How to Freeze Fresh Green Beans
Aug 31, 2016
We have been very lucky, or should I say blessed with our Green Beans harvest this summer in our home garden. The last time we planted (about 2 years ago), the yield was not that great and we wrongly assumed that we needed to plant more in number this time around. But every plant flourished and this time we were flooded with green beans, more than I knew what to do with. Though I do use them pretty often in our food, it was still more.
That's when the freezer comes to the rescue. Now my fridge is well stocked with beans to last for at least next few months without having to buy ones from the shop! This method involves blanching. The process is pretty straightforward and doesnt need complicated gadgets.
What You Would Need
Fresh Green Beans (Garden Fresh/Farm Fresh)
Freezer friendly Zip Lock Bags
A large pot
A large bowl for water bath
It's important to choose limp-free, blemish-free, unwrinkled and brightly colored green beans for freezing. Even though we grow it organically and they hardly touch the ground/mud, I still like to wash them before chopping.
You can freeze them whole, cut into 1-inch/2 -inch pieces or like me chopped pretty small since I use that way in most of my recipes. Set aside.
While chopping, bring a huge pot of water to a boil. Roughly allow 1 gallon of water for a pound of green beans. Keep a large bowl with ice water ready by the side.
Work in batches (if large quantity) since you don't want to overcrowd the pan. Drop the green beans. Large/whole beans would take around 4 minutes, the medium about 3 min and the small sized ones (like mine) would be around 2min. You should have enough water that the boiling doesn't stop when drop the beans. Yes, it might go down a bit but it should come back to boil pretty soon. If it doesn't, then try to either increase the water or decrease the amount of beans in the next batch.
Take them out carefully (better to time with a clock)
and drop them in the ice water bath to cool them immediately. In short this is blanching. Make sure to stir it around for even cooling. If you find the water warm from the beans, add more cold water/ice to it.
Once cool, drain them from the ice water
This step is essential before freezing so take your time to drain it well. Pat dry with tea towel or if you have a salad spinner, use it.
Drop the drained greens beans onto a baking sheet.
Spread them in a single layer without any overlap. Freeze for 1 - 2 hours
or until you see them individually frozen and hard. This is called as flash freezing and this prevents the green beans clumping together when you freeze them.
Now pack them in the freezer bags.
It is essential to remove the air from the ziplock to avoid drying and freezer burn. Ideally you would need to use a vacuum food sealer for this purpose. But since I don't own one I simply inserted a straw inside the bag, zipped the top shut until only the straw poked out. Now suck the air out (sorry forgot to take pictures). Once done, press straw closed where inserted and finish pressing the bag closed as you remove straw. Its not as complicated as written when you do it.
Store it in your freezer. You can use it unthawed right into your recipe just like how you would use the store bought frozen green beans.