Friday, June 24, 2011

Freezing Green Beans

This post might be a little early as far as the time of year, but not by much.  Fresh green beans and other garden produce will be ready for harvest in a few short weeks!  The following pictures are of beans from our garden last summer.  I love having a garden and being able to pick things from it instead of going to a grocery store.  There us something so comforting about knowing exactly where the food came from and how it was grown.

When we harvest our beans, we mainly eat them right away.  However, there comes a time in summer when we've either had our fill after eating them for every meal or we can't just keep up with the bounty!  That's when I freeze them for use in the winter.

To begin, I blanch them in boiling water for three minutes.  That's all it takes!

I then immediately put them into ice cold water to stop the cooking process and help the beans to retain their lovely green color.

I lay them out onto clean kitchen towels to dry.  This process is important!  If you don't dry them thouroughly enough, they may develop a large amount of ice crystals, which could alter the taste.  Believe me, in the dead of winter, you want your beans to taste as fresh as possible!

I then divide them up into quart size freezer bags and label them with the year, just in case they get lost in the depths of our freezer.  :)

That bag on the left doesn't quite have enough, but I added more another time.

These beans are wonderful in soups, stews, or just as a side dish to a meal.  If I didn't have a garden, I would still buy fresh beans from a farmer's market and freeze them.  They just taste so much better!

Blessings on your weekend, friends!

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