Have you ever wondered why frozen vegetables are so bright and vibrant? It’s because they are blanched before being frozen! So what is blanching and why should you learn how to blanch broccoli?
The blanch cooking method is a process in which a food is submerged in boiling water for a short amount of time, and then immediately submerged in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. The short cooking time brings out the natural colors in the fruit or vegetable before they can turn a displeasing color (because no one wants to eat ugly broccoli!). By stopping the cooking process, the color-changing enzymes are deactivated and the vegetable maintains its vibrant color.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Blanching Broccoli
To blanch broccoli, start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, submerge chopped broccoli florets into the pot.
It does not take long to blanch broccoli – only about 30-60 seconds, so keep an eye out for when the color changes from dull green to bright green.
Use a spider tool or a small strainer to remove the florets from the water. Immediately place in an ice bath.
The texture of blanched broccoli should be hard and crisp; because you are not fully cooking the broccoli, it will not be very soft. If you prefer a softer broccoli texture, steam it in a small amount of water for 5 minutes.
You can also freeze broccoli after blanching for an easy veggie side dish ready to use at anytime! Drain the broccoli, spread it out on a sheet pan and allow to cool completely. Freeze on the sheet tray. Once frozen, place florets in a bag together.