How to Blanch and Freeze Green Beans!: "
found at The Notebook
1. Pick your green beans and clean them thoroughly.
2. Pick off the end of the green bean that was attached to the stem. Some people remove both ends and also snap the bean into several pieces, I have found that snapping off only the one end and keeping the rest of the bean whole will preserve more of the juiciness and crispness of the bean.
3. Boil for 5 minutes (called blanching). This partially cooks the beans but more importantly kills any bacteria that will cause the beans to rot. To do this,get a large pot of water up to a rolling boil. Boil small to medium sized batches of beans at a time (assuming you have a large amount to boil). I like to do my beans in a bunch of small to medium sized batches that way when I bag them for freezing they are in good portion sizes. I like to use a “pasta pot” or a steam pot for boiling my beans. These are deep pots that have a separate steaming or strainer section in them that you can lift your vegetables out of the boiling water instead of dumping the water. Other options are, to scoop out the beans with a slotted spoon, dump the boiling water and vegetables through a colander into another pot, or dump out the boiling water into the sink through a strainer and start a new pot of water boiling.
4. Immediately after you take the beans out of the boiling water, you need to put the hot beans in a “cold bath”. I typically create a cold bath by getting a large bowl or deep pan and fill it with cold water and ice. Then simply dump the hot beans in and mix around to thoroughly chill the beans. This rapid cooling will stop the bean from cooking internally and help preserve some of the texture “crispness” of the bean. You will want to cold water bathe them for the same amount of time that they were boiling. In my case that is 5 minutes.
5. Remove the beans from the cold water bath, strain them, then bag them for freezing. I know some people like to lay the beans out to dry off before they freeze them. I have done this both ways and don’t recognize any glaring differences in eating the final product.
A few things to remember.
1. Use freezer bags. They are thicker and typically seal up better. Freezer bags will often have spaces on the outside to write the contents of the bag in, which brings me to number 2.
2. Label what is frozen and when you froze it. This way, when you are in your freezer grabbing bags of beans to eat, you can grab the oldest ones first.
3. Try to get all of the air out of the bag before sealing, whether you do this by sucking the air out of the bag (as I do) or pressing the bag to empty the air. The systems that suction pack your produce in bags are a great investment.
4. To cook your beans. Simply get a pot of water (large enough to handle the number of beans you are thawing) up to boil and empty the still frozen beans into it. Approximately 5 minutes of boiling should be sufficient. Then strain and serve the beans. Of course during the cooking and straining portions of this process you can add seasonings of your choice. I like to add butter and garlic salt into the boil with my beans. Adding the butter may not be healthy but they taste wonderful.
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