Have lots of delicious green beans or yellow beans ready in the garden that you just cannot keep up with but do not want to see them wasted? Or do you have a farmer at your local farmers market that just grew the most flavorful green bean ever and you wanted to preserve them? Here is how using a freezing method… it is simple and quick. Lets get started!
- Green or yellow beans
- Pint or Quart Freezer bags. (We use pint since it is just the two of us, a pint will feed about 2-4, so adjust accordingly)
First snip off the end (or both ends if desired) and snap beans to into desired chunks. We usually snap in half or into thirds. The day I did this we had picked both our green and yellow patch of beans.
Blanch for about 1 minute, a few extra seconds are ok, they should start to change color slightly the greens will look a bit greener and the yellows a bit more neonish. What “blanch or blanching” means is to put the item of question in boiling water for the recommended amount of time. We have a blanching pot which has a large strainer that is nested in but you can also use a metal strainer if one is big enough so the beans get immersed in boiling water for a minute. See different pictures below of blanching process.
Once the minute is up, remove immediately, and immerse or dump the beans in to cold water. Immersing in cold water stops the cooking process. I usually just fill one side of my sink up with cold water and throw in some ice-cube so gets it good and cold, because those beans are very hot. Once in the sink I swirl them with my hand a bit to ensure they cool down.
Once they have cooled a minute or two usually does the trick, scoop them out with your hand and put into a strainer. Then I spread them out on a couple of non-lint dish towels or paper towel and let them air dry for an hour or so. This minimizes the frost you will get in the freezer bag.
At this point if you have another batch to go into the blancher then repeat this process for the next round. Once compete, and they have sat for an hour or so and dried some scoop desired amount with hand into your freezer bags. To move the process along you can pat the beans dry, then scoop into your bag and freeze. Then this fall, winter, or spring enjoy the fruits of your labor in soups, or as a side with corn flake chicken, salsa chicken, taco grande, pita bread dinner, etc. We recommend dating the bags so you can ensure proper yearly rotation.
- I never rinse my beans before freezing because the blanching and cold water immersion bath both act as a rinse, but an extra initial rinse won’t hurt if you are apprehensive.
- Only fill the blanching strainer with enough beans so that they call get covered in the boiling water and the boiling water does not spill out as you add beans to blancher. Usually we have to run 3 or 4 loads thru the blancher until all beans are done.
- Each pint will hold about 0.4 – 0.5lbs of beans, so for example if you had 10 pounds of beans, you would net about 20-25 pint freezer bags.
- HOW TO PREPARE: To prepare the freezer beans this fall, winter, or spring simply add an inch of water into a sauce pan, dump beans in, cover, and boil until the bean are done to your liking. Server with butter, salt, and pepper (optional but delicious).
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions! Enjoy ~ Megan