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Author Topic: Blanching in the Microwave  (Read 13742 times)

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Blanching in the Microwave
« on: June 26, 2010, 06:14:35 AM »

In looking for some microwave meals I came across this information in blanching veggies in the microwave before freezing them.
Things you’ll need:
Vegetables freshly picked
Microwave Oven
Microwave-safe Dishes
Freezer containers
While most any vegetable can be safely blanched using a microwave oven, we will use fresh green zipper peas for the purpose of this article.
As you would with typical blanching processes, thoroughly rinse freshly shelled peas to remove any sand or tiny bits of debris from the garden.

  Remove Less Than Perfect Peas Pick over the peas to remove any that are "stung" or that have dark, rotting spots.

Place the peas in a large microwave-safe bowl or baking dish. My preference is a heavy 10 inch square, 2 inch deep Corning Ware baking dish with a glass lid.
You can blanch an amount of vegetables that will almost fill this container.
A smaller container can be used for fewer vegetables.

  Add Cold Water to Your Microwave DishTo this filled container add approximately one cup of water. You only need enough to steam the vegetables.
For smaller amounts of vegetables, less water is needed.

Place peas, covered, into microwave and steam for approximately seven minutes for a full container.
For microwave cooking smaller quantities of some items, cook time is usually reduced accordingly. For example, if serving size is reduced by 50 percent you might reduce cook time by half. NOT so with blanching. Fresh vegetables still need a bit more time to effectively kill bacteria and preserve the fresh quality of your garden's produce. If your container is say, half filled, reduce cook time to maybe five minutes.
Toss your peas about half-way through to redistribute for even blanching.

An Ice Cold Water Bath Stops the Cooking Process and Keeps Fresh Appearance Remove peas promptly to an ice water bath.
Since very little water was used for the blanching process you may pour all the contents from your dish.
With typical stove-top blanching you would drain off most of the boiling water first.

  Pour Off Cold Water and Allow Peas to Drain After peas have cooled, drain the peas and cold water through a colander.

  Microwave Blanching Leaves Peas Bright Green and Fresh Tasting Put the colander of peas back onto your empty ice water bowl to drain off excess.
Notice the bright green and fresh-looking appearance of your newly blanched peas. Other vegetables should retain this fresh appearance after microwave blanching.

  Add Peas to Freezer Containers Place peas into a freezer container and freeze.
 I prefer to use small Ziploc bags in amounts proportioned for serving; then place these smaller bags inside a larger Ziploc bag for freezing. I also add a small amount of cold water to each individual bag.


You can use your microwave oven to blanch vegetables. However, blanching times are longer, and off flavors may occur as well as discoloration. You also have to work with only one or two cups of vegetables at a time. Therefore, the microwave is not as efficient to use if you are preparing a large quantity of vegetables for the freezer.
I think I will try this when I have only a small batch of what every veggie I want to freeze.
For a large amount I think I will go with the standard way of  blanching.
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