Quality ice cubes are the key to the successful blanching

Cooking can be thought of as a game in which the player must use various factors such as time and temperature to maximize the potential of each ingredient.

Some cooking methods include ice, for example to gently cool broths and soups.
One of the techniques, which includes "playing" not only with heat, but also with cold, is blanching. A well-known technology for cooking vegetables based on the use of ice. But for some reason, it turns out that most of the available information is focused on the hot phase of this cooking process, namely the cooking and boiling temperatures or cooking times of each vegetable. This is definitely something that every kitchen professional needs to know.

The key ingredient in this technique is ice cubes. Does it make sense to spend a fortune on the best and freshest products just to throw them into low-quality ice after boiling?
If you would like to know more about how a good ice cube can affect blanching success, read our article!

The larger, harder and denser the ice cubes used for the ice bath, the better you will be able to control the temperature. These characteristics determine how quickly the ice melts when steamed hot vegetables are added. It is important to create an environment that can withstand this sudden temperature change in order to properly stop the cooking process. When counted in high ambient temperatures in commercial kitchens, ice cubes that melt slowly help keep the ideal temperature at exactly 0 ° Celsius.
This prevents the ice bath from turning into a warm drink after adding hot vegetables to the water. Ice cubes 28x28x32mm are optimal for blanching.
Icemaker models that create these cubes type:


Behind the cell walls of the vegetable the lipoxygenase (LOX) enzyme is inactivated. This enzyme is one of the main factors in the development of "unpleasant taste" and is present in many vegetables. When it comes to taste, there are two main reasons for blanching. One is designed to improve the taste, for example, to remove some bitter substances. The other one is to preserve a certain aroma. In any case, it is important to use absolutely tasteless and freshly made ice to prevent any aroma changes during cooling.

Vegetables are plant materials that contain pigments that cause red, green or purple coloration. The green color of broccoli, beans, or Brussels sprouts is due to chlorophyll, while red vegetables like carrots contain carotene. Both chlorophyll and carotene are heat sensitive, destroyed rapidly during heating. The destruction of these pigments during cooking can be stopped by controlling the temperature inside the vegetables, such as quickly chilling them in a bathtub full of quality ice. It is important to monitor the size and ratio of ice and water in the ice bath.
The container must be large enough to allow the vegetables to move freely in the ice-cold water, so that there are no dents or pressure points that can cause brown stains.

The correct cooking and cooling times are important. Depending on the structure, size, color, sweet and bitter additives, different vegetables require a certain time and temperature of boiling or steaming. Ideally, the consistency is dependent on the cooking process only to the extent that it is pleasant to chew and digest. The absence of this point will lead to the destruction of cellular structures and the outer layer of the vegetable, which is absorbing too much water and becoming unpleasantly soft.

In most cases, the nutritional value of plant products is highest immediately after harvest and when it remains unchanged. However, some types of greens, such as beans, require cooking for safe consumption. Recent research also shows that some bioactive compounds in vegetables can be unblocked and made bioavailable through thermal (steam) blanching. It is caused by the destruction of cell walls and tissular structures as soon as the vegetable is exposed to heat.