How To Freeze Green Beans
Wondering how to freeze green beans? You’re in luck! This article will you guide step by step through 3 different methods for freezing your bounty of beans while they are fresh and in season. I have used each of these methods with good results, although I do have a favorite…more on that later.
The first step in freezing vegetables (including green, wax, or Roma beans) is blanching. This step involves heating the vegetables through to kill the natural enzymes. Freezing vegetables without blanching (or under blanching them) causes deterioration of the plant matter, leading to loss of nutrients, flavor, color, and texture.
There are 3 different methods for blanching your vegetables: steaming, boiling, or microwaving.
For all 3 methods, begin by washing beans thoroughly and snipping the ends off. You can also snap them into smaller pieces or leave them whole depending on your preference.
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Blanching vegetables in steam needs to be done in smaller batches than boiling them. However, steaming helps to preserve more of the nutrients. This is my favorite method of blanching vegetables, unless I have a ton of produce to put up in a short time.
- Bring pot of water to boil
- Place steamer or colandar on pot
- Place beans in steamer and cover with lid
- Steam for 3 minutes
- Remove from heat and chill
Boiling Water Blanching
Blanching vegetables in boiling water allows you to prepare larger batches more quickly. When I feel overwhelmed by all the veggies from our garden, I will often use this method.
- Bring pot of water to a boil
- Add beans
- Blanch for 3 minutes
- Remove beans from boiling water and chill
Blanching with a microwave doesn’t heat your kitchen up as much as boiling a pot of water, and it’s easier for small batches. However, microwave blanching may not kill all of the enzymes, so I recommend using these veggies up quickly to prevent loss of nutritional value and flavor.
- Place small batches of beans in microwave proof container with lid
- Add about 1/2 cup water
- Microwave on high for 3 minutes or until color deepens to dark green and beans are pliable
Chilling and Freezing Blanced Beans
As soon as beans are blanched, remove them from heat and chill quickly. The faster your veggies are chilled, the more nutrients they will retain. Here are several ways to chill blanched vegetables quickly:
- Cold water
- Bowl of ice or ice water
- Spread on cookie sheet and place in freezer
Pack Them in Freezer Bags
Once the vegetables are chilled, you may pack them in freezer bags or use a vacuum sealing system to package them in freezer bags with the air removed.
Vegetables frozen in vacuum sealed bags will last much longer than those stored in zip lock type bags. I use both types of bags, although I prefer the vacuum sealed bags. Any veggies froze in zip lock bags are used first so they don’t get freezer burn.
Be Sure to Label Them!
Make sure you label the freezer bags with the contents and date they were processed! This makes it much easier to grab what you want and use your frozen goods up before they get freezer burned.
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