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Blanched Green Beans {Freezing Green Beans}

Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing blanched green beans to extend the harvest. Learning how to freeze green beans is a great way to preserve this delicious summer veggie. A freezer stash opens the door to amazing and speedy frozen green bean recipes.

a strainer of green beans on a white board

Green beans have become a year-round staple in healthy diets, but if you’re not a gardener, you might be surprised to learn they’re actually a summer crop. Garden-fresh green beans are in season from May to early October in most parts of the country.

And there are few things more delicious than a freshly-picked green bean.

If you’re the kind of person who wants to enjoy green beans for the rest of the year, it’s so simple to preserve this tasty crop in your own freezer. Frozen veggies are a staple in our list of Freezer Essentials.

So just like freezing zucchini, freezing blackberries, and freezing peas, we’re preserving this crop in the freezer. No canning, nothing fancy, and no special equipment.

And I’ll show you how!

Frozen green beans won’t work in every recipe, but they do open up a ton of opportunities for fast meals. I have used frozen green beans in this Spicy Green Beans recipe, Paleo Chicken Pot Pie Soup, and Simple Shepherd’s Pie.

WHAT IS BLANCHING?

Blanching is the act of quickly cooking fruit or veggies in boiling water and then stopping the cooking process with ice water.

It is not the same as parboiling. Parboiling involves briefing cooking food in boiling water to soften it, but does not include the ice bath.

Also, blanching is certainly not eating a bunch of cheesecake around a table in Miami with your three closest gal pals.

Is Blanching Green Beans Necessary?

The National Center for Home Food Preservation does recommend you blanch green beans prior to freezing. Here’s what these preserving Jedi have to say:

“Blanching stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. It also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.

Blanching time is crucial and varies with the vegetable and size. Underblanching stimulates the activity of enzymes and is worse than no blanching. Overblanching causes loss of flavor, color, vitamins and minerals.” (source)

If you decide to NOT blanch your green beans before freezing, try to use those up within two to three months. Frozen beans that haven’t been blanched tend to discolor a bit when thawed.

HOW TO CHOOSE Green Beans FOR FREEZING and Blanching

Use bush or pole beans that are fairly uniform in size. I like to pick beans no fatter than a pencil. The beans inside haven’t yet developed and become tough, and you’re going to get an amazing crunchy product as a result.

You can use any color of bean – green, purple, or the white wax beans. If you happen to grown beans yourself, I love planting purple “green” beans on our DIY Garden Trellis because they’re so easy to find in the vines!

They turn green when cooked, but there are no sneaky ninja beans hiding and making harvesting a challenge.

TOOLS FOR FREEZING Green Beans

HOW TO BLANCH Beans

*A detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom of this post.

It is so easy to blanch beans! Don’t let this step intimidate you at all.

Rinse your green beans, and remove the ends. It’s easiest to do this a few at a time lined up in a little bunch. If your beans have a string, peel those by pulling from the stem side down.

Think about how you intend to use them when they are thawed. Do you want long beans for a stir fry or short beans for soup or casseroles? Cutting them into the appropriate sizes now will make your future self really happy.

Start by bringing a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Also, set up a bowl full of ice water, and place a clean kitchen towel unfolded and flat on the counter.

Add your beans to the boiling water and set the timer for three minutes. Pro tip: if you have a lot of green beans to process, consider using a blanching basket. It will make the straining and ice bath process much faster. That being said, even with a blanching basket, you don’t want to crowd the pot as the beans will cook unevenly.

Once the time is up, strain the beans through a colander and immediately add to the ice water for two minutes. Strain again and set aside to drain.

3 photos showing the process of blanched green beans

After a few minutes, gently transfer the beans to the towel and cover with a second clean towel to absorb any additional water.

blanched green beans in a teal towel

Boom, you’ve done it! You’ve officially blanched green beans.

HOW TO FREEZE Green Beans

*A detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom of this post.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. 

