Lately, when grocery shopping, there has been a real lack of selection in the produce section. The stock has been low, even for canned foods, I have noticed. While talking with the grocery store employees, they have said it has been increasingly hard to come by certain items.
So, when raw carrots became available, I jumped at the chance to buy a bunch of packs. Corn, also, has been in low supply in canned form. Alas, my day will be spent Blanching Vegetables so I can freeze them for winter use.
How cute is she?! Elliana was SO helpful today while I did this project. She made sure to eat all of the carrot pieces that fell on the counter.
Published October 21, 2021
Updated March 19, 2022
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Shortages on Shelves
Is this shortage happening with certain foods near you? And not like the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. We are talking about an empty spot on the shelf for weeks. Or a sign by a food variety with a quantity limit. In the early part of the pandemic shut-down, Tyler and I were doing epoxy countertops and were desperate for Isopropyl Alcohol, but we could not find any because people were using it to make their own hand sanitizer.
So today my project was to steam three bags of carrots and twelve ears of corn. I would have had sixteen, but one package was seriously gross with fuzzy stuff growing on the ends of the cobs right where the plastic covering was, so I didn’t see it when originally put the package in my grocery cart.
Cost for this project
Three bags of carrots resulted in six 12-ounce bags of steamed carrots. When you look at a bag of frozen vegetables, they are typically 12-ounces, so that is what these were measured out to be. Also, I double bagged each package to help cut down on freezer burn. There is nothing more hated than a good project with food ruined by freezer burn.
2-pound bag of carrots $1.75 each
4-count sweet corn $3.19 each
3 bags of carrots $5.25
3 packs of corn $9.57
Six bags of carrots and two bags of corn and one mix with the leftovers of each for a total of $14.82. That comes to $1.64 a bag. Honestly, this did not save me any money. A 12-ounce bag of frozen corn at ALDI is $0.85 and the same size for carrots is $1.69 at a separate store. However, if you go to any store, other than ALDI, a bag of frozen corn is $1.59!
Why Blanch Vegetables?
Make sure that whenever you put vegetables in the freezer, and they are raw, that you blanch them first. To blanch vegetables is to prepare them to be frozen so they stay as fresh as they are raw. To finish the blanching process, you have to submerge the vegetables in an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process.
Blanching also helps to keep the colors of the vegetables super bright. Have you ever opened a can of green beans and saw that they are not bright green, but a dull green? Blanching takes care of that color sadness. Blanching, for most vegetables it is around 2-5 minutes depending on size, helps the vegetables maintain their crispy texture and bright colors.
Ingredients and Tools for Blanching Vegetables
Most of these “Ingredients” are tools to help you blanch the vegetables. The only thing that will go in the bag, and into the freezer, will be your bagged vegetables! How cool is that?!
Large Baking Sheet
Blanching Vegetables Directions
1. Firstly, wash and peel the carrots. Using a sink colander that keeps the carrots off the base of the sink helps to cut down on transferring bacteria from the sink basin. Keep the vegetables as clean as possible! Peeling the carrots right into the sink helps maintain the mess and cleanup will be much easier!
2. On a cutting board, cut both ends off of the carrots and place in a bowl to be sliced.
3. Secondly, slice the ends and tops off of the carrots. Using a Food Processor cuts the time to hand cut the carrots down to literally two minutes and will then help to save your wrists, and time. Plus, the size of the slices will be exactly the same maintaining consistency.
4. There are two different ways to cook the carrots. Parboiling is where you place the carrots immersed in boiling water and cook for 2-5 minutes depending on size, however I used a steamer basket in a 6-Quart pot and steamed them for 5 minutes.
5. Blanching/Parboiling vegetables helps to keep the brightness and freshness of vegetables and they get cleaned while maintaining their crispiness and texture.
6. Prep your water bath by placing a large bowl in the sink, then fill it up with water and ice cubes. The ice water, when the vegetables are submerged, stops the cooking.
7. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the carrots into the water bath in small batches, then scoop them out and place in a sink colander to drip dry.
8. Then rest the carrots in a sink colander and let the water drip out of them completely.
9. While the carrots drip dry, set up a baking sheet with wax paper. This will be to lay out the carrots to freeze. The wax paper will help them to not stick to the baking sheet and then allow for easier bagging.
10. Lay the carrots out on the baking sheet in a single layer. When the carrots are all laid out, place the baking sheet into the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until they are completely frozen. Elliana helped me so much today!
11. Using a measuring cup and kitchen scale, set the amount to 0.0 ounces. If you do not have a scale, use a straight measuring system to put as much or as little in your bags as you’d like. For the sake of consistency, I filled them to 12-ounces because that is what we would typically buy pre-packaged in a steamer bag.
12. Measure out the blanched carrots, or whatever vegetable you are using.
13. Fill a freezer bag with the blanched vegetables and then use a straw to suck out all of the air you can out of the bag.
14. One thing discovered in my research of blanching vegetables is to double-bag them before you put the bag in the freezer, which helps to cut down on freezer burn.
On this day I also blanched the corn off of twelve cobs. I washed the cobs in a colander in the sink. Then, with the cobs standing in a large bowl I used a knife and cut the kernels off. With the bowl, there was literally NO mess from corn kernels flying all over the counter.
Out of the twelve cobs of sweet corn, I was able to bag two 12-ounce bags and one with half filled with carrot.
Elliana helped keep all of the falling vegetables to stay in the measuring cup. Well, the ones she didn’t pop into her mouth that is. Now all I need to do is process beefcake tomatoes we had in the freezer from a while back and also some fruit! It is going to be a week of freezer food prep in Monica’s Scratch Kitchen.
It is a rainy day here in Wrightstown, Wisconsin. Hope you have a great day! Thanks for stopping by!
Directions for Blanching Vegetables
- 6-Quart Pot
- Kitchen Scale
- Sink Colander
- Cutting board
- Begin by washing and peeling the carrots in a sink colander.
- Cut both ends off of the carrots and place in a bowl to be sliced.
- Slice the carrots either on a cutting board or using a Cuisinart Food Processor to get a more even result.
- There are two different ways to cook the carrots.
- Parboiling is where you place the carrots immersed in boiling water and cook for 2-5 minutes depending on size, however I used a steamer basket in a 6-Quart pot and steamed them for 5 minutes.
- Blanching/Parboiling vegetables helps to keep the brightness and freshness of vegetables and they get cleaned while maintaining their crispiness and texture.
- Prep your water bath by placing a large bowl in the sink, then fill it up with water and ice cubes.
- The ice water, when the vegetables are submerged, stops the cooking.
- Use a slotted spoon and transfer the carrots into the water bath in small batches, then scoop them out and place in a sink colander.
- Rest the carrots in a sink colander and then let the water drip out of them completely.
- While the carrots are drip drying, set up a baking sheet with wax paper, which will be to lay out the carrots to freeze.
- The wax paper will help them to not stick to the baking sheet and allow for easier bagging.
- Then lay the dried carrots out on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- When the carrots are all laid out, place the baking sheet into the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until they are completely frozen.
- Using a measuring cup and kitchen scale, set the amount to 0.0 ounces.
- If you do not have a scale, use a straight measuring system to put as much or as little in your bags as you'd like. For the sake of consistency, I filled them to 12-ounces because that is what we would typically buy pre-packaged in a steamer bag.
- Measure out the blanched carrots, or whatever vegetable you are using.
- Fill a freezer bag with the blanched vegetables and use a straw to suck out all of the air you can out of the bag.
- One thing discovered in my research of blanching vegetables is to double-bag them before you put the bag in the freezer, which helps to cut down on freezer burn.
9 responses to “Blanching Vegetables Directions – How to do it yourself!”
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