Farmers and gardeners harvest green beans when the pods are tender and while the beans are small. These young green bean pods provide a different amount of nutrients than the mature legume, according to The University of Illinois Extension's website. A notable source of carbohydrates, a half cup of cooked greens beans also provides vitamin C and beta carotene. Blanching and freezing green beans at their peak will help maintain these nutrients, as well as color and flavor. Blanching green beans before freezing is necessary, as it slows nutrient-sapping maturing enzymes.
Things You'll Need
5 quarts water
8-quart stockpot with lid
Wire basket with handle
Freezer bags or containers
Fill the 5-quart bowl with ice and enough cold water to cover the ice, and nestle the colander into the ice bath. Use 1 lb. of ice per batch.
Wash the green beans under a stream of running water.
Grasp the bean toward the end of the pod and gently snap off the ends of the beans. Depending on your preference, leave the beans whole or snap them into smaller pieces.
Fill the 8-quart stockpot with 5 quarts of water.
Place the pot on the stovetop and bring the water to a consistent boil over high heat.
Place no more than 1 lb. of green beans into the wire basket. Carefully lower the basket into the boiling water. Do not submerge the handle of the basket.
Cover the stockpot with a lid.
Watch for the water to begin boiling again. Once the water begins boiling, set the timer for three minutes to complete the blanching process.
Remove the wire basket carefully once three minutes have passed.
Transfer the beans from the wire basket to the prepared ice bath immediately. Allow the beans to cool for about five minutes.
Drain the beans, spread them on to the paper towels and pat the beans dry. Dry beans will not clump together as easily as those that are wet when frozen.
Pack the green beans into freezer bags or freezer containers, leaving a 1/2 inch of head space. Remove as much air as possible while packing. Write the date on the freezer bag or container. Place the bag or container in the freezer.
Blanching water may be reused for continuous 1-lb. batches of green beans or other vegetables. Set the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If you do not have enough ice, run the beans under cold water to chill.