How to Freeze Green Beans

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Image result for green beans in a colander images

With Labor Day just past many are turning their minds towards fall and winter preparations. It’s a time of transition for the garden; some crops are winding down while others are just coming on.

Green beans are still going strong, their long green pods dangling on the vine with the promise of sweet crunchy goodness all winter long, if preserved properly. I love fresh green beans, blanched with a bit of oil and almonds or sauteed with bacon and onion. Nothing says fresh or summer like green beans. But how do you get that goodness during the cold winter months?

I’ve never been a fan of canned green beans, either home canned or commercially canned. I get bored with the soft mushy texture when I’m longing for a bit of snap in my veggies. So I had to find a way to get what I wanted, and I think I have.

One day, as I was setting blueberries out on parchment paper to freeze for winter storage, it came to me! What if I did the same thing with the green beans?  So I gave it a try.

First, I set a large pot of water on the stove to boil and a large bowl of ice water in the sink.

While the water was heating up, I rinsed a batch of beans, trimmed the ends and set them in a wire colander.

When the water came to a rolling boil I set the colander full of beans in the water to blanch for about a minute. You normally blanch beans longer, but I wanted to preserve as much of their crunch as possible. When the minute was up I pulled the colander out and immediately plunged the beans into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

When the beans had cooled I dried them between two dish towels before arranging them in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You could also use wax paper, foil or any standard paper. The object here is to separate the beans from the metal so they don’t stick during the freezing process. Then I popped them into the freezer just like I do my berries. They will freezer individually instead of becoming anbig green bean ice block.

When they had frozen completely I could now pack them into a freezer bag or in a tall lidded freezer container. The beauty of this method is that the individually frozen beans can be packed in small or large quantities depending on use or household size. For me, a loosely packed quart size freezer bag is just enough for this empty nester, with a bit left over for another meal.

Now I can have the fresh crunchiness of green beans all winter long. I can cook them as a side dish or add them to soups or stews. I can even chop them up to add to a big green salad. But, my new favorite green bean dish is one I picked up from a little café in Texas—green beans with onion, bacon and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Try the recipe below…it’s easy, quick and I’m sure you’ll love it too!


Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Brown Sugar


Image result for sauteed green beans with bacon and onions


¼ Lb.   Green beans (fresh or frozen and thawed)

½ Onion, diced small

3 Slices  Bacon, chopped, cooked until crispy

1 tsp.  Brown sugar



Thaw green beans completely if using frozen. If using fresh, blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water, remove from water and set aside. Cook bacon in a large skillet until almost crispy. Add onions and cook until onions are soft and bacon is crispy. Spoon out bacon grease, leaving about a tablespoon or so. Add green beans tossing to coat in bacon and onion. Sprinkle brown sugar and toss again. Remove green beans to a serving bowl and spoon the onions and bacon over the top.

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