Q. My neighbour dropped off a whole big basket of fresh green beans from his garden. He usually drops of a small batch, but his crop has been good this year and this time he gave me almost a whole bushel of beans. There’s no possible way I can eat all these beans at once, but they’re so fresh and delicious that I don’t want them to go to waste. I’ve only ever frozen green beans once they’ve been cooked or prepared in a recipe. Can you freeze fresh green beans?
A. Yes, you can freeze fresh green beans! Green beans are a hardy vegetable, and they stand up well to freezing. However, most people blanch green beans first before freezing them. Blanching is not really cooking, but simply placing them in boiling water for a minute or two before plunging them in ice water. Blanching helps green beans maintain their bright green colour, and helps them stay crisp after freezing.
How to freeze fresh green beans?
To prepare green beans for freezing, wash beans in cold water. Trim the ends off the beans if desired. Place a pot of water to boil on the stove, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Have more water on hand to replenish the water as it heats up. In batches, place the beans in the boiling water and leave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water. This stops the cooking process. When cool, remove the beans from the ice water and lay on a clean dish towel or on paper towels to dry. Repeat the process until all of the beans are done.
Dry beans thoroughly to prevent freezer burn. Place beans in a single layer on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes, until beans are hard. This helps to prevent clumping when frozen. Place beans in freezer bags and distribute so that the bag can lay flat for stacking in the freezer. Squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag. Label and date. Frozen green beans will last for months in the freezer.
How to Defrost Green Beans?
To thaw frozen beans, remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator for several hours. Alternatively, green beans that are going to be cooked in a recipe can be added to the recipe directly from the freezer.