Two summers ago, I fell in love with snap beans. I have no idea why! Never before had they been at the top of my list, but suddenly, the dinner table felt incomplete without them. As a result I began searching for the best way to preserve this vegetable for winter eating. After spending hours pickling, fermenting, pressure canning and freezing snap beans, I now know which method yields the tastiest bean!
Freezing Snap Beans
Of all the preserving methods I’ve tried, I enjoy frozen snap beans the most! The texture and flavor is still reminiscent of summer, and it’s by far the fastest way to preserve beans for winter eating. Let me give you a quick run down of the process!
Sourcing Fresh Snap Beans
Whether you grow beans yourself, harvest them from a U-pick or buy them from a local farmer, they ought to be as fresh as possible! If they’re limp or floppy, enzymes are already breaking down your food and the beans won’t last as long in the freezer. Particularly with this method!
Choose firm, crisp, freshly harvested beans for freezing!
Prepare Your Beans
Regardless of whether you use yellow, green, purple, striped, speckled, bush or pole beans, the process is the same. Rinse clean, then trim off stems and tough, pointed ends. If your beans aren’t a stringless variety, be sure to string each one!
You can cut them into bite-size pieces or freeze them whole. Your choice!
Bag Your Beans
At this point in the process, most vegetables need to be blanched (dipped in hot water) to slow the enzymatic breakdown that occurs as produce sits in the freezer. Snap beans, however, are exempt! I’ve never blanched our fresh beans before freezing, and I’ve always been happy with the results.
Note: due to nutrient depletion, we consume most of our frozen produce in 5-6 month’s time. After that, we dive into our home canned goods. If you want to keep frozen beans for more than half a year, please be aware that I haven’t tested this non-blanching method beyond the 6 month mark!
After preparing your beans, bag them up in meal-size portions. You can use a vacuum sealer, ziploc bags or even plastic bags with twisty-ties. Try to force out as much oxygen as possible before sealing up your vegetables!
How to Freeze Snap Beans
Once they’re bagged and sealed, your beans can go directly to the freezer. Lay each bag on it’s side, leveling the beans inside. Leave them for a day or until frozen, then stack them neatly in their designated spot.
All winter long you can add these beans to soups, stews and casseroles. Or saute them with onions and serve as a side dish. No one would ever guess they aren’t fresh!
Unless you tell them, of course! 😉