Learn how to freeze green beans without blanching them first, and add another easy food preservation method to your repertoire!
The height of summer could also be called “green bean season”, and while I love canning green beans, sometimes they just come in too fast! In that case, we need to get them preserved just as fast, and that means freezing – without blanching first.
When I was a kid, we grew a lot of green beans. Looking back, I realize that my siblings and I were sort of picky eaters, and green beans was one of the few green vegetables that we all liked fairly well. Plus, they were pretty easy to grow, so that’s what we did. Beans and tomatoes are the two first garden veggies I ever remember growing and harvesting.
And then, we preserved them. Back then we didn’t have a freezer, so we canned almost everything. Canning diced tomatoes is still one of my favorites, and I’ll always be a fan of homemade jams, jellies, and pickles.
Today, I definitely have a freezer, and it enables me to preserve food so much more quickly when I don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done.
This method of freezing green beans may very well become your favorite – it definitely has mine, because it cuts my workload by so much. If you have the freezer space – definitely a winner!
But let’s answer the first question: Can you freeze green beans without blanching them first? The answer is yes. All you have to do it wash, dry, and trim them. then you’re ready for the freezer.
Drying – by which I mean making sure they’re not wet – before you freeze them is good, but not essential, because it is simply meant to keep them from sticking together as they freeze, all lumped together in a zip-top bag. Another way you could do it is lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with either a Silpat, or parchment paper, and let them freeze before putting them in bags. This will also keep them from sticking together in clumps.
Whichever way you do it, it’s still an easy way to preserve green beans.
Reasons to blanch green beans before freezing:
According to the Home and Garden Information Center, blanching vegetables is critical for quality, but not for safety.
Blanching is the process of boiling your green beans for 2 minutes, then plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. The number one purpose of doing this is to retain a nice, bright green color. Some also say that it helps preserve flavor for longer.
While I do like the bright greenness of blanched green beans, I personally don’t feel like it justifies the time put into doing it when I’m drowning in beans, and need to get them done.
Reasons to freeze green beans without blanching first:
It’s easier, and takes less time. That’s really the crux of it. I don’t mind the slightly muted color, and maybe we’ve just never had them in the freezer long enough, but I haven’t noticed a difference in flavor.
The thing is, when I have time to take time with preserving food, I prefer to can green beans. It’s not hard, and I guess I grew up eating them canned, so that’s the way I like them.
When I’m freezing them, it’s because I don’t have time. Usually, I’m hoping to freeze them only temporarily until I do have time to can them.
How to Freeze Green Beans without Blanching
Whatever your own reason for freezing green beans, all I can say is don’t let time get in your way. You can do this quickly and easily!
Just start with the washed beans. Snap the ends off, and snap them to whatever your desired length is.
Next, put them in freezer bags, label them, and stack in the freezer.
I like to spread the beans out inside the package and stack them, laying flat so they’re more uniform and take up less room.
Yes, that’s literally all there is to it. So what’s stopping you?
This is one of those recipes that is too easy to be a real recipe, but also too easy not to share. It can honestly change your life during a busy homestead summer.
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