Did you buy a massive amount of green beans from your local farmers market? Do you have a home garden where you grow your favorite seasonal veggies? Learning how to preserve green beans using a few different approaches allows you to store the vegetable for year-long eating.
Some people enjoy the taste or texture of frozen beans over canned, but the technique for you depends on your preferences. Frozen green beans taste fresher and tend to lose fewer nutrients during preservation.
There are also multiple ways to can or freeze the beans, depending on the recipe you plan to use to cook them later. A pickling recipe, for example, allows you to preserve a smaller batch at once.
As with preserving any food, there are a few essential steps to know. For safety purposes, use caution when preserving green beans. We will show you a few tips to make your green beans come out tasty each time, whether you can or freeze them.
Ways to Preserve Green Beans
Fresh green beans from your garden will not last unless you preserve the harvest. Learning how to preserve green beans allows your family to take advantage of tastier veggies in the dead of winter when grocery store beans are the only (less enjoyable) alternative. Here are our favorite ways to preserve green beans for winter meals.
Freezing Green Beans
The most common rule people use when freezing fresh beans is to blanch them first. Blanching green beans stops the veggies’ natural aging process, allowing you to freeze them longer.
This technique also maintains more of the beans’ nutrients compared to canning or freezing without blanching first.
How to Freeze Fresh Green Beans
Snap the stem ends of the beans off to start. Leave the pods in a whole piece to contain more nutrients inside the pod. Wash the beans thoroughly before placing them in a pot with boiling water for two minutes. They should turn bright green.
Rinse your green beans with ice-cold water next to stop the cooking process. Pat them dry with a towel. Too much water causes ice crystals to form around the frozen beans and leads to freezer burn.
Always dry them thoroughly before putting the beans in a plastic freezer bag or airtight freezer containers. Use a vacuum sealer on the freezer bags for longer-lasting beans.
Preserving Green Beans without Blanching
Cut back the steps it takes to freeze green beans by skipping the blanching process. Although blanching helps maintain flavor and color in frozen vegetables, tender green beans can head straight to the freezer.
Avoid tough feeling beans in favor of the young, tender shoots since they stay fresh longer in the freezer. Snap off the end of the beans. If they’re long, snap them into halves or thirds for more accessible storage.
Wash them with water, then spread the green beans onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Put them in the freezer. Remove the tray from the freezer after around 30 to 60 minutes, and move the green beans into a plastic freezer bag.
Store your frozen green beans back in the freezer. When it’s time to eat them, boil the beans and season them to taste.
How to Preserve Green Beans using Two Canning Methods
Some people prefer the taste of canned green beans over frozen. Canning green beans involves either using a pressure canner or waterbath canning green beans.
The perfect option for you depends on the food’s acidity and your preferences, as canning is a standard option for pickling veggies like zucchini. Either way preserves fresh beans for lovely meals later.
Hot Pack Canning
Select the freshest, tender pole beans in your garden. Pods around five inches long are ideal. Wash the beans in a bowl of ice water and snap the stem ends. Remove the strings using your fingers, breaking the pods into smaller two-inch pieces.
For the hot pack process, boil the green beans in a large pot of water for five minutes. Drain the beans in a colander and pack them into Mason jars. Fill the jars with boiling water, leaving about an inch of headspace. Push down on the beans with a flat utensil to remove air bubbles.
Seal the canning jars with the lids and rings, then use a pressure canner. The steam vents for about ten minutes before you close the vents. The time varies depending on your location and altitude.
Water Bath Canning
If you don’t have a pressure canner, use the water bath canning technique. Add the jars to a rack and submerge them in boiling water for 30 minutes. Remove the jars carefully using tongs or a jar lifter. Allow them to completely cool.
Try New Green Bean Recipes
Green bean casseroles are famous cookbook recipes involving the vegetable, but there are many other ways to preserve green beans for a quick appetizer, snack, or side dish later.
If you’re a pickle fan, try preserving green beans by making lacto-fermented dilly beans as you harvest your beans, one jar at a time.
Place the ingredients except for the water and salt in a quart-sized canning jar. Mix the pickling salt and water, pouring the mixture over the beans in your jar.
Cover all the veggies with brine, then weight them down with fermenting weights. Top the jars with lids, and store them in a dark area. Eat the beans after about a week or longer if your climate is colder.
Preserving green beans for winter meals is the best way to take advantage of your crop all year long. There are many ways to preserve green beans, whether you prefer freezing or canning.
Fermenting also allows you to tackle a small bunch of beans rather than putting away a large crop all at once.
Did you learn how to preserve green beans? What are your favorite ways to preserve your harvest? If you found our tips on preserving green beans helpful, please feel free to share these food preservation tricks with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook.