Parboiled mixed vegetables are great in a variety of dishes. They make dinner prep and cook time much quicker, and for that, they're a total win!
Parboiling mixed vegetables is a super easy way to make sure you’re getting those five servings a day. They can be used in everything from soups and stews to stir fry and curries.
We’ve all seen the package at the store – mixed vegetables that include cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. They’re a great way to add texture and flavor to just about any meal.
But what do you do with them? You can steam them in the bag, but what if that’s not the right preparation for what you’re trying to make?
Stir fry, for example, would end up with mushy veg if they were to get steamed in the bag. That’s not what anyone wants in a meal.
The answer to all of this is parboiling.
What is parboiling?
It’s quite simple, really. Parboiling is the act of partially boiling, or precooking, some type of food. You can parboil most any vegetable or grain, be it rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, or even broccoli.
Why do I need to parboil my mixed vegetables?
We parboil for a few simple reasons:
- We want to freeze a large portion of produce, but make it easy to cook from frozen.
- We’re planning ahead, for meal prep purposes.
- Some starches may take too long to cook if only cooked using another method, such as roasting.
How is parboiling different from blanching?
When you parboil, you boil the mixed vegetables in salted water for a few minutes. Blanching is different in that you’d then submerge the mixed vegetables in ice water to immediately stop the cooking process.
How to Parboil Mixed Vegetables:
- Wash the carrots, broccoli florets and cauliflower florets (or purchase pre-cut).
- Bring a saucepan 3/4 of the way full of clean, cold water to a boil.
- Add a pinch of salt to the water.
- Add mixed vegetables to the water and boil for 1 minute.
- Drain and cool.
How do I use my parboiled mixed vegetables?
You can do lots of things with parboiled mixed vegetables, which makes this fantastic for meal planning. Days, weeks, or even months ahead of time you can plan out a week’s worth of meals involving these healthy vegetables, and it takes only a few minutes to prep.
How to Freeze Parboiled Mixed Vegetables:
- Pat drained mixed vegetables dry.
- Line a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.
- Spread the florets of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots out on the pan, making sure they are evenly spread and not touching.
- Freeze for 2-4 hours.
- Remove from the freezer and place in ziptop bags. Make sure to label and use within 2-3 months.