Easy to freeze and pull out for multiple recipe uses
Freezing is a fantastic method to retain the vibrant color, nutrients, and taste of fresh green beans for months to come. The key to preserving these verdant gems while maintaining their quality is in the preparation.
Preparation is key
Begin by selecting young, tender green beans that are bright green, firm, and free from blemishes or signs of wilting. Rinse the beans under cool water to remove dirt and debris. Trim the ends by cutting off the stem end and the tip, leaving the beans at your desired length.
Blanching is a crucial step to halt enzyme activity that can cause the beans to lose color, flavor, and nutrients during freezing. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. For every pound of green beans, prepare a large bowl of ice water.
Drop the prepared beans into the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, (three minutes for larger beans). The beans should turn a vibrant green but still remain crisp. Immediately transfer the blanched beans into the bowl of ice water to cool rapidly. This helps preserve their color and stop the cooking process.
Packaging and Freezing
Once the beans are cooled, drain them thoroughly and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
Divide the blanched beans into portion-sized amounts based on your intended usage. You can use freezer-safe bags or airtight containers. Our favorite freezer-safe bags are also reusable (we use ours over and over and over) by Russbe - purchase here (half the price of Amazon) or here.
Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags before sealing. If using containers, leave a small amount of space at the top for expansion.
Clearly label each package with the date of freezing. Green beans can be stored in the freezer for up to 10-12 months, but for the best quality, try to use them within 6 months.
Tips for Success:
- Some varieties of green beans have a stringy fiber that runs from the top to the bottom of the bean pod. If the beans you're using have this string, remove it.
- Ensure you use high-quality freezer-safe bags or containers to prevent freezer burn and maintain the beans' quality.
- When blanching, work in smaller batches to prevent the water temperature from dropping too much, which can affect the blanching process.
- If you have the space, consider spreading the blanched and dried beans on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the beans are frozen solid. This prevents them from sticking together and allows you to remove only the desired amount when needed.
Whether adding them to soups, stir-fries, or simply as a side dish, your frozen green beans will bring a taste of summer to your meals throughout the year.