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Old 12-15-2010, 12:41 AM   #1
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Default Why do we have to blanch veggies before freezing or dehydrating them>>>?

Why do we have to blanch veggies before freezing or dehydrating them>>>? So we don't poison ourselves!!! That's why!!!
I wanted to skip that blanching step real bad since I'm sorta lazy by nature…. I was going to but figured maybe I better poke around. Simple answer- for food safety!!! This is what I found, Blanch Vegetables Before Freezing, “Blanching is the scalding of vegetables in boiling water or steam. Blanching slows or stops the action of enzymes. Up until harvest time, enzymes cause vegetables to grow and mature. If vegetables are not blanched, or blanching is not long enough, the enzymes continue to be active during frozen storage causing off-colors, off-flavors and toughening.

If you spend the time growing the vegetables, pulling weeds, picking and preparing for the freezer, the blanching time may be regarded as a pain - but it’s necessary if you want fresh garden flavor later.

Blanching time is crucial and varies with the vegetable and size of the pieces to be frozen. Under-blanching speeds up the activity of enzymes and is worse than no blanching. Over-blanching causes loss of flavor, color, vitamins and minerals.

The most convenient way to blanch vegetables is in a large kettle of boiling water. Allow one gallon of water per pound of vegetables. Bring the water to boil and lower vegetables into the water, allowing the water to continue boiling. Cover and start counting the blanching time.and How to Blanch Vegetables for Freezing, “When the water in food freezes, it stops much of the cellular activity that normally causes spoiling. But there are certain enzymes in vegetables that can continue their nefarious deeds in the quiet and dark of the freezer. Blanching — either steaming or boiling the food briefly — destroys the enzymes that cause the loss of nutritional value and flavor. Onions, peppers, and herbs do not need to be blanched. Squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin should be fully cooked before freezing. All other vegetables should be blanched.” That site has a fantastic… easy to follow… blanching for dummies guide to boiling and steaming times. These 2 sites had the simplest explanations for why nobody should skip the blanching process whether we’re freezing or dehydrating our veggies.
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