View Full Version : Blanching freezing vegetables
Anyone know if I can stir fry instead of boiling to blanch?
Boiling makes the snow peas limp and I only desire to use them in stir fry.
There has to be a way, they do it for the pre-made meals.
07-01-2008, 10:03 AM
I've done that, with good results. Yum!
Thanks, it seems the snow peas and bok choy are never timed right.
At least this year the peas are coming first.
That smelled good.
Once I got the Food Saver to stop sucking air around the oily bag it looks like they should last even better than the boiled ones.
07-01-2008, 01:05 PM
How long are you planning to keep them? Are you freezing them seperately or in something else?
You **could** quick steam them.
Though I would say that if they are limp after you blanch them you are blanching them for too long. Or not chilling them quickly enough after blanching - are you draining g them and dumping them right into iced water?
I timed them for 1:30 and the time says 1-2 minutes. They were limp after the boiling water.
I didn't do ice water. Am I supposed to? I never do that with corn which is the only thing I normally freeze that needs blanching so I'm not that up on blanching other than the reason behind it.
I dunk in a colander then pull out, shake, bag, vacuum and into the freezer.
I have joked about using my blocking steamer on vegetables :) Other than that I don't have a steamer.
I don't know how long I'll keep them. I usually use vegetables by next season or compost them. But there's a chance that next year will be bok choy and no peas so if the Food Saver allows I'll keep them until I'm sure I have more.
07-01-2008, 03:41 PM
pea pods being a relatively "thin" object - I would go with 45 seconds to 1 min or possibly even less; and dumping in ice water will help prevent them going limp - because they WILL continue to "cook" if you don't chill them down fast.
07-01-2008, 07:09 PM
It they were already limp just from the boiling, you cooked them for too long. The cold/ice water chill immediatally after cooking is necessary to halt the cooking process, but won't help if the veggies are overcooked before doing it. I found a good overview of blanching and freezing vegetables online here (http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/he187w.htm). Scroll down for time recommendations for specific vegetables.
The keys I remember from doing this from my mother when I was little was to have a good water to vegetables ratio for both cooking and cooling. For cooking you want enough water that it returns to boiling very quickly (no more than a minute) after adding the vegetables. When cooling a generous amount of water and ice cools the vegetables faster. I think that dumping the cooked veggies in a seperate cold water bath is highly preferred to simply draining the pot they are in and adding cold water since the cooking pot will heat the water rapidly and drastically increase the time to cool the veggies.
My mother used a big (10qt?) stockpot with a "steamer" insert that reached abour 2 inches from the bottom of the pot. I think she filled the pot about halfway and brought the water to a boil. Then she put about an inch or so of prepped vegetables into the insert, lowered it into the water and began timing. When the two minutes were up, she lifted the insert from the pot, shook it a bit to drain the boiling water and dumped the vegetables straight into the ice-water bath we had ready and waiting in the (cleaned) sink. We would then let the veggies cool for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, before removing them to a towel, patting gently and letting them sit for 5-10 min to dry before packaging and freezing them. By setting up two cooling bath stations (more ice and cold water added as needed), we were able to blanch multiple batches of the same veggie in quick succession without having to wait for water to boil again. I mostly remember doing this with green beans, but I think we were successful with pea pods as well. Like MMario said, if you have young, tender pods they will need less cooking time (possibly way less) than older, bigger pods. Also, pea pods (especially the really small, tender ones) sometimes get limp just from sitting around for a couple of days after being picked. If this is the case with yours, you might try to crisp them up with an hour or two soak in cool water.
Good luck! (and sorry this turned into a novel).
If I have pea pods to freeze again (hopefully the bok choy will be ready) I'll try the ice dunk.