Last week my CSA consisted of Good Natured Family Farms Skim Milk and Ground Bison (yum), Seedless Red Raspberry Jelly, Heirloom Tomatoes, Green Beans, Red Potatoes and Cucumbers. The red potatoes and tomatoes were used this weekend for some amazing potato salad and pico. Everything else, except the green beans were either frozen, put into my stockpile, or used immediately.
Since I had fresh green beans, I decided we would blanch and freeze them. I’ve said before that canning and freezing fruits and vegetables is a lost art. And this kills me, especially since freezing is so easy. So I thought I would run you through a little tutorial of blanching and freezing beans.
BTW – I had always heard my grandparents use the phrase “putting up beans” and never knew what they meant. I didn’t know if was “putting-up” with each other while they did it or “putting-up” them in the freezer. But after “putting up beans” myself, I’ve decided it is “putting-up” with cutting the little tails off the beans.
Blanching Beans: Time Needed 20 – 30 minutes
Step #1: Here is a lovely pound of green beans from my Hen House CSA. You can find green beans at most Farmers Markets through end of July. The key to having great tasting beans when you blanch and freeze them is to do it when they are fresh. Try to find ones that “snap” when you break them in two. Give them a good wash and move on to Step #2.
Step #2. Cut off the “ends” of the beans or “snap” them into desired size. I like my knives – so we cut them into about one inch lengths. This part is the most time consuming and tedious (in my opinion). BTW – check out my new manicure?
Step #3: Fill a pot with water, place on the stove on high, and wait for it to boil.
Step #4: Once water is boiling, place beans in boiling water for about three minutes. You want to see the beans turn a bright green color.
Step #5: Once the beans turn bright green, take them off the burner, drain boiling water and place beans in an ice bath in a big mixing bowl. (Sounds luxurious doesn’t it?) The ice bath should be able to cover the beans and still have enough room for a little breathing room. Let them sit in the ice bath until they are room temperature or cool to the touch.
Step #6: Drain the beans, again. Give them a good shake to get rid of excess water and place in a freezer ziploc bag. Write the date on the bag and transfer to the freezer.
You are done! This is a great way to have fresh tasting beans during the fall and winter – or if you can’t resist use this German Style Green Bean Recipe to make a divine side dish that goes quite well with a good steak.