Storing seasonal fruits and vegetables in the freezer is a great way to enjoy them year round. After we have already told you how to store fresh or cooked apricots, juicy strawberries, fresh cherries, aromatic herbs, as well as the last zucchini from the vegetable garden, now we will teach you how to freeze raw fresh green beans.
Indeed, green beans are very easy to freeze and will keep for several months in the freezer, allowing you to enjoy the taste of fresh produce from the garden, even if it is colder outside than in your freezer.
Plus, frozen green beans are a convenient and tasty addition to many recipes. Follow our guide to learn everything you need to know about freezing these veggies, so you can take them out and enjoy them any day of the year.
First, wash the green beans well in cold tap water, then cut off their ends. You need to cut off the end of the rod and probably the pointy end as well. To do this, work with a small handful of pods at a time and use a sharp chef’s knife. Repeat with the remaining green beans.
Also, you can leave your green beans whole – it all depends on what you plan to use them for later! We usually recommend doing it half and half: cut beans are great for soups and stews, and whole ones for eating as a side dish.
Tip: Some varieties of green beans have a stringy fiber that runs from the top to the bottom of the pod. If the beans you use have this fiber, be sure to remove it from each vegetable.
What is bleaching? Blanch green beans to freeze them
Blanching is a technique for preserving food. It preserves the flavor, color and texture of your products, which will make your dishes more appetizing afterwards!
To blanch fruits or vegetables, you immerse them in boiling water for a short time (usually a few minutes or less!) And then place them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once they are cold enough to handle, you can proceed to freezing.
How to blanch green beans step by step?
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice and water. Provide 4 liters of water per 500 g of green beans.
2. Gently drop the green beans into the boiling water (beware of splashing!), And return the water to boil.
3. Leave the green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes, then remove them using a slotted spoon.
4. Immerse the beans in ice water. You may need to add cold water or ice as you go.
Stop cooking with ice water
Can you freeze cooked green beans?
We recommend that you do this only if you are preparing a whole dish for freezing, such as a soup to cook in advance. Otherwise, you risk having porridge vegetables that will add too much moisture to your recipe after thawing.
Can you freeze green beans without blanching them first?
It is quite possible, however, be aware that unbleached green beans tend to turn a gray-green color and become slightly harder in the freezer.
Pack and freeze the green beans
Place the drained beans in jars, storage bags or containers suitable for freezing. Shake each package to compact the vegetables. Add more beans, leaving a gap of 1cm to the edge if using a jar. Wipe down edges and storage wrappers before freezing green beans. Expel as much air as possible, then seal the bags or containers according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If necessary, use freezer tape around the edges of the lid to ensure a tight seal.
Label each container or bag indicating its contents, quantity and date. Lay flat; batch put bags or containers in your freezer to make sure they freeze quickly. Leave some space between them so that air can circulate around. Once frozen, the bags or containers can be pushed together. For best flavor, use your frozen green beans within 8 months of storage.
How do I choose which green beans to freeze?
To get the freshest flavor, you have to be a little selective in choosing which green beans to freeze, whether grown at home or bought at the market. The peak season for these vegetables is from July to October. Choose pods that are crunchy, brightly colored and unblemished, and avoid ones that are soft or have shriveled ends.
Which containers should I use to freeze fresh green beans?
There are many ways to keep your green beans fresh. Your choice will depend on how much space you have in the freezer, how you plan to use it, and whether you prefer glass or plastic. Here are our favorite options:
1. Glass containers for food storage
If you have a chest or upright freezer, glass containers are a great choice because they stack very well. In addition, we can see what they contain. Although they are reusable, they also take up more space. If your freezer space is limited, these containers may not be the right option for you.
2. Glass jars for canning
Glass jars are an affordable, reusable option that can more easily fit into tight spaces than the storage containers above. Be sure to choose jars with straight edges as they are safer for freezing.
3. Zippered freezer bags
They are the cheapest option and take up less space than either of the glass options. However, they’re single-use plastic, and your frozen food won’t last as long as some of the other containers.
4. Vacuum seal bags
These bags take up less space than any of the other storage solutions on this list and they will give you the longest life in the freezer. However, to use them you will need to purchase special equipment. Finally, forget about the vacuum bags if you plan to use small amounts of green beans at a time – it’s hard to reseal them once they’re opened!
Cooking frozen green beans
Blanching pre-cooks your green beans, meaning that they are already cooked when they end up in the freezer. Put them in handfuls in hot soups or stews. For a side dish, put a little boiling water in a saucepan and add the frozen vegetables to steam them. Once they’re piping hot, they’re ready to eat!