Blanching is a cooking term that describes a process of food preparation wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process.
Blanching helps to preserve colour of vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, green beans and peas. These vegetables get lightly cooked when blanched and benefit when they are going to be served raw with dips or when they are to be added last minute to stir-fries.
Blanched produce can also be readily frozen once it has cooled completely and has been patted dry of excess moisture.
Blanching accomplishes several things: it loosens the skins of thin-skinned foods such as tomatoes so they can be peeled easily. Many fruits and vegetables are blanched before freezing or canning to bring out their colours and flavours and to kill any bacteria on the food before preserving it.
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