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Blanched Vegetables

Blanching vegetables helps preserve their color and locks in the nutrients. Blanching is a cooking method where the vegetable is briefly placed in boiling water, followed by immediate removal to be placed under/in icy cold water. The cold water stops the food from continuing to cook.

Oftentimes people will blanch vegetables before freezing them or before grilling or sautéing them. But you can also eat some vegetables right after the blanching process. Try the following blanched vegetable recipes.

 

Asparagus

AsparagusSelecting produce
Choose asparagus with firm, straight stems, closed buds and a bright green color. Do not choose those that are wrinkled or have thick, woody stalks. You can also try white asparagus, popular in Europe. White asparagus will have a milder flavor.

Directions

  1. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside.
  2. Rinse to remove debris from tips.
  3. Trim the bottoms.
  4. Briefly place asparagus in boiling water for  two to four minutes (the spears should turn a bright green and just barely bend when picked up out of the water).
  5. Remove and immediately place in ice water.
  6. Drain and pat dry.
  7. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette or drizzled butter with shredded Parmesan.

 

Green Beans

Selecting produce
Purchase bright green beans that feel crisp and not wilted. They should snap when bent in half. If you can see the beans through the pod, it was picked past its prime.

Directions

  1. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside.
  2. Rinse green beans.
  3. Trim off ends and discard any side strings. 
  4. Briefly place green beans in boiling water for two to four minutes (until the beans are just cooked through but retain a slight crunch).
  5. Remove and immediately place in ice water.
  6. Drain and pat dry.
  7. Best with plain butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Garden Peas

Selecting produce
Look for those with firm and unblemished pods. For maximum flavor, eat them as soon after they are picked as possible.

Directions

  1. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside.
  2. Rinse and shell peas.
  3. Briefly place shelled peas in boiling water for two minutes.
  4. Remove and immediately place in ice water.
  5. Drain and pat dry.
  6. Try with any number of toppings such as olive oil, salt, pepper, butter or grated cheeses.

 

This information has been approved by Clinical Nutrition Services (April 2008). For specific diet information tailored to your needs, we recommend you consult with one of our registered dietitians.

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