Place the beans on the baking sheet and place the tray in the freezer. Pro tip: If you have a lot of beans to freeze at once, lay another piece of parchment on top of the green beans and top with an additional layer of beans. 

Freeze for three hours. 

green beans spaced out on a baking sheet

Break apart any clumps that have formed on the baking sheet and transfer the green beans to freezer-proof storage. I really like these silicone freezer bags because they stand upright on their own, making them easy to fill. 

If zero waste is your jam, check out this post on Zero Waste Food Storage on how to green your kitchen.

If you’re using Ziploc-style bags, removing additional air from the bag will keep your beans safe from freezer burn. Sure, there are expensive machines to remove air from freezer storage containers, but with a simple straw, you can achieve similar results.

Place a straw in the corner of a freezer bag and close the bag as tightly as possible. Suck the air out through the straw 1-2 times and quickly remove the straw and seal the bag. 

frozen green beans in a silicone freezer bag with a lemon and a dish of salt on a tray

How Long Will Blanched Green Beans Keep in the Refrigerator?

You can keep your blanched green beans for four days in the fridge in an air-tight container. Blanching veggies and having them ready to cook is a vital part of our weekly easy healthy meal prep.

Frozen beans will last in a conventional freezer for six months. If you have a deep freeze/stand-alone freezer, you’re safe to keep them in there for up to a year.

HOW DO YOU REHEAT FROZEN Beans?

It all depends on how you’d like to use the green beans after thawing. As mentioned above, frozen beans may not work in all recipes where you’d use fresh beans. 

In most cases (like stir fries or fresh eating), you’ll want to allow the frozen green beans to thaw first in the fridge overnight or for a few hours at room temperature. 

For soup recipes that use green beans, you can just add them fully frozen.

If you store your frozen green beans in silicone storage bags, you can even reheat them in the microwave or oven right in the bag!

More Frozen Green Bean Recipes

MORE “HOW TO” POSTS You’ll Love

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a strainer of green beans on a white board
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Blanched Green Beans {Freezing Green Beans}

Learn all the tips for freezing blanched green beans to extend the harvest. A freezer stash lets you create amazing and speedy frozen green bean recipes.

Ingredients
Instructions
How to Blanch Beans
  1. Rinse your green beans, and remove the ends. It's easiest to do this a few at a time lined up in a little bunch. If your beans have a string, peel those by pulling from the stem side down.

  2. Start by bringing a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Also, set up a bowl full of ice water, and place a clean kitchen towel unfolded and flat on the counter.

  3. Add your beans to the boiling water and set the timer for 3 minutes. You don't want to crowd the pot as the beans will cook unevenly.

  4. Once the time is up, strain the beans through a colander and immediately add to the ice water for two minutes. Strain again and set aside to drain.

  5. After a few minutes, gently transfer the beans to the towel and cover with a second clean towel to absorb any additional water.

Freezing Blanched Green Beans
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. 

  2. Place the beans on the baking sheet and place the tray in the freezer. Pro tip: If you have a lot of beans to freeze at once, lay another piece of parchment on top of the green beans and top with an additional layer of beans. 

  3. Freeze for three hours. 

  4. Break apart any clumps that have formed on the baking sheet and transfer the green beans to freezer-proof storage.

  5. If you’re using Ziploc-style bags, removing additional air from the bag will keep your beans safe from freezer burn.

  6. Place a straw in the corner of a freezer bag and close the bag as tightly as possible. Suck the air out through the straw 1-2 times and quickly remove the straw and seal the bag.

Recipe Notes

You can keep your blanched green beans for four days in the fridge in an air-tight container. 

Frozen beans will last in a conventional freezer for six months. If you have a deep freeze/stand-alone freezer, you’re safe to keep them in there for up to a year.

If you prefer a softer green bean once cooked, blanch for 4 minutes intead of 3.

 

Think about how you intend to use the green beans when they are thawed.  Cutting them into the appropriate sizes now will make your future self really happy.

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