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How to Blanch and Freeze Green Beans
I planted green beans for the first time this year. I love having bush beans producing for me and every day I pick a bowl full of beans. But with six people in my family a bowl full of green beans is not a meal for us. Actually it takes three bowls of green beans to make a meal. If I leave them on the vine, they get long and tough. If I pick them and stick them in the refrigerator they get limp. So I decided to blanch and freeze the green beans I pick each day and pack quart freezer bags to supply us with green beans over the winter. This is pretty easy to do and I love putting food up fresh in the summer for my family to eat in the winter.
The first thing to do is wash the green beans. Once washed, I cut the ends off. Some people snap the ends off, but I prefer to cut them, as I can be more precise and take off the bare minimum. Once I have the ends cut, I cut the beans into bite size pieces. While I am doing this, I start water boiling on the stove. When the water boils and the beans are cut, I drop them by the handful into the boiling water and cover. I boil them for three minutes. This is called blanching and it stops the green beans for continuing to ripen. They will keep all their nutrients and remain crisp and delicious.
While the beans are boiling I get a bowl full of ice and water. This will stop the blanching process immediately at the three minute mark. When the timer goes off, I drain the beans and them pour them into the ice water and swish them around a bit. When you are blanching food you need to soak them in ice water for as long as you boiled them; in this case for three minutes. When the three minutes are up, I grab them out and dry them on a towel and pop them all into a quart freezer bag. The next day when I blanch more green beans I will add them to the same freezer bag until it is full.
It usually takes me three to four days to fill a quart bag of green beans and if they keep producing like this I will have green beans for the year from my small plot of bush beans. It almost makes me long for winter when I can pull out delicious and nutritious foods that I grew to feed my family.