Baygrower and others, how to freeze/store fresh shellies??

kristimamaJanuary 31, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I am wondering how to store the fresh shelled beans from borlotti beans. I saw a picture posted by Baygrower about midway down on this post

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/legumes/msg1013295113153.html

and it looks like they are shelled borlotto or cranberry beans in a freezer bag. I've never seen shellies saved that way and I'm looking for instructions on how to do that.

Are they blanched, or frozen raw? Do they need to be in a vacuum sealed bag, or would a ziploc freezer bag work, also?

I really don't like the hassle of soaking dried beans overnight (and my DH really seems to suffer terrible gas from any dried beans and he generally refused to eat them).... but he LOOOOOOVES the fresh borlotti beans from the garden each year. They don't seem to be so hard for him to digest.

This year I am going to grow more than I did last year and I'm wondering how to possibly freeze them so we can enjoy them later in the year.

Thanks,

Kmama

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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Kmama, shellies should be blanched before freezing. You can use the same blanching instructions as for frozen limas (I use the Ball Blue Book as my canning & freezing reference). I use 3 minutes for smaller beans, and 4-5 minutes for the larger shellies. These times are based upon freezing about one pound at a time, which is usually about a quart of shellies by volume.

A ziplock bag or plastic freezer container works OK for short-term frozen storage, maybe 3-4 months. After that you will likely see some degree of freezer burn.

For long-term storage, I recommend vacuum sealing. The best way to do this is to first freeze the beans into a block (I use square 1 pint plastic freezer boxes) then vacuum seal the block. This overcomes the problem of liquid and/or debris being sucked out, which can lead to a bad seal on the bag. With a good seal, I've kept frozen shellies as long as 2 years (at zero F*) with minimal reduction in quality. They won't last as long in a refrigerator ice box, which usually has temps just below freezing.

I can't imagine a winter without frozen shellies. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 1:46AM
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vtguitargirl(Z4b VT)

A very big thank you for that question Kmama & for the very detailed response Zeedman!

With the price of everything (property taxes, fuel oil, etc...)going up and my income staying the same, my next step in vegetable gardening is increasing my food preservation.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 6:08AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Zeedman, when you say blanch, you mean the green or NOT dry beans.
For totally dry beans, you can freeze them in a zip lock for 6-8 months, with out cooking or blanching?
In any case I would use vacuum lock for half the beans, which I would store in the bottom of the freezer. I would put the other half in freezer zip lock bag & stack them on top, because the zip lock is cheaper to buy.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 7:38PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Yes, Jolj, I was answering the question on freezing shellies, which are ripe beans that have not yet dried. There would be no need to blanch dry beans - or to freeze them, for that matter. Dry beans store quite well in a sealed container (such as a plastic bag or jar) at room temperature. Even the need for a sealed container is questionable... I just cooked up a batch of dried beans that had been stored in a basket on a shelf for over 5 years, and they were still OK.

But just so that last comment won't be misunderstood, storing dry beans for eating is easy. As long as the beans are dry, it's almost goof proof. Dry beans saved for planting need more exacting conditions - in the degree of dryness, the choice of container, and proper storage conditions.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 2:25AM
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