Blanching is a heat and cool process that plunges a fruit or vegetable into boiling water for a short amount of time before transferring it to cold water which quickly stops the cooking.
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Blanching which is also known as parboiling is a quick and easy process. It improves the texture of the vegetable(s) and keeps the colour bright. It cooks vegetable(s) partially thereby shortening the cooking time.
I usually blanch vegetables when I want to use them for vegetable soup like Edika Ikong or sauce like Eforiro. Once I employ this technique, I don’t cook the vegetables for long when they are added to the soup or sauce.
In fact, once I stir in the blanched vegetables, I taste the food and if there is no need to adjust the seasoning, I turn off the heat in less than two minutes. This keeps my vegetables fresh and green not wilted and tired. Now that you know why I blanch vegetables, let me show you how to blanch vegetables.
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Rinse the vegetables thoroughly to eliminate sand. Cut the vegetables uniformly to ensure even cooking. Please note that it is important to cut the vegetables just before blanching to prevent oxidation.
Afterwards, fill a large pot with water. Bring the water to boil over high heat. Add a tablespoonful of salt to the pot; the salt will help the vegetable to retain its colour. Then, add the vegetables to the pot, cover it and get your timer ready.
I don’t blanch vegetables for more than three minutes as they will still be cooked again. This is why I keep a timer handy. While waiting for the process to finish, fill a large bowl with cold water and set it aside for later use.
When the allotted time is up, use a spoon to quickly scoop the vegetables from the pot into the bowl of cold water. Let it sit in cold water for the same amount of time that it was boiled. Use a colander to drain.
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