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How to Store Green Beans

Updated on July 7, 2013

Green Bean Bush

green bean bush
green bean bush | Source
fresh green beans
fresh green beans | Source
green beans can be stored in freezer safe bags or pressure sealed jars
green beans can be stored in freezer safe bags or pressure sealed jars | Source

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

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.

Cast your vote for Green Bean Casserole

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 55 min
Yields: Serves 6-8 people
Green Bean Casserole with Almonds
Green Bean Casserole with Almonds | Source

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. In a bowl mix the cream of mushroom soup with the milk.
  2. Spread the green beans out in a casserole dish and sprinkle the almonds all around.
  3. Pour the soup mixture over the green beans and almonds and mix it all up in the casserole dish.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and sprinkle the fried onions on the top. Return the dish to the oven.
  6. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the onions are golden brown and the dish is bubbling a little.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Do You Live in One of the Top Green Bean Producing States?

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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.

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    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      I've never tried to grow green beans, but I do like them, and used to freeze batches bought at a local farmer's market. That was many years ago when my kids were young.

      As far as which taste I prefer, fresh or frozen every time, hands down. When I was a kid, I thought I did not like vegetables. That was before commercially frozen veggies were common, and we always had canned.

      When I got married and began my own cooking, I discovered I loved vegetables--it was CANNED vegetables I hated! I do have a vacuum sealer, so those 'months' can be extended to a year or so for freezing. And we once again live where there is a farmer's market...so...I've voted this up, useful, interesting, and.... ... oh, darn, no "inspiring" button...I'm inspired to get back to freezing my own green beans!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Great way to get children involved with doing exciting things in the kitchen AND be enticed to eat green vegetables. Really good!! Voted up.

    • chrissieklinger profile image
      Author

      chrissieklinger 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I have found that getting fresh vegetables at the farmers market and freezing them is the way to go as well. I like the idea of supporting my local farmers. It is very true that canned vegetables from the store can turn anyone off to vegetables, fresh are so much better. Eating in seaon is important as well.

    • chrissieklinger profile image
      Author

      chrissieklinger 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      We are trying to eat more in season as well and the kids don't get bored eating the same things over and over.

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 5 years ago from The City of Generals

      Hi chrissieklinger,

      I like the idea of children to check bean bushes then picking the beans. They surely will find it worthwhile; snapping the beans off would be fun and very educational for the growing minds. I never thought canning could interest me so much. I'd love to try and teach kids the love of preparing food from scratch.Very awesome hub, I learned a lot.. very green! Thank you for this. I'm voting up and across.

    • chrissieklinger profile image
      Author

      chrissieklinger 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      We started growing peas this year too and my son has learned to appreciate the work that goes into one "can" of peas. My kids are both enjoying eating fresh foods from our garden and local farmer's market. They no longer like the taste of store-bought canned veggies or fruits. If you decide to can, clear your calendar for a day the first time you do it. It does get a little easier over time, but it still takes up a considerable amount of time to harvest, prepare and store food.

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