Blanching Vegetables

Category Vegetables
Certain vegetables benefit from blanching prior to freezing. Blanching can help preserve the flavor, texture, color, and nutrient content of vegetables. It can be confusing trying to determine which ones need to be blanched and for how long. This is a page about blanching vegetables.


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There have been a lot of requests for blanching veggies as of late so here's an easy timetable to follow. Be sure to check tenderness part way into the blanching guide times because freshness and size of vegetables vary and can affect how long they truly need to blanch.

Be sure to give the veggies an immediate ice water bath after the blanching to stop the cooking process. Pat veggies dry if you are going to be freezing them and remove as much air from the freezer bag as possible because both help to reduce freezer burn.

Source: Collected over the years and finally decided to get them all organized ;-)

By Deeli from Richland, WA

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Before I use many of my vegetables in recipes like pan-fried or oven roasted sides, I will parboil or blanch them. This helps me out in many ways. Precooking will cut down the amount of oil I use altogether by a lot, saving on calories and money. It also decreases the cooking time all around, and time is money.


Blanching veggies does a great service visually, as it locks in their beautiful colours. Parboiling also aids in the vegetable's overall texture at the end result, and locks in nutrients. Of course, if you're using a recipe that calls for mini bits of veggies, you do not need to do this. :)

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Our garden is producing very well this year! To keep up with production we decided to make our own frozen veggies. This is a great way to get fresh and frozen at the same time, with just a few steps.

Blanching Veggies - slices of zucchini and yellow squash

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July 23, 2006

Blanching Vegetables. All vegetables contain naturally occurring enzymes. In some vegetables, unless these enzymes are deactivated with heat before the vegetable is frozen, the enzymes will continue to break down and age them even at freezing temperatures.

blanching Vegetables

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Recently while trying to blanch/freeze 12 lbs. of green beans, I ran out of ice to cool the blanched beans. Instead I used some drink boxes, that I always keep in the freezer to use in lunchboxes to keep food cold until lunch time.

blanched green beans

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April 15, 2005

I use a plastic mesh lemon bag to blanche my veggies in boiling water before freezing. I bag them in quantities ready for recipes so they are ready to pull from the freezer any time I need them.


By K. Cooper

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

August 9, 2011

What is the proper time to blanch green beans before freezing? One person said 1 minute and another said 3 minutes. Also, can I put them in a freezer bag or do I need actual freezing containers?

By Missiesue from Munger, MI


August 10, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Blanch for at least 3 minutes if pre-cut into 1 inch pieces. Longer 3-5 minutes if whole. Plunge them into ice cold water for the same amount of time as you blanched them to bring the temperature down.


Drain/dry the beans well before using. Use about 1 gallon of water per 1 lb. of green beans. You can use freezer bags as long as you get as much air as you can out of them. I don't recommend hard containers as the air can cause freezer burn.

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August 8, 2011

Why is it necessary to blanch vegetables prior to freezing? Why can't I just wash, drain, cut, and freeze the raw green beans?

By Jackie


August 9, 20110 found this helpful

I think you can but the blanching, if I remember correctly helps to keep frost from forming on them. The proper procedure is to blanch them for one minute, plunge them in ice water for a minute then lay them on a towel to dry. It is worth it if you have a better product in the end.

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August 9, 20110 found this helpful

It's to preserve the color, keep crisp yet tender and halts the enzymes that deteriorates the nutritional value of the food during storage. Also, assorted veggies need different amounts of blanching time. For instance, beans should be blanched for 3 minutes, corn on the cob for 4 minutes and beets anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes depending on their size. All varieties of onions and peppers do not need to be blanched.

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August 9, 20110 found this helpful

Blanching vegetables and sometimes fruits is necessary before freezing to destroy enzymes and bacteria that could cause spoilage. It also helps to preserve a vibrant color on the frozen product. Plunging the vegetables in ice water stops the cooking process.

