You’ve harvested green beans, but how do you preserve them? Sure, you can pull the pressure canner, jars, and rings out and make a day of canning them, but there isn’t always time for that! Another way to preserve them is by freezing them. While some methods for freezing produce are extremely intricate and time consuming, this way is not. Oh, and there’s zero blanching involved! Let’s learn the easiest way to freeze green beans!
Not sure exactly when your green beans are ready to harvest? Read this blog post all about When to Pick Green Beans to learn everything you need to know on that topic.
Should I Blanch Green Beans?
Most resources recommend that you blanch green beans before freezing them. I like to skip this step for two reasons: I’m a busy mom of two toddlers and I’m also a bit of a rebel in the kitchen. Regardless of my methods for freezing, this does beg the question…is blanching really necessary?
For those who aren’t familiar with blanching, it’s a common practice in food preservation that involves boiling the food for several minutes, and then plunging into ice water.
The thought is that blanching stops the enzyme action which can result in loss of flavor and color.
My problem with blanching is that it is extra…an extra step, extra time, and extra dishes to dirty. And if you have a big bunch of green beans to freeze, you have to blanch in fairly small quantities, which is not sustainable for those of us with large gardens.
I’ve frozen many a green bean without first blanching them and I can honestly say that they do not seem to lose any flavor or color. I’ve even cooked beans that were frozen for over 6 months!
In my opinion, blanching simply does not accomplish anything that makes it worth the extra time and energy in doing. As always, take my words with a grain of salt, and decide what is best for you!
How to Freeze Green Beans Without Blanching Them First
- Fresh green beans
- Freezer bags
- Harvest green beans that are as fresh and tender as possible. Older and tougher beans do not freeze as well, so toss those aside (These will feel woody on the outside and hollow on the inside).
- Snap off the ends, and break the beans into halves or thirds, if you like. (You can leave them long if preferred)
- Wash and drain thoroughly.
- Spread the green beans on a baking sheet in a single layer, and flash freeze for 30-60 minutes.
- Remove them from the tray, place in a freezer baggie, label, and place back into the freezer.
- When you’re ready to eat them, boil until tender, season, and enjoy!
More on Food Preservation
- How to Can Tomato Sauce
- Pressure Canning vs. Water Bath Canning
- How to Ripen Green Tomatoes
- What to do With Roma Tomatoes
- When to Pick Green Beans