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Freezing Green Beans

by | Aug 7, 2021 | CSA Member Updates, Recipes

Start with fresh green beans, if there is a delay between harvesting and freezing put the beans in the refrigerator until you are prepared to freeze them.

Preparation:
1.    Place green beans in a strainer rinse in plain cold or lukewarm water.

2.    Trim the ends and cut into smaller pieces.  Take a sharp knife and cut about ¼ inch off of both ends.  Cut beans into preferred size pieces, usually about 1 inch long.  If you want French cut green beans, you can cut the beans lengthwise instead.

3.    Fill a large pot 2/3rds full of water and set to boil.  Fill another large bowl with ice and cold water.  You can also put ice water in a clean sink and use that to chill the beans after boiling.

Procedure:
1.    Blanch the green beans.  All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. Green beans require a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Blanching times for beans is 3 minutes (the duration should be just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria).  Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you place the green beans in the boiling water. Cover the kettle and boil at a high temperature. You can use the same blanching water several times (up to 5). Be sure to add more hot water from the tap from time to time to keep the water level at the required height.

2.    Cool the green beans.  After vegetables are blanched, cool them quickly to prevent overcooking.  Plunge the green beans into a large quantity of ice-cold water (you might have to keep adding ice).  A good rule of thumb, cool for the same amount of time as the blanch step.  For instance, if you blanch sweet green beans for 3 minutes, then cool in ice water for 3 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.

3.    Bag the green beans.  If you don’t own a vacuum food sealer to freeze foods, place food in a Ziploc bags and remove excess air from bag (a straw works good for this).

Done, pop them into the freezer!

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