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August 16, 20110 found this helpful

Jackie, I do blanch somestuff like any beans,if you don't they will freezer burn and have a freezer taste. I do know I put corn up this year and I didn't blanch it and eat taste good. And I don't blanch greens either,but you must get all the air out of it. But on all beans and peas I wouldn't blanch. Happy Day.

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July 10, 2012

How do I blanch vegetables, such as corn?

By Karen


July 11, 20120 found this helpful

Wiser ones might correct or add to my answer, but blanching as I understand such is merely placing the food (usually fresh vegetables or fruits) into a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes and then immediately submerging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. I use the process when preparing fresh vegetables (such as corn on the cob) for freezing. It also works well when preparing a batch of fresh tomatoes for processing as after you remove the tomatoes from the ice water, you can literally slide off the skins with your hands. Good Luck!

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July 11, 20120 found this helpful

If I remember right there are different directions for different types of food. As far as freezing tomatoes goes, all most of the people that I know, do is wash them, remove the stems and toss them in a plastic bag and then into the freezer. Then when they get a few more tomatoes they do the same thing, adding them to the previous bag.

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July 11, 20120 found this helpful

KansasCindy's response gives the correct definition of blanching. However, the blanching time varies depending on the vegetable. Some require no more than 1-2 minutes; others may require 3 minutes or more. Thriftyfun has a guide to blanching on the website. You could also consult the Ball Book of Canning and Perserving for information.

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August 29, 2011

Why do we blanch veggies before freezing?

By Guy T.


August 30, 20110 found this helpful

To stop the enzymes in the foods. Otherwise the food will continue to ripen and become mush.

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August 30, 20110 found this helpful

I think the blanching breaks down the plant cells. Then the moisture in them does not freeze and burst, that changes the texture of the food.

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August 30, 20110 found this helpful

Blanching slows or stops the action of enzymes which cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Blanching also cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. Blanching also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.

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August 15, 2012

Is blanching required for freezing yellow squash, cabbage, corn, and broccoli?

By Jackie from Sweetwater, TN

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August 4, 2006

I looking for information about blanching squash.

Linda from Roanoke, VA


August 8, 20060 found this helpful

Here's some info I had; hope it helps.

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Squash: summer (Cocozelle, Crookneck, Straightneck, White scallop, Zucchini)

Choose young squash with tender skin. Wash and cut in 1/2-inch slices. Water blanch 3 minutes. Cool promptly, drain, package, seal and freeze.

oGrated zucchini (for baking)
Choose young tender zucchini. Wash and grate without peeling. Steam blanch in small quantities for 1 to 2 minutes until translucent. Drain well and pack in containers in amounts needed for recipes. Cool by placing the containers in cold water. Seal and freeze. If watery when thawed, drain the liquid before using the zucchini.

Squash: winter (Acorn, Banana, Buttercup, Butternut, Golden Delicious, Hubbard)

Select firm, mature squash with a hard rind.
Prepare same as for pumpkin.

Select full-colored mature pumpkins with fine texture. Wash, cut into cooking-size sections and remove seeds. Cook until soft in boiling water, in steam, in a pressure cooker, in an oven or microwave oven. To cool, place pan containing pumpkin in cold water and stir occasionally. Remove pulp from rind and mash. Package, seal and freeze.

Small pumpkins can be pierced and baked whole on a tray in an oven or microwave oven until soft. After cooling, peel, remove strings and seeds and mash. Package, seal and freeze.

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October 15, 2014

It is mid October here in Wisconsin. Is it too late for me to blanch my celery plants? They are pretty bitter. If it is too late, how can I reduce the bitterness?

By Sandra from Altoona, WI

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May 9, 2018

Blanching vegetables in your Instant Pot is quick and easy. Here are some tips for how to do it. This is a page about blanching vegetables in an Instant Pot.

Vegetables in an Instapot pressure cooker.

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