It’s here!!! Our first batch of veggies to be frozen – yay!!! This is my third year of freezing our veggies, and I’m finally starting to feel pretty comfy with it now. Today I’m going to show you how to freeze green beans. It’s really not terribly difficult, but there are a few steps involved. Check out the instructions, and then let me know if you have any questions or if you think I’ve left anything out. I’ll be having some canning posts throughout the summer and fall as well. Next on the menu? Homemade Raspberry Jam!
1. Pick the green beans off the vine. Get them before they’re too bumpy-looking, but yet long and full, for best taste. If some of them are large and bumpy, like this:
then open them up along the seam, and pull the seeds out, like this:
Place the seeds on a plate in a non-humid area to dry and to use for planting next year. Homemade heirloom (non-GMO) seeds, for free, provided you’ve grown heirloom or non-GMO beans.
Some of these are too small, you’ll want to make sure your seeds are about the size of raw pinto beans for best results.
2. Place the beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly. You don’t need to wash them unless they’ve been exposed to pesticides.
3. Trim the ends off of the beans and cut them with a kitchen scissors into eating length, such as you’d find in the store. You can keep them whole as well. Just make sure to freeze green beans in the size you want to serve them in.
This is what they’ll look like if you choose to cut them up. My awesome Cutco scissors (no affiliate link) are great for any kind of kitchen cutting needs.
4. Blanch the green beans. Blanching, before I knew what it was, used to freak me out. Something about the unknown, I guess, because it’s really quite simple. The purpose of blanching your veggies before you freeze them, according to my Better Homes and Gardens classic cookbook, is “to stop or slow the enzymes that can cause loss of flavor and color and toughen the food.”
After you’ve washed and cut the beans, place them (either directly or in a wire basket) into a pot of water that has been brought to a rolling boil. Cook for 3 minutes exactly (FYI, the time differs for each type of veggie. See your cookbook or canning book for recommended times). Lift the wire basket out of the pot (or spoon the beans out) and chill them by placing them into a bowl of ice water for the same time they were boiled: 3 minutes in this case.
5. Packaging. After draining the beans well (some people like to pat them with a paper towel too, which I would recommend if you don’t have a Food Saver and/or a deep freezer), put them into a freezer bag (we use a Food Saver and Food Saver bags). Remove as much air as possible, seal the bag thoroughly, and put into a deep freezer. This is where the Food Saver vac comes in real handy. The more air you can remove, the longer your frozen veggies will keep. We just opened up our last bag of frozen green beans from last year and they tasted great. No sign of freezer burn whatsoever.
Have you ever tried freezing your own veggies before? How did it work out?
I always canned green beans instead of freezing them. We just preferred the texture of canned ones over frozen. I also canned tomatoes and made tomato juice that we canned. Peas, corn peaches and apples were frozen. Made applesauce which we froze as well. We tried canning potatoes but didn’t have much success. They got kind of mushy. Had a recipe for freezer slaw using cabbage but we didn’t like that so things like cabbage, lettuce, radishes, onions etc. were all eaten fresh and we just bought those during the off-season. Hope you have a bumper crop. During the winter it’s nice to pull out things you’ve preserved to have a taste of summer when the weather is crappy.
Interesting, Kath! We prefer the taste/texture of freezing. We are planning on canning spaghetti sauce for the first time ever, so we’ll see how that goes. Canned Raspberry jam for the first time ever last night – I’ll write more about that tomorrow.
A few years ago when had a CSA I would freeze a lot of our excess, but I’m not sure how much extra our garden will produce this year. I’m looking forward to your canning posts, I’m only familiar with freezing, not canning.
Yeah, canning is a little intimidating, at least to me. Last year I gave an overview of what we did, but no specific posts on canning. Look for one soon, though. 🙂
Man, those look really good. Now I want a green bean casserole. Off to the store for ingredients!
LOL, funny. 🙂 We love green bean casserole here!
This really makes me miss my Grandma’s homemade green bean soup! 🙂
That sounds fantastic, Tonya!! You should share the recipe some time!
Yet another how-to of yours that I’m bookmarking for future use :). The future Frugalwoods homestead thanks you!
Mrs. FW, you are going to LOVE homesteading. Can’t wait for you guys to find your place. 🙂
Where you bean all my life 😉
Just found your blog and I’m having a nosey round, hope you don’t mind.
I’m growing beans for the first time on my allotment so fingers crossed I will be freezing them soon x
LOL, funny!!! Thanks for stopping by – yes, by all means, nosey around any time!! Beans, luckily, are pretty easy to grow, so you should have a nice bounty! Best of luck to you. 🙂
This is pretty good. We usually make jam and can/jar it, but we haven’t really tried to freeze green beans before. Kate loves to chop herbs and put them in ice cube trays with a little bit of water and freeze them. When she cooks, she can just take an herb cube and throw it in with the food. This is only when we have too many herbs and don’t want them to go bad.
