If you like frozen green beans in the winter, just imagine how good it would taste if you had picked a bag yourself and then quickly froze it at home! It is also one of the simplest ways to put up a vegetable for the winter. Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. The green beans will taste MUCH better than anything you've ever had from a store.
Start with fresh green beans - as fresh as you can get. If there is a delay between harvesting and freezing, put it in the refrigerator or put ice on it. And don't use beans that are old, overripe or dried out (see below):
I'm sure you can figure out how to rinse the green beans in plain cold or lukewarm water.
Just take a sharp knife and cut of both ends (about 1/4 of an inch, or half the width of an average woman's little finger). Then cut them into pieces of the size you prefer, usually about 1 inch long.
Of course, if your prefer French cut green beans, you can cut the beans lengthwise instead, or you can use a "bean Frencher". The "Frencher" enables you to prepare a huge quantity of beans quickly!
Get the pot of boiling water ready (about 2/3 filled) and a LARGE bowl with ice and cold water.
All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. green beans requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Blanching times for beans is 3 minutes (the duration should be just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria).
Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you place the green beans in the boiling water. Cover the kettle and boil at a high temperature for the required length of time. You may use the same blanching water several times (up to 5). Be sure to add more hot water from the tap from time to time to keep the water level at the required height.
Cool green beans immediately in ice water. Drain the green beans thoroughly (this shouldn't take more than a minute).
After vegetables are blanched, cool them quickly to prevent overcooking. Plunge the green beans into a large quantity of ice-cold water (I keep adding more ice to it). A good rule of thumb: Cool for the same amount of time as the blanch step. For instance, if you blanch sweet green beans for 7 minutes, then cool in ice water for 7 minutes.
I love the FoodSavers (see this page for more information) with their vacuum sealing! I am not paid by them, but these things really work. If you don't have one, Ziploc bags work, too, but it is hard to get as much air out of the bags. Remove the air to prevent drying and freezer burn. TIP: If you don't own a vacuum food sealer to freeze foods, place food in a Ziploc bags, zip the top shut but leave enough space to insert the tip of a soda straw. When straw is in place, remove air by sucking the air out. To remove straw, press straw closed where inserted and finish pressing the bag closed as you remove straw. It works fairly well, but I'll stick to the Foodsaver, since the bags are microwaveable and much thicker than a Ziploc bag (even the Ziploc "freezer bags")
Pop them into the freezer, on the quick freeze shelf, if you have one!
When you take your green beans out of the freezer, how long do they
take to cook?
Just the same as store-bought frozen green beans: 3 to 5 minutes; just until hot and tender.
Home Canning Kits
See the seller's website for features, pricing and user reviews!
This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to
make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and
spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts
for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a
plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball
Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll
never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)!
There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see
more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
In the UK, use this link:
It is tiring and laborious to prepare green beans for canning; there are so many of them and you do them all by hand. But wait there's a new device that makes it easy. Hmmm, actually, these devices have been around since our great-grandfather's day! Here are several different types and makes, some hand fed, some cranked: choose the one that meets your need and budget!
Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.
Need lids, rings and replacement jars? Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes? Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!
Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!
[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pic
[ Easy Home Canning Directions] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]