Freezing Green Beans

I try to grow enough veggies to eat during the growing season as well as extra to preserve for the upcoming winter months.  What I don't/can't grow myself I try to buy locally and do the same with.  We eat in season as much as possible, with the majority of out-of-season items being those I preserved either through canning, freezing or drying.

The way that I attempt to plan what we'll need is to figure out which month we'll likely stop eating fresh produce and switch to preserved produce.  Then, I plan on each veggie once a week with a few extra of most items {corn, peppers, onions, beans} that I would also add to soups.  I count the weeks until I would likely stop relying on preserved food {once asparagus, lettuce, etc. would be available}, and that's how many packs of each type of veggie I'll need to preserve.  I've done this for 2 years and so far it's worked quite well.

The items you preserve should be freshly picked, completely ripe, and in perfect condition in order to have a superior product when it's time to dine on it.

Freezing Green Beans
What you'll need:
a large pot of water
a large bowl of ice water
a clean kitchen towel {or two}
a sharp knife
a slotted spoon or something to retrieve the beans from the boiling water
fresh veggies
freezer-safe containers or bags

I start with thoroughly washing my beans and trimming the ends.  Because the batches go quick, if I start with everything ready to go the task is completed quite quickly.

Bring the water in the large pot to a boil over high heat.  Once it comes to a rolling boil add beans.  There's not a specific amount you can/can't add, however, I don't fill my pot too full as you want it to come back to a boil quickly.  Boil for 3 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon to the ice water to stop the cooking.  Remove from the ice water and put on a clean kitchen towel to dry.

As soon as the water comes back to a rolling boil you can add more beans and repeat the process.  If you would prefer to steam the beans, steam, covered, for 4 minutes then remove to the ice water bath and then to the towel to dry.

Once the beans are cooled and dry, pack into freezer-safe containers or bags.  I label my bags but don't bother dating as I ensure my produce is used up within the year prior to preserving more.  This way, I can re-use my bags for a year or two.

Store packed beans in the freezer for up to a year.


Anna said...

My husband and I were just discussing tonight how we would figure out how much we should "put up" regarding produce. Thanks for your tips! And your green beans...how do they turn out? Are they mushy when you use them? This is our first year freezing green beans so I wasn't sure about the end result.

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks for the comment Anna. As far as the beans texture, I find canned beans mushy which is why I choose to freeze them. Frozen beans have a slightly more rubbery texture so I cook them a little past al dente (which is how I cook them fresh) and they are fine. The flavor is fantastic. Don't skip the ice water portion or you will find they cook too much and become too rubbery (I found this out the hard way). :)
Hope this helps!