During our shopping trip this week we picked up several pounds of green beans intending to freeze them while the prices were good. Green beans, also referred to as string beans are packed with an abundance of vitamins and fiber yet are low in calories. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. You may already know these vitamins are an excellent means by which one can prevent cholesterol from sticking to the linings of the arteries and veins thus ultimately preventing cardiovascular related diseases. Fresh String Beans provide the body with the highest amount of concentration of these valuable vitamins and nutrients but during the winter months we must make do with frozen or other preserved beans. Even though we may lose some nutrition in freezing, this loss is expected and is at a minimum.
It is not difficult to freeze your fresh beans while you are able All the materials that are needed consist of a sharp knife, A good size cooking pot, a common kitchen slotted spoon, the all familiar colander, Ice water and of course freezer bags
Begin with the freshest beans you can find. If you are growing your own pick your selections early in the morning after most of the dew has dried up and no longer lies on the vines. Most experts agree that fresh produce is at its peak condition in the morning prior to being exposed to the heat of our summer sun. During the summer, green bean plants can produce way more beans than one can consume fresh so it makes good sense to freeze them. Always freeze your beans as quickly as you can after picking them.
Wash your beans in cold water and prepare them for freezing by simply snapping the ends of them. Now either leave them whole or cut into small bite size pieces. You could slice them into slivers if you desire to freeze the French style beans.
Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil so that your beans can be blanched. Vegetables are generally blanched prior to freezing to stop any sort of enzyme actions. Place about one quart of beans into the water and continue to boil for a period of three minutes. This process will not only stop the aging process but prevent browning of your beans as well. This is a recommended process to preserve the flavor and the color while extending the products storage time.
At the end of the three minutes remove the beans with a slotted spoon and without delay drop them into a waiting bowl of ice water for another three minutes to cool them down. Next, drain the cooled beans in a colander and pat dry. Finally place the beans in a freezer bag being sure to squeeze out the remaining air from the bag in order to preserve the freshness and flavor. Make certain to check the bag seal in case of a leak.
Now you are ready to place them in your freezer. When done like this your green beans will remain fresh for 8 to 10 months. When ready to use simply thaw them out and cook just as you would fresh one.
Copyright @2012 Joseph Parish