With Sharon Peterson
Freezing green beans picked fresh from the garden is a great way to preserve them. Bush beans or pole beans are all treated the same. This page explains how to freeze green beans of all types.
Tips for Picking Green Beans
Pick beans in the morning when they will be the crispest. Pick young pods that have not had their seeds develop fully. Look for about the thickness of a pencil is what I always tell my boys.
After picking, wash in cold water. Snap the beans into the size you’d prefer. This simply means break off the ends and break into pieces 2 inches or longer. Traditionally this should be done just with your hands… but when you are snapping several 5 gallon buckets full of beans your fingers can get sore! My boys used to grab scissors. Hey, if they are doing it…. whatever works!
When canning green beans they fit in the jars better when shorter but for freezing you can leave them long if you’d like.
Random Interesting Fact
Last year we ended up purchasing green beans from some folks down the road. She called it “snitting beans” Instead of “snapping beans”
I’ve never heard this term… I wonder how many different terms there are for this?
First you need to blanch.
Green Beans need to be blanched before freezing. This helps maintain vitamins and reduces the actions of enzymes. It will help them stay fresh longer in the freezer.
They can be blanched in either a large stockpot or your blancher. The blancher works best for me.
It is actually a super easy step. Simply bring a pot of water to a full boil. Put green beans in a blancher or some kind of a wire basket. Dip them into the boiling water. Start counting your time immediately.
You want to try to have enough water that the boil doesn’t stop when you dunk your beans. Honestly, the water usually stops boiling hard for me…. but I try to keep it as hot as possible. If the water doesn’t come back to a boil fairly quickly you either need more water, or less beans, in each batch.
Be sure and allow the water to come back to a boil between each batch. As the beans blanch the color will become a brighter beautiful green.
Blanch for 3 minutes.
Cool them off to stop the cooking.
When the time is up remove the beans from the hot water. Cool them right away in a pot of cold water. This stops the cooking. Stir gently during the cooling process to keep the water from getting hot spots. If the beans warm the water up add some ice, or drain and add more cold water.
I have seen it recommended that you place the whole basket with the green beans into the cold water, but I prefer to dump just the food. You need to keep the water as cold as possible and the blancher will only add more heat.
Leave your green beans in the cold water at least 3 minutes. After the green beans have cooled, drain well. Pat dry or roll gently in a tea towel to dry. If you have a salad spinner this will work well too.
Freezing Green Beans
Pack into freezer bags, freezer boxes or other freezer container. My favorite is quart size freezer bags.
Label your freezer containers and put into the freezer. If you use freezer bags remove as much air as possible.
When you are putting your bags into the freezer place them in a single layer until they are completely frozen. Then you can rearrange and stack things more conveniently.
This allows the packages to freeze as quickly as possible. If you stack several bags on top of each other before freezing, the layers in the middle will take much longer to freeze and may spoil.