Blanching cabbage / french beans before freezing?

Hi folks,

I am about to have a glut of savoy and red cabbages, cauliflower, and french beans, from my wee veg patch and will need to freeze some. I have just bought a second freezer so space isn’t an issue, and am likely to be storing the veg up until around Christmas time.

I haven’t blanched anything before, but reading around it seems that the collective wisdom is to boil for a couple of minutes, then plunge into cold water, then freeze. It does seem a bit of a faff and uses more electricity, so am wondering what the benefits of blanching are and is it preferable to just shoving the veg in the freezer raw?

Thanks in advance :)



  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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    Google suggests
    Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time) is a must for almost all vegetables to be frozen. It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins.

    So, stop enzymes & look better....
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  • DebranDebran Forumite
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    I have sometimes frozen items without blanching - usually rhubarb which I wash, chop and put portions into freezer bags. You have to remember that food frozen without blanching will not last as long.
  • joedenisejoedenise Forumite
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    I never bother blanching anything. Should be fine until Christmas. I think veg is OK for up to a year although nothing ever lasts that long!

    If you've got a slow cooker you could cook some braised red cabbage with red onions and a couple of sliced red skinned apples and then freeze in meal sized portions. It's a great way of using red cabbage and it only needs reheating for a few minutes with a couple of Tbs of water as long as it's defrosted overnight in the fridge (might not need the water but I usually add it).

  • YorksLassYorksLass Forumite
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    You might find this website useful:

    I'd second joedenise's idea for the red cabbage - yummy.
    Be kind to others and to yourself too.
  • PookyPooky Forumite
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    I blanch any leafy veg as I prefer it that way but beans get sliced and go in portion sized bags. Mange tout and sugar snap peas don't look very appealing after coooking from frozen but I just chuck them in risottos etc and they're fine.
    "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with" - W. C. Field.
  • Fen1Fen1 Forumite
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    I always blanch runner beans.
    I use an old fashioned length-wise cutter that removes the outer edge. I then quickly blanch in boiling water and cool. Portion into bags. Cook from frozen in boiling water with a little salt and a smidge of bicarb.

    You could always try a few experiment bags: blanched versus unblanched, and see which you prefer.

    Slow cooking the cabbage sounds like a good idea. I like red cabbage cooked with cooking apples, red current jelly and port.
  • Linda32Linda32 Forumite
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    I never blanch anything, just cut into sizes you want. As an example carrots are cut into sticks and small pieces for either a serving of vegetables or small pieces for mince type meals.

    Just another note, I never portion into separate bags, just add to the existing bag and give them a good shake to separate the veg. Then when I want to cook, just take some out as you would from a supermarket bag.
  • edited 19 July 2019 at 4:14AM
    SunMoonStarsSunMoonStars Forumite
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    edited 19 July 2019 at 4:14AM
    Thanks folks,

    Seems like a bit of experimentation may be needed. I love red cabbage cooked with apples but hadn’t thought to make that in the SC.

    I always freeze berries just as they are. With raspberries I spread them on a tray first and freeze before bagging them up to stop them freezing into one big block. The only fruit I have found freezing doesn’t work so well with is strawberries.

    Thanks :)
  • PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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    I always blanch my veg. They store longer if they tend to get forgotten in the freezer.
    Also my beans are always dried with a clean tea towel and open frozen on atray in the freezer before freezing g. A bit of an extra fag but I can then store them in big bags and just grab a handful as needed instead of having to get a hammer and smash a big frozen block of Vegs up to get the exact quantity I need.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    I rarely blanch anything , but then its not in the freezer that long . I suppose its horses for courses, try both ways and see which you prefer
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