Smart idea about the herbs, Aldo!! I just canned jam for the first time last night – we’ll be posting about that soon.
Neat! I’ve never really frozen many of my own veggies, other than bell peppers (bought from the store). My spouse likes them cooked completely through so they are totally soft, and when they are frozen first, it is WAY easier to do so. There haven’t been any crazy sales on them in a few years, though.
I got a food saver a bit ago and have been pretty happy with it, too.
Yeah, the food savers are awesome. We freeze our green peppers too, often in bags along with red onion. The perfect set up for home fried potatoes and many casseroles.
So glad you’re veggies are coming. Nothing beats fresh! I haven’t frozen fresh veggies. I will freeze fruits before they spoil or seasonal fruits for future smoothies. So yummy!
Yes, we’re excited!! Going to try applesauce this year too, Lord willing. 🙂
I have not heard of GMO bean seeds yet. “Corn, soybeans, cotton (for oil), canola (also a source of oil), squash, and papaya. You could also include sugar beets, which aren’t eaten directly, but refined into sugar. There’s also GMO alfalfa,…. GMO versions of tomatoes, potatoes, and rice have been created and approved by government regulators, but they aren’t commercially available”
Me neither, but I’m not taking any chances. 🙂
I’ve never tried this before, but it sounds pretty easy. Thanks for the great explanation!
Sure thing, Amy – it’s quite easy!
I have never frozen fresh vegetables and figured it was really time intensive. But based on your steps it really wouldn’t take very long.
Really, Kassandra, it didn’t take long. You should try it!
Great advice! Now if only I could get my vegetable garden started…
LOL, yeah, that would help. 😉
This is something I really need to start doing. We don’t have our own garden right now, but we do get a ton of veggies from our CSA. There are some weeks the Mr. gets tired of eating the same produce, so freezing would be the best solution. Great step-by-step guide!
Ooh, you should do it, Autumn!! I’d be curious to see how it turns out for you.
This is great! My wife and I love fresh greens beans and we also like freezing to conserve our food supply. Thanks for sharing, Laurie!
Awesome, Kalen! Happy freezing to you. 🙂
Those look awesome Laurie! Green beans are the one thing we just can’t get to grow right. We end up with a handful of them the first go around and then nothing – they just turn out ugly and nasty. It doesn’t make sense either because we’ve had our soil tested and have the right mix of what we need, we just can’t seem to grow green beans well. I’m with you on the blanching at first. I was like “what on earth is THAT!” But, it’s quite easy really. 🙂
Interesting, John!!! This has been our experience with peas: we just can’t get ’em to grow!! Grean beans, however, are in abundance! Maybe when we really expand our gardens we can make a trade. 🙂
Great tips! Can’t wait to grow a garden (hopefully next year) 🙂
Kayla, you’ll love it – it’s awesome!
Looks like we’ve both been busy in the kitchen doing the same thing! I just had to “downsize” the food in my freezer in order to get all the green beans and rainbow chard in there that I’d harvested – and there’s more to go too! Nothing better than sitting down to eat dinner in the middle of winter and realizing how much of your meal is home grown and cost you next to nothing.
Wow, Rich – glad your garden is doing so well!!! I agree about those winter meals from the freezer too: they are SO much better and more satisfying than any restaurant meal you could ever eat. 🙂
This is great Laurie! We also freeze our green beans in nice family serving size packages. We usually freeze tomato sauce and cooked squash as well. There’s nothing like having veggies from your own garden in the middle of the winter!
Agreed, Kay!! We haven’t done tomato sauce but hope to do spaghetti sauce this year for the first time. 🙂
Thanks so much for these instructions. I planted my first garden this year and went a little crazy with planting too many green bean plants. They are my favorite! It is good to know that I can freeze them and enjoy them all year long.
Yay!! So glad to hear they’ll all go to good use. Congrats on green bean success! 🙂
Just got a bunch of green beans in our CSA. We’ll be eating them fresh since it’s a small amount, but if we get another few batches I’ll probably freeze them. Eric’s not a big fan and I can only eat so many at a time before I get bored. Can’t wait for raspberries, and raspberry pie, and jam!
Good idea, KK, belonging to the CSA. It’s a terrific alternative to homesteading!
Now I feel silly. I always just froze the beans with the seeds in! Of course I should have removed them! That would have been so smart…ah well. No veggie garden for me this year.
Wait!!! You only removed the seeds if the beans are big and bumpy so you can plant for next year! If the beans are regular-sized, you leave the beans in.
I just took a seed saving class. You need to save the beans from the dried ones that are on the vine at the end of the season. The ones that you are showing are not mature enough.
Thanks, Vivian! I will make a note of this on the site.
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