How to Blanch Vegetables.
Blanching is handy. Blanching is easy. Blanching will prevent you from spending your entire morning peeling tomatoes (or peaches).
To “blanch” a vegetable means to dunk it into boiling water for a short time then dunk it into ice water. Blanching has a couple of benefits.
- FREEZING – If you are preparing vegetables for freezing blanching them first will help retain the flavor, color and texture.
- PEELING – If you are canning tomatoes (or peaches) and have 400 of them to peel, blanching will get the peels off in no time flat.
Blanching is your friend.
My kids have always participated in the blanching process. If you have small children, or children who don’t like getting splashed with really hot water – you should do the blanching without kids.
We like to live on the edge around here, have giant teenage kids and have learned how to get the hot water splashing to a minimum…….
So, the kids help with the blanching.
Today we will be using the blanching process to Remove Peels……
…….from a few tomatoes.
Blanching is super easy.
Here’s how you blanch a tomato (or 400 tomatoes):
- Cut out the core
- Cut an “X” on the bottom
- Drop tomatoes into simmering/boiling water (we do 6-8 tomatoes at a time)- Simmer about 30 seconds
- Transfer tomatoes into ice water
- Slip off peels
To prepare for the blanching you’ll need to get a couple things ready:
- a pot of boiling water
- a pot of ice water
- a bowl for all the skins (the chickens will love these)
- a bowl (or 6 bowls) for all the naked, skinless, blanched fruit
While the water on the stove is coming to a boil do a little trimming. Before blanching tomatoes I cut out the cores & carve the “X” on the bottom.
Once the water is boiling you can begin.
The tomatoes go into the boiling water first. They hang out there for about 30 seconds. Watch the bottoms of the tomatoes. When the skins near the “X” you carved begin to curl off the fruit you will know they are done. This is also true of peaches. Carve an “X” on the bottom & when the skin near the “X” starts to come off – they’re done.
When the skins begin to curl off, move the tomatoes (or peaches) into the ice water & slip off the skins immediately.
You do not want tomatoes (or peaches) you just blanched hanging out in the ice-water for long. If they remain in the ice-water the skins will re-attach themselves to the fruit and you will be wondering why your skins are no longer “slipping” off.
Boiling water – ice water – immediately slip off skins
You could (and probably should) use a basket to blanch your fruit 6-8 at a time. A basket will allow you to plunge them into boiling water & ice water and easily lift it back out. Since I don’t have one we just use a large slotted spoon and transfer our fruit one at a time. This is easier on the peeling person anyhow. 🙂
Here’s the what it looks like in our home:
- I cut out cores & carve X’s
- Child #1 drops the tomatoes into boiling water & transfers them into ice water after 30 seconds.
- Child #2 takes the tomatoes out of the ice-water and slips off the skins.
- Skins go in the chicken bowl. Tomatoes go in a giant pot.
With this assembly line approach, you can blanch 400 tomatoes in no time at all.
Perfect, naked tomatoes – ready to become:
- Spaghetti sauce
- Tomato juice
- Tomato sauce
- Pizza Sauce
- Tomato Marmalade
- Tomato Preserves
- Stewed Tomatoes
- or anything else you happen to do with tomatoes!
Or you could just cram them into jars & boil them. For easy canned tomatoes go here.
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