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Food Preservation - Freezing Green Beans

July 27, 2012

{article from my cooking blog, Simple Farmstead Cooking}

I try to grow enough veggies to eat during the growing season as well as extra to preserve for the upcoming winter months.  What I don't/can't grow myself I try to buy locally and do the same with.  We eat in season as much as possible, with the majority of out-of-season items being those I preserved either through canning, freezing or drying.

The way that I attempt to plan what we'll need is to figure out which month we'll likely stop eating fresh produce and switch to preserved produce.  Then, I plan on each veggie once a week with a few extra of most items {corn, peppers, onions, beans} that I would also add to soups.  I count the weeks until I would likely stop relying on preserved food {once asparagus, lettuce, etc. would be available}, and that's how many packs of each type of veggie I'll need to preserve.  I've done this for 2 years and so far it's worked quite well. 

The items you preserve should be freshly picked, completely ripe, and in perfect condition in order to have a superior product when it's time to dine on it.

Freezing Green Beans
What you'll need:
a large pot of water
a large bowl of ice water
a clean kitchen towel {or two}
a sharp knife
a slotted spoon or something to retrieve the beans from the boiling water
fresh veggies
freezer-safe containers or bags

I start with thoroughly washing my beans and trimming the ends.  Because the batches go quick, if I start with everything ready to go the task is completed quite quickly.

Bring the water in the large pot to a boil over high heat.  Once it comes to a rolling boil add beans.  There's not a specific amount you can/can't add, however, I don't fill my pot too full as you want it to come back to a boil quickly.  Boil for 3 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon to the ice water to stop the cooking.  Remove from the ice water and put on a clean kitchen towel to dry.

As soon as the water comes back to a rolling boil you can add more beans and repeat the process.  If you would prefer to steam the beans, steam, covered, for 4 minutes then remove to the ice water bath and then to the towel to dry.

Once the beans are cooled and dry, pack into freezer-safe containers or bags.  I label my bags but don't bother dating as I ensure my produce is used up within the year prior to preserving more.  This way, I can re-use my bags for a year or two.

Store packed beans in the freezer for up to a year.

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