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Freezing Beans

Green beans and wax beans are at their peak which means it’s not only time to eat them fresh, but also it’s the perfect time to do a little freezing.  I don’t have a whole bunch of time to dedicate to freezing tons of veggies right now, so I’m concentrating on doing small batches this year.  There’s no magic method of getting this done, but there are some choices to make before you get started.

1. Whole beans vs. pieces.  You will get more in a bag if you freeze pieces. If room in your freezer is at a premium, freeze them in pieces.  If you don’t have time to cut them into small pieces, freeze them whole.

2. Freeze individually or stuff them into a bag in mass. Again, if space is at a premium, stuff them all in the bag before you freeze them.  If you have space, freezing them individually will give you more attractive beans when they are thawed, but they will take up more space.

Set a large pot of water on high.  Bring to a boil.  While waiting, rinse beans and snap the stem ends off.  Break or cut into short pieces if you want. I freeze mine whole, but that’s just because I don’t want to take the time to cut them now.  As far as quantity, I filled a colander about ¾ full and got two one quart bags.
Drop the beans into the boiling water and set the timer for one minute. Cover.
Fill a bowl with cold water and ice and when the beans have cooked for one minute, scoop them out of the water and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooling process.
Label your freezer bags with the date and when the beans are cooled down, either stuff them into your freezer bag as they are, or lay them out on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper or parchment paper.  (Be sure the cookie sheet fits in your freezer before you choose this method.)  The filled bag can go right in the freezer. If you freeze them on the cookie sheet, leave them in the freezer until they are completely frozen, then transfer them to your freezer bag and toss them in the freezer.

Next winter, when you are pining for fresh vegetables, these beans will be pretty close to the original.