How to Properly Freeze Fresh Green Beans
So, you just popped by the farmers' market and bought some fresh green beans (or maybe you grew them yourself), but you only have a week to enjoy them before they're past their prime. What's a home chef to do?
There are a few simple steps that you can follow to get the most out of fresh green beans. With so many recipes to enjoy throughout the year like Green Beans with Goat Cheese and Warm Bacon Dressing or an Old-School Green Bean Casserole, there's no reason why you shouldn't be freezing fresh green beans.
Here's how to flash freeze fresh green beans:
Trim the ends.
After washing your green beans, cut off any stems that may still be on the ends. You can also trim the tapered end of the bean, if you prefer. Some varieties of green beans have a fibrous bit that runs along the edge of the bean. You should also remove that part during this step, if necessary. This will help you whenever you reheat them later on.
Cut the beans to your preferred size.
You may want to cut some of your green beans to one-inch or two-inch pieces, depending on what type of recipe you follow when it comes time to enjoy your fresh green beans. If you prefer them whole, you can skip this step.
Blanch the green beans.
Bring a pot of water to boiling and cook the green beans for two to four minutes. After pulling them out of the pot, immediately soak them in an ice bath for a few minutes. The ice bath stops the beans from overcooking. The blanching process ensures that your green beans keep their fresh green color.
Dry and drain your green beans.
After they've soaked in the ice bath for a few minutes, dry your green beans on a towel and ensure that all of the water drains off of them.
Initially freeze your green beans on a baking tray.
Line your green beans evenly on a baking tray and pop them in the freezer until they're frozen. This initial freeze ensures that the beans don't stick together in one clump.
Transfer frozen green beans to a bag or container.
Now that your fresh green beans are frozen, you can sort them into bags per serving or recipe, if you prefer, or put them all in one large container. You can also label them with the date, so you know how long they've been in the freezer when it's time to reheat them.
Your frozen fresh green beans are good for up to eight months in the freezer.