Fresh green beans are delightful to have, but what do you do when you have too many on hand? Can you freeze green beans?
You can freeze the extra beans whether straight from the vine or left over from a large opened can of string beans. This will help you receive more shelf life out of the beans so you can reheat and eat at a later date as a side dish to other meals you make, or use them to make a casserole dish.
How to Freeze Green Beans?
How you freeze green beans will depend on the state of the vegetable. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze green beans:
Freezing Fresh Green Beans
You freeze fresh green beans straight from the vine by first rinsing them down with cool water and removing any stems and ends. Then, you blanch the beans in a pot of water for a minute.
After, you place the blanched beans onto a sheet of paper towel and soak up the extra water from them. Then, you can place them into freezer bags or containers and store them in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
Green beans eaten within a year from the freezing date will retain their vibrant green color and fresh taste and crunch.
Freezing Canned Green Beans
If you have a large can of string beans and you are just going to open the can and use half the beans, you can pour the other half into a freezer container with the liquid they are in and freeze them for up to 6-months. This will help preserve their shelf life and allow you to use the rest of the canned beans later.
However, the beans might be musher in texture, which makes them great for casserole dishes, soups and stews.
Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Mozart
How to Defrost Frozen Green Beans?
When it comes to defrosting fresh green beans, you take them right from the freezer, place them into a steamer, and steam them until vibrant green and fork tender.
Never take the beans from the freezer and allow them to defrost on the countertop completely because this will make them slimy, soggy and taste like the storage bag and container they have been stored inside. It can even make the beans watery in texture.
Always take the beans straight from the freezer into the cooking process and eat them shortly after that. You should not refreeze the beans after this process either since bacteria can have a chance to form on them. It is best if you just eat them up.
As for defrosting canned green beans, thaw by removing them from the freezer container and into a small saucepan. Then, you place the lid onto the pan and place the pan on the stove.
Next, you turn the burner on low heat, slowly defrost the beans, and steam them for about 5 to 7-minutes. After, you simply serve them up. Most of the time-canned beans that are frozen will still have the same great flavor and texture, but if frozen for longer than 6-months the beans might become mushy and lose a little bit of the flavor.
Image used under Creative Commons from Mohammed Mahdi
Knowing these methods for freezing green beans whether fresh or left over from an open can should help you keep extra beans preserved longer so none of them go to waste.
Food is expensive and knowing how to freeze leftover or extra vegetables and fruits can go a long way to cutting the cost of your groceries. Now that you know how can you freeze green beans, go ahead and store this vegetable for later. It’s easy!