Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Freezing Green and Wax Beans

After a rough start, our green and wax beans are producing. A lot. We love beans and find them a versatile veg that can be used in a variety of dishes.  Lots of folks preserve their beans by canning, but I prefer to freeze my beans. Seems the freezer is easier on the beans while the rigors of canning leaves them overcooked and soft. And freezing beans is fast and easy.

Just picked yellow wax beans

Beans with ends removed and snapped into bite sized pieces

Beans are blanched quickly in boiling water for 2-3 minutes
The vacuum sealer makes quick work of packing while eliminating freezer burn.

Beans ready for the freezer!

After picking rinse beans and remove debris. Remove ends and snap into bite sized pieces (or leave whole, if you prefer).

Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Lower beans into boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, just long enough to stop the action of enzymes that cause the beans to lose flavor, color and texture. Remove beans to ice bath to stop the cooking action.

Place beans in freezer bags, removing as much air as possible to reduce freezer burn. We use a vacuum sealer. Place containers in the freezer and use with a year.

So what do I do with all those beans? They make a very fast side dish. Without thawing, I can heat in a pan with butter, salt and pepper. If I have a bit more time and I'll add bacon (recipe below). I also use in pot pie fillings, casseroles, stew and bean salads. When preparing, remember freezer beans are not as fully cooked (not as tender) as a commercially canned bean. Substituting in recipes may yield a different result.

Let me know how you prepare your fresh frozen beans!

Sauteed Green Beans
Beans and bacon pair well and while it's not an everyday side dish, it is a delicious way to showcase your bean crop!

3 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cups fresh frozen green beans

Add bacon and butter to a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until bacon is cooked, 3-4 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Stir in green beans and lower heat. Add lid and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally (longer if beans were added frozen). Remove lid, cook until liquid is evaporated, 2-3 minutes. Serve.


  1. Thanks for the how to for freezing green beans, this is something that I will be doing this summer.

    1. That's awesome! Plant extra - they go fast in the winter. Let me know how they turn out!