Blanching fresh greens could prove to be a bit time consuming especially if you are someone who always has a tight schedule, such that you have wondered if it’s possible to just freeze fresh greens without blanching them. This article actually shows you that it is in fact possible to do so and it gives you a guide on how you can do that. For the benefit of those who are unaware about what blanching is this article gives a brief explanation of what blanching is and also the benefits of it. So if you are someone who is still new to the whole freezing fresh greens topic then you can choose the method you think is best for you.
What is blanching?
NB: blanching helps to preserve fresh greens it does not cook them.
Blanching is a process that is used to preserver fresh greens for a longer period of time. When blanching fresh greens, water is poured into a pot and the pot is placed on a stove that is switched on to medium heat. When the water has reached a boil the fresh greens are put inside the pot for about 3 minutes. The fresh greens are not kept in the boiling water for longer than 3 minutes since they will start to cook. When the 3 minute time mark has passed the fresh greens are removed from the boiling water and rinsed with cold water then they are pat dried. Blanching helps to stop enzyme actions that cause loss of texture, colour and flavour in fresh green. Furthermore, blanching helps to extend the shelf life of vegetables so that they do not go bad easily. A number of people treat blanching as a prerequisite if fresh greens are going to be frozen. However, the next part of this article highlights how you can freeze fresh greens without blanching.
How to freeze fresh greens without blanching
NB: this process of freezing fresh greens without blanching requires you to pre-freeze the greens so that they do not wilt and also so that they can retain that crispy texture or fresh flavour. This method gives almost the same results as blanching so you can easily choose the method you prefer.
When using this method of freezing fresh greens without blanching the first thing to do is to take a baking sheet that is of high quality and parchment paper. The next step is to spread your fresh greens evenly on top of the sheet.
When you have finished spreading the fresh greens, take the baking sheet and place it inside the freezer for about 2 to 3 hours so that the fresh greens can go through the pre-freezing process.
When the fresh greens have completed the pre-freeze process you can transfer your fresh greens into a freezer bag or an air tight container and then place them in the freezer.
NB: This method can preserve your fresh greens for up to 9 months in the refrigerator.
How to defrost greens after freezing them
Thaw the fresh greens
This is the easiest way of how you can defrost your frozen greens. When thawing greens the first method you can try is to remove the frozen greens from the freezer and place them in the fridge overnight. The other process that you can use is to take them out of the freezer and place them at room temperature, they will thaw but the process takes about 1 to 2 hours. When thawing greens it is important to actually open up the container or freezer bag and evenly spread out the vegetables so as to avoid excess moisture from building up inside. When the greens have thawed you can heat them up whichever way you prefer. You can either boil them, sauté them, stir fry or steam the greens.
NB: this method has its downside since vegetables that are thawed release a lot of moisture so they can sometimes get mushy.
Cook the greens while frozen
NB: this is another method that can be used to defrost vegetables if you do not want them to get mushy.
The first thing to do is to take a saucepan or pot and add a little bit of water about ½ cup of water, place the pot on a stove that is switched on to medium heat and allow the water to reach a boil. When the water has boiled add the frozen vegetables inside and cover with a lid. You can occasionally give them a stir while separating the pieces as they cook. The process usually takes 7 to 10 minutes for the greens to get tender. When the greens have defrosted and are tender you can stir fry them or cook them the way you like.
NB: most people like defrosting frozen greens using a microwave, however try to avoid using it since it can really turn your greens mushy, it does not necessary produce satisfactory results.
It is possible to freeze fresh greens without blanching, you can use the method known as the pre-freeze method. The above article has given a step by step guide on how you can freeze fresh greens without having to go through the hustle of first blanching them. The article also gave a brief explanation of what blanching is so that you can have a better understanding of what it is and also so that you can weigh your options to see if blanching your fresh greens is worth it. The article also gave a brief guideline of how you can prepare your greens after they have been frozen; so you can either thaw them or boil them whilst they are frozen then you can later cook them the way you like. It is also important to take note of the fact that frozen vegetables release a lot of moisture when they are defrosted so you might end up having mushy greens when you thaw them.