How do you freeze beans? I actually wasn’t planning on freezing the beans, but sometimes you have to innovate!
A couple weeks ago I was so excited to take home a big harvest from our garden. One of the biggest challenges we have is that our garden is at my dad’s house in a small town just south of ours. So it’s not as easy as just walking outside, harvesting what we need (and what needs to be harvested), and going back out the next day. Because of this, I had to dive into the world of preserving. I have to harvest a bunch of stuff at once and make sure we can still use all of it!
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So, as I was making a few jars of refrigerator pickles, I was also preparing our green bean and wax beans for storage. I was so excited to put the great canning set I got last year for Can-It-Forward Day! I have great memories of canning beans when I was young. Unfortunately, though, I discovered beans should only be canned with a pressure canner. As much as I’d love to have one, I don’t! *Pout*
What I could do, though, was freeze beans – without any fancy equipment. The “equipment” I used was a simple dutch oven, a large bowl, a colander, and Ziplock Freezer Bags. That’s it!
So how did I do it? Read on!
Prep the Beans
Wash the beans. First, wash the beans. I washed them with Lemon essential oil.
Cut and/or snap the beans. Then I prepped the beans by cutting off the ends and into 1-2 inch pieces. Of course, they can be snapped as well. (If you have kids, this is a great way to get them involved!) Throw out any that are overripe (tough), or have dark spots.
Blanch the Beans
Boil the water. Fill your dutch oven (or large pot) with water – just enough to make sure it will cover the beans. You can make multiple batches if necessary.
Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add the beans to the water for 3 minutes.
Add the beans. Be sure to have a large bowl full of ice water. After boiling for 3 minutes add the beans immediately to the ice water.
Transfer the beans. Because I was doing both green beans and wax beans, I simply used a slotted spoon to scoop the beans out of the boiling water and into the ice water. This way I still had boiling water for the next batch. With the last batch I dumped them into the colander and then into the ice water. Leave them in the ice water for around 3 minutes.
Store the Beans
Then put the beans into the freezer bags. Be sure to remove the air. It can be helpful to run it under hot water (after sealing) to further seal the bag. Many will use vacuum sealing, which is great. Once again, I don’t have it, and I wanted to share a way to do this as easily as possible without fancy equipment!
Be sure to label the bags so you know what date they were frozen. If you freeze beans in this way, they can be stored for up to 3 months.
That’s it! Easy peasy! You can even opt to take out a few beans at a time to thaw and keep the rest frozen to use later!
What are some of your favorite recipes with green beans or wax beans? I can’t wait to make some delicious green bean casserole!