medium size sections for 3 minutes, large sections for 4 minutes
  • Brussel Sprouts – 3 to 5 minutes depending on the size
  • Cabbage – Wedges 3 minutes, shredded 1 ½ minutes
  • Carrots – Cut carrots 3 minutes, whole carrots 5 minutes
  • Cauliflower – 3 to 4 minutes depending on size
  • Corn – Whole kernel 5 to 6 minutes then cut off cob, Freezing corn on the cob 8-10 minutes depending on size
  • Eggplant – 4 minutes
  • Leafy Greens – 2 minutes
  • Okra – 3 to 5 minutes depending on size
  • Parsnips & Turnips – 3 minutes
  • Peas (shelled or snow/snap peas)– Shell and blanch 2 minutes
  • Summer Squash – 3 minutes

I used the Ball Blue Book of Preserving as a resource for this page

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Freezing Vegetables from How to Blanch Vegetables
Blanching Fruit – Peeling Peaches & Tomatoes
Canning Equipment
How to Freeze Corn

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