Today's post is for those who are growing green/yellow beans in their back yard, as well as for those who are getting in on the good local food deals and buying locally-grown green or yellow beans at their grocery store or farmer's market. As this month has been grooving along, I've been playing with some ideas and trying new things, but this one today, this is something our family used to do when I was growing up.
I remember my mom and dad blanching the green beans before tucking them in the freezer (blanch for 1 minutes, plunge in ice water for a minute or two, bag it) but that's just an extra step that I'm going to skip this year, as I have seen reports that people are putting up their green beans sans that quick blanch. And I'm lazy. And truthfully, my garden patch isn't big and so I tend to have small handfuls of beans ready every other day, making it hard to have enough to warrant wanting to do a big ole blanch-and-shock treatment.
See, this blanching step was meant to stop an enzymatic reaction based on what is in and on that vegetable at harvest time that apparently degrades or turns the vegetable mushy when frozen for longer periods of time. Find a full write up on the process here, including the how-to of blanching if you're so inclined. Me, I'm throwing all caution to the wind. And really, I don't have that much to harvest so will probably whittle down my small stash in 2 months' time.
THE HOW-TO: I picked the beans from my garden. I washed them and cut them. And then put them on a clean tea towel to dry. Put them in a new freezer bag and squished all of the air out. I put them in the freezer. Job done. As I harvest more every few days, I'll be adding to this freezer stash in the same bag.
My caveat here would be to ensure you cook them when you take them out of the freezer. A quick 2 minutes in boiling water is a quick way to get them plate-ready. I will do that and then throw it in a glass dish with some butter, chopped shallots and cashews and will roast in the oven with whatever else is going in there. You could quick cook them and add them to some pre-soaked and cooked beans to make a mean bean salad (along with copious amounts of salty goat feta cheese). Whatever it is you end up making, do make sure to go PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD.