One of the things in season right now, or soon to be for your area, are green beans. I had a plethora of them in my garden this week so I thought I’d take some and freeze them for when prices on green beans go up.
Freezing green beans is fairly easy. You need to cook them in a process called “blanching” and then put them in ice cold water afterwards to stop them from cooking more. The times cooking and soaking in the water should be equal. Green beans should take about 3 minutes for each step. (Information according to pickyourown.org)
If you don’t grow your own, several farmer’s markets will sell them, typically in large quantities for a good price. I didn’t grow any last year but bought a bunch at the markets and had farm-fresh tasting green beans during the winter months. While you might be able to get regular frozen vegetables in the store fairly cheap, there’s nothing quite like ones straight from a farm or your garden.
1) The first thing you need to do is wash your green beans and then pick over the green beans and pull out any that are blemished. Some of those you might be able to cut off parts to still keep. Cut the ends off your green beans. Next you cut them in 1″ pieces or you can keep them longer for things such as stir-fry recipes.
2) You’ll need a big pot of water to boil. Be sure you have enough water for the green beans to cook easily. Once it gets to a rolling boil, carefully place the green beans in, put the lid on and bring it back to a boil. Begin the timer for the blanching time as soon as you drop them in. Green beans should take about 3 minutes of blanching time.
3) As soon as the time is up, carefully drain the green beans and then submerge them in a bowl of ice cold water. Let them cool for 3 minutes.
4) Once the time is up, you’ll drain them and put them in Ziploc bags. I usually try to dry them off with a clean towel first, as I’ve found it helps them from clumping together or getting freezer burn.
5) Don’t forget to label your bag. It may seem obvious what’s in there but you want to keep track of the date so you know when to use them by.
This entire process is fairly simple. A lot of times, I blanch vegetables when I’m already in the kitchen getting supper ready and waiting on our dinner to cook.
I hope that you try to take advantage of Seasonal Savings and get some farm/garden fresh green beans in your freezer for when prices go up. It’s a great way to save on your grocery budget–and get some Organic veggies on your table.