- Food and Cooking
How to Store Green Beans
Green Bean Bush
Growing Green Beans in Your Garden
Green beans are a great vegetable for anyone just starting to grow their own food. Some varieties grow as a bush and others as a vine. Bush beans are a little less work and a small bush will yield a decent amount of beans. They are easy to maintain and easy to freeze or can for later. Green beans also store for a long period of time in cans or in the freezer. Beans can be started indoors and then moved out to the garden after any dangers of frost are gone. They can also be planted directly into the ground during spring.
They are the perfect vegetable to teach children how to grow. Since they can be started indoors, growing beans is a great way to keep kids busy at the end of winter. Children will love watching the beans quickly sprout. They can make a garden marker out of a paint stick by writing "green beans" on the stick with paint markers and then decorating with paint markers. The decorated stick can be easily placed into the ground once the beans are moved outside to the garden.
Children will also enjoy checking the bean bush regularly and picking the beans. They will snap off easily and no tools or special equipment is needed. Kids can easily wash and prepare the beans for storing without hurting them or needing to use a knife or other sharp objects. There are also many easy recipes for bean dishes that children can help make as well. (Be sure to check out other teaching ideas related to green beans at the bottom of the page).
Freezing Green Beans
Canning Green Beans
Materials for Freezing or Canning Green Beans
How to Store Green Beans: Freezing Fresh Beans
Once your green bean bush or vine starts producing beans you will have way more than you can eat in a few days time. There are two ways you can store fresh green beans: freeze them or can them. Frozen beans last for several months depending on how air-tight you get the bag they are stored in and canned beans last for years. Most people like the taste of canned beans more, but freezing is an easier process.
You can use freezer bags or a vacuum seal system to freeze the green beans. Vacuum seal bags are worth the initial investment and the bags can be used over and over again so they are more environmentally friendly than freezer bags that you use once and toss. If you are interested in freezing green beans, check out the YouTube video to the right for an excellent and quick tutorial.
Canning Fresh Beans
Most people that have been growing beans in their garden for years will tell you canning beans is the way to go. Although it is time-consuming and requires some special equipment, the whole family can get in on the fun. Children can break off the ends of the beans while parents sterilize the jars. Children can also add the salt and parents can add the boiling water. Months or years later when your family opens a can of the beans, you child will likely remember the fun they had picking and canning the beans.
The YouTube video on the right shows you how to can beans and it is only 2 minutes long. The actual process of canning beans can take up to an hour from start to finish.
Homemade Green Bean Casserole Recipe
This casserole can be made anytime of the year with fresh, frozen or canned green beans as an excellent side dish to many meals. Many Americans enjoy it at Thanksgiving meals.
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 3/4 cup almond milk or 2% milk
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, (optional)
- about 3-4 cups fresh or frozen green beans
- 1/2-1 cup french fried onions
- In a bowl mix the cream of mushroom soup with the milk.
- Spread the green beans out in a casserole dish and sprinkle the almonds all around.
- Pour the soup mixture over the green beans and almonds and mix it all up in the casserole dish.
- Bake at 375 degrees in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the casserole dish from the oven and sprinkle the fried onions on the top. Return the dish to the oven.
- Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the onions are golden brown and the dish is bubbling a little.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
More Green Bean Recipes
- Side Dish Vegetable Recipes
Three tasty vegetable dish recipes. A green bean saute with onions and garlic, a microwaved carrot and onion dish, and a zucchini dish made with tomatoes and mushrooms. Easy to follow instructions with pictures included.
- Easy Chinese Green Beans Recipe
Green beans are always abundant in the market. This vegetable is planted by farmers all-year round; though the plant requires semi-cold climate to produce crunchy and plump string beans. Green beans can be mixed to almost any vegetable dishes: sautee
Do You Live in One of the Top Green Bean Producing States?
Help Your Child Learn While Growing Green Beans
Growing your own food over the summer can be a great learning experience for your kids. Here are some ways to keep your kids learning over the summer while gardening:
- Have your child graph how many beans they pull each time and track how many beans they have at the end of the season.
- Learn about which states produce which fruits and vegetables and find them on a map.
- Go to your local library and get a recipe book that has recipes that include green beans. Allow your child to help you cook the green bean dish. They will practice reading and math skills with this activity!
- Use a ruler to measure the largest beans from each picking and take a picture of the bean against the ruler. At the end of the season see which bean reigns supreme. If you live in a neighborhood where other kids have beans growing you can have a biggest bean contest.