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How to Blanch and Peel Veggies and Fruit

by jughandle

For anyone who has tried to peel a “mess” of tomatoes, potatoes, peaches, apples, bell peppers or any other thin skinned fruit or vegetable.  You know, that peeling with a knife or vegetable peeler is not any fun.

Time consuming, not to mention the large amount of the “meat” of the veggie or fruit that is lost in the process.


Blanching is a method of dropping the fruit or vegetable into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  They are transferred straight into cold or iced water to stop the cooking process.  Have you ever gotten a bad sunburn and later your skin peeled off?  Well, blanching is a similar process.  It is amazing how fast and efficient it is.  Completely worth the time it takes to bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Tomatoes And Apples

To blanch tomatoes; cut a little x on the end opposite the stem.  When you put the tomato into the cold water the x will give you small handles to start the peeling.  Apples, when making an apple pie, will peel the same way.

Bell Peppers

Going to “put up” some of those nice bell peppers you grew this year?  Blanching them removes that tough thin clear skin that makes the pepper hard to cut and eat.  The skin peels right off.


I thought that I would freeze a large batch of white peaches that were so sweet this year.

Blanching them first quickly removed the skin.  It was an easy task to push out the seed and cut the fruit into quarters before filling some freezer bags.

Easy peasy!

If the skin doesn’t easily peel off, almost by itself, increase the time in the boil.

Make sure you cool them in cold water for at least as long as they were in boiling water.

I still catch myself pulling out the potato peeler to quickly skin 3 or 4 potatoes.  Any more than that, or if I’m trying to get the skin off of small red potatoes, I most definitely blanch them. – jughandle

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Kathy August 21, 2011 - 10:46 am

A guy at Canton Farmer’s Market was telling me how to blanch yesterday because I’m going to freeze some of the yummy lady peas I bought from him and he suggested I blanch them first. I never thought about blanching apples or peaches. Good to know!

jughandle August 21, 2011 - 4:44 pm

Thanks for the comment Kathy, I forgot all about peas and beans. Blanching is the main way to prepare vegetables for canning or freezing. It helps to clean and sterilize them, removing any pathogens and many chemicals. But the coolest thing is that blanching kills the enzymes and bacteria that break down food, destroy nutrients and change the color over time. Blanching brightens the color and helps hold the color keeping the beans and peas from going limp during the freeze thaw process. Beans and peas usually blanch for 3-7 minutes or so.

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