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Blanching Timelines for Vegetables

Why?  To partially cook to intensify the flavor and color of the food prior to freezing! 

When seasonal vegetables are on sale or picked fresh from your garden this technique helps save money by having vegetables on hand in the freezer for all your favorite recipes.

After you put your vegetables in boiling water by using the timeline information listed below then you will put them in ice water for the same amount of time to complete the blanching process.

Even though I plunge my vegetables in boiling water I always wash them.  If the vegetable calls for peeling or cutting I usually do that first then wash them and put them in a colander prior to putting them in the boiling water.

Below in alphabetical order are the most common vegetables blanched.  If you have ever frozen a vegetable without blanching you will know how important it is to do these steps!!


I always snap off the hard end but some people like to keep it by peeling it back.  Asparagus comes in many sizes so start out with 1 1/2 minutes for small and add another 30 seconds for medium (2 minutes) and about an extra 1 1/2 minutes for large (3 minutes). 

Beans (all varieties)

Cut off the tip of bean and then break into pieces or clice lengthwise.  The bean is harder so it should be blanched for at least 3 minutes.  The same amount of time for all the types of beans works well with 3 minutes.


I love the stalks.  I don't waste anything with broccoli.  I think it is the perfect food!  Peel the stalk and take off the leaves.  Usually the stalks are really hard so it is better to cut them lengthwise. I snap the heads off of each stem prior to blanching.  Since these are usually a hard vegetable too I blanch them for 3 minutes.

Brussels Sprouts

These also come in different sizes so afer you have trimmed the leaves then blanch the small - medium ones for at least 3 1/2 - 4 minutes and any large ones for 5 - 5 1/2 minutes.


I peel them and cut off the tops.  I will then slice them lengthwise or in 1/4 inch slices prior to blanching.  It just depends how you plan on serving them later. 


I like to cut or snap the heads off the stalk and I usually have a lot of different sizes.  I will blanch them for 3 1/2 minutes. 


This is a favorite for freezing.  I will husk the corn and remove all the silk from it the best I can before blanching.  Corn comes in all sizes so for small ears about 5 1/2 minutes, medium 7 1/2 and large at least 9 1/2 minutes. 


I will peel the onion and slice it into 4 square pieces and break apart before blanching.  You can make smaller pieces but this size works best for me in using the colander.  I usually will blanch for 2 minutes.  It doesn't take long for onions to blanch.


I usually never have to blanch the peas because when I garden I end up eating them all fresh off the vine.  They are my garden snack!  If you do have extras left over then just shell and blanch.  It usually is only about 1 1/2 minutes max.


Bell peppers are great to throw into any dish so it is nice to have a bag handy in the freezer.  Cut in half and remove the seeds as well as the stem.  You can make any sizes you would like.  I like lengthwise slices as well as diced to throw into my spaghetti when I make it.  It only takes 2 minutes.  If you want to blanch large halves then add another minute.


Peel and slice to about 1/2 inch thick - more or less depending on what you want to use them later for.  1/2 inch usually takes about 5 minutes at the most! Remember when you boil potatoes too long will make them mushy and mushy is not what you want.

Spinach, mustard greens & collard greens etc.

No more than 2 minutes needed!  Make sure you take the bad or hard stems out.  Better to do that first than later.

Tomatoes (same for Peaches too!)

A favorite of most Chefs. versatile!  Just throw it in the colander whole and in about 1 minute or less you are done.  After you dip it in the ice water you can easily remove the skin.


You can chunk it or you can slice it.  However you want to do it is great but don't remove the skin.  No need to peel this baby.  If you are slicing blanch for about 1 1/2 minutes and if you have big chunks then about 3 1/2 minutes.


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