It's easy to freeze fresh green beans, and they last several months in the freezer. Plus, frozen green beans are a convenient and flavorful addition to many recipes.
- The peak season for green beans runs from May to October.
- Choose crisp, brightly colored green beans that are blemish-free. Avoid green beans that are limp or have shriveled ends.
- Working with a small handful of green beans at a time, line up the stem ends. Using a sharp chef's knife, slice off the stems. Repeat with remaining green beans.
- If desired, you may also trim the tapered tail ends from the beans.
- Some varieties of green beans possess a stringy fiber that runs from the top to the bottom of the bean pod. If the string is present, remove it from each bean.
Many recipes, such as those for soups or casseroles, call for cut green beans. If desired, cut the beans into 1- to 2-inch pieces before freezing. Or leave the beans whole and, if desired, cut the frozen beans into pieces just before using.
- Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Allow 1 gallon of water per pound of green beans.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water.
- Working in batches, carefully lower the green beans into the boiling water.
- Boil small beans for 2 minutes, medium beans for 3 minutes, and large beans for 4 minutes.
- Cool the beans quickly by plunging them into ice water.
- After the beans have cooled, drain them from the ice water.
- Pack the drained beans into freezer containers or bags.
- Shake each bag or container to compact the beans.
- Add more beans, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.
- Wipe container rims (if using). Seal bags or containers according to manufacturer instructions, pressing out as much air as possible.
- If necessary, use freezer tape around lid edges for a tight seal.
Tip:Allow1-1/2- to 2-1/2 pounds of green beans per quart.
Label each container or bag with its contents, amount, and date. Lay bags flat; add bags or containers to freezer in batches to make sure they freeze quickly. Leave space between bags or containers so air can circulate around them.
When frozen solid, the bags or containers can be placed closer together. Use frozen green beans within 8 to 10 months.