To “blanch” simply means to put something in boiling water for a few minutes/seconds, pull it out, and run it through cold water to cool it quickly (or put it in iced water).
I do this to spinach, pumpkin leaves, sukuma and other leafy greens, then I store them in the freezer for later use. I learned this from watching my mother. I saw her do it for years when I was younger, but I learned the word for it in the last few years.
Things like leafy vegetables wilt, get soggy and rot very fast in the fridge. But if you blanch, and store them in the freezer they
- last longer
- retain their flavour better
- save you from having to wash and chop vegetables every time you need them so it shortens meal preparation times. They are also already half cooked.
When you need them, just pull one bag out to defrost, and cook them as you always do for half the time.
I googled “blanching” and learned something new. It stops enzyme activity. Which is what preserves the flavour and colour as well.
Here’s a link to a page with easy instructions on how to blanch: link