When it comes to healthy veggies, there's no doubt that green beans (also known as string beans or snap beans) are one of the tastiest staples out there — not only are they packed with essential vitamins and fiber, they're also incredibly versatile and great in any green bean recipe. Of course, if you're buying them fresh, they only last for 2 to 4 days in the fridge before you have to throw them out — which is why you might be wondering exactly how to freeze green beans to preserve their freshness for future use.
Luckily, we've compiled a step-by-step guide on how to freeze those fresh greens you bought from the farmer's market (or maybe even grew yourself in your own garden) or were on sale at the market, so you can enjoy them any time in any healthy salad, pasta dish or even in a delicious casserole recipe. While fresh green beans are recommended to be consumed within 3 to 5 days when stored in the refrigerator, frozen green beans can last up to 8 months, according to FoodSafety.gov — which allows you to enjoy them any time of year!
How to Freeze Green Beans
Like many other vegetables, green beans should first be blanched before freezing. Blanching is a process that involves boiling vegetables in water before cooling them quickly in a large quantity of ice cold water (60 degrees Fahrenheit or below) to stop the cooking process. This stops the enzyme actions which can cause a loss of flavor, color and texture, therefore ensuring that your green beans will preserve their freshness while frozen! If you're not exactly sure how to blanch these hearty greens, here's how to freeze and blanch in four easy steps:
- Step 1: Wash the green beans and remove the ends. After gently rinsing them in cold water, trim off the stem ends of the green beans, as well as the tail ends, if desired. If your green bean variety has a stringy fiber that runs throughout the bean pod, make sure to trim these off too.
- Step 2 (optional): Cut the green beans into smaller pieces. Cut your beans into pieces of the size you prefer — usually one- to two-inch pieces — though this step is optional and depends on the recipe you want to later use the green beans for.
- Step 3: Blanch the green beans.
- Step 4: Prepare the beans for freezing, then freeze. Arrange beans in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Then pack into resealable bags, containers or jars (freezing first ensures that the beans wont all freeze together in a huge clump). Make sure to compact the beans in, then press out as much air as possible and seal tightly; you may also want to label each bag or container with dates and amounts, for organizational purposes. Finally, you can now place them in the freezer for up to 8 months!
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