Tips For Freezing Green Beans:
- Choose fresh green beans during their pean season .
- Aim for smaller sized green beans, they are more tender.
- Get blemish-free green beans
- Blanch the green beans before freezing, if you have the time.
- Quick freeze for 1 hour, before you place green beans in zip lock bags, this way they wont stick to each other and form large clumps in the zip lock bags.
Cut The Beans Into Bite
A lot of recipes, including soup recipes and casseroles, call for cut green beans. If you want, you can save yourself some prep work later and cut them into 1-inch pieces before freezing the beans. You can also leave the beans whole and freeze them, then chop them later if your green bean recipe calls for it. Up to you! By the way, if you have a huge crop to use up, freezing is just one of 10 ideas for using up produce before it goes bad.
Why Not Can Green Beans
I used to can our beans, but my family had gotten to the point where they werent a fan of soft green beans. They preferred them crisp-tender. My kids had gotten to the point where they wouldnt even eat canned beans. Talk about a waste of time.
However, they love garlic and butter on anything. So crisp-tender beans sauteed in garlic butter is a real winner at my house. We went from no one eating them to everyone loving green beans and even fighting over the last few in the pot at dinner.
I also think frozen green beans are fresher tasting than canned beans. And freezing tends to retain more nutrients in the beans than canning.
But the best reason for freezing green beans versus canning them is the ease of preparation. You need a lot less equipment to freeze green beans than to can them.
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Can You Freeze Cooked Green Beans
Yes! Another option for freezing green beans is to cook them the same way you would normally serve them, and then cool, and freeze. You can flash freeze them and then pack them up, or put them straight into a freezer safe container. This also works well for home freeze drying.
Do you blanch your beans before freezing, or skip this step? I’ve always been a blancher, but I have friends who don’t blanch.
Green Bean Freezing Instructions
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Wait Don’t You Have To Blanch Green Beans Before Freezing
Yes, I know almost everything you read says the “proper” way to freeze beans is to blanch first . Yes, I know there’s an enzyme that will make the beans break down quicker in the freezer if you store them without blanching.
However, I tested this years ago because our family wasn’t happy with the traditional way to freeze green beans. And I’d like to challenge you to do the same test and see what you think.
A Little Background
Our family used to eat canned green beans. That’s how I grew up and so I never liked the rubbery texture of frozen beans. When I started growing beans, I pickled and canned them and even learned to pressure can, just for green beans .
But then we had a child – a picky child – who decided she didn’t like canned green beans anymore, but who would eat them if they were frozen or fresh. Since beans were one of only three vegetables she would eat, guess who started freezing beans?
Except I still didn’t like that texture . So I decided to do some research online and found mostly the recommendation to blanch, of course, but I also found two rebel souls on gardening forums who said they didn’t blanch their beans and they came out “perfect.”
What, really? I had to try it.
Tips For Preparing Green Beans For Freezing
- Blanching in salted water is not recommended. Salted water not only seasons vegetables but also softens the cell walls. To prevent mushy green beans, season them before serving.
- A single layer should be frozen. The advantage of freezing green beans as a single layer is that they wont have to be thawed in a block form if you need them later. As soon as the beans are solidly frozen, transfer them to a zip-top bag to store for a long period.
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Free Guide Get 14 Recipes You Can Make From Your Pantry
Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing green beans to extend the harvest. Learning how to freeze green beans is a great way to preserve this delicious summer veggie.
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Green beans have become a year-round staple in healthy diets, but if youre not a gardener, you might be surprised to learn theyre actually a summer crop.
If youre the kind of person who wants to enjoy green beans for the rest of the year, its so simple to preserve this tasty crop in your own freezer.
And Ill show you how!
Frozen green beans wont work in every recipe, but they do open up a ton of opportunities for fast meals. I have used frozen green beans in Green Beans in Tomato Sauce, Garlic Butter Green Beans, Air Fryer Green Bean Fries, Stir-Fried Green Beans, and Turkey Shepherds Pie.
If you have leftover green beans and are running out of freezer space, check out this post on how to can green beans for a shelf-stable option.
How To Use Green Beans
Native to North, Central, and South America, green beans are grown all over the world. There are many ways to prepare green beans, you can steam, roast, stir fry your green beans and serve them as a side dish. You can also add them to soups, stews, or curries. Green beans are very nutritious, they are low in calories, high in fiber, and they contain Vitamin A, C, and K. Green Beans are great for diabetics.
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Freezing Green Beans While Blanching
Blanching green beans halts the enzymatic action that degrades your beans and causes reduced color and texture when they thaw. To make sure that your beans taste as good when they come out of the freezer as they do going in, use our time-tested blanching and freezing process. Its the best way to freeze green beans safely.
Use the knife to trim the stem ends off the beans, and strip off any strings, as well. Snap the beans into segments of two to four inches. Bring the water to a boil, and add the beans.
Leave the beans in the hot water bath for about three minutes, and transfer them from the boiling water to the ice water to halt the cooking process. Leave the beans in the ice water for at least three minutes.
Transfer the beans from the cold water to the colander or salad spinner, and spin them or let them drain for at least five minutes. Place the cloth or paper towels on a cookie sheet, and spread out the beans on the cloth in a single layer. Put the pan in the freezer for an hour or two.
Separate the beans into twelve-ounce portions, place a portion in each bag, and use the vacuum sealer or straw and zip lock seal to remove all air, as too much air causes ice crystals. Label the bags and store green beans in the freezer until you are ready to eat them.
