Freezing Green Beans

I may have mentioned a “crop failure” with my pole beans this summer.  When it became clear that I would not get enough beans to freeze for the winter, I put in a row of bush beans (they come to maturity a few days earlier) and hoped for the best.  That was at the end of July.  I’m now happy to report success, as the beans are now yielding enough for me to begin freezing them for winter.  If we don’t have a frost for the next few weeks, the early crop failure will be immaterial.  I pick the beans by pinching them off below the stem, leaving the end on the plant.  This saves lots of time as it means the beans only need to be washed and blanched before I use them.  I leave the “tails” on (that’s all edible bean).  I blanch them in boiling water for two minutes, plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking process, drain them and spread them out on cookie sheets.

If I can get half a dozen pickings like this, I'll have enough to last the winter.

If I can get half a dozen pickings like this, I’ll have enough to last the winter.

The cookie sheets go into the freezer, and when the beans are frozen solid, they are loosened and packed in plastic freezer bags.  This way I can pick out only what is needed for a meal.  After they are sealed in the bags, open a corner and suck out the air.  This prevents freezer burn.  When I cook them, I defrost them thoroughly, pat them dry and saute them quickly on high heat in olive oil with minced garlic until lightly browned.  This seems to make the most palatable dish as they lose their crunch in the freezer.  They are fine in casseroles, etc.

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