Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cooking and Freezing Green beans

I wish I took more pictures, but I didn't, so here's what I've got anyway.

I went to the Farmer's Market the other day and I bought a bag full of green beans. I decided I would buy a big old mass of them now to cook and freeze for later. Here are the directions I got from the man working at our Farmer's Market:

1. Get yourself some fresh green beans.

2. Wash the green beans in a colander.

3. Trim the ends and cut into smaller pieces.
You can use a knife to cut of both ends (about 1/4 of an inch) or you can snap off the ends like I did. Then cut them into pieces of the size you prefer, or you can snap them randomly as I did. :0)

4. Get a nice large pot of hard boiling water going, and set aside a LARGE bowl with ice and cold water.

5. Blanch the green beans.

"All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. green beans requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Blanching times for beans is 3 minutes (the duration should be just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria)." (Information taken from PickYourOwn.org)

Boil the green beans in a covered pot for 3 minutes. Begin counting the 3 minute blanching time as soon as you place the green beans in the boiling water.

6. Cool the green beans immediately in ice water. Drain the green beans thoroughly and stick them in your ice cold water for a couple of minutes. (After vegetables are blanched, putting them in ice immediately after cooking them will prevent overcooking.)

7. Put the green beans on a cookie sheet and freeze them. (this step is so that all the green beans don't stick together as one big clump when they are frozen in the bag) Another option is to skip pat them all dry while they are on the cookie sheet before placing them in the bag.

8. Bag the green beans: FoodSavers, Ziploc, Hefty, whatever. I just used our Ziploc freezer bags.

9. Pop them into the freezer until you need them. They should be good to use for up to 4 months!


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