Prepare The Beans For Freezing
Pack the drained beans into freezer-friendly jars, storage bags, or containers . Shake each package to compact the beans. Add more beans, leaving ½-inch headspace if using a jar. Wipe the rims and storage packages dry before officially freezing fresh green beans. Press out as much air as possible, then seal the bags or containers according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If necessary, use freezer tape around the lid edges for a tight seal.
Test Kitchen Tip: Allow 1½ to 2½ pounds of green beans per quart container.
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The Test: Blanched Vs Unblanched Green Beans
First, I chopped up the beans like I normally did, but then I put them directly into freezer bags. Sheesh, this was easy.
Update: many people have asked about washing the beans first, so here’s my answer: I don’t.
I garden organically and grow pole beans so the beans never touch the ground. I trust my cleanliness when picking them. You most definitely can choose to wash them – but you will need to dry them thoroughly before freezing to avoid crystals .
Next, I used my straw “vacuum sealer” trick to remove as much air as I could from the baggie with a straw before sealing and freezing.
Finally, I froze the bag for two weeks and then served them for dinner – which wasn’t easy when fresh beans were still available, that’s for sure. But a test is a test, so we persevered.
We couldn’t tell a difference from beans that had been blanched. I thought the texture was a little better, too.
BUT – maybe it was because it had only been two weeks. Maybe that enzyme takes longer to start breaking the beans down, as they say.
So, I froze ALL our remaining beans that way. Yep – I didn’t blanch any beans at all that year.
Then I waited to share the results with you until I knew that they could be frozen for longer than two weeks. I needed to be able to tell you if they’d last a whole year in the freezer and hold up like blanched beans.
So, can you freeze green beans without blanching them first?
The texture seems better – and my family agrees with me. Really!
Update #: Faq & Testimonials
I’ve gotten a ton of comments with many people telling me that they don’t blanch either or that they remember their mothers or grandmothers freezing green beans without bothering with the blanching process.
It’s nice to know I’m not alone and that many people are like my family and like the beans better without blanching first.
I’ve also gotten the comments telling me that blanching:
One thing I know for sure is that I will never freeze green beans any other way and there are a lot of other people out there who feel the same way as our family does:
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How Do You Know When Green Beans Are Bad
Choose green beans that are fresh with vibrant green color. When your green beans are limp and dry, they are going bad, so they wont taste good. There are other obvious signs of aging such as the bean becoming large and woody if left on the plant for too long. You should pick green beans when they are just round enough to fit into a pencil.
- Ensure that the beans are of the highest quality. Putting beans in the freezer will not make them better it will only keep them in their current state.
Freezing Green Beans Without Blanching
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Transfer Frozen Green Beans Into A Freezer Bag
Once green beans are in a freezer bag remove as much air as possible and seal. TIP: Dont forget to label the freezer bag and write an expiration date on the bag. . *See FAQs and specific tips following recipe card below. *Frozen green beans will last for 6-9 months in the freezer, if frozen properly. Be sure to use freezer bags when storing or any other air tight container.
Its Easy To Freeze Green Beans They Hold Their Flavor And Texture Well When Frozen Just Trim And Blanch First And They’ll Be Ready For A Soup Or Side Dish Later
Its simple to freeze green beans, even if you are new to cooking. They are one of the best vegetables to freeze because they do an excellent job of maintaining their flavor and texture once they are cooked.
When you use frozen green beans in recipes, you dont have to hide them among other vegetables in a soup or beef stew they can be the star of a side dish just as easily as fresh green beans during summer!
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How To Prepare Green Beans
Recipes Using Frozen Green Beans
Now that you know how to freeze green beans, its time to use them! Here are some of my favorite green bean recipes that can be made with frozen green beans.
This easy recipe for Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry can easily be made using green beans instead of asparagus! Serve this Chicken Stir Fry with the delicious homemade with Honey Ginger Stir Fry Sauce Sauce and rice for a complete meal.
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Do You Have To Blanch Green Beans Before Freezing
Blanching is an important step when it comes to freezing vegetables for several reasons: Blanching stops enzymes that lead to spoilage, it enables the vegetables to retain their vibrant colors, their original texture, and their nutrients. Skipping this step will result in dull and faded colors, off flavors and poor textures.
Lets Talk About How To Cook Frozen Green Beans
The thing Im not a fan of in the green bean recipes Ive found is thawing the green beans beforehand. I dont have time for that!
I need a plop and cook method.
The best way Ive found is melting half a stick of butter.
While that melts, pour a bag of frozen green beans into a baking dish.
Pour the melted butter overtop, then sprinkle House Seasoning on top!
Mix the green beans around a little bit. then cook at 425 in the oven for 15 minutes.
YUM! Its the perfect simple side dish that takes no effort! And! When you choose other recipes that bake at 425, youre winning at the dinner game!
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Okay Teach Me How To Freeze Green Beans
Weve gone over most of the process already, but lets talk through it one more time, so you have everything in one place:
The Benefits Of Blanching Beans
In blanching, food is quickly cooked in boiling water, then immediately shocked in ice water to stop the cooking process. Whats the right amount of time to boil the beans before dunking them in cold water?
The ideal amount of time to cook beans is three minutes: it brightens, tenderizes, and shuts off the production of enzymes that lead to deterioration.
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Should I Trim Green Beans Before Freezing
The size of green beans that you freeze is completely up to your personal preference. Always be sure to trim the stem end. If the bottom end appears dried, trim that, too. After that, you can leave them long for side dishes that feature green beans or cut them into small pieces for soups and stews.
If you have a lot of green beans to freeze, it might be worth it to freeze different sizes and cuts so that you can use them for several different recipes throughout the year.