Q. I have a large batch of fresh beans from the garden that I don’t know what to do with. I enjoy eating them on occasion, but not enough to eat the whole batch in one go. I live alone, so I only need a single serving size of beans at a time, not a whole batch! I want to freeze them to save for later, but I’m not interested in a complicated process that is going to take a lot of time and effort. I’m looking for a simple solution. Can you freeze fresh beans?
A. Yes, you can freeze fresh beans! There are two ways to freeze them, one very simple and the other a bit more involved. Although both will successfully freeze the beans for later use, the more involved process will yield slightly better results. Regardless of which method you choose, you must always start with fresh, crisp beans.
How to freeze fresh beans?
Wash the beans under running water to get out any dirt, and then dry. Cut off the stems. If you are freezing the beans whole leave as is, otherwise cut them into the desired size. Portion out single serving sizes so that you only have to thaw the amount you will consume.
For the simplest freezing method, place the beans in a freezer safe container. I prefer freezer bags because the air can be squeezed out, creating a seal against freezer burn. A hard sided freezer container will also work. Seal the container, and then label and date the bag. Place the beans in the freezer. For best results, use within 6 months. This method is great if you’re looking to use the beans in salads or other dishes where you want them to maintain some crunch.
To maintain their original colour, consider blanching them first. Place the beans in a pot of boiling water for about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Repeat until all the beans have been blanched. Lay the beans to dry. They must be completely dry before freezing to avoid freezer burn. Place single size servings in freezer bags or hard freezer safe containers. Remove excess air, then seal. Label and date the packages and use within six months. To use, remove from freezer and add directly to recipes during the cooking process, or place in a pot of boiling water to heat through.