Friday, July 24, 2015

Freezing Green Beans

 I’ll be up front with you.
This entire post is about green beans.
I realize that likely squelches the interest of many of you
who never will care an iota about a green bean
unless it’s one you’re putting in your mouth.
But read on if you care to. J

I have somewhat of a compulsion about efficiency.
Just ask my husband.  He says I’m so efficient that I become inefficient.
There are things sitting around our house that aren’t put away
simply because I’m not making a trip to that room right now.
I’ll wait and take them with me when I’m going there anyway.
Of course they’re forgotten on the next journey to the intended room.

But I digress.
Back to beans.
I generally plant plenty of beans to freeze for the year,
and I’m always looking for ways to save time with a project like that.
I’ve had some great pleasure (again, just ask my husband
who gets to hear my excitements)
 in finding a timesaver in freezing green beans this year.
That excitement provides the reason why I’m writing about Green Beans.

I don’t claim to have it nailed down to perfection,
but I’ll share what I’ve come up with.
If you have tips and tricks, leave some comments! J

For starters, I pick the beans by snapping off the ends,
leaving them on the plant.
That way I have a whole bucket of beans with the ends already removed.
Takes a bit longer in the garden, but it’s worth it to me.

When I bring the beans in, I line them up in batches
on my wooden chopping block.
(A large cutting board would work just fine too.)
A big knife makes the work quick. 

 With this method I can cut up a five gallon bucket
full of beans in ten minutes or less.
For real!
One negative is that the beans are not quite as even a length
as if I’d looked at each one as I cut them.
But I’ll give up each bean on my plate equaling
exactly 2 3/16 of an inch for time saved with a knife.

 I don’t worry about the beans that fall –
just let the pooch eat them.
(Crazy dog LOVES raw beans!)

After I blanch and cool the beans, I drain them in the sink
since I don’t have a large colander (which would probably work better).
A side note:  Last year I tried freezing some beans unblanched
which was a huge time-saver.
But we did think they tasted a little “off”.
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have thought about it
if I ate them at someone else’s house,
but they just didn’t taste as good as what we were used to.
And I don’t want to ruin my family’s appetite for beans
– they’re our go to vegetable. 

 And here’s the new part of my method.
Instead of spending time bagging into quart zipper bags,
I’ve been dumping the whole batch of drained beans
into a clean pillow case stripped over a bucket.
I rubber band it shut, haul it out to the freezer in the garage,
and pop it in to freeze.

Once the beans are frozen, I get a full sized brown paper
grocery bag and line it with two kitchen sized trash bags.
Then the pillowcase of beans comes out of the freezer
(it may require a few plops on the floor to break apart any frozen-together-beans),
and the contents are simply dumped, loose,
into the lined paper bag.  They flow out beautifully!  

The paper bag happens to be the perfect size to
fit into the compartments of our chest freezer.

I like this method because the beans are loose
and I can get out whatever amount I need for a meal,
depending on how many people we’re serving.
I can just open the bag and scoop however many I want
into my cooking pan -- just a few, or a considerable pot full.

So... if you’ve stuck with the bean theme this long,
I hope you might find some of this to be useful! J
I love learning new gardening and household tips.
Like I said earlier, share away in the comments area!

“And my God will supply every need of yours
according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” 
 Philippians 4:19


  1. How do you blanch them and for how long?

    1. I just blanch them in a metal strainer thingy I found at a thrift store. It fits just right in the big pot I have. I don't time the water but, as soon as they come to a boil I figure they're done and put them in cold water. :) A friend just mentioned a "fish cooker" which she said is an outdoor propane deal that's really fast. I'm thinking doing blanching outside would sure save on heating up the kitchen with all the boiling water! That would be nice!

  2. This is great! I'm laughing out loud at your unconventional ingenuity. Bravo!

    1. Unconventional is a good word I think. :) My mom is a bit like yours I think -- you never know what she will come up with. Some of that was passed on to me I reckon! ;)

  3. I have always blanched green beans, but my husband enjoyed unblanched, frozen beans at a friend's home. He said they tasted as if they had just been picked from the garden. His friend doesn't wash, blanch,cut or anything. Just puts while beans in a paper grocery bag, folds it over and puts that in a second bag. We are trying this now. Hoping it works!


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