freezing green beans

lindagail41(zone 7 GA)January 24, 2014

I have been disappointed with previous attempts to freeze green beans. We enjoy them so much right off the plant and they hold well in the vegetable crisper for several days, but they are either mushy or rubbery after being frozen.
I blanch them very quickly and rinse in ice water. What else should I be doing?

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How quickly is quickly? Beans should be blanched for 3 minutes and then chilled immediately in ice water, dried on paper towels. I then spread them in a jelly roll pan and freeze them before packing into a Foodsaver vaccuum bag.

Can't beat home-grown frozen beans (except for homegrown fresh beans)!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 3:03PM
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Deleting duplicate created when refreshed page

This post was edited by ajsmama on Fri, Jan 24, 14 at 16:56

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 4:55PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree - what do you mean by "quickly"? And "rinse in ice water" wouldn't normally be long enough to cool. They new to soak in ice water, the colder the better.

Odds are you are not blanching them correctly or not cooling them well enough before packing for freezing. Have you tried steam blanching?

Another possibility is you may be picking them later than ideal or you need to try another variety. Just as some can better than others, some freeze better than others.

Are they bush or pole and which variety?


    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 5:57PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Another possibility, if you haven't been used to frozen green beans, you may just not like them having been frozen. I don't. LUV fresh green beans but I've never met a frozen one I've enjoyed, if I cannot have fresh I'll eat canned.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 6:07PM
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lindagail41(zone 7 GA)

Quickly means to me that I put in an amount small enough that it doesn't slow down the boiling water too much and boil them for one minute. I submerge them then in a pan of ice and water til they cool, still quickly maybe another minute. I don't dry them, rather I drain briefly, get them into freezer bags right away and put them into the freezer. I spread the bags out so that they freeze quickly. I've always used bush variety and as I read through your responses I am beginning to suspect I am just picking them too late.
I had doubts about planting them this year but after this, I certainly am going to try again. Thanks for your responses

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:26PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

boil them for one minute

Not long enough. All the enzymes aren't destroyed. When enzymes remain aging and spoilage continue. As mentioned, minimum blanching time recommended is 3 mins.

And picking them too late is an easy mistake to make as we all do it now and then. It is hard to force ourselves to pick them sometimes as we think 1 more day won't hurt and they will be bigger. Problem is the bigger they are, the softer they are. If they are already getting soft and flexible on the vine they won't get any better once frozen. :)

But as morz said many of us just don't like frozen beans and find canned beans to be much better.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 7:56PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I am another that just doesn't enjoy frozen beans. Fresh or canned for me! It works well because we eat a lot of them and I don't have to plan on freezer space for them.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:37PM
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No frozen for me, I haven't liked them even. Store or home froze, no thanks.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 11:35AM
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kriswrite(zone 8)

We LOVE fresh green beans, too. So I just chop and freeze them. I don't blanch them at all. They taste great and retain their crunchiness!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:59PM
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Of course, it all depends on how one was raised. I grew up with canned green beans, canned as in grocery store beans. They were palatable, but just barely. It was one of the few vegetables children would easily consume. The only home canned ones I had were mushy. That is more an indictment of the canner than the canning.

Now, though, since I grown beans, I freeze them after blanching for a couple of minutes. Then I sauté them with garlic in olive oil. Honestly, I can't discern any difference from fresh sautéd green beans. Perhaps I have an old, compromised palate.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 11:35PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

As digdirt said, you are not blanching long enough, and I suspect you are not soaking them in ice water long enough. Get the water to a full boil, then put the beans in. Start counting your time from that point. Then lift the beans out of the blancher in the colander, drain the hot water off and then set them into a bowl filled with ice and then filled with water. The beans should be covered and there should be ice still floating in the water. Soak them for at least twice the amount of the blanching time. They should be cold all the way through. Then drain them again before bagging and freezing. I like to freeze my beans whole or only halved. At that size, they are great for oven roasting just like I do fresh beans.

I did a couple of bags of over mature beans late last summer. They are not as good, and although I pulled strings, they are still stringy. A good reminder to me to pick them young.

I really like Rattlesnake, Emerite, and Fortex beans frozen. They are all pole beans. They produce longer and heavier than bush beans, so trellising is well worth the effort to me. Don't give up! You'll find the right variety and you'll tweak the technique. Home frozen beans, IMO, are far superior to the ones available in the store.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 4:47PM
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I froze green beans for the first time this past fall. I blanched, Ice bathed then just sat in fridge while I worked over the rest of the batch.. I did 17 lbs this last batch. After all was blanched, drained and cooled then we packaged in meal portions using the food saver. For serving I heat a bit of oil then toss in the beans and then let them cook for approx 10 min and still crunchy. Season with soy sauce and black pepper. Will add onion and/or clove of garlic for seasoning. We are very happy with the results.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:08AM
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I did them this past summer, blanched but without the ice water soak, and pretty mature.

Yes, they came out a bit rubbery. But I found that cooking them up with honey, mustard, lemon, onion and nuts got rid of that.

The ones I curried before freezing and did not cook further after thawing were not great. Not sure if this is due to the difference in seasonings, or if it's the cooking after thawing that is key.

I have eaten them all, so I cannot experiment further. I got really into honey mustard beans this winter :).

And I think canned green beans are disgusting. O_o.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 2:07PM
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I suspect under blanching and under flashing also. AND picking too late.

Makes it a pain while you're trying to do an assembly line, but I flash(ice bath) them for FIVE minutes and blanch for 3. It's ok though -- I put a lid back over the top to get the boil rolling again while I wait. Plus, don't be afraid to use lots of ice and then more ice as it starts melting.

Also, once I pull out of the ice bath, I throw them on a towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Then I throw them on a half-sheet pan and stick in the freezer for an hour or so. Then into bags.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 2:19PM
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My 10-yr old was just talking last night about corn and green beans. She hates canned corn and green beans, and doesn't like the frozen ones either, though she likes fresh corn (she doesn't like beans at all, but she will eat a few fresh or frozen). Of course, the only canned or frozen corn she's ever had is store-bought. So I offered to try blanching and freezing corn this summer if we can get it really fresh (I don't grow it). Everybody has their own preference.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 4:08PM
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@Kevin: Do you do the sheet pan thing to get them to freeze more quickly? Or to keep the beans separate in the bag?

Seems like it would make it impossible to get all the air out, when bagging them, and thus lead to more freezer burn and 'freezer taste'.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 2:16PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Any vegetable freezes faster and avoids clumping if you spread them out on sheet pans first to flash freeze them before bagging. Includes green beans. Once flash frozen then bag them using one of the many vacuum sealer methods to avoid freezer burn.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 5:42PM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

rattlesnake pole beans are all i grow, no more nose on the ground looking for bush beans. i've found that pan fried frozen beans are superior to boiled ones. honey and mustard sounds good- i'll have to try that. someone at a western university wrote about microwave blanching 1 lb. beans in 1/2 cup water in a covered casserole dish for 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes ( i use 6 minutes, since rattlesnakes can get 6" long with no bean bumps or strings), with mixing half way through. i flip `them with a spatula. also cold water, drain, roll in a towel to dry and freeze on a cookie sheet before bagging. i have done all 30 lbs. that way. it sure saves on water and keeps me cooler. the big ones i nuke for 7 minutes. they get cut up for soup. will post back when we start eating from the freezer....

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 7:50PM
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