For storage, you can freeze many fruits and vegetables, but some freeze better than others. In addition, when you freeze vegetables, the texture often suffers. But that is not the case with green beans. So let us show you how to freeze green beans for better flavor and texture.
If you’re a gardener and you have an abundance of fresh green beans from the garden, freezing them is an excellent option for long-term storage.
So how do you freeze green beans to get the best flavor and texture?
You can freeze green beans so they retain the best possible texture and flavor by adding a quick 2-minute blanching. We’ll explain all the steps, and why blanching the beans first yields a better-tasting bean.
Step 1: First, Start with Tender Fresh Green Beans
To get the best results, you will need to start with fresh green beans from your garden or as new as possible from the farmer’s market or grocery store.
Soft green beans or that flex without breaking will not yield good results, and the texture and flavor will be significantly impacted.
String beans picked in the morning will be crisp and fresh ready for processing when you bring them inside.
And although nothing compares to freshly picked green beans cooked and eaten on the day they are gathered, freezing those beans at their ripeness will translate into a better-tasting frozen bean a few months later.
- Related: You might think you have no room to grow green beans, but you can grow them in containers on your deck or porch. Green beans are a tremendous container-grown vegetable because they still perform very well, and only a handful of plants can provide fresh beans all summer long.
Step 2: Next, Clean and Trim Green Beans Before Freezing
Be sure to look over your fresh green beans and discard any that are soft and flexible without breaking.
Trim each bean by snipping off the stem end and cut into bite-sized pieces or keep them whole to use in your favorite recipes.
Before blanching the green beans, wash them well with cold water.
Discard the stem ends into the compost pile or save them for stock making.
Step 3: Prep a Large Pot of Boiling Water and a Bowl of Ice Water
To get ready to blanch your green beans, you only need to put a large pot of water on the stovetop to boil. Also, fill a bowl with ice and water, and set it aside.
Can you Freeze Unblanched Raw Green Beans?
Do you need to blanch your green beans before freezing?
Well, the answer is yes and no.
You technically can freeze green beans without blanching, but the texture and flavor will suffer.
What is Blanching?
Let’s start with blanching – what is it, why do we do it, and does it work?
Blanching is a cooking method that helps to slow or stop the enzyme action in fruits and vegetables. These enzymes can reduce the color and texture of produce when frozen and negatively impact flavor.
Be careful with your blanching times. Underblanching is nearly as bad as not blanching, as it can increase enzyme activity.
Can you Freeze Fresh Green Beans Without The Blanching Process?
You can, but it’s not optimal. For example, if you freeze green beans without blanching, you will encounter texture problems. This is because unblanched green beans tend to be soft and mushy, whereas blanched beans hold their color and texture far better.
The blanching process doesn’t take much time and makes a big difference in the final product.
Step 4: Working in Batches, Drop your Green Beans into The Boiling Water for One minute.
Bring your large pot of water to a rolling boil and drop the fresh beans. If you have a lot of fresh green beans, work in batches.
Blanch green beans for one minute and then quickly use a slotted spoon and transfer the blanched green beans to the large bowl of ice water.
Give the beans a quick swish around the cold water, so the cooking process slows or stops evenly across the entire batch.
If you are freezing mass amounts of green beans, you must change your ice bath several times. This is because you need the water cold enough to bring the temperature of the freshly boiled beans down quickly.
Step 5: Remove The Beans from The Ice Water and Dry them Completely.
Place a clean tea towel on the counter and use your slotted spoon to lift the beans from the ice water and drop them on the tea towel.
Use a second clean tea towel and gently blot the green beans dry.
Step 6: Spread the Blanched Green beans in a Single Layer on a Baking Sheet Lined with Parchment Paper
Prep cookie sheets with parchment paper and transfer the beans to the baking sheet in a single layer, careful not to overlap. Overlapping will cause the beans to freeze in clumps.
Place the baking sheet into the freezer for 3 to 4 hours or until they are completely frozen.
Step 7: Place Frozen Green Beans in Freezer Bags and Remove as Much Air as Possible
We used a food saver for freezing our green beans, and although that is optional, a vacuum sealer is a must-have tool if you are a gardener with a large garden. We use ours for everything that goes into the freezer, and we get a few extra months over the recommended freezing times for our vegetables and fruit.
Vacuum sealers will help prevent freezer burn by eliminating oxygen and ice crystals from forming inside the vacuum seal bags.
Oh, and another quick bonus for vacuum sealers is that they save considerable freezer space.
Tip: Air Sealer Recommendation
Other Methods for Removing Air
Another quick and easy method for air-sealing vegetables for the freezer is to use a ziplock-style bag and a straw.
Place the green beans into the ziplock bag and place a straw over one side. Close the ziplock bag as far over to the straw as possible.
Use the straw to remove as much air as you can. Then, quickly pull the straw, and finish sealing the bag.
This method isn’t perfect, but it works in a pinch!
Step 8– Place Bags of Frozen Green Beans in The Freezer
Please do not allow your beans to defrost, place them back in the freezer as soon as they are packaged.
How Long Will Frozen Green Beans Last in the Freezer?
Frozen green beans will last a year if stored correctly in air-sealed bags.
If you use ziplock bags or air-sealed containers, your beans may only be good for up to 3-4 months.
Tell me how to cook With frozen green beans!
Frozen green beans can be used in many of your favorite recipes. You can enjoy them in side dishes like green bean casserole, roast them with olive oil and flaky salt, or toss them in soups, stir fry, and stews.
Add them to dishes while still frozen for the best flavor.
Frozen beans are great to have on hand to add extra vegetables to all dishes.
Freezing String Beans – Quick, Easy, and Saves Money
You can see that you can freeze raw green beans very quickly. Freezing is a beautiful way to preserve food from the summer to enjoy in the cold months of winter and spring. Frozen vegetables grown or purchased at the height of their season tend to be more flavourful and cheaper than those bought during the off-season.
Making the best use of your freezer is a great way to save money and for healthy living.
Frozen beans are handy for so many healthy recipes, and although they are not as good as fresh green beans, they are still pretty tasty, especially during the cold days of winter.
You can use the abovementioned method to blanch and freeze French beans.
No, it is not recommended. Once the beans are frozen, taking the beans through another process will cause too much damage to the beans and destroy the texture.
It’s a personal choice. I prefer to pressure can my beans vs freezing, but if I don’t have time, or I have a bumper crop, freezing works just fine.
We have many ideas and recipes to help preserve your garden bounties; check out these posts if you want more inspiration.
If you enjoyed this post on freezing green beans, you would find many additional preservation posts on our site. Check out these posts:
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- Carrot Preserves – An Easy Carrot Cake Jam Recipe
- How To Pickle Jalapenos To Last You All Winter
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- How to Make Smoked Salt at Home
- Candied Jalapeno Recipe – Canning Cowboy Candy!