Got yourself more green beans in your garden than you can handle at the moment? No big deal. All you need to do is to learn how to freeze green beans properly and you can have a stock of fresh and organic beans ready to use all year long.
How to freeze green beans when they are fresh
To freeze green beans all you have to do is wash them first, trim the ends and make sure they are completely dry before putting them in a tight close bag in the freezer. Try to remove as much air as possible out of the bags too before putting them in the freezer.
The only issue you need to bear in mind is if you want to blanch them before or not. Blanching involves boiling the green beans for several minutes and plunging them in ice-cold water right after, before freezing them. This is supposed to stop enzymes from decomposing the texture, flavor and color of these veggies.
Blanching or not is your own option. Some people assure that green beans keep a fresher flavor if you do so, while others can’t tell any difference between the two methods.
How to freeze green beans when they were already cooked
If you have leftovers of cooked green beans, don’t throw them away. As long as they have no other ingredients added, you can easily freeze and use them another time.
To do this you just need to put them in an airtight recipient or bag and remove as much air out of them as possible. Always keep the beans in temperatures below 0ºC/32ºF to avoid trigger bacteria cultures to develop. Throw them away if they have been at room temperature for 2 hours or more.
Since cooked green beans tend to be softer, they may get mushy after being frozen, which makes them best for soups, sauces or as a garnish.
How long can you keep frozen green beans in the freezer?
It depends on your freezer and storing recipient. Thicker bags and recipients help to prevent cold burns, increasing the life expectancy of the beans. Likewise, vacuum bags also provide a longer storage capability.
On average, if you store the green beans in a normal ziplock bag, they can last up to 9 months. However, if you have a deep freezer and store them in a vacuum bag you can increase this period up to 14 months.
These periods should work only as indicators as there are several factors that can also intervene in the quality of the frozen green beans. For instance, if you open the freezer door constantly, the temperature changes might affect their quality.
To be sure, always check the color of the beans, their smell and their texture before using or eating them.
How to cook frozen green beans
Cooking frozen green beans can be tricky. Your aim should be to thaw them without overcooking them or they will be mushy and deprived of some of their best properties.
Before you use them in your recipes, cover the bottom of a pot with water and take it to boil. While waiting, put the amount of green beans you will be using in a colander and rinse them with cold water.
Then, drain the cold water and place them in the pot with the boiling water. Use a wooden spoon to stir them and be careful not to break them. Keep stirring nonstop for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove the green beans from the pot and let them dry in the colander once again.
And that’s it! You can add a dressing or spices and eat them straight away or use them in your recipes normally.
Check how to do it
Learning how to freeze green beans is really no big deal since it’s so easy. It’s not that the explanations are oversimplified for better understanding, they are really that straightforward.
Check out the video below for an example of how to do it without blanching.