If you grow your on green beans in your vegetable garden, you probably have more beans than you know what to do with. You don’t want all of your fresh beans to spoil or go uneaten. A good option is to freeze them. This way, you’ll always have a stock of green beans ready to go, when you want them. By growing and freezing your own green beans, you’ll cut down on your spending at the grocery store, and you’re ensured that you’ll be eating fresh beans at your next meal. Here is a step by step guide on how to freeze green beans. You can also use this process if you buy fresh green beans in bulk from the store. The first two steps are for garden picked green beans.
Step One: Pick Your Green Beans
When the pods are four to six inches long and tender, this the time to pick your green beans. Make sure you pinch the beans rather than pull and tug them off the plant. When you pinch instead of tug and pull, you avoid breaking the stems of the plant.
Step Two: Wash Your Green Beans
Put your green beans into a strainer and rinse them under fresh, cool water. Rinsing them will get any dirt and debris from the garden off of the beans.
Step Three: Trim Your Green Beans
You can either use a knife and cut both ends off the beans, or you can just snap the ends off with your fingers. You want to take off about a quarter of an inch off the ends and throw the ends away. Next, cut or snap the remaining beans in half to make them easier to eat.
Step Four: Blanch (Boil) Your Green Beans
Fill a large pot with water and wait for it to boil. Once the water is boiling, put your green beans in and let them boil for three minutes. Make sure all of the green beans are submerged. Put a lid on the pot as they’re boiling, so no water can get out. It’s necessary to blanch the green beans, because the process of blanching will stop the enzymes of the beans from breaking down. If the enzymes break down, the beans will lose their nutrients, texture, and flavor when you freeze them.
Step Five: Cool And Dry Your Green Beans
After the green beans have boiled for three minutes, remove them and immediately submerge them into a large bowl of ice water. Leave them in the ice water for about three minutes. Once they’ve been in the bowl of ice water for three minutes, strain the water out of them using a colander, then spread them out on either paper towels or clean cloths and pat them dry.
Step Six: Choose A Bag To Freeze Your Green Beans In
There are lots of choices to choose from when it comes to freezer bags. Your best bet is to use a freezer bag than can be “zipper” sealed. This way, you’ll know they’re secure and tightly sealed. As you’re closing the bag, press the air out of it at the same time. When you press the air out, you’ll avoid the green beans from getting freezer burn.
Step Seven: Label The Bag And Freeze
It’s important to label the bag of green beans with the date that you freeze them. The green beans can be frozen for up to one year.
Once you’re ready to eat your green beans, it’s very simple to cook them when they’re frozen. Get a pot of water boiling on the stove, and add the beans to the boiling water straight from the freezer. Let them cook for 12 to 15 minutes on medium heat with the lid on, and they’re ready to go. You can also microwave them. Place the green beans in a microwave safe bowl, add about two tablespoons of water, and microwave on high (100% power) for six to twelve minutes. Stir them half way through the cooking time to check the tenderness.
Photo by Chasqui